64 Facts About Richard Stallman


Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to write a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software.


Richard Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law to preserve the right to use, modify, and distribute free software.


Richard Stallman is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.


Since the mid-1990s, Richard Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and other legal and technical systems which he sees as taking away users' freedoms.


Richard Stallman remained head of the GNU Project, and in 2021 returned to the FSF board of directors.


Richard Stallman was born March 16,1953, in New York City, to a family of Jewish heritage.


Richard Stallman had a troublesome relationship with his parents and did not feel he had a proper home.

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Richard Stallman was interested in computers at a young age; when Stallman was a pre-teen at a summer camp, he read manuals for the IBM 7094.


From 1967 to 1969, Richard Stallman attended a Columbia University Saturday program for high school students.


Richard Stallman was a volunteer laboratory assistant in the biology department at Rockefeller University.


Richard Stallman was hired for the summer in 1970, following his senior year of high school, to write a numerical analysis program in Fortran.


Richard Stallman received a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard in 1974.


Richard Stallman considered staying on at Harvard, but instead decided to enroll as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Richard Stallman pursued a doctorate in physics for one year, but left that program to focus on his programming at the MIT AI Laboratory.


Richard Stallman would become an ardent critic of restricted computer access in the lab, which at that time was funded primarily by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


When MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science installed a password control system in 1977, Richard Stallman found a way to decrypt the passwords and sent users messages containing their decoded password, with a suggestion to change it to the empty string instead, to re-enable anonymous access to the systems.


Richard Stallman boasted of the success of his campaign for many years afterward.


When Brian Reid in 1979 placed time bombs in the Scribe markup language and word processing system to restrict unlicensed access to the software, Richard Stallman proclaimed it "a crime against humanity".


Richard Stallman's texinfo is a GPL replacement, loosely based on Scribe; the original version was finished in 1986.


Richard Stallman had modified the software for the Lab's previous laser printer, so it electronically messaged a user when the person's job was printed, and would message all logged-in users waiting for print jobs if the printer was jammed.


For two years, from 1982 to the end of 1983, Richard Stallman worked by himself to clone the output of the Symbolics programmers, with the aim of preventing them from gaining a monopoly on the lab's computers.


Richard Stallman argues that software users should have the freedom to share with their neighbors and be able to study and make changes to the software that they use.


Richard Stallman maintains that attempts by proprietary software vendors to prohibit these acts are antisocial and unethical.


The phrase "software wants to be free" is often incorrectly attributed to him, and Richard Stallman argues that this is a misstatement of his philosophy.


Richard Stallman argues that freedom is vital for the sake of users and society as a moral value, and not merely for pragmatic reasons such as possibly developing technically superior software.

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In February 1984, Richard Stallman quit his job at MIT to work full-time on the GNU project, which he had announced in September 1983.


Richard Stallman announced the plan for the GNU operating system in September 1983 on several ARPANET mailing lists and USENET.


In 1985, Richard Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motivation for creating a free operating system called GNU, which would be compatible with Unix.


Richard Stallman was the nonsalaried president of the FSF, which is a 501 nonprofit organization founded in Massachusetts.


Richard Stallman popularized the concept of copyleft, a legal mechanism to protect the modification and redistribution rights for free software.


Richard Stallman argues that not using GNU in the name of the operating system unfairly disparages the value of the GNU project and harms the sustainability of the free software movement by breaking the link between the software and the free software philosophy of the GNU project.


Richard Stallman's take on this was to canonize himself as St IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs and acknowledge that "vi vi vi is the editor of the beast", while "using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance".


In 2018, Richard Stallman instituted "Kind Communication Guidelines" for the GNU project to help its mailing list discussions remain constructive while avoiding explicitly promoting diversity.


In October 2019, a public statement signed by 33 maintainers of the GNU project asserted that Richard Stallman's behaviour had "undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users" and called for "GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project".


The statement was published soon after Richard Stallman resigned as president of the FSF and left his "visiting scientist" role at MIT in September 2019.


In spite of that, Richard Stallman remained head of the GNU project.


Richard Stallman has written many essays on software freedom, and has been an outspoken political campaigner for the free software movement since the early 1990s.


Richard Stallman disagrees with parts of Debian's definition of free software.


In 1999, Richard Stallman called for development of a free online encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles.


Richard Stallman was on the Advisory Council of Latin American television station teleSUR from its launch but resigned in February 2011, criticizing pro-Gaddafi propaganda during the Arab Spring.


Richard Stallman has participated in protests about software patents, digital rights management, and proprietary software.


Richard Stallman has characterized Steve Jobs as having a "malign influence" on computing because of Jobs' leadership in guiding Apple to produce closed platforms.


Richard Stallman initially thought this would be legal, but since he thought it would be "very undesirable for free software", he asked a lawyer for advice.


Therefore, Richard Stallman sent a message back to Jobs which said they believed Jobs' plan was not allowed by the GPL, which resulted in NeXT releasing the Objective-C front end under GPL.


Richard Stallman has regularly given a talk entitled "Copyright vs Community" where he reviews the state of digital rights management and names many of the products and corporations which he boycotts.

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Richard Stallman suggests that, instead of restrictions on sharing, authors be supported using a tax, with revenues distributed among them based on cubic roots of their popularity to ensure that "fairly successful non-stars" receive a greater share than they do now, or a convenient anonymous micropayment system for people to support authors directly.


Richard Stallman indicates that no form of non-commercial sharing of copies should be considered a copyright violation.


Richard Stallman has advocated civil disobedience in a comment on Ley Sinde.


Richard Stallman has helped and supported the International Music Score Library Project in getting back online, after it had been taken down on October 19,2007, following a cease and desist letter from Universal Edition.


Richard Stallman says that such e-books present a big step backward with respect to paper books by being less easy to use, copy, lend to others or sell, mentioning that Amazon e-books cannot be bought anonymously.


Richard Stallman considers manufacturers' use of encryption on non-secret data as a conspiracy.


Richard Stallman recognized the Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal to be a criminal act by Sony.


Richard Stallman denies being an anarchist despite his wariness of some legislation and the fact that he has "advocated strongly for user privacy and his own view of software freedom".


Richard Stallman argues that the term intellectual property is designed to confuse people, and is used to prevent intelligent discussion on the specifics of copyright, patent, trademark, and other areas of law by lumping together things that are more dissimilar than similar.


Richard Stallman argues that by referring to these laws as property laws, the term biases the discussion when thinking about how to treat these issues, writing:.


Two alternatives which Richard Stallman does accept are software libre and unfettered software, but free software is the term he asks people to use in English.


Richard Stallman refers to this operating system as "a variant of GNU, and the GNU Project is its principal developer".


Richard Stallman has spoken against government and corporate surveillance on many occasions.


Richard Stallman refers to mobile phones as "portable surveillance and tracking devices", refusing to own a cell phone due to the lack of phones running entirely on free software.


Richard Stallman avoids using a key card to enter his office building since key card systems track each location and time that someone enters the building using a card.


Richard Stallman has said that he is "an atheist of Jewish ancestry" and often wears a button that reads "Impeach God".


Richard Stallman has written a collection of filk music and parody songs.


Richard Stallman denies having Asperger's, but has sometimes speculated whether he could have a "shadow" version of it.


In March 2021, at LibrePlanet2021, Richard Stallman announced his return to the FSF board of directors.