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Interesting Facts About Richard Stallman
Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

  • He rubs lotion on his feet during Q&A.

  • He looks pretty good in tie-dye.

  • As of today, he knows about Allegro.

I went to a thing (mentioned here) and listened to RMS speak for about 2.5 hours. 99% of this time felt like a live version of videos I'd already seen. However, I am glad I went and grateful for the hosting university for making the event free to the public.

If a video goes up, you all might be able to see me being scolded while holding two Allegator stickers... I hope they didn't cut that part out.

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
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That's pretty cool, although he probably doesn't cheer for the Allegro license.

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Niunio
Member #1,975
March 2002
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Well, Allegro 5 changed the license to a zlib style license and I think it is much better now (it is the same I used). Anyway, Stallman is a bit "extremist" sometimes...

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Current projects: Allegro.pas | MinGRo

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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Wasn't A4 "do whatever you want, including use A4 for world domination and we don't care."

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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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FSF is explicitly copyleft, meaning you cannot take GPL software and make it non-libre. That's the whole point of the licenses and movement. They wanted to make it impossible for somebody like Microsoft to embrace, extend, and extinguish(tm) (among other things).

Nothing stops a proprietary company from taking Allegro, making changes to it and making it extra awesome, waiting until copies of the original Allegro are rare or the features in the new Allegrawesome are so important that we can't live without them, and then making it proprietary again. If they did so strategically we might find ourselves in a position where Allegro is effectively stolen, or at best we'd have to throw away x years of progress and start over.

It's an extreme hypothetical, and one that isn't likely to happen with this particular project in its current state of relative insignificance, but many other projects that we all use and love and rely on could be susceptible.

Append:

Also Gideon I'm extremely jealous that you got to experience a talk and meet him! I look forward to seeing this video if it is ever found. Make sure you spread it around.

Niunio
Member #1,975
March 2002
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Antoher Interesting Fact About Richard Stallman:

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Current projects: Allegro.pas | MinGRo

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

YouTube's related videos said:

Facebook no es tu amigo

:D

You are all correct. Stallman emphasized the difference between Free software and mere "open source" software numerous times throughout his talk. He did, however, provide another distinction for software that performs a "job" and software that is "art." The latter not need be completely Free, as it is subjective work, unable to be "improved" through collaboration. I have long held the same belief and was pleasantly surprised to hear the head of the Free software movement dictate it.

I did not mention that Allegro used a zlib-like license, though I did mention "Low-Level Game Routines" as part of its name, upon which Stallman nodded with seeming interest. Nevertheless (as part of a personal policy to not sign stickers) he refused to sign the Allegro sticker I presented.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I'd disagree that software that is "art" cannot be improved. Art can be improved upon. That's the very nature of derivative works in copyright law! I'd be very interested to see this part of his speech because it sounds uncharacteristic. Of course, it's less important for art to be free because it's purely entertainment and isn't required to be productive. It isn't required to operate your computer, to write your own software, etc. But it's still more useful if it's free. Maybe rms is just starting to get beaten down after 30 years of trying to talk sense into irrational monkeys that refuse to listen...

Aaron Bolyard
Member #7,537
July 2006
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bamccaig said:

Nothing stops a proprietary company from taking Allegro, making changes to it and making it extra awesome, waiting until copies of the original Allegro are rare or the features in the new Allegrawesome are so important that we can't live without them, and then making it proprietary again.

MPL is better (in that example) if you want to force a private entity to give back to the community. Only modifications to files under the MPL must be made available.

I rather like the MPL, in honesty. It's a good compromise between the BSD-style licenses and the GPL. Private entities can still use code under the MPL within their propriety software and any improvements to the code make their way back to the original project.

Bruce Pascoe
Member #15,931
April 2015
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bamccaig said:

Nothing stops a proprietary company from taking Allegro, making changes to it and making it extra awesome, waiting until copies of the original Allegro are rare or the features in the new Allegrawesome are so important that we can't live without them, and then making it proprietary again. If they did so strategically we might find ourselves in a position where Allegro is effectively stolen, or at best we'd have to throw away x years of progress and start over.

Eh. The hypothetical existence of Allegrawesome doesn't magically change the license of the original Allegro code, so there would be no need to "throw away years of progress and start over". That's not how copyright works.

The real issue with liberal licenses is patents, not copyright. Contrary to popular belief and common terminology ("intellectual property"), those two things are not even remotely the same thing. And I'm not sure that a copyright license is the right avenue to deal with that.

I don't much care for copyleft, whatever RMS says. Enforced freedom is no freedom at all.

Aaron Bolyard
Member #7,537
July 2006
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The real issue with liberal licenses is patents, not copyright. Contrary to popular belief and common terminology ("intellectual property"), those two things are not even remotely the same thing. And I'm not sure that a copyright license is the right avenue to deal with that.

Knowledge-as-a-product is a terrible and largely outdated concept. I think copyrights and trademarks are both completely immoral in a larger sense, but I would still be fine if patents and copyrights were less draconion.

I disagree in forcing such ideology on people (i.e., GPL). But Mickey Mouse will still be copyrighted in a hundred years at this rate.

Copyrights should not apply, in any twisted form, to non-creative thought (numbers, etc). Copyright for the creator lasting 10-20 years upon some metric (first public release, or whatever) would be fine. The creator benefits for a quarter-or-so of his or her life and then the world benefits thereafter. The DMCA and its spawn need to be dissolved and its signors need to be smacked.

Patents seeing a complete overhaul is necessary. Only patents on physical concepts. Patents should require "good faith" to bring into a product, based on the scope of the patent and the ability of the owners. The buffer for idea-to-product is incredibly tiny now compared to when the patent system was created, and the ability to first launch something revolutionary is more than enough. Patents currently allow good ideas to rot and enable bloated, lethargic corporate behemoths and their extremist, troll brethren to prevent progress.

Personally, the Microsoft patent for Loop-Blinn curve rendering is the bane of my existence. The clear-cut patent violation and possible legal fallout essentially flat-lined any progress in a vector graphics library I was working on...

(I accidentally posted this while I was still writing it. Should be good now.)

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