back to article Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return

The chorus of disapproval over Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), rejoining the organisation has intensified as Linux giant Red Hat confirmed it was pulling funding. Stallman announced he had returned to the FSF's Board of Directors last weekend – news that has not gone down …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Owned by IBM, of Holocaust fame ?

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Re: Redhat

      IBM of AgeIsm.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Redhat

        Ageism is not just allowed but compulsory.

    2. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: Redhat

      Deleted, I got my history wrong

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    decisions, decisions...

    When the decision is all about 'me', rather than 'us', it is usually the wrong decision. When the decision is all about 'us', rather than "you outsiders", it is usually the wrong decision.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "At a moment in time where diversity and inclusion awareness is growing, this is a step backwards."

    And the Gold medal goes to Chris Wright for the GasLighting.

    1. Zolko Silver badge


      "At a moment in time where diversity and inclusion awareness insanity is growing, this is a step ..."

      ... we wholeheartedly welcome.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: !PC

        from the article:

        deeply insensitive remarks

        hurting feelings. *AWWW* - teh intarwebs were OFFENSIVE again!!! <facepalm>

        Seriously I can think of WORSE things that Stallman appears to hold in high regard, some of which seem to have found their way into GPLv3, that would concern ME a WHOLE lot more than "deeply insensitive remarks". The one that concerns me the most is the "non-freedom" restrictions about GPL'ness and compatibility with other licenses, while at the same time calling it "freedom". It bears too close a resemblance to a kind of "double-speak" or "double-think".

        And In My Bombastic Opinion, a HIGHLY INTELLIGENT PERSON should NOT care about some snowflake's FEELINGS. There are way too many IMPORTANT things to think and care about.

        and firing someone and NOT doing business wiht a company over something like "deeply insensitive remarks" (In My Bombastic Opinion) reflects a POOR set of priorities.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, what do you expect

    See subject line

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well, what do you expect

      They are probably confused by anyone over the age of 30 not being RIF'ed

      Have they asked him to train his replacement ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They are still doing business in China, are they? Just asking.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Consistency

      Yes but that's just an IBM-DoD contract to bring Chinese business to its knees.

      If it doesn't then we use the nuclear option - SAP

  6. Anonymous Coward

    What were they thinking?

    By "they" I mean the FSF.

    Anyone with a minimal amount of common sense could have predicted that RMS' return to the FSF was NOT going to go down well.

    FSF, you brought this upon yourself. It's not just about RMS' comments that led to his departure two years ago. Right now, it's about your organization being perceived as a crass dictatorship that cannot rid itself of the Dear Leader, no matter how toxic the circumstances might be.

    Not many people want to be associated with such an organization. And those who do, they aren't the kind of people I want to be associated with.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Re: What were they thinking?


      The tyrant behaviour is very much with you folks who come in and demand everybody to bow down to your non-arguments.

      RMS was the founder of FSF, he personally authored many pieces of GNU software, he wrote the licenses and most importantly his observations about the software business are highly accurate.

      Now you puritanic folks come along and try to take control of FSF.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What were they thinking?

        >RMS was the founder of FSF

        So what? It's an irrelevance to his return to the FSF.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: What were they thinking?

          you make a point. once you incorporate [non-profit or for-profit] you release control to the board of directors, who can hire/fire board members according to the established rules.

          Founder or otherwise the board members are in charge.

      2. Ian 55

        Re: What were they thinking?

        As a founder of the free software movement, RMS's contribution has been immense.

        As a human being, he actively puts other people off from being involved.

        Thank you, RMS, but it was way past the right time to go and there will be no good time to return without a fuck of a lot of learning.

    2. TheMeerkat

      Re: What were they thinking?

      We are living under the boot of woke fascists, who think it is up to them to I still virtue. Nasty people.

      If someone is guilty of a crime, they should be tried in the court of law. Otherwise it is not the business of new self-appointed “morality officers” to decide who should be allowed and who should not to hold a position.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What were they thinking?

        Humans will make decisions on what is acceptable behaviour regardless of legal process (or lack thereof). Red Hat has a right to pull voluntary funding from any organisation if it wants. I now think my previous hero RMS is a complete dick and I don’t need a jury or a judge to validate my view.

        Likewise you can have a whine because you don’t think RMS’s behaviour warrants our response.

        If you think it’s unfair the FSF has lost donation streams then by all means put your money where your mouth is and make up the shortfall.

      2. Earth Resident

        Re: What were they thinking?

        Why resort to a court of law when you have the howling mob available to convict?

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: What were they thinking?

        You're free to think that

        and others are free to criticise FSF

        Stallman's presence in anything other than an adjunct role at FSF is likely to be counterproductive

        That said, Redhat are throwing stones in glass houses here, given who now owns them and their recent behaviour (centos)

    3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: What were they thinking?

      Was he invited to rejoin - by either the board or the membership as a whole - or did he just announce that he was rejoining and nobody felt able to say "no"?

  7. williamsth

    They've probably been planning this for a while anyway and this is the perfect cover.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      All of the big "western" corporations are now on a drive to ideological purification which will result in oppression if not countered.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        > Calling out someone for being a creep

        > Ideological purification

        Yeah righto.

        1. mihares

          Calling out: OK.

          Asking for an apology: still OK.

          Demanding him to be fired, killed, eaten, dereferenced and forgotten: a bit much, what is happening right now, and also not OK.

          Read the story of Savonarola. It did not end well.

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Demanding him to be fired, killed, eaten, dereferenced and forgotten: a bit much
            I agree.
            what is happening right now, and also not OK
            Ahh... no.

            1. mihares

              Granted, nobody seems to be interested in eating RMS.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge

                I'm reminded of that Futurama episode where Lur (from Omicron Persei 8) ate the hippy and became stoned...

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        And if anyone knows about ideological purity, it's Stallman.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "After Epstein's victim said she had been coerced as a teenager to have sex with the now-late MIT professor Marvin Minsky,"

    Actually, the statement was that she had been told to have sex with the now-late MIT professor Marvin Minsky.

    Stallman's gift was was to phrase his argument (* illogical emotional outburst) under the assumption that Minsky had indeed had sex with the victim.

    AFAIK no post accusation wave of claims against Minsky bubbled up despite many years of opportunity he had as leader and mentor

    to pester and manipulate women.

    There is also the fact that most 78 year old men would just not feel comfortable with the situation which likely would likely have felt odd and insincere.

    Yes - Minsky took the money for the Media Lab, which furthered his own career, when he should have known better. The whole thing is rather disgusting.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Mr Minsky should have consulted the CIA+FBI to find out whether Epstein was running a honeytrap ?

      Epstein surely did not advertise this kind of thing when he befriended scientists he wanted to have orbiting around himself and his "charity".

      The much better question is: "Why did the FBI investigate Epstein only so late ?"

      And "why were these top politicans not protected from walking into the honeytrap ?"

  9. BOFH-in-training

    There's a huge community of "anti-woke," racist folks dogpiling on Hacker News (Ycombinator's news site) propping up Stallman which is pretty gross. Who in their right mind wanted to reinstate Stallman to the board of FSF? Why is Stallman the authority here? Kill your idols, move on and grow, the mission of FSF isn't Stallman's living body. Its just written down words. It'll exist long after Stallman dies.

    1. martyn.hare

      Not racists but futurists!

      These people are not racists, they are people who see that the logical end result (should cancelling continue) will be a hyper-individualistic society where everybody is happy to stab one another in the back for short term gains. You can see evidence of this gradual shift happening all over the place in both cyberspace and meatspace alike. If someone sees an opportunity to screw someone over, they’ll make a mountain out of a molehill if it means some kind of quick personal gain.

      It is not about idol worship, it is about about the principle of balancing good against bad when talking about a man who has committed no crimes and harmed nobody, but who may have a few behaviours and opinions which aren’t popular with hipsters/corpo-leeches. Most, if not all of the people wanting him gone might not even have the jobs they do were it not for the ability to exploit his code, and Richard will still defend their software freedom, yet these people will not offer him the same courtesy with his free speech.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: his free speech

        He definitely has the right to uphold child pornography, peadophilia and incest.

        I have the right to be disgusted by it and not want anything to do with such a person.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Not racists but futurists!

        I was thinking "gangs" and "bullying" and "chaos" but your description is adequate for arguing against it.

        "Get Woke" - "Go Broke". It'll happen, as people 'wake up' and see "the woke" for who they REALLY are... and even more than RH abandoning FSF, it'll be 'the rest of us' abandoning "the woke".

        As for Stallman [back on topic] I would normally consider him to become 'one of the woke' but I assume it's too late for that.

    2. YetAnotherJoeBlow


      Did you sign up today just to troll and bash Stallman and Musk? Get a life.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: troll .. a disgusting supporter of dodgy characters/a shady member of ill repute

        Did you sign up today just to troll and bash Stallman and Musk? Get a life. ... YetAnotherJoeBlow

        Well spotted, YetAnotherJoeBlow, and continuing on in the same familiar vein ....

        If BOFH-in-training, or any other wannabe 77th Brigade warrior type, flits and flips their mind and attentions north of Hadrian's Wall, they can have a field day ranting and raving about the harm and damage being done to a similarly outraged to the FSF Scottish National Party in the light of the sudden appearance of Alba, which some spectacularly failing hearts and minds manipulators are pimping/pumping and dumping as a one man band vanity project.

        Did you ever hear such telegraphed nonsense? He/She/It/They will be in their element up there at the moment if they're looking for more than just a good fight and oxymoronic scrap. Bloody noses/Glasgow kisses are well known whenever deemed worthy to be generously handed out for free.

    3. Boork!

      Can you link to some evidence of racism? I must have missed that thread on HN.

  10. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Bloody Wokesters

    So much virtue signalling.

    Don't they have a business to fuck up ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bloody Wokesters

      Yes, but they have some spare time.

  11. martyn.hare

    He made the FSF, it’s fine for him to end it

    It really is time for Richard to stand proud, head up high, fingers in his ears... let the “community” burn everything down if that’s what they want to do. He should keep his director position and ignore those who seek to defund the place. He has his freedom and his principles and that is all he needs.

    Richard is just about ready to retire anyway and he can enjoy his final good years of life observing and contributing to the projects which comprise his life’s work. He will be remembered for all the good he did by those who care, while those trying to cancel him will fade into obscurity.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Re: He made the FSF, it’s fine for him to end it

      I think it should be written "communisty".

      1. Juillen 1

        Re: He made the FSF, it’s fine for him to end it

        I'd still not have a problem with it if it was. He's notoriously left wing, zealously so.

        What he's done is stuck by that ideal that his work is to be shared for the good of ALL.

        Not the people he likes, not the people he agrees with, not the narrow window of people whose politics he's in exact sync with, but everyone. His politics have been studiously kept out of the creation and distribution of his work.

        That's tolerance and diversity right there in a nutshell. He's lived what the new Woke are pretending to be for a long time, and when he objectively states that on balance of probability, what their outraged knee jerk is claiming is not true (but in a very blunt way), they choose to burn him at a stake because the statement isn't something like like to hear (it must be heresy), and it wasn't wrapped up in a fluffy box with a bow.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "ideal that his work is to be shared for the good of ALL"

          And just like in any communist state, it turns out that others' work becomes only the good of the few at the top who exploit others for their own wealth....

          After all Stallman shared very little - he was never able to write a kernel, for example, and had to copy most of Unix to have a working system - he could not write anything without copying someone else's work.

          After all, just like any communist system works - copy everything from non communist states because almost nobody in a communist state really wants to create anything since all his or her efforts will be used just to ensure those at the top can keep on living lavishly while enslaving others.

        2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: He made the FSF, it’s fine for him to end it

          What he's done is stuck by that ideal that his work is to be shared for the good of ALL.

          Which is fine, if that's the way he wants it. His insistence that everybody else's work should be shared is a little more problematic.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Presumably ...

    ... Red Hat (and SUSE) will immediately stop using any and all code that Stallman personally, and the FSF by extension, ever had a hand in. If not, they are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. As is anyone else clamoring tor Stallmans head on a platter while still using systems which use GCC, gdb and make in any way, shape or form.

    1. Muppet Boss

      Re: Presumably ...

      Well, the International Business Hats already dropped Centos, I assume it is hardly a coincidence and just the beginning!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Presumably ...

      > Red Hat (and SUSE) will immediately stop using any and all code that Stallman personally, and the FSF by extension

      Well, they could ship AIX instead... :-)

  13. jake Silver badge

    Let's be very clear here ...

    "After Epstein's victim said she had been coerced as a teenager to have sex with the now-late MIT professor Marvin Minsky"

    She was coerced to attempt to seduce Minsky. She failed. Minsky refused.

    Continuing to drag Minsky's name thru' the mud in the name of crucifying Stallman is some of the most crass bullshit I've ever run across on the Internet, and that's saying something.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's be very clear here ...

      > Continuing to drag Minsky's name thru' the mud in the name of crucifying Stallman [ ... ]

      You may want to read some of Stallman's own words on the subject:

      Entry from 05 June 2006:

      Dutch paedophiles form political party

      I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren't voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.

      I think crucifying Stallman is a bit of a stretch.

      There is no such thing as voluntary pedophilia. It's called statutory rape.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Let's be very clear here ...

        I fail to see where Stallman mentioned Minsky in that article, or what it has to do with what I typed, but I'll bite anyway.

        Let me ask you something, ST ... did you ever fool about with a MOTAS before the both of you reached the age of consent? If so, YOU might be a pedophile and guilty of statutory rape, at least according to the way the law is written in your jurisdiction. And so is the MOTAS. Despite both of you being willing participants.

        I believe what Stallman was trying to say, an a rather stumbling way, is that no two people mature at the same rate. Putting a date and time on it is daft ("After exactly midnight on this date you can fuck like bunnies, before that exact second faghetaboudit or go to jail!) ... The law is an ass.

        To see how much of an ass, see what Wiki has to say about the age of consent here in the United States:

        No, I have no answers, but the way we do it today sucks. (No pun intended.) Crucifying Stallman on this point based on what he said is way overkill, ESPECIALLY seeing as he did not actually advocate any illegal acts.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's be very clear here ...

          >If so YOU might be a pedophile [ ... ]

          Say that to my face.

          > I believe what Stallman was trying to say [ ... ]

          Nobody cares what you believe Stallman was trying to say. You don't speak for him. What matters is what Stallman himself wrote, on more than one occasion.

          Thanks for letting us all know that, in your view, pedophilia is OK.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Let's be very clear here ...

            "Say that to my face."

            Hard of reading? I just did. In fact, according to "the law" (as if there was just one law .... what are you, a religious wingnut?), every man, woman and child reading this who fooled around with someone under the age of consent is a pedophile, EVEN IF they were also underage at the time.

            Stallman later retracted his statements, which fact I see you are still ignoring. And since when was paraphrasing and offering opinions on the writings of another considered a bad thing?

            I did not say pedophilia is OK, kindly retract that or forever be known as a liar.

            What I implied is that the current definition of pedophilia is a one-size-fits-all notion, which is clearly a farce given that humans mature at different rates.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: Let's be very clear here ...

              “Say that to my face” is usually interpreted as “say that to my face standing in front of me, in reach of my fists”. Which you clearly didn’t.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Let's be very clear here ...

              > What I implied is that the current definition of pedophilia is a one-size-fits-all notion, which is clearly a farce given that humans mature at different rates.

              Given your own definition of pedophilia - the statutory or psychiatric ones clearly being a one-size-fits-all farce, also according to you - would you consider having sexual relations with a mature 14-year old?

              Stallman's blog with the pedophilia statements is still reachable directly. Not through the Wayback Machine, or Google caching, but directly. That does not look like a retraction to me.

              His so-called "retraction" happened in September 2019, 13 years after his latest blog post on this subject, and after those comments had already led to his forced resignation from the FSF. How convenient.

          2. Juillen 1

            Re: Let's be very clear here ...

            No, in context, he was saying that there's no "one size fits all" age that one second it's illegal, the next it's illegal. This is philosophically valid, and it's so confused that the age of consent in different places is anything from 14 to 18 (possibly even more varied). Legislators have a tough time with it, and it's widely understood that it's a pretty ridiculous thing, but it's a line in the sand that people think is sort of ok. Maybe. So, your very obvious straw man fallacy is ludicrous, and very obviously so. Laughably so in fact.

            The gal in question was 17 at the time, so definitely not paedophillia, no matter what you insist. Or are you going to assert that you've decided the age of consent is 42 and everyone's a paedophile?

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Let's be very clear here ...

        "There is no such thing as voluntary pedophilia. It's called statutory rape."

        For you, maybe. For normal decent people, maybe.

        You might want to look at how fucked up some places are with respect to the rights and wrongs of having sex with a child. France, for example, appears to not consider it rape if the child was not forced - look for the "Julie" case. I don't know which part of "it's a child" the lawmakers fail to understand, but there you go...

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Let's be very clear here ...

          For you, maybe.

          No, not for me. It's the law in all 50 States in the US. Nothing to do with me.

          It's also the law in the Virgin Islands, which is where the Minsky incident took place.

          How difficult is it to understand that a grown-up adult abusing the naivety and lack of experience of a child is plain and simply wrong? Statutory or not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let's be very clear here ...

            And the Turing award goes to ...


          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Let's be very clear here ...

            "It's the law in all 50 States in the US."

            What, exactly, is "the law in all 50 states"? For a start, did you know that all 50 states have completely different laws on what the age of consent is? Or indeed what "consent" means?

            Did you know that in Connecticut, for example, 13 year olds can legally fuck like bunnies? Not exactly what you thought "the law" was, now is it?

            The so-called "Minsky incident" with the minor never happened, regardless of how much you wish it were so. Kindly get that thought out of your head, it makes you look silly, and somewhat creepy.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Let's be very clear here ...

              > Did you know that in Connecticut, for example, 13 year olds can legally fuck like bunnies?

              We are NOT talking about what two underage persons can do. We are specifically talking about pedophilia:


              : sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object

              specifically : a psychiatric disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child.

              Pedophilia is precisely the word used by RMS in his blog, yes?

              So: stop trying to muddy the waters in the hope you're clever. You're not. Quite far from it.

              > The so-called "Minsky incident" with the minor never happened [ ... ]

              According to the deposition given by Virgina Giuffre:


              the Minsky incident did happen. Her testimony has at least one corroborating witness.

              Last I checked, Virginia Giuffre has not been accused of defamation by the Minsky Estate, no libel lawsuit has ever been filed against her, by anyone, nor has she been criminally charged with perjury.

              You may want to re-visit your denials.

              1. ragnar

                Re: Let's be very clear here ...

                You're on a really sticky wicket here. Only 14% of child marriages in the US are between people of similar ages.


                Between 2000 and 2015, over 200,000 minors were legally married in the United States,[10] or roughly six children per thousand.[11] The vast majority of child marriages in the U.S. were between a minor girl and an adult man.[10][12][13] Most minors married were girls.[10] In many cases, minors in the U.S. may be married when they are under the age of sexual consent, which is 16 to 18 for most states.[14] In some states minors cannot legally divorce, leave their spouse, or enter a shelter to escape abuse.[15][16]

                Unchained At Last, the only non profit advocacy group dedicated to ending child marriage in the United States, found that only 14% of the child marriages conducted from 2000 to 2010 were between two children marrying each other.[12] In most cases, child marriages are between a minor and an adult.[26] In terms of spousal age, the majority of those surveyed, about 60%, reported being 18–20 years old. Less than 3% reported being over 29 years of age.[10] In over 400 cases, the adult was aged over 40. And in 31 cases, they were over 60.

                According to data compiled by Anjali Tsui, Dan Nolan, and Chris Amico, who looked at almost 200,000 cases of child marriage from 2000-2015:

                67% of the children were aged 17.

                29% of the children were aged 16.

                4% of the children were aged 15.

                <1% of the children were aged 14 and under.

                There were 51 cases of 13-year-olds getting married, and 6 cases of 12-year-olds getting married.[10]

                Extreme examples include a case in 2010 in Idaho, where a 65-year-old man married a 17-year-old girl.[citation needed] In Alabama, a 74-year-old man married a 14-year-old girl, though the state has since raised their minimum age to 16.[10] According to Unchained At Last, the youngest girls to marry in 2000-2010 were three Tennessee 10-year-old girls who married men aged 24, 25, and 31, respectively, in 2001.[citation needed] The youngest boy to marry was an 11-year-old, who married a 27-year-old woman in Tennessee in 2006.[12]

              2. Boork!

                Re: Let's be very clear here ...

                Your link shows that according to Virginia Giuffre's deposition, at the age of 17, she was directed by Ghislaine Maxwell to have sexual intercourse with Marvin Minsky. There is no evidence that she actually did so.

          3. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: Let's be very clear here ...

            "How difficult is it to understand that"

            How difficult is it to read to the end of the post before bashing on the Reply icon?

      3. Juillen 1

        Re: Let's be very clear here ...

        Of interest, and to flesh out what you've posted about statutory rape, there's an event that occurred with a family friend many a moon ago.

        He met a nice young gal in a nighclub (over 18, ID required). They got on well, met up in various pubs (over 18 only, and she bought her fair share of drinks at the bar). She let him know she was a student at the local University.

        She started staying over at his place now and then, which is what you'd expect from an ordinary relationship.

        Then one day, he went to meet her folks, who were in the same city. They didn't like him.

        The next day after meeting the folks, the police turned up at his door and arrested him for statutory rape. It turns out that the woman in question was actually 15, and at a local high school. She'd lied about her age, had false ID, had been attending night clubs for years (her parents picked her up from them, so they knew she was going there). Everyone outside her School Crowd (well, the ones that didn't go to the nightclub too, as their small group knew full well what was going on, and they all behaved the same) fully believed she was 18 and given the level of evidence and how convincing it was, there was absolutely zero reason to believe otherwise..

        Now, Statutory Rape does NOT take into account whether or not you knew someone to be underage. It does NOT consider the evidence you may have to lead you to believe that this person was of age. In fact, it doesn't consider ANYTHING other than the fact that the event took place (sex with someone under the age of consent). As the woman in question had been quite free with the fact, and so had the family friend, this was not in question, so he was convicted, had his name on the sex offenders list, and was thus denied most opportunity of any worthwhile job because he failed the criminal conviction investigation checks required.

        He became very depressed, and within a couple of years was dead by suicide.

        The woman involved in this did NOT want this to happen, and was vehemently on the family friend's side. She cared a good deal about him, because though he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, he was a considerate and respectful person, and he worked damn hard (he was 17 at the time, after leaving school post O levels as that's as much Academia as he wanted. He worked on building sites, and thoroughly enjoyed it).

        She was also only a couple of months away from 16 (the legal age of consent) when the case was brought, and the relationship had been going about 4 months by that time.

        Essentially, her lying and cheating (and her parents complicity in it) led to a decent guy being deprived of both liberty and life, through no event he even had any reason to predict could be in any way harmful.

        THAT is the side to Statutory Rape you're conveniently glossing over.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's be very clear here ...

        He changed his opinion on the matter back in 2019.

  14. Tridac

    Faux outrage, red hat are big business and would not trust them or their motives an inch. If you want an example of power grab on open source, look at systemd, where it came from and it's tentacles into every part of Linux...

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Thank god we have OpenBSD in reserve.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Make that all the BSDs.

        1. Boork!

          Maybe not FreeBSD which has acquired a woke code of conduct.

    2. Short Fat Bald Hairy Man
      Thumb Up


      I started using BSDs because of systemd and its ilk. For my use, the BSDs seem to be more than sufficient. Still need to move one of my machines, but, inertia!

      As an aside, I have an old laptop (1999 I think). Now, no Linux distribution works on that. Not easily, anyway. Even the current BSDs work very easily. Can use any BSD except DragonFly as it is now 64 bit only.

  15. Andrew Williams

    Until RedHat and the others decrying RMS divest themselves of any product he developed or had a hand in developing, they’re just a bunch of pathetic hypocrites.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      The most wealthy and nowadays most powerful corporations such as AAPL and GOOG were essentially built upon GNU software such as Gcc, gdb and a boatload of Unix utilities from GNU. I guess they use this software everyday.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Apple was built on various Pascal compilers, several third party C compilers, Metroworks compilers, MPW. gcc was used for a very short time and they invested lots of money to replace it with something free and better in the form of Clang. So “Apple is based on Open Source software” is quite rubbish. Stallman is actually mainly responsible for Apples switch to Clang.

        1. Rainer Rechnermann

          1.) Apple/Next has been using gcc during a time they nearly went bankrupt. GNU software helped to save Apple from bankruptcy.

          2.) Macs cant print without GNU licensed SW

          3.) The Safari browser is based on the LGPL licensed KHTML

          So, try harder.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Apple cannot print without gnu licensed printer software: Apple is the copyright holder of that software. So say “thank you Apple” when you use it on a non-Apple device.

            1. Rainer Rechnermann

              Apple hired the CUPS developer 20 years after the first CUPS release:


            2. Rainer Rechnermann


              "This is as much a myth about macOS as about FreeBSD; that macOS is just FreeBSD with a pretty GUI. The two operating systems do share a lot of code, for example most userland utilities and the C library on macOS are derived from FreeBSD versions. Some of this code flow works in the other direction, for example FreeBSD 9.1 and later include a C++ stack and compiler that were originally developed for macOS, with major parts of the work done by Apple employees. Other parts are very different."

          2. Rainer Rechnermann


            "B. Certain software libraries and other third party software included with the Apple Software are free

            software and licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) or the GNU Library/

            Lesser General Public License (LGPL), as the case may be. You may obtain a complete machinereadable copy of the source code for such free software under the terms of the GPL or LGPL, as the

            case may be, without charge except for the cost of media, shipping, and handling, upon written request

            to Apple at The GPL/LGPL software is distributed in the hope that it will be

            useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or

            FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. A copy of the GPL and LGPL is included with the Apple


          3. gnasher729 Silver badge

            There’s very little left of khtml in webkit.

            1. Rainer Rechnermann

              Oh really ? We should believe one of these megacorporations ?

            2. Rainer Rechnermann

              Apple is chock-full of free software, so are all the other big technology corporations.

    2. Tom 7

      I dare say we all ought to stop using the internet then.

  16. razorfishsl

    If people are not careful , the likes of Google, Microsoft & Facebook.. will own opensource within a few years. (they are already on most of the controlling "boards")

    Because if you don't check the fascist left woke check box , u ain't never gonna be involved in the process of anything...

    It's already started with the removal & policing of language in software, these clowns are forcing their views on the world and that is what fascists do,....

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      We have OpenBSD, Brave Browser and many other things in waiting, should they manage to take control over Linux and Firefox.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      IT is a Punch and Judy Show for Court Jesters Advising Crown Clowns ‽ .

      If people are not careful , the likes of Google, Microsoft & Facebook.. will own opensource within a few years. (they are already on most of the controlling "boards") ..... razorfishsl

      Imagining you own everything is not without its own particular and peculiar set of difficulties to prove possible, or impossible, to command and control, razorfishsl. Google, Microsoft & Facebook may realise that and decline to enter into that honeytrap, which you can be sure is not an empty of competition and opposition space.

      GrahamC [2103270806] ...... airing an obvious point of blockage on

      "The program is similar to the Defense Department’s Trusted Capital Marketplace, which vets potential investors for U.S. defense firms to ensure they do not have connections to foreign entities." ...... As unfortunate as one may think it is, it is impossible for one to ensure such a situation is guaranteed for any length of time. It is as a fluid tidal market place with an ebb and flow of info and intel, first in one direction and then in another direction.

      And whenever one is entering especially into the likes of the realms of AI, where overwhelming proprietary intellectual property expertise may be securely and safely held in the vaults and silos and hearts and minds of others from a foreign land/partnering friendly ally/perceived hostile enemy nation, such a proposal and imposition will effectively catastrophically exclude one from availing oneself of that which one earnestly desires and requires, if prevented and/or terrified of connecting/communicating with foreign entities.

      And yes, while that is very Catch-22/Memo 618, it is also just the very strange natural condition of current, rapidly developing and expanding situations, which quite understandably present extant executive office type systems administrations an enigmatic dilemma for satisfactory creative, mutually beneficial future resolution.

      The best then that one can surely hope to attain in all such cases, is to diligently monitor and mentor applications and drivers and attractively and extremely generously reward prime principals with the simple means for them to supply themselves with all of the baubles they may desire that systems have invented and manufactured to attract both top and top secret talent and services.

      It has proved itself most effective in the past and is the easiest of currently quite ubiquitous control devices to trial and trail to entice compliance with certain wishes. And is easily withdrawn too, to register displeasure or cause one to note a change in agreeable direction by any party.

    3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Twenty seven (as I write) upvotes for a claim that treating people equally and with respect is "woke fascism". How depressing.

  17. Tron Silver badge

    I hope they didn't hit anyone when they threw their toys out their pram.

    If it turns out that one of the people who worked on the Track & Trace app has something dubious on their hard drive, that'll be £37bn down the drain and everyone will have to start keeping diaries.

    In other news, I'm setting up a Moral Purity Due Diligence Consultancy. The hourly rates are the same as Crapita charge the government, so wealthy people only need apply. You can look forward to an expensive, sorry, intensive weekend of instruction on how to check on the private lives of your staff, everything they have written, thought, posted and messaged, how to sensitively interview their partners about their conduct under the duvet, expressed fantasies etc, and their ex-school mates about their school career, which will then allow us to reconstruct their lives to South Korean Kpop inquiry standards. Checking for needle marks in obscure places will be covered and acting advice will be given for agent provocateur testing. The use of truth drugs will be included, as long as the EU don't block our latest shipment.

    Meals will be organic, fair trade and cover all dietary choices. And if you enjoy learning more with 'company', message me.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why, Stallman?

    Why would anyone stick around when they are so universally disliked and unwanted? If as per another comment, he’s close to retirement then why bother?

    1. Rainer Rechnermann


      Mr Stallman is very much liked in MY universe of free-thinking computer scientists, Unix system administrators, programmers and so on.

      Why don't you folks simply set up your PSF (Pure Software Foundation) and leave us alone ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FALSE

        >Mr Stallman is very much liked in MY universe of free-thinking computer scientists, Unix system administrators, programmers and so on.

        You might like him, but that doesn't mean he is a fit person to be on the FSF board.

      2. Danny Boyd

        Re: FALSE

        That would be PCSF - Politically Correct Software Foundation.

    2. Warm Braw

      Re: Why, Stallman?

      I'm more intrigued by his comment:

      I'm not planning to resign a second time.

      Explicitly telling your funders they have no influence is not a great strategy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why, Stallman?

        > Explicitly telling your funders they have no influence is not a great strategy.

        If your organisation's funders have influence, that's a good way of losing your organisation's 501(c)(3) charitable status.

        1. Warm Braw

          Re: Why, Stallman?

          Donors always have the influence of removing their donations if they don't like the organisation or its objectives. What Stallman gives the impression of meaning by I'm not planning to resign a second time is that his position is more important than the continued funding of the foundation's objectives. If that's what he really means, then the FSF really needs to reflect on its purpose.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Why, Stallman?

            You are assuming two things here, both of which are false. One is that rms gives a fuck about "funders". He doesn't. The other is that every single "funder" is going to withhold funds until rms is gone. That's not going to happen.

            As for the Foundation's Objectives ... Well, Stallman wrote them. Do with that as you will.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Why, Stallman?

        An odd thing to say. On the whole resignations are not planned before the situation (usually a new job) that occasions them.

      3. Juillen 1

        Re: Why, Stallman?

        What's wrong with it? There's no "I'm not going to let you get rid of me, and there's nothing you can do about it, and if you try I'll ruin you".

        It's a simple statement of fact. He's not planning to retire a second time. As far as he's currently aware, that's his plan. That's absolutely fine. As would "I'm planning to go shopping for groceries next Wednesday". Would that be too authoritarian for your tastes?

      4. jake Silver badge

        Re: Why, Stallman?

        "Explicitly telling your funders they have no influence is not a great strategy."

        Since when has rms ever given a flying fuck about little things like so-called "funders"?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Why, Stallman?

          Since when has rms ever given a flying fuck about little things like so-called "funders"? .... jake

          Quite so, jake, why ever would he be concerned about them. Funders invariably always expect a profitable return on their investment which leeches off the proprietary intellectual property and creative activity of others. It is why they fund them in the first instance ....... to receive something/everything for practically nothing other than acting as proxy wannabe bankers/a clone of loan sharks/pump and dump merchants/ponzi pimps supplying nothing more valuable than other parties' pretty paper/promissory notes ?

          There may be some excellent exceptional actors though not worthy of inclusion in that list and those are the ones to be lauded and supported.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          EVER GIVEN?

          bro the fuck is floating in this case

          A Pure Coincidence Regd:

          no1 gives IT a fuck tho

  19. Rainer Rechnermann

    Achievements of Richard Stallman

    Richard Stallman contributed or completely authored the following things:

    Unicode Character Encoding



    GNU Compiler Collection

    Many Unix userland utilities

    GPL License

    GNU Manifesto

    Many more things I forgot. Please reply to this comment with the things I forgot.

    It is very absurd for IBM to demonize a man of such caliber. Richard created many of the foundations used by ALL IT companies (Unicode for starters), but they want to shoot him down on the basis of 100% legal utterings.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

      Ken Thompson calls you a liar as far as UTF-8 is concerned. Stallman wrote a primitive first version of the C pre-processor which shouldn’t take a decent developer more than a week. I don’t care about emacs. But I’m sure that I wouldn’t leave my granddaughters alone with him (not what you think, they would _hurt_ him if he tried anything).

      1. Rainer Rechnermann

        Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

        I just checked and you are right, Stallman did not invent Unicode.

        I confused it with Posix, which is at least as important. All major operating systems now have a Posix interface, including those by IBM, Apple and Google.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

          Stallman didn’t write Posix. Stallman was a member of a committee that wrote the Posix standard.

          1. Rainer Rechnermann

            Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

            So now we do hairsplitting ?

            Was any of these Woke Cancellors on the POSIX comittee ?

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

              There is a difference between implementing an OS and being one of the little helpers writing down a spec.

              1. mevets

                Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

                Wasn't even a spec, it was documenting existing behaviour. The only invention of POSIX was to provide a common interface where implementations diverged ( which was infrequent and often incomplete or incompetent), consistent naming, and feature testing.

                Anybody that could afford to travel twice a year was welcome; but that usually meant worked for a body with a vested interest.

            2. mevets

              Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

              I was.

        2. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

          Stallman didn’t write Posix. He was on a committee creating the Posix standard.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

          You’re making it worse. Neither of them invented Unicode. You were thinking about utf-8 which is an encoding of Unicode code points, easily described in ten lines and implemented in ten lines of code. You are so infatuated with Stallman, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      2. Rainer Rechnermann

        And: F.U.D.

        Richard Stallman was never accused of a serious crime. Your "hints" smack of F.U.D. by a certain megacorporation.

        1. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: And: F.U.D.

          That wasn’t hints. That was my opinion about the guy. He has 40 years of history and I’m old enough to remember some of it.

      3. Juillen 1

        Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

        It's not that it'd take a competent programmer a week to program, it's that RMS actually did it before anyone else had thought of it.

        Hell, I can build a radio in a couple of hours. Doesn't mean that the guys who invented the radio first were mere simpletons.

        I know that I personally wouldn't want to hang out with RMS (I did converse with him in the early days in the academic circles, and he was way too zealous for my tastes), but that does not for one moment stop him being one of my heroes. I don't have to agree with him on everything, or the way he says it, for him to be considered one of the greats in my field in my eyes.

        And I'm fairly sure my nieces would hurt you if you tried anything with them. See what that sentence did? Implied you were the kind of person who'd be likely to attack young girls without the honesty of saying it.

        They would, but I'd normally never use that sentence, as it's irrelevant. I do NOT think you'd be likely to try anything on with them so what's the point of putting it in (unless to sow doubt)?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

          "Hell, I can build a radio in a couple of hours."

          Challenge accepted!

          I read that at just after 12:30. It is now almost ten to 1 and I'm listening to a local sports talk station[0]. That's about 15 minutes, starting from scratch, with objects found here in the office. It has absolutely zero store-bought electronic components in it, except wire ... and I had the earpiece from an old 9V transistor radio in my desk drawer (don't you?) ... For information as to how I managed this seemingly impossible feat, look up "cat's whisker radio" and/or "crystal detector".

          [0] KNBR, 680 AM, a Class A clear-channel broadcasting at 50,000 watts (and a bloody amazing survivor in this day and age!)

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

      per Wikipedia;

      The original EMACS was written in 1976 by David A. Moon and Guy L. Steele Jr. as a set of Editor MACroS for the TECO editor.[2][3][4][5][11] It was inspired by the ideas of the TECO-macro editors TECMAC and TMACS.[12]

      Nonetheless, GNU emacs surely wouldn't exist without Stallman. It's an impressive accomplishment even if there are only 17 people in the world who have fully mastered the obtuse and non-intuitive keyboard interface. And that's only one of his accomplishments.

      I gather that Stallman is a difficult individual. Perhaps the desire not to have to work with him is understandable and even justified. If the FSF board doesn't want him, that's OK I suppose. But why not give him a title and allow him to write the odd manifesto and even ask his advice from time to time? Seems to me that the FSF might be a happier and more effective place if they made some effort to get along with him.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Achievements of Richard Stallman

        From my fortune file:

        ''Initially, if I remember correctly, EMACS was Eugene Ciccarelli's init file which made use of MIT TECO's ^R mode ("Realtime") that repainted the screen. RMS started hacking on it around '76 I think and it kind of, um, grew."

        Unfortunately, the quote is un-attributed, sorry ... Can anyone put a name to it?

  20. Criminny Rickets

    What's the deal?

    Now I don't know the full story about the hate on for Richard Stallman and am only going on the words attributed to him from this article..

    "Stallman suggested Minsky might somehow not have known she'd been forced to do"

    " he also referred to Epstein's victims as a "harem."

    What is so bad about suggesting Minksy maybe not knowing the girl was forced?

    As for the "harem" comment, if Epstein had a stable of girls, willing or not, that would still technically be a harem, so Stallman was not out of line with this comment.

    Now I realize there is probably more to the story, but from just reading this article, I do not see anything that warrants these people being upset at the FSF over Stallman\s reinstatement.

    1. Rainer Rechnermann


      All I have read about this subject suggests that the women are forcibly kept inside a harem. They exist to the present day in some parts of arabia. Turkish courts also had the adult male children of the sultan locked into similar arrangements. The girls were often bought in slave markets of (eastern) Europe.

      Mr Epstein and his "girlfriend" apparently used money gifts to establish and keep his group of underage sexual servants.

      So at least the "buying" aspect was indeed that of a Harem.

    2. Juillen 1

      Re: What's the deal?

      Basically, Epstein was very rich. As such, he had a section of women who wanted the lifestyle that came with that wealth and were willing to offer their bodies now and then to sustain that. Not a deal that the morals of most would agree with, but in principle, it's not ethically terrible.

      Minsky accepted funds from Epstein, and was on an occasion invited to Epstein's island. The girl in question said she was coerced into attempting to have sex with Minsky, who declined the offer. So in this case, there wasn't even any crime on Minsky's part, even with any age of consent.

      When Minsky's name was dragged through the mud, as it was discovered Epstein had granted money to the University, a group of political agitators decided that this money should never have come to the University as it was against their politics.

      RMS, who had known Minsky very well stated that on balance of probability, the political assertions about him were incorrect (he did this bluntly, as was his speaking style; he never minced words, or prettied them up). He also aired that putting an absolute time on age of consent was a very dubious thing, where someone unknown may be called a paedophile in one second, and nobody bat an eyelid if they'd waited another second to engage.

      This is, of course, massive fuel for the Woke who like to explore every crack for advantage to attack with. There was a lot of completely out of context accusations, a lot of misquoting, and a lot of alleging crimes that didn't happen, and nobody was accused of. This precipitated the FSF persuading RMS to quit.

      Which he did, as the storm was getting in the way of work.

      Now, after everyone's looked at it, and gone "The original outrage was wrong", he re-entered the board. Of course, the political fringe are outraged that someone they burned at the stake wasn't actually dead and gone, but survived and came back to carry on life as normal once the "case" against them was shown to have no merit.

      Red Hat wouldn't even be around if it wasn't for RMS's zealotry in keeping the FSF going, and the work he's put into it. It was founded on the ideals of openness and tolerance of ideas other than the ones you subjectively hold.

      Except now, the subjective opinion of a particular RedHat exec is that the FSF, because they disagree with the politics of the current execs, must be de-funded because someone said something they don't like, but is perfectly rational and legal.

      That in itself is damning for Red Hat. I won't be using them in my team if I have alternatives (we're Linux heavy), simply because I have alternatives that seem to be getting on with the job of making products that work well and don't try to torch productive technical areas because they don't like what someone says. That makes them far too unreliable on a business footing (will they next decide that some of the research I'm involved with is something they don't like, despite having ethical committee approval, and thus revoke a license on me, or ask for me and the rest of the team to be removed because someone doesn't like me disagreeing with them?).

      That, in a nutshell is about it.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: What's the deal? @Juillen 1

        Crikey, Juillen 1, that is almost an exact carbon copy/mirror/clone/parallel of the recent and current running Scottish National Party/Alex Salmond/Nicola Sturgeon romp.

        And much ado about nothing of any great importance to you and me too.

        Such politically charged singularities are certainly spooky territory.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge

          The Scottish play...

          ... or should we call it by it’s real name?

          It’s all kicking off there @amfm.

          Have a wee heavy on me ——->

    3. Danny Boyd

      Re: What's the deal?

      Ah, but Stallman was definitely wrong about "harem". Harem is a stable of girls, willing or not, serving yourself. Stable of girls, willing or not, serving your pals or customers is called "brothel".

      How can FSF have a man so inaccurate in terminology on their board?

  21. Rainer Rechnermann

    Let's Cancel IBM

    Instead of DB2, use PostgreSQL or Oracle

    Instead of S/390, use Fujitsu BS/2000

    Instead of Tivoli use HP OpenView

    Instead of PowerPC science computers use Fujitsu Fugaku

    Instead of PowerPC, use ARM by Fujitsu, Qualcomm or Apple

    Instead of MQ/Series use TIBCO or Apache Kafka

    Instead of IBM Consulting use Camp Gemini

    Instead of IBM cloud, use OVHCloud

    Instead of Redhat, use SuSE

    Instead of IBM Cobol Compilers, use Microfocus Cobol

    1. Rainer Rechnermann

      Re: Let's Cancel IBM

      Fugaku: (start at 12:00)

    2. WolfFan

      Re: Let's Cancel IBM

      Go for it. I gotta see how this turns out.

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Let's Cancel IBM

      I think IBM is evolving into a self-cancelling entity. Within a decade or two it will probably shrink to a CEO, a board of directors, 6000 lawyers attempting to enforce the ever-shrinking patent portfolio, and a temp who answers the phones, empties the trash and pays for pizza deliveries. Any profitable subsidiaries will have been sold off.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Let's Cancel IBM

        The temp will need to demand a float. None of the rest are going to process expense claims.

  22. mihares

    Another great decision

    So Red Hat are the ones employing the guy (guy, not gal) who gave the world such pearls as PulseAudio and Systemd —and the ones shooting CentOS in the head.

    This _must_ then be another great decision!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woke, Blame.....

    In the near future it will be IMPOSSIBLE to say or write ANYTHING AT ALL which does not offend someone, somewhere!!

    In the near future BLAME for all problems will be MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than solving those problems!!

    In the near future all recruiting for any position at all will require that candidates are 100% PERFECT (but the definition of PERFECT will be unknown before the interview, and that definition will be 100% CHANGEABLE after the interview)!!

    ......and so it will be that our imperfect world will spiral down into a TOTAL INDIFFERENCE TO PROGRESS. Welcome to 1984 (but only forty years late)!!

    1. quxinot

      Re: Woke, Blame.....

      It seems like I've been living that life for years, Bob.

  24. mevets

    A sad week for open source, I guess.

    I know the pain of watching your cult go mainstream. I remember when it happened with The Cult, specifically when they released Love. They were so great before they became popular.

    In the early 90s, at least, M Stallman held revivalist styled speaking events at USENIX conferences (where did the silly idea he invent POSIX or the c pre processor come from? He re-implemented some because he didn't like the license terms. cpp was written by k&r). In these events, he implored everybody to join the movement, extolled the virtues of free software, and if you couldn't do that, financially support the cause.

    I was a PFY, and went back advocating we should give the Manson doppelganger some money, if for no other reason than to make sure he and his family didn't show up at our conferences. There is no denying that financial support was very much a priority for the FSF, most of the whinging in these threads is just crying because your hero became news [ Interestingly, the song 5:15 does have some other similarity ].

    Whether M Stallman morally should resign is entirely missing the point. He has become a signficant liability to not just the FSF, but even the wider Open Source movement. I don't know or care what RedHat et. al. think, but they clearly have their image to preserve. Thanks to its association with M Stallman, the FSF is becoming a stinking albatross; and to petulantly insist that you are in the right when all else disagree is not the salient feature of a Greek Myth, the common good is. This is not serving the common good.

    1. naive

      Re: A sad week for open source, I guess.

      You are spot on, but don't worry about it.

      USA is once again in one of its crazy phases, it will stop when either the FED runs out of paper for printing dollar bills to "fund" stimulus plans or when MS-13 takes over the white house.

      We will see what happens first.

    2. Trigun

      Re: A sad week for open source, I guess.

      "Whether M Stallman morally should resign is entirely missing the point. He has become a signficant liability to not just the FSF, but even the wider Open Source movement. I don't know or care what RedHat et. al. think, but they clearly have their image to preserve. Thanks to its association with M Stallman, the FSF is becoming a stinking albatross; and to petulantly insist that you are in the right when all else disagree is not the salient feature of a Greek Myth, the common good is. This is not serving the common good."

      It's not missing the point: It's *part* of the the analysis and decision making process that you have to make.

      You look at the potential damage caused by the persons continued presence, look at what they did or didn't actually do and if you organisation agrees with it or not (and how strongly).

      Lastly, and very importantly these days, you need to look at the intentions of those calling for the sanctions.

      If you only go by the cancel/outrage mob alone then you'll end up with a very unpleasant orgnaisation or society where no one has anyone else's back - unless it's to plunge a dagger in to it.

      1. mevets

        Re: A sad week for open source, I guess.

        Puffing up your moral indignation with meaningless crap like cancel culture or political correctness is just a shield. Red Hat and the likes are either benefactors or customers of the FSF. If you insult your benefactor / customer expect them to go elsewhere. Wrapping yourself in sniffs of "cancel culture" is puerile and naive.

  25. citizen17


    Now "pull" his code ...

  26. excession

    Conflation, much?

    Nobody has to defend RMS’s choice to attempt to make excuses for dodgy shit with underage girls in order to use “his” software. We use science and technology every day which was created by questionable individuals and means. Nazi Germany invented the space rocket and the motorway. We use them quite happily.

    So to complain that Big Tech isn’t allowed to disagree with his views seems a little selective.

    It wouldn’t have been hard for him to keep everyone happy - acknowledge that the whole situation was shady as fuck, say he didn’t think his friend did anything wrong but he (RMS) knows a lot of people are upset about it, and say unequivocally that old men having sex with underage girls is wrong. But he didn’t do that.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge


      I think the Italians got there first with the autostrada... oh wait, that was Mussolini... damn.

  27. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Pratchett icon - and Pratchett quotes

    Whoever pays the piper calls the tune, but whoever holds the knife to the piper's throat writes the symphony.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    It is entertaining

    to watch the idiocy in the comments here. So Red Hat are stopping funding the FSF because they're all so woke and liberal, right? The same people who, a few months ago, turned round and screwed everyone who used CentOS (including me!) without a second thought because it would impact their bottom line.

    Here's the thing: once you can get past your little tantrum, you can work out why RH are doing this pretty easily. It's not hard to do but it does require thinking. But you all have super big brains right: you can do thinking. Can't you?

    1. mevets

      Re: It is entertaining

      Yup a hot mess of personal gripes blended with faux outrage, and, uh, inventive grammar. Good times.

  29. Amblyopius

    Who here really knows RMS anyway?

    Like most people I've only seen the most public things and have no idea how he is the rest of the time. As a result I wouldn't be able to defend/vilify him. The fact that he has done contributions in the field of software is undeniable but I'm not sure how that supposedly means he can do whatever he wants in society and the workplace.

    For example Thomas Bushnell said in 2019:

    "RMS’s loss of MIT privileges and leadership of the FSF are the appropriate responses to a pattern of decades of poor behavior. It does not matter if they are appropriate responses to a single email thread, because they are the right thing in the total situation."

    Which would be a clear indication that dragging up some posts is not really relevant as apparently people close to him saw a pattern of misbehaviour that got halted way too late (after decades) and where for a long time RMS was protected.

    There's also pushback against Bushnell. For example Thomas Lord claimed Bushnell had an axe to grind but on the flip side another person who had worked with RMS side-to-side (Giuseppe Attardi) agreed with Bushnell and Bushnell himself simply suggested talking to other people (including women) who worked with RMS to form an opinion.

    Regardless of what side you're on it would be interesting if anyone commenting can actually indicate in how far they really know Stallman as he seems to be mainly a tool to wield while advocating for certain beliefs.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sticks and stones ...

    Words are powerful. Words are hurtful. But, as the rhyme goes - sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never harm me.

    Can't we just buck-up and get over the tasteless comments?

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