Interview with Richard Stallman

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Interviews

Richard M. Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to RMS, is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and has been the project's lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the Free Software Movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.

Here is my email interview with him.

Question: We often hear about how beneficial Free Software is to society; but how have you specifically benefited from Free Software?

Stallman: Thanks to the Free Software Movement, I personally have escaped from proprietary software. I am editing this text on a netbook in which all the software is free, from the BIOS on up. Instead of being the helpless "customer" of user-subjugating software, I'm part of a free community.

I started the Free Software Movement so that everyone could have this freedom. As yet, not everyone has it, but those of us who are willing to make a certain amount of sacrifice can get it. I would not normally use the word "benefit" to describe this, because that word seems to imply a convenience that one can do without. That's not adequate as a reference to freedom.

Question: What software, projects or movements are you most excited to see emerge?

rest here