Selected Essays By Richard Stallman

Indeed, as free software has grown in economic and political importance, it has attracted the attention of some who wish to reap the benefits of free software while keeping users restricted and dependent.Google, Facebook, and other titans of the Web economy have built their businesses on free software.

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And they are not merely free riders in their usage of this resource; in many cases, these firms freely share at least some of the code that runs on their services and invest substantial resources in creating or enhancing that code.

Each user of a “free software” network service can have a copy of software that allows the FSD’s four freedoms.

Stallman has described the split between free software and open source as the opposite of a schism.

In a schism, two religious groups worship separately due to sometimes-minor disagreements about liturgy or doctrine.

If software is “free,” users can turn off exploitative features and work together to improve and control their technology.

For Stallman, free software is critical to a free society.But each of these examples has been divisive even among people who believe that software should be free.The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has taken explicit stands against each of the issues above.In free software and open source, the two groups have articulated fundamentally different philosophies, politics, and motivations.Yet both sides continue to work together closely within the same organizations.Ti Vo users could study and modify the Ti Vo software, but they could not use the modified software on their Ti Vo. Saa S, Chrome OS and “Ti Voization” are issues that continue to roil the free software and open source movements and expose philosophical fault-lines.It is unsurprising that open source advocates see no problem with Saa S, Chrome OS, and Ti Voization; they are not committed to the freedom of users of software.Like Stallman, this group was frustrated by the ambiguity of the word “free.” However, the open source group’s primary concern was free software’s utility to businesses.Rather than stressing “freedom,” which they felt would be off-putting to for-profit firms, open source advocates described the technical benefits that the “openness” of free software development might bring through collaborations among large networks of users.Every move from a piece of “desktop” free software to a Saa S service is a move from a situation where a user had control over his or her software to a situation where users have very little control at all.For example, Google’s use of free software in its Saa S services enables it to monitor all uses and add or remove features at will.


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