Free Software Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman
The waning days of the 20th century seemed like an Orwellian nightmare: laws
preventing publication of scientific research on software; laws preventing sharing
software; an overabundance of software patents preventing development; and enduser
license agreements that strip the user of all freedoms—including ownership,
privacy, sharing, and understanding how their software works. This collection of
essays and speeches by Richard M. Stallman addresses many of these issues. Above
all, Stallman discusses the philosophy underlying the free software movement. This
movement combats the oppression of federal laws and evil end-user license agreements
in hopes of spreading the idea of software freedom.
With the force of hundreds of thousands of developers working to create GNU
software and the GNU/Linux operating system, free software has secured a spot on
the servers that control the Internet, and—as it moves into the desktop computer
market—is a threat to Microsoft and other proprietary software companies.
These essays cater to a wide audience; you do not need a computer science background
to understand the philosophy and ideas herein. However, there is a “Note on
Software,” to help the less technically inclined reader become familiar with some
common computer science jargon and concepts, as well as footnotes throughout.
Also it is important to note that many of the essays have been updated and
revised from their originally published versions. And since every chapter has a
verbatim copying notice on it, you are free to make and distribute copies of the
Editedby Joshua Gay
Copyright© 2002 FreeSoftwareFoundation,Inc.