RMS Does Toronto

Richard Stallman, President and Founder of the FSF

Richard Stallman, President and Founder of the FSF

Yesterday I got to finally meet Richard Stallman (RMS) in person.  And yes, he is a way cooler dude than many in the “open source” gang say he is.  The FSF announced a while back in a press release, that RMS would be speaking at UofT on the topic of copyrights in a networked world.

RMS lectured on the history, current politico-business problems with copyrights and some measures to fix them.  I personally found his points interesting, and I’m interested in trying out some of his ideas.  The brief period of exclusive commercialization and modification authorship rights versus long term exclusive publication rights for non-technical documentation is also pretty good.  Also he briefly touched upon the need for a micro-donation payment method.  Overall, a very interesting and engaging talk to a large student audience.

At the end of his presentation, he auctioned off a stuffed GNU and “Happy Hacking” t-shirt.  Eventually the proposed prices became too steep for even myself, so I this morning I went on down over to the GNU/FSF’s online store and bought both for myself.  Getting back to the evening, I also got RMS to autograph my copy of “Free Software, Free Society“.  I highly recommend reading that book.  Also RMS asked me personally to stop using the terms: open source and closed source.  Not only are those terms misleading but they totally ignore the important issue of user and developer freedoms.  So henceforth I’ll try to use the terms “libre software” or “free software” instead of “open source”.  And “proprietary” for “closed source”.  Also I got meet to Dave, one of the organizers of the event and DrProject developer.  And Aaron one of attendees.

A big thanks to RMS, the FSF and the students who organized this event.