Free Software, Free Society

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.

Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman is a collection of writings (mostly essays, with occasional articles, interviews and speech transcripts) by Richard Stallman. It introduces the subject of history and development of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, explains authors philosophical position on Free Software movement, deals with the topics of software ethics, copyright and patent laws, as well as business practices in application to computer software. The author proposes Free software licenses as a solution to social issues created by proprietary software and described in essays. Stallman argues that, with software, there are only two possibilities: either the users control the programme or the programme controls the users. If the programme controls the users, and the developer controls the programme, then the programme is an instrument of unjust power. It is worth pointing out that Stallman is not against commercial success. Quote: 'I don’t have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don’t think the highest calling is success. Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice.'

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