Digital Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London

Richard Stallman - it's free software and it gives you freedom

From 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Thursday 3rd November, 2011

Ian Guilland Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London

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Legendary free software pioneer Richard Stallman is our guest for the first official CAST Public Lecture entitled 'it's free software and it gives you freedom'. Stallman is the founder of the Free Software movement, the GNU project, the Free Software Foundation, and the League for Programming Freedom. He also invented the concept of copyleft to protect the ideals of this movement, and enshrined this concept in the widely used GPL (General Public Licence) for software. He is the author of 'Free as in Freedom' and will be signing copies of his book and meeting attendees at the end of the lecture.

"Isn't it ironic that the proprietary software developers call us communists? We are the ones who have provided for a free market, where they allow only monopoly. ... if the users chooses this proprietary software package, he then falls into this monopoly for support ... the only way to escape from monopoly is to escape from proprietary software, and that is what the free software movement is all about. We want you to escape and our work is to help you escape. We hope you will escape to the free world. The free world is the new continent in cyberspace that we have built so we can live here in freedom. It's impossible to live in freedom in the old world of cyberspace, where every program has its feudal lord that bullies and mistreats the users. So, to live in freedom we have to build a new continent. Because this is a virtual continent, it has room for everyone, and there are no immigration restrictions. And because there were never indigenous peoples in cyberspace, there is also no issue of taking away their land. So everyone is welcome in the free world, come to the free world, live with us in freedom. The free software movement aims for the liberation of cyberspace and everyone in it."

- Richard Stallman from "Free Software in Ethics and Practice" talk on 3 March 2008 in Moscow

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