“US copyright law is far too strict” – GNU founder
American software freedom activist Richard Stallman, better known as the author of GNU General Public License, joined RT to give his comments on modern software copyright laws, and the risks of cyber sneaking.
RT: You're the founder of the software freedom foundation in the US. What's free software, why is it so important?
RS: Free software is software that respects the user's freedom and the social solidarity of the user's community. Specifically it means you have four essential freedoms. Freedom zero is to run the program as you wish. There're proprietary programs that restrict the use of the authorized copies even, and you have freedom one, which is to study the source code and then change it to make the program do what you wish. This means you control it instead of it controlling you. And you have freedom two which is the freedom to help your neighbor – that's the freedom to redistribute exact copies. So you're free to share, free to republish. And you have freedom three which is to contribute to your community and that's the freedom to distribute the copies of your modified versions, so if you study the source code, and change it, make something you like better, you can distribute that, give it away, sell to others. So the result is – the users are in control, both individually and collectively.
RT: You're campaigning against the extension of copyright laws in the US. What's wrong with the copyright law in the US?