Stallman in 2014
Richard Matthew Stallman|
March 16, 1953
New York City, New York, US
|Residence||Cambridge, Massachusetts, US|
|Title||President of the Free Software Foundation|
Richard Matthew Stallman (//; born 1953), often known by his initials, RMS, is an American free software movement activist and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.
Stallman launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software. With this, he also launched the free software movement. He has been the GNU project's lead architect and organizer, and developed a number of pieces of widely used GNU software including, among others, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger and the GNU Emacs text editor. In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.
Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law to preserve the right to use, modify and distribute free software, and is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most widely used free software license.
In 1989 he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman had spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management (which he referred to as digital restrictions management, calling the more common term misleading), and other legal and technical systems which he sees as taking away users' freedoms. This has included software license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, activation keys, dongles, copy restriction, proprietary formats and binary executables without source code.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Events leading to GNU
- 3 GNU project
- 4 Activism
- 5 Terminology
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Honors and awards
- 8 Selected publications
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Stallman was born March 16, 1953, in New York City, to a family of Jewish heritage. His parents are Alice Lippman, a school teacher, and Daniel Stallman, a printing press broker. Stallman had a difficult relationship with his parents, as his father had a drinking habit and verbally abused his stepmother. He later came to describe his parents as "tyrants". He was interested in computers at a young age; when Stallman was a pre-teen at a summer camp, he read manuals for the IBM 7094. From 1967 to 1969, Stallman attended a Columbia University Saturday program for high school students. Stallman was also a volunteer laboratory assistant in the biology department at Rockefeller University. Although he was interested in mathematics and physics, his teaching professor at Rockefeller thought he showed promise as a biologist.
His first experience with actual computers was at the IBM New York Scientific Center when he was in high school. He was hired for the summer in 1970, following his senior year of high school, to write a numerical analysis program in Fortran. He completed the task after a couple of weeks ("I swore that I would never use FORTRAN again because I despised it as a language compared with other languages") and spent the rest of the summer writing a text editor in APL and a preprocessor for the PL/I programming language on the IBM System/360.
Harvard University and MIT
As a first-year student at Harvard University in fall 1970, Stallman was known for his strong performance in Math 55. He was happy: "For the first time in my life, I felt I had found a home at Harvard."
In 1971, near the end of his first year at Harvard, he became a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and became a regular in the hacker community, where he was usually known by his initials, RMS (which he used in his computer accounts). Stallman received a bachelor's degree in physics (magna cum laude) from Harvard in 1974.
Stallman considered staying on at Harvard, but instead he decided to enroll as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He pursued a doctorate in physics for one year, but left that program to focus on his programming at the MIT AI Laboratory.
While working (starting in 1975) as a research assistant at MIT under Gerry Sussman, Stallman published a paper (with Sussman) in 1977 on an AI truth maintenance system, called dependency-directed backtracking. This paper was an early work on the problem of intelligent backtracking in constraint satisfaction problems. As of 2009[update], the technique Stallman and Sussman introduced is still the most general and powerful form of intelligent backtracking. The technique of constraint recording, wherein partial results of a search are recorded for later reuse, was also introduced in this paper.
As a hacker in MIT's AI laboratory, Stallman worked on software projects such as TECO, Emacs for ITS, and the Lisp machine operating system (the CONS of 1974–1976 and the CADR of 1977–1979—this latter unit was commercialized by Symbolics and LMI starting around 1980). He would become an ardent critic of restricted computer access in the lab, which at that time was funded primarily by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. When MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) installed a password control system in 1977, Stallman found a way to decrypt the passwords and sent users messages containing their decoded password, with a suggestion to change it to the empty string (that is, no password) instead, to re-enable anonymous access to the systems. Around 20 percent of the users followed his advice at the time, although passwords ultimately prevailed. Stallman boasted of the success of his campaign for many years afterward.
Events leading to GNU
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the hacker culture that Stallman thrived on began to fragment. To prevent software from being used on their competitors' computers, most manufacturers stopped distributing source code and began using copyright and restrictive software licenses to limit or prohibit copying and redistribution. Such proprietary software had existed before, and it became apparent that it would become the norm. This shift in the legal characteristics of software was a consequence triggered by the US Copyright Act of 1976.
When Brian Reid in 1979 placed time bombs in the Scribe markup language and word processing system to restrict unlicensed access to the software, Stallman proclaimed it "a crime against humanity". During an interview in 2008, he clarified that it is blocking the user's freedom that he believes is a crime, not the issue of charging for software. Stallman's texinfo is a GPL replacement, loosely based on Scribe; the original version was finished in 1986.
In 1980, Stallman and some other hackers at the AI Lab were refused access to the source code for the software of a newly installed laser printer, the Xerox 9700. Stallman had modified the software for the Lab's previous laser printer (the XGP, Xerographic Printer), so it electronically messaged a user when the person's job was printed, and would message all logged-in users waiting for print jobs if the printer was jammed. Not being able to add these features to the new printer was a major inconvenience, as the printer was on a different floor from most of the users. This experience convinced Stallman of people's need to be able to freely modify the software they use.
Richard Greenblatt, a fellow AI Lab hacker, founded Lisp Machines, Inc. (LMI) to market Lisp machines, which he and Tom Knight designed at the lab. Greenblatt rejected outside investment, believing that the proceeds from the construction and sale of a few machines could be profitably reinvested in the growth of the company. In contrast, the other hackers felt that the venture capital-funded approach was better. As no agreement could be reached, hackers from the latter camp founded Symbolics, with the aid of Russ Noftsker, an AI Lab administrator. Symbolics recruited most of the remaining hackers including notable hacker Bill Gosper, who then left the AI Lab. Symbolics also forced Greenblatt to resign by citing MIT policies. While both companies delivered proprietary software, Stallman believed that LMI, unlike Symbolics, had tried to avoid hurting the lab's community. For two years, from 1982 to the end of 1983, Stallman worked by himself to clone the output of the Symbolics programmers, with the aim of preventing them from gaining a monopoly on the lab's computers.
Stallman argues that software users should have the freedom to share with their neighbors and be able to study and make changes to the software that they use. He maintains that attempts by proprietary software vendors to prohibit these acts are antisocial and unethical. The phrase "software wants to be free" is often incorrectly attributed to him, and Stallman argues that this is a misstatement of his philosophy. He argues that freedom is vital for the sake of users and society as a moral value, and not merely for pragmatic reasons such as possibly developing technically superior software. Eric S. Raymond, one of the creators of the open-source movement, argues that moral arguments, rather than pragmatic ones, alienate potential allies and hurt the end goal of removing code secrecy.
In February 1984, Stallman quit his job at MIT to work full-time on the GNU project, which he had announced in September 1983. Since then, he has remained affiliated with MIT as an unpaid visiting scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Until "around 1998," he maintained an office at the Institute that doubled as his legal residence.
Stallman announced the plan for the GNU operating system in September 1983 on several ARPANET mailing lists and USENET. He started the project on his own and describes: "As an operating system developer, I had the right skills for this job. So even though I could not take success for granted, I realized that I was elected to do the job. I chose to make the system compatible with Unix so that it would be portable, and so that Unix users could easily switch to it."
In 1985, Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motivation for creating a free operating system called GNU, which would be compatible with Unix. The name GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix". Soon after, he started a nonprofit corporation called the Free Software Foundation to employ free software programmers and provide a legal infrastructure for the free software movement. Stallman is the nonsalaried president of the FSF, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Massachusetts. Stallman popularized the concept of copyleft, a legal mechanism to protect the modification and redistribution rights for free software. It was first implemented in the GNU Emacs General Public License, and in 1989 the first program-independent GNU General Public License (GPL) was released. By then, much of the GNU system had been completed.
Stallman was responsible for contributing many necessary tools, including a text editor (Emacs), compiler (GCC), debugger (GNU Debugger), and a build automator (GNU make). The notable omission was a kernel. In 1990, members of the GNU project began using Carnegie Mellon's Mach microkernel in a project called GNU Hurd, which has yet to achieve the maturity level required for full POSIX compliance.
In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a Finnish student, used the GNU's development tools to produce the free monolithic Linux kernel. The existing programs from the GNU project were readily ported to run on the resultant platform. Most sources use the name Linux to refer to the general-purpose operating system thus formed, while Stallman and the FSF call it GNU/Linux. This has been a longstanding naming controversy in the free software community. Stallman argues that not using GNU in the name of the operating system unfairly disparages the value of the GNU project and harms the sustainability of the free software movement by breaking the link between the software and the free software philosophy of the GNU project.
Stallman's influences on hacker culture include the name POSIX and the Emacs editor. On Unix systems, GNU Emacs's popularity rivaled that of another editor vi, spawning an editor war. Stallman's take on this was to canonize himself as St. IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs and acknowledge that "vi vi vi is the editor of the beast", while "using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance". On his homepage Stallman explains what a life in the Church of Emacs means to its members: "Sainthood in the Church of Emacs requires living a life of purity—but in the Church of Emacs, this does not require celibacy (a sigh of relief is heard)".
In 1992, developers at Lucid Inc. doing their own work on Emacs clashed with Stallman and ultimately forked the software into what would become XEmacs. The technology journalist Andrew Leonard has characterized what he sees as Stallman's uncompromising stubbornness as common among elite computer programmers:
There's something comforting about Stallman's intransigence. Win or lose, Stallman will never give up. He'll be the stubbornest mule on the farm until the day he dies. Call it fixity of purpose, or just plain cussedness, his single-minded commitment and brutal honesty are refreshing in a world of spin-meisters and multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns.
Stallman has written many essays on software freedom, and has been an outspoken political campaigner for the free software movement since the early 1990s. The speeches he has regularly given are titled The GNU Project and the Free Software Movement, The Dangers of Software Patents, and Copyright and Community in the Age of Computer Networks. In 2006 and 2007, during the eighteen month public consultation for the drafting of version 3 of the GNU General Public License, he added a fourth topic explaining the proposed changes.
Stallman's staunch advocacy for free software inspired the creation of the Virtual Richard M. Stallman (vrms), software that analyzes the packages currently installed on a Debian GNU/Linux system, and reports those that are from the non-free tree. Stallman disagrees with parts of Debian's definition of free software.
In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free online encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles. The resulting GNUPedia was eventually retired in favour of the emerging Wikipedia, which had similar aims and was enjoying greater success.
Stallman is a world traveler and has visited at least 65 countries, mostly to speak about free software and the GNU project. According to Stallman, the free software movement has much in common with that of Mahatma Gandhi. Stallman is also highly critical of the effect that drug patents have had on developing countries.
In Venezuela, Stallman has delivered public speeches and promoted the adoption of free software in the state's oil company (PDVSA), in municipal government, and in the nation's military. In meetings with Hugo Chávez and in public speeches, Stallman criticised some policies on television broadcasting, free speech rights, and privacy. Stallman was on the Advisory Council of Latin American television station teleSUR from its launch but resigned in February 2011, criticizing pro-Gaddafi propaganda during the Arab Spring.
In August 2006, at his meetings with the government of the Indian State of Kerala, he persuaded officials to discard proprietary software, such as Microsoft's, at state-run schools. This has resulted in a landmark decision to switch all school computers in 12,500 high schools from Windows to a free software operating system.
After personal meetings, Stallman obtained positive statements about the free software movement from the then-president of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, French 2007 presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, and the president of Ecuador Rafael Correa.
On November 30, 2012, Stallman gave the opening lecture at the Goiano Free Software Forum in Brazil, talking about successful cases of switching to free software in government, business and at universities.
Protesting against proprietary software in April 2006, Stallman held a "Don't buy from ATI, enemy of your freedom" placard at a speech by an ATI representative in the building where Stallman worked, resulting in the police being called. ATI has since merged with AMD Corporation and has taken steps to make their hardware documentation available for use by the free software community.
In response to Apple's Macintosh look and feel lawsuits against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard in 1988, Stallman called for a boycott of Apple products on the grounds that a successful look-and-feel lawsuit would "put an end to free software that could substitute for commercial software". The boycott was lifted in 1995, which meant the FSF started to accept patches to GNU software for Apple operating systems.
Stallman has characterized Steve Jobs as having a "malign influence" on computing because of Jobs' leadership in guiding Apple to produce closed platforms. In 1993, while Jobs was at NeXT, Jobs asked Stallman if he could distribute a modified GCC in two parts, one part under GPL and the other part, an Objective-C preprocessor under a proprietary license. Stallman initially thought this would be legal, but since he also thought it would be "very undesirable for free software", he asked a lawyer for advice. The response he got was that judges would consider such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward them, and a judge would ask whether it was "really" one program, rather than how the parts were labeled. Therefore, Stallman sent a message back to Jobs which said they believed Jobs' plan was not allowed by the GPL, which resulted in NeXT releasing the Objective-C front end under GPL.
Stallman's remark stirred up accusations of being in bad taste, while Eric S. Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, observed that Stallman's statement was not personal, but was simply criticizing walled gardens.
For a period of time, Stallman used a notebook from the One Laptop per Child program. Stallman's computer is a refurbished ThinkPad T400s with Libreboot, a free BIOS replacement, and the GNU/Linux distribution Trisquel. Before the ThinkPad T400s, Stallman used a Thinkpad X60 with Libreboot and Trisquel GNU/Linux. And before the X60, Stallman used the Lemote Yeeloong netbook (using the same company's Loongson processor) which he chose because, like the X60 and the T400s, it could run with free software at the BIOS level, stating "freedom is my priority. I've campaigned for freedom since 1983, and I am not going to surrender that freedom for the sake of a more convenient computer." Stallman's Lemote was stolen from him in 2012 while in Argentina. Before Trisquel, Stallman has used the gNewSense operating system.
Stallman has regularly given a talk entitled "Copyright vs. Community" where he reviews the state of digital rights management (DRM) and names many of the products and corporations which he boycotts. His approach to DRM is best summed up by the FSF Defective by Design campaign. In the talks, he makes proposals for a "reduced copyright" and suggests a 10-year limit on copyright. He suggests that, instead of restrictions on sharing, authors be supported using a tax, with revenues distributed among them based on cubic roots of their popularity to ensure that "fairly successful non-stars" receive a greater share than they do now (compare with private copying levy which is associated with proponents of strong copyright), or a convenient anonymous micropayment system for people to support authors directly. He indicates that no form of non-commercial sharing of copies should be considered a copyright violation. He has advocated civil disobedience in a comment on Ley Sinde.
Stallman has also helped and supported the International Music Score Library Project in getting back online, after it had been taken down on October 19, 2007, following a cease and desist letter from Universal Edition.
Stallman mentions the dangers some e-books bring compared to paper books, with the example of the Amazon Kindle e-reader that prevents the copying of e-books and allows Amazon to order automatic deletion of a book. He says that such e-books present a big step backward with respect to paper books by being less easy to use, copy, lend to others or sell, also mentioning that Amazon e-books cannot be bought anonymously. His short story "The Right to Read" provides a picture of a dystopian future if the right to share books is impeded. He objects to many of the terms within typical end-user license agreements that accompany e-books.
Stallman discourages the use of several storage technologies such as DVD or Blu-ray video discs because the content of such media is encrypted. He considers manufacturers' use of encryption on non-secret data (to force the user to view certain promotional material) as a conspiracy.
Stallman has suggested that the United States government may encourage the use of software as a service because this would allow them to access users' data without needing a search warrant.
Stallman professes admiration for whistleblowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden; he advocates for Snowden in a prefix at the beginning of each of his emails, which can be found in several mailing lists, after Snowden leaked the PRISM scandal in 2013: "To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example."
Stallman places great importance on the words and labels people use to talk about the world, including the relationship between software and freedom. He asks people to say free software and GNU/Linux, and to avoid the terms intellectual property and piracy (in relation to copyright). One of his criteria for giving an interview to a journalist is that the journalist agree to use his terminology throughout the article. He has been known to turn down speaking requests over some terminology issues.
Stallman argues that the term intellectual property is designed to confuse people, and is used to prevent intelligent discussion on the specifics of copyright, patent, trademark, and other laws by lumping together areas of law that are more dissimilar than similar. He also argues that by referring to these laws as property laws, the term biases the discussion when thinking about how to treat these issues, writing:
These laws originated separately, evolved differently, cover different activities, have different rules, and raise different public policy issues. Copyright law was designed to promote authorship and art, and covers the details of a work of authorship or art. Patent law was intended to encourage publication of ideas, at the price of finite monopolies over these ideas – a price that may be worth paying in some fields and not in others. Trademark law was not intended to promote any business activity, but simply to enable buyers to know what they are buying.
An example of cautioning others to avoid other terminology while also offering suggestions for possible alternatives is this sentence of an e-mail by Stallman to a public mailing list:
I think it is ok for authors (please let's not call them creators, they are not gods) to ask for money for copies of their works (please let's not devalue these works by calling them content) in order to gain income (the term compensation falsely implies it is a matter of making up for some kind of damages).
Open source for free software
His requests that people use certain terms, and his ongoing efforts to convince people of the importance of terminology, are a source of regular misunderstanding and friction with parts of the free software and open-source communities.
After initially accepting the concept, Stallman rejects a common alternative term, open-source software, because it does not call to mind what Stallman sees as the value of the software: freedom. He wrote, "Free software is a political movement; open source is a development model." Thus, he believes that the use of the term will not inform people of the freedom issues, and will not lead to people valuing and defending their freedom. Two alternatives which Stallman does accept are software libre and unfettered software, but free software is the term he asks people to use in English. For similar reasons, he argues for the term proprietary software rather than closed-source software, when referring to software that is not free software.
Linux for the GNU Project
Stallman asks that the term GNU/Linux, which he pronounces /
Stallman refers to mobile phones as "portable surveillance and tracking devices", refusing to own a cell phone due to the lack of phones running entirely on free software. He also avoids using a key card to enter his office building since key card systems track each location and time that someone enters the building using a card. According to Stallman, with the exception of a few sites, such as his own website or sites related to his work with GNU and the FSF, he usually does not browse the web directly from his personal computer in order to prevent being connected with his browsing history. Instead, he uses GNU Womb's grab-url-from-mail utility, which can run on a separate system, and act as an email-based proxy to web sites: the user sends an e-mail which the script receives, the remote system downloads the web page content, and then the script emails the user the web page content. More recently he stated that he accesses all web sites via Tor, except for Wikipedia (which generally disallows editing from Tor).
Stallman is openly childfree. He has urged others to not have children, viewing it as objectionable for reasons centered on family tensions and overpopulation. He argues that not having children better liberates people to find more productive ways to "make a positive contribution to the world".
Honors and awards
Stallman has received recognition for his work, including:
- 1986: Honorary lifetime membership of the Chalmers University of Technology Computer Society
- 1990: Exceptional merit award MacArthur Fellowship ("genius grant")
- 1990: The Association for Computing Machinery's Grace Murray Hopper Award "For pioneering work in the development of the extensible editor EMACS (Editing Macros)"
- 1996: Honorary doctorate from Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology
- 1998: Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award
- 1999: Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award
- 2001: The Takeda Techno-Entrepreneurship Award for Social/Economic Well-Being (武田研究奨励賞)
- 2001: Honorary doctorate, from the University of Glasgow
- 2002: United States National Academy of Engineering membership
- 2003: Honorary doctorate, from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- 2004: Honorary doctorate, from the Universidad Nacional de Salta
- 2004: Honorary professorship, from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería del Perú
- 2007: Honorary professorship, from the Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega 
- 2007: First Premio Internacional Extremadura al Conocimiento Libre
- 2007: Honorary doctorate, from the Universidad de Los Angeles de Chimbote
- 2007: Honorary doctorate, from the University of Pavia
- 2008: Honorary doctorate from the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, in Peru
- 2009: Honorary doctorate, from Lakehead University
- 2011: Honorary doctorate, from National University of Córdoba
- 2012: Honorary professorship, from the Universidad César Vallejo de Trujillo, in Peru
- 2012: Honorary doctorate, from the Universidad Latinoamericana Cima de Tacna, in Peru
- 2012: Honorary doctorate, from the Universidad José Faustino Sanchez Carrió, in Peru
- 2014: Honorary doctorate, from Concordia University, in Montréal
- 2015: ACM Software System Award "For the development and leadership of GCC"
- 2016: Honorary doctorate, from Pierre and Marie Curie University
- 2016: Social Medicine award, from GNU Solidario
- Stallman, Richard M (1980). EMACS: The Extensible, Customizable, Self-Documenting Display Editor. Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT: MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory publication. AIM-519A.
- Stallman, Richard M (2002). GNU Emacs Manual. Boston, Massachusetts: GNU Press. ISBN 1-882114-85-X.
- Stallman, Richard M; McGrath, Roland; & Smith, Paul D (2004). GNU Make: A Program for Directed Compilation. Boston, Massachusetts: GNU Press. ISBN 1-882114-83-3.
- Selected essays
- Stallman, Richard M (2015). Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman (PDF) (Third ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: GNU Press. ISBN 978-0-9831592-5-4.
- Stallman, Richard (n.d.). "Humorous Bio". Richard Stallman's 1983 biography. First edition of "The Hacker's Dictionary".
'Richard Stallman' is just my mundane name; you can call me 'rms'
- Stallman, Richard (September 27, 1983). "Initial GNU announcement". Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "GCC Contributors".
- "Richard Stallman lecture at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (October 30, 1986)". Retrieved September 21, 2006.
- Bernard S. Greenberg. "Multics Emacs: The History, Design and Implementation".; "GNU Emacs FAQ".; Jamie Zawinski. "Emacs Timeline".
- Stallman, Richard (March 7, 2011). "The Free Software Foundation Management". Free Software Foundation. Richard M. Stallman, President. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- Wheeler, David A. "Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else". Retrieved November 20, 2008.
- "The Basement Interviews-Freeing the Code" (PDF). IA. March 21, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Matthew Hutson (November 1, 2016). "The Sorcerer's Code". Psychology Today. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Gross, Michael (1999). "Richard Stallman: High School Misfit, Symbol of Free Software, MacArthur-Certified Genius" (interview transcript). The More Things Change. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Williams, Sam (2002). Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00287-4. Chapter 3. Available under the GFDL in both the initial O'Reilly edition (accessed on October 27, 2006) and the updated FAIFzilla edition. Retrieved October 27, 2006.
- Stallman, Richard M. "RMS Berättar". Retrieved September 22, 2009.
- Williams, Sam (2002). "Chapter 6 – The Emacs Commune". Free as in freedom : Richard Stallman's crusade for free software (2nd ed.). Beijing: O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-00287-4.
- Williams, Sam (2002). Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00287-4.
- Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution. New York City: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0371-6. OCLC 232977686.
- Stallman, Richard. "Serious Bio". Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Stallman, Richard M; Sussman, Gerald J (1977). "Forward Reasoning and Dependency-Directed Backtracking in a System for Computer-Aided Circuit analysis" (PDF). Artificial Intelligence 9. pp. 135–196.
- Russell, Stuart; Norvig, Peter (2009). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd ed.). p. 229.
- Levy, S: Hackers. Penguin, 1984
- Robert X. Cringely's interview with Brewster Kahle, around the 46th minute
- "Richard Stallman, Live and Unplugged".
Q: You once said "the prospect of charging money for software was a crime against humanity." Do you still believe this? A: Well, I was not distinguishing the two meanings of free.
- "Texinfo – GNU Documentation System – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)". Gnu.org. February 19, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Gnu Status, by Richard M. Stallman. 5. Documentation system. I now have a truly compatible pair of programs which can convert a file of texinfo format documentation into either a printed manual or an Info file. Documentation files are needed for many utilities., February 1986, GNU'S BULLETIN, Volume 1 No.1
- Williams, Sam (2002). Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00287-4. Chapter 1. Available under the GFDL in both the initial O'Reilly edition (accessed on October 27, 2006) and the updated FAIFzilla edition. Retrieved October 27, 2006.
- Various (1999). "Stallman chapter". Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 1-56592-582-3.
- "The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin- by Peter H. Salus". Groklaw.net. May 13, 2005. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism". Gnu.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "History of the Open Source Initiative". Opensource.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Why I think RMS is a fanatic, and why that matters". Esr.ibiblio.org. June 11, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Stallman, Richard (2018). "Lifestyle". Richard Stallman's Personal Site. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- "new UNIX implementation". Groups.google.co.uk. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Stallman, Richard (1998). "The GNU Project". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- DuBois, Steven (October 15, 2010). "Free Software Foundation". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- "POSIX 1003.1 FAQ Version 1.12". February 2, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2006.
- "Richard Stallman: GNU/Linux and a free society" article by Takver Sunday October 10, 2004 on Melbourne Indymedia site. Hosted on the Wayback machine.
- "St IGNUcius web page at www.stallman.org". Stallman.org. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Williams, Sam (March 15, 2002). Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00287-4. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
- "The Lemacs/FSFmacs Schism". Archived from the original on December 12, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Leonard, Andrew. "Code free or die". Salon.com. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- "Transcript of Richard Stallman on the Free Software movement, Zagreb; 2006-03-09". FSFE. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "IFSO: Richard Stallman: The Dangers of Software Patents; 2004-05-24 (transcript)". Ifso.ie. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "Copyright and Globalization in the Age of Computer Networks – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)". Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "GPLv3 – GNU General Public License, version 3". FSFE. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "Black and white". Linus' blog. November 2, 2008. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- "The Virtual Richard M. Stallman package". Debian. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "#221807 - "vrms and RMS disagree sometimes... AND depends on non-free section presence..." - Debian Bug report logs". Bugs.debian.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Richard Stallman. "The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource". Retrieved October 15, 2006.
- Richard Stallman. "The Free Encyclopedia Project". Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "The Shaggy God". Bostonmagazine.com. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "FSF India: A Q & A session with Richard M. Stallman". Free Software Foundation of India. Archived from the original on October 15, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
- Stallman, Richard (2013). "Patent law is, at best, not worth keeping". Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 45 (389).
- Stallman, Richard (2009-04-22). "Biopiracy or bioprivateering?". Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
- "Encounter with President Chavez (2004-12-01 to 2004-12-06) — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software". Fsf.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Chavez threatens dignitaries". Stallman.org.
- Daniels, Alfonso (July 26, 2005). "Chavez TV beams into South America". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Stallman, Richard. "26 February 2011 (Telesur Propaganda)". Political notes from 2010: November–February. Stallman.org. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Kerala logs Microsoft out". The Financial Express. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- "Richard Stallman Meets the President of India". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007.
- "Meeting between Ségolène Royal and Richard Stallman". Fsf.org. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Success for free software in Latin America!". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- Dionatan Simioni (November 9, 2012). "9º Fórum Goiano de Software Livre | Richard Stallman estará lá - Diolinux - Notícias, Tutoriais e Games para Linux". Diolinux.com.br. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Protest in Brussels against software patents". Wien.kpoe.at. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Protest outside and inside MPAA meeting on DRM". Mccullagh.org. Archived from the original on August 3, 2002. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Protest in France against DRM". Stopdrm.info. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Protest against ATI nearly led to the arrest of RMS". Free Software Foundation page.
- "AMD will deliver open graphics drivers". Itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com. May 9, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "GNU's Bulletin, vol. 1 no. 5 - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation". Gnu.org. June 11, 1988. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "GNU's Bulletin, vol. 1 no. 18 - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation". Gnu.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Clarke, Gavin (October 10, 2011). "Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing". Theregister.co.uk. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Stallman, Richard. "06 October 2011 (Steve Jobs)". Political notes from 2011: July–October. Stallman.org. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- "I hate to have to play this role with a fellow hacker, but..." Clisp.cvs.sourceforge.net. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "How I do my Computing". stallman.org. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
- "How I do my Computing". 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
- "the setup is a bunch of nerdy interviews: What do people use to get the job done?". Richard.stallman.usesthis.com. January 23, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Guillermo Rauch (June 9, 2012). "Richard Stallman has his bag stolen in Argentina". Devthought.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "An interview with Richard Stallman". Richard.stallman.usesthis.com. January 23, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- "GNU/Linux Meeting 2014: Richard Stallman è approdato a Palermo". HTML.it (in Italian). April 3, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- Miguel Mora (June 8, 2011). "La 'ley Sinde' es tan injusta que debería ser desobedecida". El País (in Spanish). Ediciones El País, S.L. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- "Richard Stallman Opts to Disobey Anti-Piracy Law". TorrentFreak.com. June 10, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Main page of the IMSLP". wikidot.com. December 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Richard Stallman (2011–2013). "The Danger of E-Books". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Stallman, Richard. "Why Upgrade to GPLv3". GNU Project. Free Software Foundation. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
Under the [DMCA] and similar laws, it is illegal ... to distribute DVD players unless they restrict the user according to the official rules of the DVD conspiracy
- "Boycott Sony". Defectivebydesign.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Arthur, Charles (December 14, 2010). "Google's ChromeOS means losing control of data, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman". guardian.co.uk. Guardian. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
- Adhikari, Richard. "Why Richard Stallman Takes No Shine to Chrome" LinuxInsider, December 15, 2010.
- Stallman, Richard (September 20, 2011). "Who does that server really serve?". GNU, Boston Review. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Hill, Benjamin Mako (February 1, 2009). "Show Me the Code". Revealing Errors. Retrieved January 15, 2012. Assange, Julian (April 9, 2011). "Interview Assange and RMS". London: RT. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
Facebook, Google, Yahoo– all these major U.S. organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It's not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for U.S. intelligence to use.
- "Stallman joins the Internet, talks net neutrality, patents and more". Network World. March 23, 2015.
- "'Join fight for privacy now!' Stallman on Snowden & how to escape surveillance". RT News. July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Richard Stallman: surveillance is incompatible with democracy". Livemint.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Leader of the Free World, Wired Magazine, Issue 11.11, November 2003". Wired.com. September 17, 1991. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Linux, GNU, Freedom by Richard M. Stallman". Gnu.org. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Transcript of Richard Stallman speaking on GPLv3 in Torino". March 18, 2006.
Everyone who uses the term intellectual property is either confused himself or trying to confuse you.
- "Did You Say "Intellectual Property"? It's a Seductive Mirage by Richard M. Stallman". Gnu.org. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Email "IP Justice Comment on Top Policy Issues for Athens"". Mail.fsfeurope.org. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Tiemann, Michael. "History of the OSI". Open Source Initiative. Archived from the original on April 12, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- "Why "Free Software" is better than "Open Source"". Gnu.org. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Words to Avoid (or Use with Care) Because They Are Loaded or Confusing". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- Richard Stallman (April 24, 1992). "Why Software Should Be Free". gnu.org.
- "What's in a name? by Richard Stallman". Gnu.org. September 20, 2000. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- François Proulx. "Richard Stallman". Flickr. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the third international GPLv3 conference, Barcelona; 2006-06-22" (in Catalan). Fsfeurope.org. June 22, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "A Rare Glimpse into Richard Stallman's World". Informationweek.com. January 6, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "How I do my computing". Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
- Stallman, Richard (December 15, 2007). "Real men don't attack straw men". OpenBSD 'misc' Mailing List. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
For personal reasons, I do not browse the web from my computer
- "Richard Stallman: Apple fanboys are foolish people".
- "Freiheitskämpfer, Rebell und Papst".
- Stallman, Richard (September 2012). "Why It Is Important Not to Have Children". Stallman.org. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "Event details: Talk by Richard rms Stallman". Chalmers University of Technology. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
-  Archived March 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Richard Stallman - Award Winner". ACM Awards. Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "KTH | Honorary doctors at KTH". Kth.se. November 19, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "EFF: Torvalds, Stallman, Simons Win 1998 Pioneer Awards". W2.eff.org. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "ahref.com > Guides > Industry > WWW8 Notes: Open-Source Software and Software Patents". Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- "The Takeda Foundation". Takeda-foundation.jp. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Stallman shares Takeda award of nearly $1M". MIT. October 17, 2001. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
- "University of Glasgow :: University news :: Archive of news :: 2001 :: February :: University announces honorary degrees to celebrate 550th anniversary". Gla.ac.uk. February 1, 2001. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "NAE Website - Dr. Richard M. Stallman". Nae.edu. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Vrije Universiteit Brussel". Vub.ac.be. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "RESOLUCIÓN CS N° 204/04". Bo.unsa.edu.ar. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- "Richard Matthew Stallman ofrecerá conferencia orientada al uso del software libre". Nota de Prensa. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería del Perú. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "Universidad Garcilaso realizó Conferencia Magistral a cargo del Dr. Richard Stallman". Noticias Garcilasinas. Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "El padre del software libre, Premio Internacional Extremadura". 20minutos.es. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Steele, Guy L. The Hacker's Dictionary: A Guide to the World of Computer Wizards.
- University of Pavia. "Laurea in Ingegneria Informatica a Richard Stallman".
- "RMS Given Honorary Degree at Lakehead". YouTube.com. May 31, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients". Agora.lakeheadu.ca. May 21, 2009. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- National University of Córdoba (August 16, 2011). "Honoris Causa para Richard Stallman, el gurú del software libre" [Honoris Causa for Richard Stallman, Free Software guru] (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 24, 2011.
- "Concordia awards 3 new honorary doctorates".
- "Cérémonie des docteurs honoris causa 2016".
- "GNU Health Social Medicine Awards 2016".
- Official website
- Bibliowiki has original media or text related to this article: Richard Stallman (in the public domain in Canada)
- Richard Stallman at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
- Essays on the Philosophy of the GNU Project, almost all written by Stallman
- Works by Richard Stallman at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Richard Stallman at Internet Archive
- Richard Stallman on IMDb