Free software, free society: Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva 2014

It is the first TEDx talk of the founder of Free Software movement. Stallman, RMS for short, has changed the world with his vision of freedom for the digital age. He launched the GNU operating system, used with Linux as a component, and inspired the development of Creative Commons licences and Wikipedia project. In this talk, Stallman describes how nonfree programs give companies control of their users and what users can do in order to recover control over their computing.

Licence: Creative Commons BY-SA-ND 3.0

Drawings under CC-BY-ND 3.0 created by Christian Nogareda (Kwis, Http:// & Valentin Pasquier ( based on ideas of Richard Stallman, by himself & foundation.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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  1. How Open He Is ….. i wish everyone would be like this open. Awesome Speech. I will Try To Use Free Software Wherever I Can . Thank You. Dump Microsoft As It is trying to record everything we do and sell it for profit.

  2. Although I generally agree with this guy and his philosophy, I cringe on the logic used by him in this video ;/
    First, he tries to depict it as a either-or situation: if the users aren't controlling the program, the program is controlling the users? WHAT?! It's like "If you won't eat the dinner, the dinner will eat you" 😛 This logic simply does not hold any water. It's faulty. If the users are not controlling the program, the program is simply working on its own. It doesn't have to control the users, Mr. Stallman, and it doesn't have to be controlled by Microsoft or Apple either.
    Which brings me to point two: if you can't see the source, then the program is most certainly doing something nasty according to Mr. Stallman 😛 WHAT?! I don't even…. ;/ It's another logical fallacy, the "If you don't show me what you hide in your basement, I call there's Bin Laden hiding in it" type 😛 Nope, it doesn't necessarily have to work this way. The program can be closed-source but still do its job perfectly well with no nasty tricks. I wrote a lot of programs for my customers, some of them open-source, some of them closed-source, but NONE of them was doing anything evil. The mere fact that it can do something bad, doesn't necessarily mean that it really does. It's just that it is usually easier to hide a malicious code when there's no access to the sources, and I would be more happy to hear that (because it's more true), than some sneaky manipulative rhetorics used by those corporate power-greedy mofos we hate. Don't go that path, Mr. Stallman, please ;°

  3. I use free software a lot and I prefer it but RMS' argument is flawed in one way. You do own your computer. You are free not to buy or use proprietary software. You can delete Windows. You can learn how to program and program your own OS though, in practice, this will hardly ever happen. You have the freedom to install a free OS that someone else has programmed if free is what you prefer. But most people will choose whatever OS works for them and most don't care about the issues he mentions (even if they were well-informed about them).

    I never hear RMS trying to outlaw proprietary software. I'm glad about that. He appears to respect people's choices and is not forcing his views on people. He is right to say that the route to take is educating consumers on what choices they have and what exactly is those choices entail. But I do support people's right to choose whatever works for them according to what they care about, not what RMS cares about. Not everyone cares about using free software (even if they should).

  4. He is a real worrier for cyber freedom and game changer. I respect people like him who doesn't care about capital only.

  5. This is to Richard Stallman question Recording Studio need around 24 in and 24 out
    AVID kills my studio and my digi hardware is out the door darn China Vender
    why take a 1. million dollar studio and give your sound to china
    there is no pro stand alone recorder no plugins please. no dry track mean no recording
    Avid is not plug and play do not ya think that all studios have a right to there gear to use.
    studer tape is dead so is tape. so is Avid China Killer. a waste with LIES. and bugs.
    hey there is no Tape Like remote where is my studio going too the dump.
    i am not alone on this fact look at all the major studios of the world thunderbolt no way.. labtop i not a kid. please
    i miss tape but need tapeless. playback 24 I am not Recording
    just not kicking. with my AWS SSL. CONSOLE with Avid profools
    you know you can lose your sound with Avid Chris Lord. now using CHINA GEAR ooooooooo so darn mad……………………..yep even schools of music shuts down… recording is now a waste of time. with Avid china killer.

  6. I'd love to use GNU/Linux. The problem I have is that GNU/Linux has terrible user support for the average user. It's typically impossible to find advice without finding sketchy guides, broken URLs and support forums with elitist users who snub any newbie asking for advice.

  7. I deeply appreciate what people like this have done for software and the world in general. What I struggle with, as a software engineer, is just how I can do this and still make a living without having to give up all my free time in the process. I sincerely want to contribute but I do have to make a living and companies have closed source because they need to make money so they can pay their employees and turn a little profit. What would be better than a sermon about how all non-free software is evil would be to explain how software engineers can make their source open for all and still make money. Without that, this is just european wishful thinking.

  8. I've been interested in this topic for a while. I'm mostly on board with freedoms 0 and 1, but 2 and 3 are fishy to me. Why is redistribution of exact copies a necessary freedom? That's not the case with copyrighted material, as far as I know.. movies or books, for example. Do freedoms 2 and 3 mean no software could ever be copyrighted? I also don't feel the same way about software as a service (in principle) or streaming. I accept the fact that I'm not allowed to save a movie from Netflix in the same way that I accept that I'm not allowed to videotape the screen at the movie theater.

  9. he finished before the legale time, thank you for sharing your great ideas to the world and one day we will see the results of your efforts thank you

  10. I hope that RMS can keep this tone in his speeches. This was hopeful, and showed the true spirit of Free Software.

  11. "Free" software is not a very good name. It should be called "liberated software" or something, so that people don't confuse it with "priceless" software. That would help his cause.

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