Richard Stallman Does Not and Cannot Speak for the Free Software Movement
September 16, 2019
We are passionate about software freedom because we know it is a necessary precondition to safe and effective software that we can rely on in the long term. We fight for copyleft because it is a powerful tool to help us actually control the technology that is being increasingly embedded in our lives. The fight for diversity, equality and inclusion is the fight for software freedom; our movement will only be successful if it includes everyone. With these as our values and goals, we are appalled at recent statements made by the President and founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, in his recent email to the MIT CSAIL mailing list.
When considered with other reprehensible comments he has published over the years, these incidents form a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with the goals of the free software movement. We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.
We reject any association with an individual whose words and actions subvert these goals. We look forward to seeing the FSF’s action in this matter and want to underscore that allowing Stallman to continue to hold a leadership position would be an unacceptable compromise. Most importantly, we cannot support anyone, directly or indirectly, who condones the endangerment of vulnerable people by rationalizing any part of predator behavior.