Software crusader Richard Stallman on European tour

Dr Richard Stallman, sometimes referred to as ‘the global crusader for the freedoms of computer users’, is on a lecture tour during March.

Organised by the IET, the tour will include nine lectures across the UK, and in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris.

In September 1983 Stallman launched the free software movement, and announced the project to create GNU, a Unix-like operating system made of entirely free software. In October 1985, he founded the Free Software Foundation. GNU is widely used today, but most of its users are not aware of this, believing they are using Linux, Stallman avers.

Stallman pioneered the concept of so-called ‘copyleft’ and is the main author of several ‘copyleft’ licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely-used free software license. 

Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating free software, as well as campaigning against both software patents and what he sees as excessively restrictive copyright laws.

“With software there are two cases: either the users control the program or the program controls the users,” Stallman says. “The first is free software, and the other is proprietary software.”

The remaining lecture dates are: 1 March - Cambridge; 2 March – Preston; 3 March – Dundee; 5 March -  Sheffield; 7 March – London; 8 March – Brighton; 10 March – Paris.

More information: www.theiet.org/stallman-2011

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