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Stallman on the current state of GNU/Linux - TechAmok

Stallman on the current state of GNU/Linux - [software]
04:01 AM EDT - Jul,12 2009 - post a comment

Neowin has posted an interesting interview with Richard M. Stallman, an 'American software freedom activist, hacker and software developer.' He is perhaps most notably known for his work on the Free Software movement. Stallman is also the father of the GNU operating system, that which is commonly referred to as Linux but more accurately defined as GNU/Linux. Here's a bit:
Neowin: What do you think the much anticipated launch of Windows 7 and Snow Leopard will do for Free Software? Will it affect it positively, negatively or not at all?

Stallman: The term "much anticipated" seems inappropriate since it usually is not applied to something whose purpose is nasty.
Windows 7 has malicious features just like Windows Vista. These include features to restrict users (Digital Restrictions Management), a back door for imposing software changes, and perhaps also the spyware features discovered in previous versions. If you don't want to be abused, defenestrate your computer. Windows Vista had major unintended flaws, as well as those intentional flaws; together they provoked a strong reaction, which we did our best to stimulate through the site BadVista.org. The proprietary licensing of Windows contributed to both kinds of flaws. Free software is not immune to unintended flaws, but it gives people the freedom to fix them. But the crucial point is that proprietary licensing makes malicious features a business model. Only a proprietary software developer has the power to impose malicious features and make them stick; with free software, someone else would exercise freedoms 1 and 3 to publish an non-malicious improved version.

Microsoft's designers are not stupid, and we cannot count on them to make mistakes next time. We don't know whether Windows 7 will have major unintended flaws. What we know is that the malice remains as nasty as before. The Free Software Foundation will continue to educate the public to recognize and reject these malicious features.

MacOS is malicious too: it has Digital Restrictions Management. The details are different, but the overall situation is the same. You can't get freedom with MacOS.


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