Richard Stallman | GNU/LAS | s20e10

Richard Stallman | GNU/LAS | s20e10

Richard Stallman joins us to celebrate our 200th episode, and we ask him about his hard stance on proprietary software and the unethical people who make a living from it.

Plus: His thoughts on everything from App stores to the Raspberry Pi.

And so much more!

All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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Show Notes:

366 Responses to “Richard Stallman | GNU/LAS | s20e10”

  1. Jesús Alberto Says:

  2. Anonymous Says:

    You have a typo in the link to the ogg stream. There’s an extra “h” at the beginning of the url. 

  3. NafffftaLOL Says:

    LOL, Stallman has no idea what hes talking about, NAFTA, LOL!

  4. RichardJKendricks Says:

    Yeah good luck to Stallman, I’ve seen him on CNN and other interviews but not for a long time now so when I saw that you guys had him I paid attention. I absolutely see here he is coming form but don’t agree with some of what he’s saying. True to form though, he is a radical and always has been. You have to admire him as much as you would someone else that has had that much of an impact in people’s lives. But like with some radicals, his vie points won’t be liked by many and although he’s not necessarily wrong he definitely is not 100% right.

  5. RichardJKendricks Says:

    He has an idea but he clearly is not in the same boat as many of us, like Bryan.

  6. Notafananymore Says:

    this guy shows how far LAS has gone, these guys bash on closed software and are anti freedom and all this bullshit and stallman comes in and shows them WHAT FREEDOM IS REALLY ALL ABOUT!!!

  7. Tv Says:

    did he basically told bryan to stfu and pack it up? i thinkso! lol

  8. Pip2sa Says:

    haaa i would like to see LAS be made w/o commercial software like stallman would like
    imagine thaaaat?

  9. JohnCazzeri Says:

    I love how Stallman basically cut the wings from under Bryan and Bryan was just eft standing there thinking WTF??

  10. Remoto Says:

    and above all he loves an appstore! LOL amazing! YES!

  11. Garegin16 Says:

    like we need to take advice from an annoying douche. thankfully normal people never care or even heard of him

  12. Raspberry 3.141592 Says:


  13. Raspberry 3.141592 Says:

    LOL true. He lives in a different world is what is happening.

  14. Ole Thilqvist Says:

     we all need a guy like him to remember what freedom is

  15. Theyeahyeahyeahs Says:

    Bryan you acted like a bitch. At the end you’re just shaking your head. You are great at talking about other people behind their backs and you clearly were this time too because instead of saying something you were just trying to save face to the people that would WATCH this but not face against Richard because he wasn’t seeing you, just listening to you.

    You sir, are a bitch.

  16. Byron Hamps Says:

    Stallman has no idea what he is talking about honestly I mean look at the end how Bryan reaacts.

  17. Byron Hamps Says:

    Yeah… hmmm.. No. He is clearly crazy.

  18. Wera Says:

    we need him as much as you could need a hole in my head, not at all mon ami

  19. Wera Says:

    So Bryan’s daughter will have to get another source of income according to this man? 

  20. Chelseacanstillgetinchampions Says:

    Yeah this guys is seriously wacko!

  21. Henke Says:

    Come on! I just downloaded the mobile video and the link is for the wrong episode! :(

  22. Joe Gullo Says:

    Jesus.  If you could convince RMS that oxygen was not free he would suffocate himself.

  23. Mangolok Says:

    @Bryan , i agree with many of the points Richard Stallman raised ,but when he said that american should not have kids to save the environment ! he totally lost me, i think it  the ultimate crime against humanity  is to discontinue  having humans(stop having kids) for some not so well  proven man made climate change – to be clear i am not denying the climate change, but object to the antihuman agenda of proposing it is all our fault as human and not a normal phenomena

  24. Chichibangbang Says:

    I nominate this reply as the best reply of the millenium! 

  25. Climatechangeisreal Says:

    not to well proven? nigga you are as dumb as nails

  26. Mangolok Says:

    this is very low of you,since when is raising a kid is an unethical pursuit ? and a disaster to the environment ? does bryan or other programmers actually set the rules ? they are doing the best they can, raising awareness about opensource and free software, making DRM free products. there is a line between freeman and a hippie

  27. ormaaj Says:

    RMS doesn’t speak for me. Though I respect his motives, RMS makes me embarrassed call myself a free software developer. I wish we could stop looking to his position as the definitive model of free software ideals.

    Fortunately, most watchers of this show are well informed and aware of the issues. Thanks for having him on anyway.

  28. David Miller Says:

    “Freedom” is also the freedom to choose whether or not to use proprietary software.  If there were no choice, then sure, Stallman might have a point.  But there is a choice.  If you don’t want to use it, then don’t..  If I choose to use it or even pay for it, I am not some dupe, as Stallman would suggest.  Rather, I have made the decision to use software I prefer.

    Actually there is a point to be made right there… If you don’t think that proprietary software or paid-for but open-source software should exist, then become a developer and volunteer all of your time to writing free (in every sense) software that is BETTER than the rest.  After all, who would ever use or especially pay for software when there is a better, free, alternative?  No one, of course.  Unfortunately, that is not the situation.  Occasionally, the proprietary software is just better.  Choosing to use or pay for it is not giving up freedom but is an exercise of freedom. 

    Finally, to equivocate free software and political freedom is absurd.  Real political freedoms — those truly protected by law — make the other freedoms possible.  

    Free (open-source) software is great!  I use it every chance I get.  Sometimes, however, I have to use non-open source software.  Yeah, I know, some of you can pull up the terminal and fix any issue known to man.  Fine, when you’re done getting your box up and running, open up the text editor and start writing that better open-source software I was talking about.  Once you have filled all the gaps, then no sane person would ever use anything else, right?  Looking forward to it (sarcastically and seriously).

    By the way, just to freely make a point…   Bryan, when I get paid next week I will but your Illumination software creator.  If you still have the pay what you want option then I will add 5.00 to the regular price just cause you gave me a choice.

  29. Theyeahyeahyeahs Says:

    ha you can’t read for shiti wasnt talking about that
    im talking about how when he had the chance to tell off stallman he didnt because heis a bitch and was afraid to do so
    so instead of acting like a man he just shakes his head at US the audience because he knows stallman isn’t watching and THEN says what he should have said to stallman

    ergo: he is a bitch ha!

  30. Loveitorleaveit Says:

    exactly being so far down one line is not good, he seems things as black and white while real life is all about shades of gray

  31. Guest Says:

    Well said.
    I have the freedom to love other things, call it photoshop, oracle, apple, windows, etc. It’s my freedom. 

  32. Cartman J Eric Says:

    [Cartman:] Weeelllll-

    [Kyle] Don’t do it Cartman!

    [Cartman] Weeelllll-

    [Kyle] I’m warning you!

    [Cartman] Ok, ok!

    [Kyle] I’m gettin’ pretty sick of him calling Lunduke a-

    [Cartman] Weeelllll,

    Lunduke’s a bitch!
    He’s a big fat bitch! 
    He’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world!
    He’s a stupid bitch!
    If there ever was a bitch!
    He’s a bitch to all the boys and girls!

    [Kyle] Shut your fucking mouth Cartman!

    On Monday he’s a bitch,
    On Tuesday he’s a bitch, 
    On Wednesday thru Saturday he’s a bitch!
    Then on Sunday just to be different,
    He’s a super king kamehameha bi-atch!

    (Come on you all know the words!)

    Have you ever met my friend Chris’s pal,
    He’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world!
    He’s a mean old bitch,
    And he has stupid hair!
    He’s a bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch
    Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch!
    He’s a stupid bitch! (Woo!)
    Chris’s pal’s a bitch
    And he’s such a dirty bitch!(Hey!)

    Talk to kids around the world.
    It might go a little bit something like this… 

    [Sung in 4 different languages by other children]

    Have you ever met my friend Chris’s pal,
    He’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world!
    He’s a mean old bitch,
    And he has stupid hair!
    He’s a bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch,
    Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch!
    He’s a stupid bitch!
    Chris’s pal’s’s a bitch,
    And he’s such a dirty bitch!

    I reeeally mean it,
    Chris’s pal,
    he’s a big fat, fuckin’ bitch!
    Big, old, fat, fuckin’ bitch!
    Chris’s paaaaaaaaaaal!
    Yeahhhhh, Chaaaaa!

  33. Stephen Miller Says:

    I hate people that say ‘you’re free to do as I tell you’. Honestly that man needs to stop bashing on about loss of freedom and things being unethical because he obviously doesn’t fully understand what the words mean and he sounds a bit silly.

    Never have I heard such an arrogant and self righteous man (not to mention mostly wrong, living in his own dream world and utterly condescending). I admire the work he’s done up to now but in all honesty I’m a huge freedom advocate and his ideals don’t encourage freedom at all, I have no idea what his idea of a free software world would really because it’s too ridiculous to imagine.

  34. Mangolok Says:

    so you are dumb as shit ?  the episode is available uncensored for Stallman and everyone else to watch ? this guy tells Bryan that it  would be better not have kids ,and Bryan  has  no  right to shake his head in shock ?!!! the whole dialogue was a debate and you object to a moment of disbelief ? so so dumb

  35. William Bean Says:

    Ok..Stallman pissed me off so bad…that I
    think I’m going to switch back to windows  98 (loved how he had to correct
    Brian. Couldn’t let that one slide….what a tool). Someone who thinks he is
    the smartest person in the room…

    If he believes in freedom so much as he said (100+ times)
    then…it’s a person’s right to sell software??  I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
    of happiness (except making software for a living)????…

    I make software for a living and I found his
    view (although I respect them..) insulting…everyone else in the world can
    make money…except programmers???  

    WAKE UP… look around you…its  companies like Google or Oracle that try to
    play fair…They could be total dicks like MS or Apple…and not share anything…I
    think the hybrid approach is the way to go…and some may disagree with that….that’s

    And his wacko “Don’t have kids” view…really
    make the legit Linux users look like crazies…That’s why when I go to a meeting
    and tell them about the great thinks Linux can do…they look at me like I’m nuts…well
    they may have seen a Richard Stallman interview…

    But for Stallman approach is all free or
    nothing ..Is crazy…a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of
    nothing…It’s better to all Free software than none at all…It’s better to be an
    evil empire like MS than be a cool cat like Canonical??  If he cares about Freedom so much. Then he should
    respect my right for making a living making & selling software. 

    Just my 2 cents…

    Great show

  36. Rahul Says:

    Well, there are many parallels to proprietary software in the physical world. For example, take any piece of complicated electronics. Take any CPU stallman himself might be using. Do you get the VHDL (or whatever the equivalent is) files for that? Nope.  Why do Intel etc not release them? So that they cannot be copied by other vendors.
    Or to take more trivial examples: Do chefs of famous restaurants give you their recipes? Does Coke give you their recipe? Do car makers give you layout of the internals? Nope.

    In that respect, comparing the physical world and software, I think DRM-free qualifies as being largely equivalent to the above. I think if software licenses explicitly allowed resaleability, that would be great too. If I have one copy of a license, and I could sell it to someone else, that would be great. This was indeed the case with most old CD/DVD based software, where you could just resell the CD/DVD, it is a problem in the current appstore based world. If appstores allowed a way to resell your license key somehow, that would be nice.

  37. beanwl Says:

    Ok..Stallman pissed me off so bad…that I
    think I’m going to switch back to windows  98 (loved how he had to correct
    Brian. Couldn’t let that one slide….what a tool). Someone who thinks he is
    the smartest person in the room…

    If he believes in freedom so much as he said (100+ times)
    then…it’s a person’s right to sell software??  I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit
    of happiness (except making software for a living)????…

    I make software for a living and I found his
    view (although I respect them..) insulting…everyone else in the world can
    make money…except programmers???  

    WAKE UP… look around you…its  companies like Google or Oracle that try to
    play fair…They could be total dicks like MS or Apple…and not share anything…I
    think the hybrid approach is the way to go…and some may disagree with that….that’s

    And his wacko “Don’t have kids” view…really
    make the legit Linux users look like crazies…That’s why when I go to a meeting
    and tell them about the great thinks Linux can do…they look at me like I’m nuts…well
    they may have seen a Richard Stallman interview…

    But for Stallman approach is all free or
    nothing ..Is crazy…a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of
    nothing…It’s better to all Free software than none at all…It’s better to be an
    evil empire like MS than be a cool cat like Canonical??  If he cares about Freedom so much. Then he should
    respect my right for making a living making & selling software. 

    Just my 2 cents…

    Great show

  38. Theyeahyeahyeahs Says:

    no asshole im talking about how BRYAN didn’t step up to Stallman. Bryan should have told STALLMAN how WRONG STALLMAN IS. Instead, Bryan did what he always does, shook his head in dissaproval when Stallman couldn’t see him and then waited until Stallman was off the air to air his grievances. 

  39. Imlikeabird Says:

    Well said. Fuck I love free software but I don’t hate on people choosing to do closed software or companies like samsung, apple of whoever, but this guy, whoa nelly.

  40. Coronc Says:

    son ur talking out of ur ass

  41. godaddy Says:

    the godaddy link doesn’t work!!

  42. AGui Says:

    Sorry, but I think Stallman for the 200th was not a good idea. Linus Torwalds would have be a  better choice, but he certainly wasn’t available, too bad…

    Stallman is not better than any other religious fanatic for who faith prevails over reason. All what he says is about ideology. You just have to listen to the words he uses : “temptation”, “believe”, “philosophy”, etc. If you loose a part of your Freedom, then you are unethical, and that is a sin. If you follow his ideology , you shouldn’t make any agreement : every agreement or contract between any individuals implies that those two individuals will loose a bit of their freedom. When you sign a contract for a job, you loose your freedom of not working for all day ! Just absurd… I don’t know about any human civilization where things doesn’t work like that…

    I share some of his ideals though, but I definitely don’t agree with the means to achieve these ideals. I agree that science is a kind of knowledge that should freely be shared : any algorithm can be translated into equations, so software is science. Science is only a translation of something already existing in the world. Art is for me a different type of knowledge. It is a creation of a person, and I don’t mind not being able to share this creation if the creator doesn’t want me to. Stallman thinks that as long as it is knowledge, it should be shared freely. I don’t agree, and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

    @Bryan For your video game, you could release the engine as free software, and keeping the assets and the scripts, which are the artistic part, as proprietary. But that would suppose your game is well coded ! ;-)

  43. Yuno Says:

    “I will destroy your freedoms in order to give my daughter a dollar.” – Bryan
    It is unfortunate that you are incapable of understanding that humanity’s freedom is more important than the welfare of any single individual.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Indeed sir..indeed

  45. Ur Dumb Says:

    dude what?
    go read up on social theory cos ur making as much sense as my dick does inside my ass, ie. not at all.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    He’s a frustrated revolutionary and idealist . He has a pure view of a society where everyone shares what they do for the benefit of everyone else and he refuses to compromise or pander. It’s noble in a way and the people denouncing him in not very polite terms should remember what users of free software owe him. He’s done enough with GNU and the FSF to have earned a bit of respect. 

    Most of us can’t live as he thinks we should though. The world isn’t made that way, and as Brian says,  we need to feed and clothe our children. We can’t all sacrifice everything for an ideal. And because of that we’ll not have a society as good as the one Stallman wants us to have. He wants us all, individually,  to take responsibility for creating a world where we share with our neighbours, and they share with us. It’s a dream, and it’s likely to remain a dream. 

    I think what he’s getting at when he talks about not having children is the looming population problem. Limited resources and exponential population growth are not a recipe for a happy future. And again, he wants every person to take responsibility for that and do something about it. We aren’t really made that way though. We think and act in smaller terms than he does, and we have to to get along and live our lives. That’s  not really a cause for much self-congratulation.

  47. DF Says:

    This is exactly what I was going to post. Couldn’t agree more!

  48. Larz Conwell Says:

    Yeah that part was crazy. No matter what global warming will continue to develop. Of course having kids will continue the development of global warming it’s not going to just stop though. That’s not something free software is going to stop, and to stop having kids? That’s just dumb. The point for the creation of free software would then be meaningless if no one used it cause there would be no one to use it. 

  49. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, because your comment indicates that you are a deeply read and informed individual with a excellent grasp of the complexities involved in social theory and the cognitive and linguistic skills to express them well. 

  50. Manwich2000 Says:

    So, is Stallman going to write free open software to replace all the software the all these “evil” companies make and sell? Stallman is trying to live an idealistic uptopian society. Sorry sir, it doesn’t work that way. People and companies need to make money. Its how economy’s work. I make a product, you buy the product, I make the money off the money you paid for the product. 

    And to all everyone bashing Chris and Bryan for not putting Stallman in his place, they are doing that out of respect I think. Stallman did write GNU that was the foundation for Linus Torvolds Linux Kernal. 

  51. Manwich2000 Says:

    grrr….that was supposed be  a regular reply. not to your post. my bad

  52. Abinadi Shilum Says:

    errr….what would you call your mouth habibi?

  53. Jolly Roger Says:

    Have to say i found Brian to be really unproffesional during the interview. He was passive agreesive, and made cheap comments under his breath. Ruined the interview for me.
    And from an etichal standpoint, having kids today can be viewed as unetichal conisdering the vast overpopulation on the planet.

  54. Beanwl Says:

    1. Since we are talking about freedom…isn’t a persons right to have children?
    2. Who’s to say the planet is overpopulated??  That is an objective view.

  55. Jolly Roger Says:

     1. I am not saying people should not be allowed to have children, but claiming that having children is somewhat selfish and unetichal is a legit opinion.
    (Its not about denying people haveing kids or the desire for kids to starve. And i think thats what RMS was meaning)
    2. You make a point, but in my opinion 7 billion is too much. Look at the environmental price we pay to keep us afloat. And there clearly is “not enough for everyone”

  56. Anonymous Says:

    My problem is…Stallman on one point is saying ultimate freedom .. is life without rules & regulations…but on another point he is telling people not to have kids…Being a Libertarian you can’t have it both ways…freedom for all…but don’t have too many kids?  I think that is contradiction

  57. MarcoAntonio Says:

    maybe he has horrible language skills, but it does raise some questions because, and maybe you know about this more than I do, but there are different theories on social welfare. Yuno clearly does not agree with John Stuart Mill.

  58. Florence Says:

    Yeah, maybe he’s getting too old? He’s not even 60, but… wow!

  59. Jolly Roger Says:

     You seem to miss the point. It’s not about denying people to have kids, as in it’s not allowed. It’s more like “You should not” not “You can’t” or You are not allowed”
    Just becouse something is allowed, does not make it rigth.
    (Besides, my first comment was really more of a critic on Bryan behavior. Rather than a anti-kid statement)

  60. Johnsjun2 Says:

    I think your point about kids has no merit, but I doo agree that Bryan was unprofessional, but he is always like this you see. Total lack of respect, and Chris used to be more on the ball when it came to respect, BUT, last week he called people working at Apple dicks, so… yeah… LOL

  61. Benderbrodriguez Says:

    say whatever you want but that dude is insane in the mainframe! 

  62. Ur Dumb Says:

    if u wanna see my thesis on social theory among other things i will post if for u graemec and then maybe you can talk 

  63. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe someone should ask Stallman about his promotion of Carbon-Communism?

  64. Ur Dumb Says:

    here is the link
    sorry no pdf just normal text bc i did it quickly

    enjoy with a glass of wine wino

  65. Jolly Roger Says:

     I read up on Bryan’s struggle with apple. He even has a begging page where he has pictures of his daughter and blames a glitch in the appstore for his lack of income. And wants apple to repay him money because he has not been able to sell his software trough their app store.
    He appear to me to be a narrow minded, self entitled and respectless man.
    Hiding behing the “i have a daugther” example on a etichal discussion on wheter propiatary software is unethical is cheap to me.

  66. Jim Says:

    Wow … Just, … Wow!

    I just took a glance around Stallman’s personal web site. Prior to doing so, I knew very little about him other than the FSF stuff.

    I had no idea his political beliefs were so leftist.

    For a guy who constantly talks about “freedom”, his politics are all about instituting statist and collectivist central planning type policies through the force of government. All of which are the antithesis of freedom and liberty.

    I now have zero respect for this guy. Freedom is the last thing this guy stands for. He is full of shit.

    He is nothing but a run of the mill anti-capitalist leftist.

  67. Hauke Says:

    “Stallman is not better than any other religious fanatic for who faith prevails over reason.”
    Sure he is, he has reasons for what he says. Religion is irrational. Not everybody who has a strong opinion is a fanatic.

  68. therobotdave Says:

    Amazing 200th show guys. Stallman seems smart in some respects, but the smarter person is the one who can see other points of view; reassesses a point, and either confirm or reject their original point. Empathy is a strength. Stallman just comes off as stubborn and resistant to other voices other than his own. 

  69. Anonymous Says:

    Wow he even talks about depopulation and global-warming.

    Stallman is a hypocrite.  He needs to research if he’s not already familiar with the Eugenicist Movement.  I guess he’s hob nobbing with some really dark characters, if not him being so.

    You can’t advocate freedom in software, then expect a world of communist enslavement through the lie of Global-Warming, and Carbon-Interaction-Tax.

  70. Anonymous Says:

    Regarding his stance on software, he’s trying to say that you can make money from software but do it with modifying an existing free-software project.

    The book analogy is a good one as you can make a book and author one and still sell it, but it can be shared without limits, unless reproducing it in whole.

  71. Anonymous Says:

     Stallman is a Carbon-Communist.  He is a promoter of a future where people will be enslaved by their interaction with nature.

    I’ve tried to question him on this in past, but this interview was amazing in that he touched on the subject more then ever about depopulation and its hint to global-warming theory/political-agenda.

  72. crshbndct Says:

    I think more pertinent is his views on child pornography and raping children.

  73. Brian Merrill Says:

    So Richard Stallman just got back from a trip.  Would it be fair to presume that he travelled by airplane?  And the airline and jet run how much proprietary, non-free software?  So he is, in fact, with one simple example, supporting and paying for proprietary software.

  74. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Don’t really want to get involved in this.  But just going to throw this out there:  I’m already getting a LOT of flack for how much I disagreed with Stallman there at the end.  It was very clear to RMS that I disagreed with him (repeatedly).  Perhaps you stopped watching too early on?

  75. ImNotStallman Says:

    Wrong pick of the week (take note  Madjo and its not software :D )

  76. Earl Cameron Says:

    does no one understan rms? a theif rationalizes his wrongdoings with good intent but at the end of the day is it not still wrong, even if it means his children starve? it isn’t that is childern shouldn’t eat its just the method, it isn’t ethical(or legal) so why should it be acceptable and he is also right about freedom, freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything under the sun rather it means you are not under the control of another, or a puppet. stop agreeing with bryans over the top comments and bashing a man that has done more for your freedoms than you can imagine.

  77. Earl Cameron Says:

     a little bit of murder is better than no murder, a little bit of aids is better than no aids, a little bit of sucky ass games are better than no games…i can do this all day!

  78. Earl Cameron Says:

     are there any justifications in this gray area that make it ethical…thats how he sees it.

  79. Earl Cameron Says:

     i like bryan but thank you…thats him in a nutshell

  80. Earl Cameron Says:

     he isn’t about life without rules and regulations, he just thinks that there are many injustices surrounding information and what we can do with it

  81. Earl Cameron Says:

     that is a service, does he pilot the plain himself? stfu

  82. Earl Cameron Says:

     an accurate, if not pessimistic portrayal of the man…thank you

  83. Earl Cameron Says:

     how much different is it to buy photoshop with a copy of the f@*king source so you can modify, fix, edit, remove or add features than buying a just the binary?

  84. Earl Cameron Says:

    he said that americas were a wasteful bunch and that the best way to lessen the impact on the environment that an american brings, just stop have babies, he didn’t say the whole world just the one with first world problems

  85. Earl Cameron Says:

     “bryan has no idea what he is talking about honestly I mean look at the end how Bryan reaacts”. works both ways.

  86. Earl Cameron Says:

     he advocates for our freedom and you disrespect him…sure we may all have vary different opinions but in the end he wants a world thats better for all of us…whats wrong with that?

  87. Earl Cameron Says:

     thank you!

  88. Earl Cameron Says:

     what does making money have to do with opensource vs porpietary? thats where your logic just doesn’t make sense, talking about his ideas of utopia have nothing to do with open vs close software

  89. M8R-v4lc9b Says:

    I must say that the comment thread is on an all time low today.

    I like Richard for all the things he have done. I may not completely agree with him all the time, and I don’t expect to either. I actually have never found anyone that I agree with in all times. But I still think he’s awesome and have contributed more than many other people to history.

  90. Peter Capson Says:

    I mean no disrespect to Stallman or your person, but I feel that you didn’t have to explain what just had happened at the end of the interview, we all saw the interview and whatever you did or didn’t say to Stallman during the interview should have stayed there, not at the end of the show when Stallman was no longer able to reply or in your blog on which Stallman won’t reply (if he even reads it to begin with). 

    I do think though, that because the guest was controversial to some of the LAS audience, some viewers might have either stopped watching or not paid due attention to what was said in the entirely of the show and their “comments”, if you can call them that in this feedback form, are more of the passion statement rather than a reasoned statement.

    None the less, opinions are respected on this front at least.

  91. Jony121 Says:

    Wow! Stallman = Controversy. Where ever that man goes people always get stuck in huge arguments. Either way (for or against) with regards to stallman, excellent choice for 200th episode! Stallman may attract flames but he also attracts viewers.
    Best Episode Ever.

  92. Martin de Boer Says:

    Hey Bryan,

    I agree with you. I don’t mind proprietary software, but I prefer free software.
    I have to use Microsoft (Office & Windows 7) for work, but I choose Linux for my home usage.

    I am a honest person. The reason I started using free software was, because I didn’t want to own illegal software. I just want to create (I write, edit photo’s, burn dvd’s, etc.) stuff. I also need to pay my mortgage and put food on the table. So I work. That’s a contribution to society (Gross Domestic Product). No matter how you put it.

    How Richard Stallman values that contribution… I dont care!!! He is free have his own thoughts about it. And maybe he thinks that (because he started a movement) his thoughts are more valueable than yours and mine. The fact is this: RMS thoughts are Just Another Opinion.

    Best regards,

  93. ormaaj Says:

    Absolutely. Proprietary licensing effectively is the the business case that justifies developing proprietary software to begin with. It is well demonstrated that the proprietary model gets software created that people find useful, and that would otherwise not exist. I don’t have the freedom to use something which doesn’t exist. I have the freedom to write it, but so does everyone else, and proprietary software doesn’t (usually) affect that freedom except in cases where either laws, or well-established technical specifications, standards, and interoperability considerations affect it’s creation and usefulness — which are very legitimate concerns. IMO, even more important than these imaginary ethical concerns.

    Not all software is equal. Some software is luxury. Today I can perform all essential tasks using entirely free software – often in more powerful ways than could ever be possible through proprietary software simply by virtue of it being open-source. We’ve won the important battles already. Proprietary software fills in the gaps, and is in many cases the engine which funds the development of some of the most important free software projects today. Does it matter that a game isn’t free? No. My freedom isn’t restricted by being unable to modify a game. I can live without the game. The game wouldn’t exist if it were free. Deniers of this are deniers of reality – sorry – I completely reject that some things would be possible through entirely open development.

    So yes, there are grey areas. There are many ways to license software because there is no one-size-fits-all license. Some software must be free. Some software is completely impractical if non-free (development tools, compilers, libraries, etc). Frankly I don’t understand how anybody can live in a non-free operating system. Some software is harmful if non-free (e.g. web-browsers). Some software on the other hand doesn’t need to be free. It would be nice, but it will have to do until free alternatives are developed.

    My freedom is far more restricted by the fact that some software isn’t usable on my system due to it not being ported, due to our lack of popularity, due in part to our batshit insane spokesperson.

  94. MichaelP Says:

    The sceptics don’t dispute there is global warming. What they dispute is that it is caused by humans.

  95. Martin de Boer Says:

    RMS was wrong about his example of the bookstore.
    Buying a book from a bookstore is unethical according to his own
    philosofy! You are not allowed to copy a book (copyright) so buying
    books is unethical. Even if done anonymus. Even if the book can be
    shared by giving it away or lending it out. According to his own
    philosophy, RMS cannot read documents, listen to music, or watch films
    that are created with copyright. So if he has ever read a book, listened
    to music, or watched a movie, RMS has conducted unethical behaviour. He
    should refuse to do so any more in the future. Happy rest of your life

  96. Mikael Karlsson Says:

    Of course Stallman’s not going to say “proprietary software is ok, only if you use the money you get from it to feed your daughter”. That’s so basic, and I am genuinely surprised that Bryan didn’t get that. Stallman is an idealist, Bryan should’ve known that. He’s not making any exceptions, end of story. Non-free is bad, no matter what, because having your freedom is the whole point of free software. You can’t bring food into the equation, because it’s irrelevant. Stallmans is very clear about this, and I can’t see how Bryan’s missing it over and over again.

    If Stallman actually said it’s ok with some proprietary software, I would be making the faces Bryan makes in the video.

  97. Galdere Says:

    It’s depressing to watch Brian pretend he wants to take on Stallman, and then lie and hide behind a little girl when it gets to the crux of the issue. Really disresputful of such a great guest. Stallman’s philospophy is purist and offers no easier route for you, like you wanted to be given some concession as a saint. That doesn’t mean he said he wants your child to starve and to claim so in such a playground bully way is puerile and becoming to serious debate. Bring back Alan for anything that requires some scope of vision and consideration please.

  98. Galdere Says:

    If we’re living in a cloud that is murky doesn’t have enough oxygen in it to be healthy, many of us like to glide high, but Stallman is someone who would rather always be pedalling to keep above the cloud, even if he can’t go as far because of it.

  99. crshbndct Says:

    You say he has a begging page like it is a bad thing.. and yet this is how RMS thinks all indie developers should get paid. 

  100. crshbndct Says:

    Clearly RMS has no issues finding food. And even if he did, he seems to enjoy foot mushroom stew anyway. 

  101. Sameer Jubeh Says:


  102. Martin de Boer Says:

    This discussion is not only about freedom, but also about the distribution of the benefits (the value). It’s a political issue to draw the line on how much a entity (individual or company) can restrict sharing of a work. The law should balance the rights of the seller and the rights of the buyer.

    If you say, the freedom of one person should not limit the freedom of another person, then free software is the only way. Because copyright, intellectual property, or DRM are limiting the freedom of another person. However, its not only about freedom, but also about the honest distribution of the benefits.

    The creator of a work should be able to benefit from that work. If everybody can take it and distribute it under their own name, the original author is not able to benefit from his own work anymore. So the seller should be able to restrict the buyer.

    On the other hand, the buyer should be able to benefit from the work he has acquired, within the bounds of normal usage. For instance: if someone buys a song, and his DRM-enabled music device crashes, he still should be able to benefit from this song. Therefore the buyer should have the right to benefit from the acquired work within the bounds of normal usage. 

    The right discussion is to what limit a creator of a work can benefit from it.
    – How can his/her right be protected?
    – If the creator dies, should his family receive the benefits from his work?
    – For how long should somebody (or his family) receive the benefits or his work?
    – To what extend is the protection of one creator allowed to limit the creative process of another person?

    These are all questions we need to answer, and to balance. It’s always more complicated than you think.

  103. Simon Cornet Says:

    `Freedom costs a buck o five`

  104. Anonymous Says:

    I think some of you libertarian I’ll-do-what-the-fuck-I-like-regardless-of-the-consequences types should read

  105. Abinadi Shilum Says:

     Stallman is a Liberal/”Progressive” which is VERY different than being a Libertarian…were Stallman a Libertarian his Social views would be more in line with his views on software

  106. Martin de Boer Says:

    Freedom itself is not always good. Freedom and protection should be balanced.

    For instance: the freedom of companies to fire you at will is bad. Social security is needed to protect the ‘little man’.

    This also works the other way around. Too much protection (restrictions) is also bad. For
    instance: communism.

    There should be a balance between freedom and protection.

  107. Michael Huff Says:

    Richard Stallman is a crazy person. Thanks for the OS, Richard. We’ll take it from here. The rest of us have jobs. And we shower before we go to them. Guys, regardless of what he says, we are free. We’re free to make as much money as we want. If he wants a community, let him break off from the rest of society if he wants to and be Jesus Buddha and have as many stinky, ugly wives as he wants. 

  108. Michael Huff Says:

    He created a great OS kernel, that’s it. His politics are warped and have no place on the show. 

  109. Michael Huff Says:

    No, he has the opinion that he needs to make money in the real world whereas Stallman obviously ate a bag of ‘shrooms before phoning in an interview to what is probably the community’s most important show.

  110. Michael Huff Says:

    “I don’t want to pay for software. For that matter, I don’t want to pay for soap, shampoo or decent clothes.”–Richard Stallman

  111. Anonymous Says:

    I hope that Bryan Lunduke’s unprofessional attitude does not keep guests such as Richard Stallman from being on the Linux Action Show.  I think that LAS could really be something great if they continue to have guests of this caliber.  Potential guests will be willing to appear on LAS if the hosts stay professional.  Bryan, in those moments of frustration, just take a deep breath and listen.  please

  112. Michael Huff Says:

    I support you, Brian. Don’t care if I’m the only one in the room. I totally appreciate your point-of-view. Apparently, he doesn’t give a crap if you work yourself to death to support your family. If this community is really free, then there’s room for more than one opinion. Personally, I’ll agree with you before I agree with a guy who does something like this. Seriously, watch it:

  113. Michael Huff Says:

    If it walks, talks and sounds like Communism, then it isn’t “free, free, free” as RMS likes saying every two seconds.

  114. Michael Huff Says:

    You’d rather he sit there and pretend to agree with him? Bryan is not a professional journalist, nor is Chris, for that matter. Meaning no disrespect to either of them. But they’re hosts. If Stallman wanted to be a good guest he would’ve talked more about how he created a great program. But those days are gone and he just wants to talk about his politics. Next milestone, the guys need to get Linus on instead of RMS. I’ve got a feeling it would be much more compelling on a technical level.

  115. Michael Huff Says:

    I kind of agree there, but at the same time, Stallman was kind of a loose cannon and wanted to talk about his politics rather than what the show is all about. I was really looking forward to this episode, but it really was kind of a trainwreck and I’m sorry to say that. I don’t blame Bryan one bit for sticking it to RMS. Bryan and Chris have already proven themselves to be good hosts. RMS needs to be a good guest, shut up for a second and allow the host to ask a question before launching into what he did back in 1983. I respect my elders, but they’d better show some goddamn common courtesy.

  116. Michael Huff Says:

    RMS IS a gross domestic product.

  117. Michael Huff Says:

    Richard Stalin?

  118. Michael Huff Says:

    So anyone who creates something and puts his heart and soul into his work should just give it away with no thought as to what he can get for it? Dude, you need some time in the real world. Get married, have a couple of kids yourself and see how far that philosophy gets you.

  119. Michael Huff Says:

    I’ll post this then I’ll shut up. Promise. I love LINUX. I don’t like Stallman. I’m also free to call it “LINUX” without having to put the “GNU/” in front of it for the privilege of talking to a Communist.

  120. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for pointing out the missteps of this guest.  I agree that RMS should have stopped and allowed our hosts to be more involved with the conversation (especially in the beginning).  My main concern was that future guests will see this episode and assume that Bryan is incapable of keeping the debate/conversation above board.  This could have been a great opportunity to build a mutually beneficial relationship between a great podcast and the FSF/RMS.  I believe that RMS and Bryan on the podcast  more frequently would prove to be fascinating considering the differing opinions.  As the technology landscape changes and issues arise, RMS and others like him on the show would be great.

  121. Martin de Boer Says:

    Hi Bryan,

    I have three solutions to your question: how to profit from developing
    open source software as an individual software developer.

    First model (apply this to Illumination software creator). Open Source
    the old version of your software (Illumination Software Creator v3) 1 or
    2 years after the latest version of your software (Illumination
    Software Creator v4) comes out.

    Second model (apply this to 2299 the game). Open Source the software
    after a certain target amount of sales has been met. For instance, you
    promise to open source the game if you have sold $5.000  worth of

    Third model (apply this to all business software). Offer commercial
    support to your software on a yearly basis. You take responsibility for
    fixing bugs in the software in exchange for a service fee.

    Best regards,


  122. Michael Huff Says:

    I agree with you there. But to capitalize on your point about Bryan staying above board, I kind of think RMS water boarded him. It was like, “I am mighty RMS and I will use this show as a means of broadcasting my philosophy and nothing more.” It’s like Bryan’s opinions didn’t matter at all. But as another person in this forum pointed out, RMS is a purist. I’d say he’s an extremist, but at least he’s not out to kill people. (He’s not, is he? LOL.)

  123. David Miller Says:

    1) What did Bryan lie about?
    2) The little girl is his daughter — I promise that concern is real, buddy.3) It’s easy to call someone a liar that hide behinds a little girl when you’re posting on a webpage.4) “Really disrespectful of a great guest”  You mean great like Ghandi, Wangari Maathai, or Rachel Corrie?  Come on.  Besides, everyone knows that Stallman only has one debating style: caustic.  He is always like that so the interviewer might as well be also.5) “Stallman’s philosophy is purist”  So was Pol Pot’s.  So was the Nazi’s.  Sticking to your guns is only respectable if your ideals are respectable.  Yeah, Stallman’s world of communal property would be nice — but he has no more clue on how to get there than anyone else.  If he hadn’t already made his money when times were good, you can bet he would be singing a different tune.

    6) Anyway, Stallman is not a purist, he just thinks he is.  As Rahul points out below, he makes use of countless proprietary, closed-source products and technologies every day — just like everyone who is not living in the rain-forest making their own clothing and tools.  Stallman is too just too much of a simpleton to see the application of his ideas past a narrow range.  

    7) I’ve worked construction for over twenty years.  It never ceases to amaze me how many office workers think they could just walk off their job and go to work in the trades.  It takes skills to build an office building.  Sure, when business was booming, a software developer could have gotten a job — but only as a helper making about 8.00/hr (where I live).  8.00/hr only pays the bills if you’re living in your parent’s basement.  Even those jobs are hard to find now.  Now you better be able to lay block, frame, build panels, lay pipe… you get the idea.  

    8) “Scope of vision and consideration.”  Precisely what Stallman lacks.  His vision is single pointed and his consideration is abstracted.  People who want to work for the “greater good” without consideration of the individual are the people to watch out for.  “Noble” ideas are easy when the rest of humanity is nothing but pieces on your chess board.  Also, “scope of vision and consideration” require that you take the real world into account.; wishing will not make it go away.

    9) There is plenty more to be said, but I think it is sufficiently clear who is being “puerile.”  Sure, Bryan can be (or at least come across) as pretty arrogant a lot of the time, but he really is a man with a software business trying to raise his family.  Even if he didn’t have a daughter, it would be perfectly ethical for him to sell his software.  You don’t have to buy it.

  124. Michael Huff Says:

    Really, really loved this post. Stallman evidently thinks he’s this hypnotic guru. He created an awesome kernel and I totally respect him for that. He created a “fabulous fakes” version of Unix. Bless him. Great job. Now, I’m going to use “free software” (goddammit, if I have to hear that word one. more. time, I’m going to take a hostage.) and learn how to code software that, you bet your ass, I’m going to make people pay for. It’s called a royalty system. This is where I identify more with Linus, where he likes the fact that there are copyrights in the world to protect something they created, but he doesn’t mind people using his stuff to create other stuff as they see fit. Stallman, however, wants to do away with the copyright system altogether and that transcends through all types of information. Which would be great if some of it wasn’t dangerous or if someone wanted to make a living off it. There is a lot of the real world Stallman just doesn’t get, regardless of his intelligence. Maybe if he were starting his own planet. Hell, go for it. This is Earth and we’ve already established a system that works just fine and encourages people to be innovative to succeed. Like Linus.

  125. Michael Huff Says:

    Love this post. Stallman is a narcissist. Bryan is a realistic, reasonable and grown-up narcissist. (Meaning absolutely no disrespect to Bryan in the slightest.)

  126. Michael Huff Says:

    Did I mention I love this post? David, you totally knocked it out of the park!

  127. Mr. T Says:

    I guess Stallman gave up his “freedom” when he bought the parts to build whatever computer he uses. If it was under “true distress” that he had to buy the parts to make the computer that he used to write code to build the GNU/Linux platform, he shouldn’t of bought the parts in the first place. He’s one of the weirdest and the most cookie hypocrites I have ever heard. Here in civilization, people perform services and/or produce items for recompense. Meaning: we get paid for what we do. Remember the old adage; nothing in life is free? Why would there be a single software designer if they knew going into the profession that they are not going to make a penny? How will they find a job building custom software? Better yet, who’s going to teach them – and how? I think just about every code compiler out there has some parts in it that cost money.

    Honestly, people view software as tools. Whether it’s a game (tool to have fun) or a production suite (tool to work with), people would rather pay for a tool that they want rather than making it themselves. Besides, 99% of the people out there wouldn’t have the first clue how to build the software that will enable them to do what they want. That’s why there ARE software designers. We pay them to make tools for us. If a designer thinks more people would like to have their tool, then they advertise for it. Oops, then it would be commercialized. Stallman’s living in his own little world.

  128. Brian Merrill Says:

    That is a justification. What does piloting a plane have to do with anything?  Stallman still surrenders his freedom.  If Bryan must stop developing software because he is unethical then Stallman must stop using “services” (which by definition is what computers do) which use proprietary software or he is a hypocrite.  …And don’t be rude.

  129. Yaffare Says:

    I ate a proprietary hot-dog today. 

    Now I feel bad about it:(

  130. Galdere Says:

    He lied saying what Stallman had implied about his daughter, even after he’d clarified that he hadn’t implied what Brian was saying. You’re confusing supporting what Stallman was saying, with just saying that I dislike Brian’s ego getting in the way of everything.  Saying he wanted to ask Stallman how he can change to fit in with his ideals and then passively attacking him for not creating some sort of concession is stupid and disresputful no matter how much you disagree. Stallman might be too idealistic or worse but Brian has been dishonest and insulting. Comparing to Hitler is generally regarded as having already lost your argument. What this has to do with your people who want to change to a skilled profession quickly and fail seems pretty irrelevant, that again wasn’t what was being discussed. Don’t confuse what I haven’t said to mean I support things I haven’t claimed to please and don’t make Brian’s mistake of false analogies and exaggerations.

  131. Lunk Says:

    Isn’t it ironic that Brian not only straight up calls RMS
    a lunatic after denouncing the production of proprietary software, but
    he also does this while begging for money because he was unable to make
    an income due to the unfair policies and incompetence of a proprietary

  132. Lunk Says:

     free as in freedom =/= free as in beer

  133. Doodle Says:

    Hey, guy with the glasses, listen: Your frustration with Stallman seems to stem from your inability to respond to any of his arguments. All you guys said is that you “totally agree” with him “on that”. On the other hand, I agree that it’s frustrating to be talked to in that way and be told that you are unethical. Just take comfort from the fact that you’re not alone in being unethical (when it comes to making software).

  134. Doodle Says:

    You’re an idiot if you could just listen to a 1 hour long show about free software and still not get that it has nothing to do with software being commercial. 
    Ladies and gentlemen, above is a perfect example of the kind of ignorance the “open source” “linux” crowd breeds.

  135. Rafael Rojas Says:

    No, because in both cases he is defending what does he do to make a living.

    He may be disrespectful with RMS, who by the way isn’t a gentleman if i might say, but he is making a clear stand on his point of view and way of living: “Making, creating and selling propietary software ins’t necesary evil”, is just a way of living for many, many proffesional developers

    Sorry sir, but as a developer too, i will stand against Mr RMS if he says to me that what we do “is just evil” based on a totalitarian philosophy and the naive argument of “if it isn’t absolutely free (as in free beer) is bad”

  136. Jimbo Says:

    Richard Stallman!

  137. Doodle Says:

    I wouldn’t call Stallman a purist. I’d call him a radical. Radicalism says nothing about what you’re radical about, only that you’re serious about your beliefs. I respect that.

    Even if he didn’t have a daughter, it would be perfectly ethical for him to sell his software.

    Why do you people always have to miss the fucking point? Nobody says it’s unethical to sell software. Did you even listen to the interview? Do you know what free software is? If Bryan agrees with Stallman that proprietary software is unethical, and he seems to agree (unless he’s lying whenever he says “I totally agree with you on THAT”), then justifying it by saying that it’s okay because it makes money and he’s got a mouth to feed is nonsense. Otherwise you could justify nearly anything just because it makes money. DRM makes money too but Bryan wouldn’t try to sell DRM’d products just because he’s got a mouth to feed would he? Besides, as Stallman repeatedly states throughout the interview, there are plenty of ways to make money as a programmer without making your software proprietary, and there are plenty of alternative business models to explore (like crowd sourcing).

    I find the “open source” crowd to be far more hypocritical than Stallman allegedly is. You guys KNOW that proprietary software is wrong (and not because it’s buggy), whether you understand why or not, even if you don’t call it unethical, you just FEEL it. Yet most of you are unwilling to think the implications of proprietary software through and call people who do “lunatics” and constantly distort their arguments in really disingenuous ways.

  138. Doodle Says:

    You don’t have to give it away. You just shouldn’t stop people who have a copy from sharing it.

  139. Manco Says:

    If you consider
    procreation as being unethical, due to over population. Then using
    this assumption, so is:

    Saving a kid
    from drowning, saving someone from a burning build. Help anyone from a
    situation in which would save/prolong their life, being a Doctor who
    make and give medicine, would be “unethical”. Finding the
    cure for cancer and AIDS also “unethical”.

    research/technology that would prevent/cure any life threatening disease would
    also be deemed “unethical”.


    a plastic surgeon specializing in breast enlargement
    “ethical”, (ok I have nothing against big tits, actually I
    like women with a rack!), even though fundamentally, this would consume more
    “world resources”, then give a starving kid something to
    eat, “ethical”…

    Anything that
    would reduce/maintain the population to a certain predefined level
    in proportion to world resources would then be deemed
    “ethical”: war, genocide, murder, capital punishment, famine, no
    aid/help to anyone or region in where a natural deserter occurred –

    Research and
    production of products/technologies, that would reduce/cap life expectancy
    to a predefined level, which would be deemed useful. As who needs any
    population in an age group that have little to no immediate/future social
    contribution to the society, or who are
    more accurately described as: their individual personal
    contribution (.i.e. in near or far future, yes I am talking about old
    people) is far less then the burden they place on the
    society/world resources…


    All of this
    is against human nature. This what makes us different to
    other species, the ability to create, improve, to educate,
    imagine etc… Blaming over population as one of the main course
    of the many problems we have put this planet in, is a gross over simplification
    and not a realistic solution.

    World resource
    consumption is not proportional to local population distribution. .i.e.
    reducing local population or even global population will not guarantee a
    reduction in the use of global resources. In fact reducing the population in
    some countries may in-fact help them to industries faster and consume more
    global resources.

    specifically, countries with a lower population are consuming
    world resources at a much higher rate then other countries with
    higher populations.

    .e.g. a back of envelope


    Total Population
    = 304 million – 4% of world population.

    Total Oil consumption a day = 20.6 million barrels.


    Total population in the following countries:  China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan,
    Italy, UK, Africa = 4.2 billion – 60% of world population.

    Total Oil consumption per day = 20.5 million barrels.


    4% of population is consuming as much oil as 60% of the rest
    of the of the world population combined.



    Richard Stallman and anyone else is an idiot if they believe
    a “single” simple/knee jerk solution (which inherently goes against human
    nature, procreation and population control, problems aside), is the answer to
    complex and dynamic problem, to which they clearly have a lack of basic
    understanding of.


    Richard Stallman has also applied the same logic to problems
    facing software professionals today (for example, independent developers like
    Bryan), he has greatly oversimplified the role of a software developers and the
    use of software in today society.  


    OK granted back in 70s and early 80s anyone who uses a
    computer will 80% of the time know how to program them too.  99% of all Computer Science graduates
    would know programming and a significant fraction of which would go onto
    software programmer.  Now were in a
    situation where less than 1% who use a computer would know how to program it
    and 95% of computer Science graduates do not go onto program software and in
    most cases hate programming. Which can be attributed to the complexity and
    height skill level required in order to program large useful software.


    So his solution of go and program it if you want it, is
    ridicules as not everyone is able to write complex/useful code.


    Simply equating the role and use of programming to that of
    something like reading and witting, which he is doing and making ridicules
    solution of what get a real job and just do programming in your spare time. So
    Bryan he’s saying to you get a real job like washing cars for a living or
    stacking shelf’s at Wal-Mart (as you’ve said your not so good with your hands,
    so I cannot think of many highly skilled professions where you would be useful
    without this ability). So you can feed you and your family and then when u get
    home right a bunch cool/great/entertaining/useful software, that a lot of
    people will use, for entertainment/commercial purposes, as you know what it wasn’t
    much of an effort and it not important…


    Today, 90% of the working population in the USA is reliant
    or dependent on electronically equipment utilising embedded software in one
    form or another.

    Even a janitor who mops the floor in your build will most
    likely use a electronic swipe card to access the different parts of the


    The model in which he is using to base all of his arguments,
    fundamentally floored and idealistic. 
    The guy is out of touch with society and the nature of human people.

  140. count0 Says:

    The difference is that Brian is directly responsible for the proliferation of non-free software. I’m sure RMS has used non-free software in the past, and admitted to it.

    His problem lies with software developers.. not those that have no choice at times but to use them. 

    In other words, you’re making a claim that it’s possible to go through life using nothing but free software, but you fail to prove it.

  141. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    Stallman had nothing to do with the kernel.  Through GNU, he contributed emacs, and perhaps more importantly gcc and gmake.  Stallman used the kernel developed by Linus Torvalds, hence GNU/Linux.

  142. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    Before 1980 there were no software copyrights.  Why did people write software then?  The US was a great manufacturing powerhouse and new designs and innovation in manufacturing (and science) required software to work.  People learned how to program to control machines and their skills were marketable.   It may be hard to imagine software development as only one part of a complex set of tools needed to make a physical item (including engineering, machining, and assemby) and not just an end in itself, but believe it or not thats how it used to be!

  143. Doodle Says:

    Really funny to see how few of your listeners don’t know the difference between proprietary and commercial.

  144. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    Dealing with guests like this is a skill you have to learn.  Bill O’Reilly does it by shouting guests down, but it can also be done by subtly lowering their mic while you move the conversation along to a new topic.  Chris should have had more control over the interview than he did, because of course Stallman as any good fundamentalist usually does, had his talking points at the tip of his tongue.

  145. Rafael Rojas Says:

    “i don’t think that people can justify unethical harmful  activities by saying: my kids need some money”

    Easy to say for a +45 year old man without kids or family who lives of donations of universities and organizations.

  146. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    Incorrect.  However, he does think programmers would be paid less if there were no software copyright – and I’m sure he’s right.  Perhaps you should read the GNU manifesto where Stallman’s answers to these very questions are laid out.  You don’t have to agree with him, but please don’t put words in his mouth.

  147. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    OK, I can’t in good conscience “Like” this comment, but having seen the video I have to agree its funny. :)

  148. Rafael Rojas Says:

     Nice way on calling developers unethical and still manage to surf the web without using ANY propertary software.

    Just take comfort from the fact that you’re not alone in being hypocritical (when it comes to “defending freedom” but not living by the standards that you pray).

  149. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    This is the exact reason why he and ESR had a falling out.  It would be interesting to get Eric (a raging Libertarian) on the show next.

  150. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    will you please stop suggesting he had anything to do with the Linux kernel!  For the love of Pete.

  151. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    and not all conversations with fundamentalists need to degenerate into a pissing match.

  152. Digitalbigsky Says:

    This was a waste of the 200th episode. Maybe in the future you should invite a guest you know you will agree with. 
    If you are in fact not a journalist, fine, don’t pretend to be one. A talented journalist would have asked questions to draw out every aspect of RMS and let the audience decide. Your hiding behind your daughter showed you never intended to reveal all that is RMS, just hammer on your pet peeve. A better argument would be – I am a free man and I choose to sell code whose source I do not share. Once it was obvious he did not support you, move on. He will never change and neither will you. Agreeing to disagree is fine, it’s the definition of freedom.
     Amy Hoy said something I love – in business its not about you, its about your customers. You may have lost listeners over a juvenile act. I guarantee your dragging a baby into the discussion did not impact followers of RMS one bit. Ghandi was a lawyer and could’ve made a lot more money not pestering the Brits. I know I’m not a Ghandi and work on un-free software but recognize RMS winning would benefit me more that it would the Oracles and Microsofts… Go RMS!!!

  153. David Miller Says:

    No, I not only understand Stallman’s argument, but I agree with it as a political ideal.  You see, it is not actually Stallman’s argument, but that of a certain (primarily 19th century) anarchists.  Perhaps the definitive example would be Proudhon (who coined the phrase property is theft).  Stallman is less extreme than Proudhon in this regard but far less realistic than anarcho-syndicalist writers such as Rudolf Rocker, who actually proposed solutions which, at least in the popular climate of the time, might have had some chance of success.  

    “Comparing to Hitler is generally regarded as having already lost your argument”  Only when used as a rhetorical device.  I was simply giving two easily recognized examples.  I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are familiar with the eugenics movement in the US at the beginning of the 20th century.  That is the closest analogy of the results of well-intentioned (at least to the practitioners) ideals with harmful results that I can think of at this exact moment.  The point is that the world is always too complicated for even the best (or worst) thought out philosophy.  The argumentative connection is that this is the sort of thinking that arises from abstracting humans (the pieces on the chessboard mentality).  Hmmm, maybe this is an even closer analogy: the efforts of christian missionaries in certain native cultures.   Believe it or not, I do realize that Stallman has exactly zero chance of coming to political power.  I understand that the point is not directly related to their conversation.  It is relevant to the overarching ideas in their conversation. 

    Stallman does not have a philosophy, only a critique.  The critique is a valuable one, but it is actually just a less thoughtful version of one well over a century old.  Furthermore, the earlier thinkers go beyond Stallman to offer solutions.

    Yep, Alan is more analytically thoughtful.  As a pretty analytical person myself, I often prefer his style.  But that’s just me.  Bryan does seem to have an ego, but it doesn’t seem to get in the way that much.  Remember that this is the Linux Action Show, not the Chomsky / Foucault debate.  Bryan was doing an on the spot debate with someone who has been making the same speech  for years (and actually did pretty well, considering … Bryan, that is).   

    Finally, Bryan was not lying.  He was merely taking Stallman’s arguments to their logical conclusion as it concerned his situation.  Yeah, he exaggerated some of the consequences, but so what?  You seem to be a student of rhetoric, so you surely realize that hyperbole, or exaggeration for effect, is a hugely common rhetorical technique.  One of the more honest ones, too, as it depends on the audience recognizing it.

    Well, enjoyed it, but it’s lunch time.

  154. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    We are not journalists.  We were two guys talking to Richard about topics that interested us mutually… even if we don’t agree.

    Just because we don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk.

    If you work on un-free software, Stallman’s point is that you are acting in an un-ethical way and it would be the best thing possible (regardless of the consequences… including the well-being of any children you have) to quit your job immediately (or to simply “fail”).

  155. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Agreed.  (Plus… RMS also lives off donations from companies like IBM, Oracle, HP, Google, etc.)

  156. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Apples and oranges.

    My issues with Apple stem from a distribution deal with a company which is failing to live through on its end of the contract.  This issue could be happening, right now, even if every company in question also used the GPL on all software.  It’s a distribution and payment dispute, not a licensing dispute.

    And I did not call him a lunatic.  In fact you are the first person I’ve heard from in response to the interview that has used that word at all.

  157. Munro of Borg Says:

    Great guest, great points on both sides. It’s was enjoyable to see them disagree so much.  

    We all don’t live in an ivory tower, we must create value in someway to survive and prosper. 

    Leave a bowl full of candy on your porch on Halloween with a sign that says take one please, how many minutes until someone scoops the whole bowl at once? 

    I have kids to feed also, being an IT person has allowed my kids to have a decent standard of living, and if all goes well I can pay their way through university. I don’t think I could if my only income was selling purple mods in SWTOR for RL cash.   

  158. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Re-watch the interview.  I asked RMS repeatedly to clarify or retract what he said.

    He was CRYSTAL clear that he thinks I am unethical if I do not “fail” and let my daughter starve.  This is not me being dramatic.  This is what he actually says he thinks.  No room for debate there.

    The only debate should be: is this right or wrong?

  159. Spanielvsrock80 Says:

    I was a little upset at Bryan’s not understanding and getting vexed.  
    Yes he had a  purist view cos he feels that the world would be a better place with freedom.
    PS Your video player is not work with my browser chromium 17.0.963.78 ubuntu 11.10 

  160. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Proprietary software licensing is not wrong.

    It’s a license.  An optional one.  If it suites the needs of the project, great.  If not, use a difference license for the project.

    I use proprietary software.  I make it.  I also make and use software licensed under the GPL.  Neither is more ethical than the other.  They’re just software licenses.

  161. Bryan Lunduke Says:

    Stallman refused to answer my question directly.

    I asked for concrete, practical ideas (which RMS and I talked about how that would be a primary topic via email before the show).

    He responded by dodging the question entirely and declaring me unethical (And that nobody should have children and should always work in factories).

    I asked repeatedly.  I have no need for Stallman to change.  What I wanted was for him to present his ideas on how to build this world he wants.  At least an idea.  A thought.  But we got nothing but an attack on people as a whole.  A vicious one.

    This man has been paid to think about this topic for a long time now.  And, despite that, the only response he had was to attack.

  162. Digitalbigsky Says:

    Chris, If you want to make money at podcasting I recommend not repeating episode 200. Otherwise you will end up like Fox News. Nobody legit and liberal will ever agree to go on Fox. Poo pooing your influential guests, especially after the interview – will warn other influecers not to appear. Eventually, you will be like Glen Beck. 
    I like your co-host on Tech Snap I bet he would be more mature than Bryan. Sometimes doing business with friends doesn’t work to your own best interest. 
    Look at Lawrence Lessig, he is working with certain Tea Partiers on limiting money in politics. He doesn’t agree with everything they have to say but sees an opportunity to collaborate and takes it. That’s smart politics.

  163. Zek The Penguin Says:

    There was an argument that if something is sold then it isn’t free and, therefore, a person charging for a creation is unethical, but where does it end? True, a fraction of the country’s workforce is made up of programmers, but what about artists, musicians, and any other creative work? It seems Stallman would have the entirety of the creative wold unemployed (at least in their field), which is ridiculous! I’m all for freedom of use and the freedom to share, etc., but come on! There is a vast difference between locking software down to a point of being unable to modify it and giving software away. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Linux and how the community chips in to make so many great applications totally free! However, I also have no problem paying ten bucks for a great game that I get hours and hours of entertainment from. Totally forgot just how black and white RMS is!

  164. Dave12345 Says:

     I appreciate the contribution of GNU that stallman did. But I am on
    Brian’s side. In the real world we need income to sustain our lives. We
    need to pay rent/mortgage and put food on the table and cloths on our

    I am not a software developer but if they heard what stallman said they would not agree with him.

  165. Doodle Says:

    I disagree with you; but when he’s talking to the “open source” crowd, I think Stallman does a relatively bad job at getting his views across. Again, as I said in a different comment; I can understand some of your frustration. 

    It’s difficult to argue with him, not necessarily because he’s right (although I happen to think he is if you ignore the comments about procreation), but because you simply don’t agree with his fundamental premise, that is that we should think about computing and software in terms of ethics. Yet there are rights and wrongs in nearly every area of our lives, and software is extremely important not only on a personal level but on a societal level as well. In some cases we can do something about those “wrongs”, in others we can’t.

    But if you think that proprietary software isn’t wrong anyway, why do you ask for a solution? Why do you want to know what to “do about it” if you think there’s nothing wrong with “it” in the first place?

  166. franzkafka Says:

    Great show. Great guest. Very interesting. Controversial, yes. Intriguing, yes. Sure to rile up the community, yes. Definitely a good listen. Probably a little uncomfortable to listen to at parts, but Stallman is a radical – radical’s are going to be polarizing. I also think Bryan has nothing to apologize for – his view is different from Stallman’s and certainly less radical. I think that any time you have a radical and a less radical / more conservative person in conversation there is going to be conflict.

    Great job, guys. Thanks for gritting your teeth and getting through it. Very good listen. Thank you.

  167. Doodle Says:

    Two wrongs (in this case proprietary software and letting children starve) don’t make one right.

    Why should the fact that you use something that he considers to be bad (proprietary software) to do something good (feeding your daughter) make him change his mind about the bad thing?
    It’s completely unrelated to whether or not proprietary software is right. I’m pretty sure people who sell DRM or patent lawyers could use the exact same arguments you use. Would that make you change your mind about DRM and software patents?

  168. Techcore Says:

    I do agree, with you loveit or leave it . Stallman is wayyyyyyyy off. This is not a perfect ideal world, we all have the freedom of choice. Its our decisions that make or break us. Until pepole get to understand the effects of Big business and what they sign up for when they buy software from Microsoft  etc…,then we cant expect them to come over to a free software/ open source world.  Lots of people still believe that all software is free !  

  169. Galdere Says:

    I think he did answer your question directly, but when it became clear he wasn’t going to go over the fine details of deconstruction you took that to heart.

    Yeah, he said you are unethical, but he certainly didn’t say everyone should work in factories, where do you get off making this stuff up? He did say it’s not necessarily a good idea to have children, but that was only because you brought your child into the debate and he was dismissing what wasn’t really relevant to the topic at hand.

    It wasn’t an attack on people as whole, it was an reason for a change of purpose for 0.0001% of the population who you happen to be one of.

  170. David Miller Says:

    “Radicalism says nothing about what you’re radical about, only that you’re serious about your beliefs.  I respect that.”  I don’t, unless those beliefs are worthy of respect.  Look pal, I just used friggin Pol Pot and the Nazis as examples of people who were very committed and serious in their beliefs.  I’m pretty sure you don’t respect them, right?!  

    Yeah, I listened to the interview…  Did you?  Cause here’s an example: “Why do you people always miss the fucking point?  Nobody says it’s unethical to sell software”  Stallman said that it was unethical for Bryan to sell his software, since it was proprietary.  He said it was unethical for other people to do so also.  Yep, I know he didn’t issue a blanket statement that it was wrong to sell any software.  He was crystal clear about which situations it would be acceptable in.  The unfortunate reality that you can’t seem to grasp is that his assertion is absurd.  You should be able to sell all the proprietary software you want.  You know why?…..  Because no one has to buy it.  That’s right — if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.  If the vast majority of people agree with you and don’t buy it, then there you go.  If they do, then there you go again.  I will tell you this, though, (as I stated more fully in an earlier post)… if all the people who complain about proprietary software would sit down and develop open-source software that was better (pay attention now —  it has to be better and there has to be a full suite of it)  then proprietary software would never be a problem.  

    As I plainly said, whether he has a mouth to feed or not, while important in the real world, is irrelevant in abstract discussion.  He doesn’t need justification because what he is doing is not unethical.  NO ONE IS FORCED TO BUY HIS SOFTWARE!  Don’t like it?  Don’t buy it.  Like it?  Buy it.  How is this hard to understand?  

    Finally, let’s turn this around.  Why should everything be open-source?  I like when it is, no doubt.  I also think that open-source software will end up being better in the long run (though in many cases we are not there yet).  But neither of those postulates provides any reason why software HAS to be open source.  So what is the reason that all software should be open-source?  Well?  I am not asking what the good things about open-source software are; I know those already.  I am asking why all software must be open-source.  

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  171. Galdere Says:

    It has nothing to do with whether you provide for your family or not, only how you use your skills as a programmer or not. You’re a really clever guy who shouldn’t have laid the hypothetical body of your child at his feet in response to being branded unethical. It wasn’t a personal attack until you made it one.

  172. Bryan Says:

    NEXT WEEK on the Linux ACTION Show !  Bryan argues the merits of Veal farming with a Vegan, then Contraception with a Cardinal.  HE IS UNSTOPABLE!

  173. David Miller Says:

    He clearly did not answer the question directly.  Okay, maybe my hearing is poor, so type his answer for me… He had no ideas whatsoever (or at least did not offer them) as to how one achieved his particular vision.  
    No, Stallman did not say that everyone should work in factories.  But he did say that software developers who were doing what he considered unethical work should either find “ethical” work writing one shots for companies or do something else.  What do you think that “do something else was?”  Be a dentist?  An architect? An engineer?  A lawyer?  Seriously pal, name the fall-back profession that all of the “non-ethical” (yes, those are scare quotes) software developers should take up.  That was the reason for the information in my post earlier (which Bryan, unlike most white-collar workers, seems to understand).  The only other job that 95% of software developers would be qualified for is menial labor (either clerical or manual).  I value their labor, however, and am willing to pay or not pay for software that I want — whether it is open-source or not.

    How is a person’s child, or wife, or grandmother that lives with him or whatever, not relevant to a discussion about how you make your living?  In the real world, children do have to be provided for.  It is an actual concern.  Whether one should have children is an important, but separate question.  Bryan’s child already exists.  Nuff said there.

    “Fine details of deconstruction”  What are you, a sophomore literature student? (My first degree was English / Philosophy — not just hating on “educated” people)  He gave no details, fine or otherwise, on how his ideal society might work.  As I pointed out before, he has merely a critique.  

    Ball is now in your court, friend

  174. Galdere Says:

    His implementation is so straightforward it could seem implausable, so as to not want to register at all with some. Again, I’m not saying I agree with it so please stop talking to me as if I’m advocating because I’m not, I’m just saying that this even more of a pretence and a personal attack to counter based on a lie sucks big time. Suggesting he wants children to die etc. is BS. To suggest that hordes of programmers would be slaving away on building sites instead and claiming food stamps for the kids is scaremongering nonsense. Just read what Bryan has just said David, about attacking people as a whole and that for sure Stallman said everyone should work in factories. All this to justify saying he wants his kid to die. Stallman’s ideas are probably pie in the sky but essentially harmless and not a personal attack, compared to bullying him back in such a distasteful way, that was a major low for Bryan who is a decent person really.

  175. HA Says:

    I have to say, I didn’t find this LAS to be one of your better episodes. Being a fan of LAS for a long while, I knew that you two had very different view points than RMS and I had hoped you’d take him on a lot more. See, the issue with RMS is that he is arguing on a very idealistic level. He has a very particular world view and so he starts with those ideas first and then builds out his beliefs from there. Everything has to conform to that idealistic view – there’s no room for nuance or practicality. So, it’s a bit futile arguing anything like software freedom or other finer points with him, unless you address his fundamental beliefs in how the world should work, because the discussion ends up going around in circles otherwise.

    You guys, on the other hand, are much more practical. You believe in spreading software freedom by acknowledging reality and then figuring out ways to loosen the shackles. Stallmans ideas require a complete french revolution and guillotines before it can be put into practice. His ideas are basically anti-capitalistic (I don’t know if you could call it communist, but it bears a resemblance) and completely at odds with the world we actually live in, so it would require a complete restructuring of everything.

    So, I was a bit disappointed in your show, because I think you were hoping he might acknowledge the other side of the argument and you won’t get that from RMS. He only sees things one way, but at least you can say that he is consistent.

  176. Doodle Says:

     “I don’t, unless those beliefs are worthy of respect. “Yeah that too of course. I thought that was self-evident. I ignored your comparison to the nazis and pol pot because I think it’s unnecessary to even bring them up when talking about free software… What I meant to emphasize was that radicalism isn’t inherently bad, and I think puritanism is, which is why I wouldn’t call Stallman a puritan.

    “Yeah, I listened to the interview…  Did you?”

    The fact that the important variable is “propriateray” not “selling” didn’t seem clear to you the way you phrased your statement. I’m glad to see that you’re aware of the fact that we don’t say that selling software is unethical, only that selling (or simply distributing (makes no difference to us)) proprietary software is.

    “You should be able to sell all the proprietary software you want.  You know why?…..  Because no one has to buy it. ”

    First of all, we’re not talking about whether one should be able to, but about whether one should.
    Secondly; no one has to buy cigarettes, no one has to buy homeopathic medecine, no one has to buy fake penis enlarging pills, etc. That doesn’t mean that it’s ethical to sell all these things.

    “Why should everything be open-source?”

    There are so many reasons why software should be free (in the sense that it should respect the user’s freedoms). Here’s a (somewhat personal) non-exhaustive take on this:  
    Code represents knowledge, and with knowledge comes control. I think it is very unwise to let just a few private entities who don’t always have our best interest at heart to have a monopoly over that knowledge because it makes it very easy for them to control us, and they do.
    Our society relies on machines to function, and many of these machines can either run for or against us depending on the code that runs them. So it partly boils down to control. If the code is proprietary, the owner (not always evil) of the code controls you through the program he gave you; you, the user, don’t control the program and by extension the machine on which you run the program. I think we should all at least have the means (the code) to be in total control over the things we own and the tools on which we rely for pretty important stuff.

    Then there’s the simple reality that the information age changes everything. There are marginal costs to copying a car, but nowadays there are no marginal costs when it comes to copying software and knowledge. This means that it is possible to make available to everyone who has a computer something as important and vital to modern society as knowledge and software, at only the cost of one copy. Imagine if you could bake a bread, then copy that bread at no additional cost whatsoever. 

    Would it be ethical to stop people from giving bread to people because they want control over where the bread comes from? And say you get hold of the recipe for that bread and improve it to be more nutritious, would it be ethical to make it illegal for you to improve this recipe? What if some people are allergic to some of the ingredients and you want to adapt it but can’t, and the allergic are dependent on the good will of the company that has control over this vital resource? Not only do I not want to live in such a world, I think such a world would be tyranny. I am aware of the fact that this metaphor is far from perfect, but it’s useful.

    Now the only way to avoid a society where knowledge is treated as a commodity in the world of computing (and the world of computing is now a big part of society) is to use free software. I could go on but it’s getting late…

    But that’s just my take on things… the following sources might be more convincing or clearer.

    Check out:
    If you’re more of a leftist you might enjoy Eben Moglen’s take, but you can appreciate his points regardless of your political views, it’s just mired with traditional socialist language (I don’t even know if Moglen is a socialist… I don’t think so, but I could be wrong):

  177. Guest Says:

    Just wanted to say I have bought both sic and 2299 THe game I enjoy them and I’m pretty sure I am still free I’m happy to pay for software when I want to a d if I don’t well then theirs always the pirate bay

  178. Uipe Says:

    If I should fight for everyone’s right to be free why should I take their right to relinquish some of their own freedom ?

  179. Jim Says:

     From the looks of the following video, he seems to also live off of eating his toe fungus…

    Don’t worry ….. It wasn’t proprietary or open source toe fungus. It must have been “free” toe fungus.

  180. Anonymous Says:

    Revolution shows the split between Stallman and Eric  —

  181. Erik Imes Says:

    Sorry after reading the comments I have no desire to watch the RS part.  He is really weird. He reminds of old timers who wish for the good ole days and old hippies. I don’t know if that makes sense.  I think it is a great idea to software that is open source. Great stuff but there is nothing wrong with propriety software either.

  182. Alex Holdsworth Bex Haigh Says:

    Really excellent show, cheers gents, moar plx!!

    The unfortunate side effect of DRM models and proprietary code is the stifling of creativity – despite what can be created with those tools.

    I suspect quite a lot of people agree with RMS on a fundamental level, however the practicalities of the world we face today don’t afford the vast majority of us the luxury of putting our money (or no money) where our mouths, or at least hearts, are. 

    Bryan: I felt you had a good, albeit obviously (and hilarious in places – sorry!) frustrating attempt to get solutions at a granular level to the problems of those working in creating proprietary software who wanted an economically viable “out” and yes, it’s a shame the only solution on offer was so glaringly simple as to sound trite and dismissive – “don’t do it”. =/

  183. Peregrine_Falcon Says:

    Easily the most entertaining episode of LAS ever. I am sorry Bryan that you found out that Stallman is a lunatic. It’s never easy when we discover that our heroes aren’t larger than life after all.

  184. Xavier Says:

    In this context Bryan is asking RMS to judge the importance of interest A and interest B in a particular situation where they conflict. Its possible that RMS simply didn’t want to get any gray the the black and white he was painting, and lacked the social grace to handle it better.

    Life is painted with shades of gray. One person having a child doesn’t require the universe mathematically preclude open software. The converse is also true, but harder for me to form a sentence around.

  185. Jason Benoit Says:

    Would you consider it wrong if proprietary software meant that you got paid less than you would if you wrote FOSS? What if it meant people could lose their lives, say because they were unable to legally modify badly written code that governed their pace maker or the breaks in a fly-by-wire vehicle? Would you say it is a case of caveat emptor? Should they just go without the pace maker?

    I see your point of view about success when proprietary software is made Bryan, but I liken it like this. Proprietary software is a gift, however it is delivered with a backhand. Sometimes a gentle tap, sometimes it hits hard.

    Now here is my sincere belief, and that was before I considered that most code written is custom. I think the proprietary mindset and power structure we currently have actually holds down everyone. Would Microsoft not be as wealthy? Perhaps. But they could also be richer in things other than money, with an enhanced society. Proprietary software requires often times great inefficiencies including recreating the wheel.

    I have some ideas on solutions, and am working on them. I am not the greatest programmer, but it is but one thing I must learn, besides so much that I have already.

  186. Robertx65 Says:

    You sir are missing all of RMS’s points. We in this society have been made slaves to money, this discussion is way deeper than the confines of software.

  187. DrKay Says:

    Richard Stallman has done a great things for computer users through the Free Software Foundation and it’s (probably costly) development of, maintenance of, and enforcement of, their GPL open source licenses, which benefit free software users and developers greatly, and I am grateful for his noteworthy contribution to free software.

    However, the bottom line is this: Most of us want the option to use free software, whereas Stallman insists that everyone should only use free software. Which is more free for us individuals?

    Common ground with Stallman would be in the fight against companies that seek to prevent free software from being used or developed through filing of patents and the like.

  188. Jason Benoit Says:

    I think you’re both right. Non-free software is unethical, period. Not feeding a child is unethical, period. This is a product of the evils of society and how our hands are forced to make tough decisions on purpose, because as long as we’re forced, we’re not free… The lessor of two evils in your scenario very well may likely be to feed your daughter. Now if that software I wrote and then sold meant that poor or different race/nation of people couldn’t legally run a desalination machine in the event of a global water shortage because they couldn’t pay the new “owners” of the software, I personally couldn’t make that choice at the cost of many dehydrating, even if it meant the cost of one of my family member’s life. But that is a decision that is each our own.

    I’ve heard RMS make the argument of choosing the lessor of two evils by advocating for violating copyright and to share non-free software. I disagree, generally. I believe in obeying the law, period, with but a few exemptions. If it meant I had to cause harm, then it’d be unethical to obey the law, for example.

  189. Robertx65 Says:

    Your wrong; I listened to the interview several times, you tried to play I’m just trying to feed my family card, and he responded with your not special if your selling proprietary software, he remained consistent with his believes. Bryan you took it personal, and for your information he is not the only one that suggest we stop having babies that is a subject that may be outside of the linux action show, there are many books, studies and documentary’s that address this. You took that out of context, I don’t think he was mean at all.   

  190. Doodle Says:

    All I’m saying is he shouldn’t expect Stallman to say “yeah since you got a child to feed go ahead and make proprietary software, it’s not that unethical after all”. It would make no sense at all. 

    The “I have a child to feed” argument is just fallacious BS. No shades of grey about it.

  191. Stephen Bell Says:

    Stallman is like the Stalin of GNU. Help everybody, or die.

    Bryan, my hate off to you. I am no developer, in any way shape or form, I can’t even write a script to change my background correctly. I am simply a computer lover who likes the idea of OpenSourceSoftware,. However I would not have been able to hold my tongue as well as you.. I had to skip ahead a few times because he really was making me angry. You have gone up so much in my view by being able to stay (pretty) calm while having someone so, antagonistic. I really wish I had been able to see the live stream now, bet you ranted a bit after the interview, because you were way to calm after the “break”. And that is something I would like to see/hear. You wouldn’t happen to have a copy??? :)

    I like kids to eat too.  Just saying.

  192. Marco Shamas Says:

    Richard Stallman received the Takeda Awards(1,2 million dollards) and MacArthur Fellows Program(500’000).

  193. Anonymous Says:

    RMS clearly displayed the problem with most radical leftist. (I consider myself a Marxist to a great extent)

    RMS sees the world in only Black and White and can not create a viable and practical economic model for change. Bryan was simply asking for a model for change and got “go work at Burger King”, Not practice at all and if this is going to be his only alternative, he will fail and the powers that be will only grow stronger. 

  194. Miguel Says:

    This interview was not so great. As a disclaimer I don’t really like RMS, but it would have been great to hear his views on a number of important topics. Instead Brian spend half of the time talking about how to solve his personal issues. I think I am done with this broadcast and its stupid ads.

  195. Marco Shamas Says:

    Communism is different because is the central state  that tell you what you should do.  If you notice Stallman doesn’t ask for laws to force people and companies to deliver only Free Software. The idea is that the people choose to make or use free software.  

  196. Marco Shamas Says:

    Free software doesn’t always mean that is free (in $$$). Many programmers sell customized software to their clients that will be used internally. You can even  hire a programmer and make him sign a Non Disclosure Agreement even if the program is under GPL.

  197. StandardGnome Says:

    Stallman already had fame among hackers as the author Emacs, long before GNU was an idea and long before Linus started Freax/Linux.

    RMS would have produced far more than Emacs, gcc and gmake. We’re talking about a guy who quit a first-class position at MIT to write a Free Software Unix clone. There are hundreds of programs in a Unix like operating system, so he would have needed to write many of the programs himself (in areas where he perhaps had the expertise) and then of course press other third-party packages into GNU if the license so permitted it.

    The reason he calls it GNU/Linux and insists users of the operating system do so to, is to call users attention to the ideas of software freedom. You see, when you’re already familiar with the name “Linux”, but hear “GNU/” too, you instantly think “hmm, what’s that all about? What’s GNU and where can I find information about it?

    So you’ll hit DuckDuckGo, and be exposed to sites like and

    Personally, I do not like to correct-speak and call what we refer to as “Linux”, “GNU/Linux”. In fact, despite the temptation to do so I prefer to not call the entire stack “Linux” either. I simply use the name of the distribution, such as Ubuntu or Android, and disregard Linux and GNU as a smaller components of the larger product.

    To call the entire distribution stacks “GNU/Linux” or even “Linux” belittles the contributions of hundreds of thousands of other people and that’s just wrong, in my opinion.

  198. Jason Benoit Says:

    He can “give it away” if he chooses to. But you’re placing “his” heart and soul over other’s hearts and souls when it is distributed via a license enforced with the barrel of a gun through legal action trying to discourage them not to use knowledge (code) they possess. If you want to get paid for it, get paid before you distribute it, not after it’s out in the wild.

  199. Jony121 Says:

    Sponsord by

  200. Neliton Says:

    Of course
    it’s ok to disagree. Problem is that you should have shown some
    respect for your guest and for the ideas he stands for, radical as
    they may sound, not calling them “crazy ridiculous” just
    because you have another point of view. Besides that, to keep talking
    about feeding your kids was just childish and annoying, as if you’d
    like to have the final word on the subject. Is that more important to
    the show than discussing your guest’s’ ideas? You like stolen the
    focus with your behavior to the point that your guest had to suggest
    you to move on and change the subject.I believe that he
    addressed your question from the very beginning, when he said that
    programmers can make money developing customized software for their
    clients. He seems to see programmers mostly as service providers
    rather than product developers. This scenario may not seem attractive
    enough to you, and I do think that the software world would in this
    case be pretty boring for both developers and users. But the guy HAS
    to stick with his principles. We’re talking about the guy who created
    all the free software concept and movement. Don’t you think he must
    be radical to counter-balance the power of an industry that relies on
    the proprietary concept? Would you blame him for acting this way
    instead of being more practical?All that said, I still think
    LAS is a great show and that you guys generally do a brilliant job
    presenting it. By the way, I’m really glad that you are back, Bryan
    (I do like Alan, but the “action” part of the show was just
    missing). Keep it going!

  201. André Fettouhi Says:

    I was hoping that RMS would answer Bryan’s question because it is a viable one. RMS standpoint seems to be that proprietary software shouldn’t exist and trying to turn proprietary software into free software is a mute point because it shouldn’t exist in the first place.

  202. Jouko Voutilainen Says:

    I like freedom and open software, but Richard Stallman is way too much extreme for me. I’m making a game right now and I want some money for it because like Brian, I have a child, and unlike Richard Stallman, I have other priorities than supporting an ideology. My family does in fact go before these ideas. I don’t want to rip anyone off, I would gladly make games for free, if I could guarantee financial security to my family. Brian, we should hook up and make DRM -free games and make a ton of money. 

  203. Mario Williams Says:

    Exactly, see Bryan even explained that he emailed RMS asking the same thing he asked on the show. I’m sorry but this wasn’t the time to do so. They could have used the interview to go in depth on a million of topics, instead Bryan kind of screwed it up by basically wanting RMS to have a chat with him, totally forgetting a) this was supposed to be an interview not Bryan asking RMS for advice on this business, and b) Chris was totally overshadowed by the constant bickering that was going on, Chris even looked uncomfortable just being there. You can tell Chris wanted to ask other things and go in other directions but Bryan just threw this interview to waste. 

  204. Mshelby1 Says:

    Stallman comes off as a bully. He’s not ‘brilliant’ if he has no ability to have a real debate. And debate is what he acts like he wants to have. His style of speech, the cadence, the accent on beginning & end of words… all of it is intended to bully his ‘interviewer’ to allow him to discuss only as he feels like discussing. He refuses to consider questions he does not have a ‘pat’ answer for. He is all for ‘software freedom’ as long as HE is the one who gets to decide what that means. In his world, his is the only definition. 

  205. Sandy Says:

    THANK YOU! Yes! This is exactly the way I feel but I am not smart enough to put it into words. You did it for me. Thank you.

  206. Michael Huff Says:

    You’re not wrong. You were absolutely 100% on the money. And your family is not a card to be played. They’re people and you clearly care about them. I respect that much more than people who simply want to get stuff for free. I’d like a free car myself. But someone somewhere had to pay for it somehow.

  207. Mshelby1 Says:

    Stallman doesn’t get it. Bryan’s example of the painter and the painting was a good one. Stallman believes he actually has the right to share someone else’s artwork without their permission simply because he saw it? What? That’s theft! That’s not ethical! Also, many software developers are hired from schools of higher learning. If those developers remain unpaid they are unable to re-contribute financially to society. If you extrapolate that example, how will those schools of higher learning continue to train developers? Money makes the world go around. Proprietary software makes money. get over it.  

  208. Fat Rastus Says:

    Money? No, we’re been made slaves by the property owners in this world.  The  bourgeoisie rule over every industry and practically every aspect of society; even the illegal aspects of the market are ruled by the bourgeoisie elite.  I don’t want to come across like a communist, not their is anything wrong with that, but Marx and Engels made much sense!  Read their works and I bet you agree too.

  209. Tiger Says:

    Wow! He really made you guys eat your lunch, Brian in particular. Why did you keep trying to convince him your position is just? Geeks often feel a great need to justify their position and you fulfilled your geek credentials aptly; a long interview that hashed out the same points over and over in an effort to justify your position. And I don’t agree totally with Richard, but I understand where he is coming from and he does stay on message. On one point, I also HATE it when people justify all sorts of things in the name of “the” children or “their” children. You have an obligation to feed your children, and I don’t think your wrong for writing software for a living to do it. Personally, I believe you found something you enjoy doing, that you do well, and people or companies are willing to pay you for your efforts. That’s okay in my book. Because people do have a choice. They can decide to spend their money on your software, or find a free or alternative solution. There are plenty of things I cannot do myself, so I hire someone to do those things for me. I do not want to spend the time writing a game or a piece of software when there are others who have done what I need already and I can just as easily pay them a nominal fee for it. That’s how the world works. If we didn’t have money, we’d barter.

    Now, as for the Mac comments. You guys. You are like shock jocks playing to your audience and giving them what you believe they want to hear. Apple hardware is cool from a design standpoint and very appealing because of it. It doesn’t matter that other hardware is cheaper (comparably-spec’d hardware typically is about the same price, actually), or that it is faster. Smart phone after smart phone and table after tablet has touted more memory, faster CPU, more storage, bigger screen, etc. and I have yet to see one that performs as well as an iPhone or iPad. So Linus and his kids use Mac Book Airs. Cool! They’re running Linux, right? Should they buy Dell’s? I don’t get it. Apple is letting you run other OSes on your purchased hardware and even that isn’t enough to make you hardcore Linux fanboys happy. I hate all fanboys, even Mac ones, so you’re not alone.

    As for your Mac App Store woes. There are other places to get Mac software, you know? Before the Mac App Store we actually found software on the Internet…yeah, it happened. And it still happens. In fact, I check my favorite site daily. I go to them before I even think of launching the silly App Store. MacUpdate and Version Tracker (now CNET) are two that are old stalwarts of the Mac community. Sure, a lot of newer or average Mom and Pop Mac users may just go through the App Store; it makes finding software convenient. But again, you want to poo poo on everyone because you have to justify feeding your kids. Sure, Apple needs to be responsive. But you do not know what is going on on the other end. You do not know WHY they aren’t responding. They should have a SLA that clearly lets developers know what the expectations are and how to work through their communication channels. My guess is that this problem might have affected a lot of people. They should have sent out a detailed message that let the developers know what the turnaround time would be, etc. so that you aren’t left hanging. Communication is always key, right? My problem with it is you focus on you. How it is affecting you. And why everyone should hate something because of your unpleasant experience. If you love Linux and open source software…love it. That’s fine. Talk about it. Others might be more convinced about your love for something than your hate for everything that you don’t love. End rant.

  210. Matthew E Johnson Says:

    Really great and eye opening show. I’ve always considered RMS as a figurehead of this ultimate ideal but didn’t realize that it bordered on nihilism. I agree with RMS by applying the analogy of the protection of jobs of the toxic waste truck driver, or those who are mineral mining harmful toxins, hit men, and defend the tasks by calling it job creation, but for fuck’s sake, it’s just software. And I mean it’s both the most important thing and the least important thing in our future. I think RMS is acting like it’s end times if some stupid printer driver isn’t working right. He should be applying HIS energy to thing that matter in sustaining our species, because yes, life on Earth could do much better without us, but our program is to be THE best invasive species we can be, just like the program every other living thing has. So Richard loses me when he says ‘so what’ to the developers. It really does take time and energy to create software and we have various ways the system has forced us to get payed and feed ourselves while spending the loads of time it takes to develop something good. There’s a lot of great comments here and I’m out of my league a bit but I liked the show. Bryan, to counter RMS’s philosophy, you could contribute to some free software that will save our planet, even a fraction of your time, then making games software, and getting paid is pretty honest.

  211. Patent Dispute Says:

    Two things.

    First.” And why everyone should hate something because of your unpleasant experience”So true. Leave the hatred at the door Bryan. And second. “If you love Linux and open source software…love it. That’s fine. Talk about it. Others might be more convinced about your love for something than your hate for everything that you don’t love. End rant.Exactly. These guys seem to love Linux, or so they say, but yet they bring other topics like Apple into their conversation all the time. Apple this. Apple that. Or when Chris called everyone that worked at Apple dicks on last week’s show. I understand that Apple is on the news a lot, but if you are going to devote about 5 minutes each week to talk about Apple, then do another podcast that covers Apple news and focus on Linux on this show. Honestly the news segment has become a place where the discussion starts and ends with either Apple, Oracle, how Nokia f$cked up the N9 and why Bryan loves his N900 so much, patent wars that you guys sometimes don’t understand (but I don’t fault you so much there since most podcasts are in the same bout except for Twit’s Tech News Today). 

    Sometimes the show lasts for about an hour and fifteen minutes yet an hour goes wasted into talking about all these things that just don’t matter for the purposes of the show. Then in the last twenty minuts or so, you guys review some distro, or window manager, or desktop, or cloud service. You could spend and hour reviewing the cool stuff and just fifteen minutes on news or picks of the week.

  212. Wes Belmonte Says:

    if this show gets a couple hundred views/downloads for every comment on this thread, Chris can star charging his sponsors a bit more!

  213. Anonymous Says:

     Wrong. IT AIN’T theft. You are just redifining words . THEFT requires the painter to be depossessed of the painting. He has it … Stallman has it … i Have it … no loss  .. If the painter believes he owns the painting don’t show it … or it should be reproduces.


    IF he does then Stallman has the right to defend himself , although he might not be very successful against the SLAVE-MASTERS and the many SLAVES.

    Now regarding the software …. yes Stallman is right but Bryan has it’s part of rightness. IF people want to buy HIS Freedom reducing software … who is Stallman to stop them from buying or Bryan from supplying his software , He ain’t , He can’t , And the only way he could is by being VIOLENT … if he is Violent then He should go to PRISON, I’m pretty sure he wont ever be. Yes Stallman is Right … it’s unethical to do it but unethical doesn’t mean it’s doing any damage to anyone. If i choose to cut my wrists , or choose to take a ton of drugs and die … you can’t blame the knifemaker or the drug dealer for my death… You can if you are an imbecile but then again you can blame the devil just as easy that doesn’t change the fact that I was the one that choose to do it.

    If a fraudsters tells you .. to put your money in a firm and then you find out that all the info was fake … you should loose the money , the fraudsters should remain with the money. You are Naive and you should pay for it.

    What Stallman does is he tries to convince the drug dealers that what they do is unethical …weel fine… that is the stupidity … he has to convince the addicts to stop using the drugs in the first place (Without Violence)… that’s where the problem is not the fact that there are drugs on the market.

    Violence = PHYSICAL ACTIONS AGAINST SOMEONE WITHOUT HIS/HER CONSENT. (words don’t do damage only to INSANE people.)

  214. Anonymous Says:

     Make the game free … and make it so that we can bet against each other … take a commission and join Stallman in the rethoric :D and make me support you … if on the other hand you call THE BULLY if someone copies it  well your just as bad as an RELIGIOUS EXTREMIST. Your like stallman + the Violence of the State.

  215. Xavier Says:

    Actually, I /would/ argue that writing closed software that noone has to buy /is/ more ethical than starving a child.

    I’ll just agree to disagree though.

  216. Tiger Says:

    “Why should the fact that you use something that he considers to be bad (proprietary software) to do something good (feeding your daughter) make him change his mind about the bad thing?” and there is the crux of my problem: Bryan needs so badly to get Richard to justify his own position for developing software that Richard repeatedly said is unethical, that he tries to make Richard out to be the bad guy. You guys do know who Richard Stallman is and you know how he feels about non-free software, right? You did do some research before having your guest on the show, right?

    And Bryan says, “He was CRYSTAL clear that he thinks I am unethical if I do not “fail” and let my daughter starve.  This is not me being dramatic.” Uh, sorry, but yeah. You are being dramatic. That’s not what he was saying. That’s what you heard because you took it as an insult that what you do is considered unethical in Richard’s opinion, which you do not agree with. Obviously, Richard doesn’t want any child to starve. I suppose though he could have made the counterpoint that what you were saying then is that your need to create proprietary non-free software is due to your daughter. And that if you didn’t have a child, you would be making free software. That’s not true, but that’s where you went when you tied to justify your argument. It’s pretty bad when your guest says you will have to agree to disagree and that rehashing the topic again is just a waste of time.

  217. Will Sterling Says:


      As to your wanting a practical way to move to being an Open Source developer why not try open sourcing one of your apps that you already distribute DRM free?  People already have the means to obtain the software with out paying for it.  Why not go in all the way and see if they continue to pay for the binary when they have full free access to the code?

      On another note I believe RMS’es idea of freedom are somewhat twisted.  Freedom would be users having a choice to only use free software or not.  Freedom is also creators being able to decide how they want to license their work.  Forcing creators to give their work away, which RMS clearly stated he wanted to do, is the opposite of the freedom he claims to stand for.

  218. Anonymous Says:

    This show should of been sponsored by Reynold’s Wrap since it attracted so many tin-foil hat wearing listeners.  

  219. Martin Agheough Says:

    Why so much hatred? Bryan, Chris, listen, you did a good job. You got a big name for your 200th show. He clearly as some view points that are not going to be easy to swallow to some. You guys also have a distinct way of doing things that do not necessarily sit well with everybody. The beauty of this whole thing is, if someone likes/dislikes your show they can watch/not watch.

    Keep up the good my friends.

    One request though, shorten the news segment to maybe only relevant Linux news and expand more on reviews you guys make. I would much rather know what’s up with some distro or desktop than 7 short stories. Just my $0.02


  220. Matthew E Johnson Says:

    I use dollar store brand

  221. Anonymous Says:

    Example 1: Don’t share what you don’t want to be shared.

    Example 2: Ask for payment in advance. Why should you give your work first then hope for payment , and if the employer is a dick what will you do … call the GOV? THEN YOU ARE WORSE. Your Violent.

    You keep the balance i don’t want to feed the STATE to keep it for you.

  222. Anonymous Says:

    My dollar store sells Reynold’s wrap

  223. Marco Shamas Says:

    I don’t understand why my comment about the Stallman awards was moderated. That is his main income and something a lot of people don’t know about.
    While even after reading the FSF financial report I don’t know if those companies are donating, how much, how much of that money goes in Stallman’s pockets or just covers some costs for the foundation. 
    I’m not saying it’s not true, but is there any reference?

  224. Miguel Says:

    I agree with you. Towards the end of the show I started to feel sorry about RMS, even though I think he is a bit of a dick. It seems that the whole purpose of the interview was to make him look stupid instead of having an informative discussion. Apparently the hosts consider that this is a good way to entertain their listeners a la Fox News but I don’t buy it.

  225. Ivor O'Connor Says:

    Funny how breeders think they are saintly for breeding.

    Wish the host was more mature so he could have asked RMS how to achieve those goals other than waste time on the hosts quaint breeder views.

  226. David Young Says:

    I agree with David Miller and to add to it stallman just reminds me of someone with a zealot mind set,adding the fact that he does come across as abit “I don’t care if people died because of my belief” and to make it even more simple for you to understand bryan *cough* (correct spelling) is a realist stallman is a idealist 

  227. Camdy Says:

    hehe just to make a comment on your 2nd statement yes it is an objective view because you hear some people saying that we are overpopulated and then you have other people saying that we are wasteful with food eg: we throw alot of food out.

    now we can not have both or can we???

  228. Profeff Says:

    roll on 201 i could not even make the end of that episode

  229. David Young Says:

    oh Bryan i just realized stallman did say it was ethical to sell commercial software so all you need to do is just re-label your software as commercial software,just remember it can’t be non-commercial because that is unethical.

    can anybody say hypocrite. 

  230. Jason Benoit Says:

    What you just realized was how to confuse yourself. Listen again, RMS explains accurately and corrects the host as to what commercial means. As well, he goes on to explain you can and do have libre commercial software, and that even if commercial, proprietary distributed software is always unethical.

  231. Joe 'lnxr0x' Says:

    It’s 2012 !! I appreciate what RMS has done for the open source/free software movement, but COME ON !! Get with the times !! I couldn’t even finish the podcast because all of his “ideals” don’t align AT ALL with the direction technology and digital information is moving. What a joke .. just listening to him babble gives me a headache. He’s upset that people want to make a living creating software for others to enjoy !! We as people have the “freedom” to choose if we want to spend a few bucks on an awesome indie game or app !! Go back to your cabin in the woods Stallman !!

    …. thinking of buying a Macbook now… just “because” ;) 

  232. Marshall Says:

    Actually, he did try and give at least one practical (at least somewhat practical) idea: custom-built software (which is actually the field I work in, though I will admit that while our contracts often involve providing source code to the customer, inclusion of proprietary components do make it non-free). But I get what you’re saying about a lack of practical ideas in terms of solving the state we’re already in, short of collapsing into anarchy.

    As far as the attack on people as a whole… I don’t know about that. In Richard’s mind (I’m speculating, of course), you bringing up needing to provide for you daughter is likely asking a question along the lines of “is it wrong for me to steal a loaf of bread to feed my family?” To you it seems completely wrong to put those two actions on the same level, but to Richard they are. From your perspective, he’s putting thousands of hard-working people out of work. From his perspective, it’s comparable to outlawing thievery. Both acceptable perspectives, both deserve some level of respect. I fault neither him nor you for the stances you took.  As far as where I stand myself… ugh… not any easy question.

  233. Josh Says:

    I refuse to call it gnu/linux as I feel it disrespects Torvalds’ achievement.  While GCC and company were huge tools in creating linux, I don’t believe that gives RMS right to claim his name onto someone else’s accomplishment.

    The new iPad is using a screen made by samsung, which is integral part, but you won’t see anyone calling it the samsung/apple ipad. 

  234. Doodle Says:

    You’ll find that it is always very difficult to quantify how ethical or unethical something is which is why we don’t do it when it’s not necessary. In this case it’s not necessary. 
    We’re talking about the fact that just because you have to do something unethical to avoid something unethical does NOT mean that the the first thing becomes ethical, regardless of what’s worse.If stealing is unethical, then it doesn’t become ethical because it feeds a child. You could argue that in certain extreme cases ethics don’t matter. But fortunately we don’t live in a society that forces us to disregard ethics. You know as well as I do that no child will starve just because their daddy doesn’t get to make proprietary software.And even if that were the case it wouldn’t make proprietary software ethical.

    That’s basic rational thought.

  235. Anonymous Says:

    Wow.  looks like I picked the perfect episode to come back to LAS.  Missed you Bryan!

  236. Jtt96 Says:

    Supporting your family is way more important than avoiding proprietary software.

  237. Wesmagyar Says:

    The point Richard was trying to make is simple… Say i am awesome at selling drugs or pimping whores. And i dont have any other marketable skills. 

    Just saying i have kids and i need to make money in order to feed them doesn’t justify me selling drugs and pimping whores does it? Now the two aren’t exactly comparable but they are both unethical. so the point does stand.

  238. Xavier Says:

    You seem to think of ethical as a boolean flag  Where one is just as good as another. Its ethical to help an old lady across the street, its ethical to stop genocide. I’m still ethical if I just do one of these, so I’ll just help the old lady while letting the other thing happen, they are equivalent after all. :-)

    My basic rational thought suggests the straw man I constructed above is in error. That behaving ethically involves weighing the good I can do.

    In Bryan’s case, on one hand, he accepts advertising money from companies and sells software that doesn’t include the sourcecode and explicit authorization to use it an absolutely any way the buyer chooses. On another hand, he feeds his daughter, writes open source software in a Stallman approved manner (I presume), and created a media outlet that offers convincing arguments to use software, gratis and libre.

    In a world where Stallman had a more even approach to his equivalent of stomping out genocide, I don’t think he would have alienated Bryan like he did. And I don’t think we’d be having a discussion weighing the welfare of children over the welfare of the free software movement.

  239. c0ntinuum Says:

    Bryan, why don’t you actually do some research before conducting an interview?

    Do you think it was smart to have no idea about what Richard Stallman or the FSF stands for?

    RMS has dedicated his entire life to “freedom” as applied to software (amongst other things)… Do you think you can debate effectively with a guy like that “off the top of your head”?

    Emotion has no place in reasoned debate.
    Your entire existence is not defined by the fact that you are a proprietary games developer.
    Your daughter will not stop loving you if you are e.g. a lawyer instead of a programmer.
    If you work hard in life you will always be able to feed your family.
    You cannot use “feeding your family” as an excuse for morally bankrupt behavior.

    Do yourself (and your proprietary software chums) a favor and keep your
    mouth shut if you are too lazy to provide a well-researched, synthesized
    and calmly-presented dissenting option.

  240. omichalek Says:

    Or try some crowdfunding, like Kickstarter.

    Or go with pay what you want, maybe like the Indie Humble Bundle does.

    There *are* new business models, and apparently they do work.

  241. Bryan's Gotta Eat, Too Says:

    I previously thought of Mr. Stallman as a lovable eccentric, but now I realize he’s bat guano crazy.

    Under any system but pure Communism, a being should hold rights over the fruits of their labor.  RMS seems to think that this only applies to physical work, not mental work.  If one wishes to argue in favor of Communism, that’s fine… but until adopted, to say that knowledge workers alone must give of their labor freely, while we remain under a system which requires money to survive would dwindle that class considerably.  Most of those who now support themselves as knowledge workers would seek “ethical” work in a trade, and most consumer software, art, and entertainment will be left to weekend hobbyists.

    Brian has as much right to lease his intellectual properties as Chevy has to lease its cars.  No one is compelled to agree to his terms, if they don’t feel that the value they receive is worth the price.

  242. Jason Benoit Says:

    Xaviar, I pretty much feel the same way about it. I thought of writing Stallman and giving him some feedback that his politics are interfering with his business, but in a way he might respond to. If he’s sincere, perhaps he’ll not hurt free software by mixing the two. He had no reason I see to talk about not having children, other than he isn’t the best at debating, and can be dry.

    I’m working on some solutions, and it’s good to see rational thought as yours.

  243. Steven Grey Says:

    RMS views on software are equivalent to how the Amish view Electricity.  There will be a future in which you will use proprietary software and have no choice unless you want to withdraw completely from society. 

    So much software is embedded and as a result closed.   Unless RMS takes a horse and buggy his vehicle is full of proprietary software.  If he uses an electronic device, it has proprietary software.  There is no way around it.  The analog between Hardware and Software is going to be so burred as we move to an SOC world, that Ideals like RMS will just fade into obscurity. 

    I think the problem with the interview is when the line between free software and politics blurred into anarchy. 

    I do appreciate that Bryan was true to himself and while I am sure we could have all wished he carried himself a little more professionally to the end.  I am impressed he has the boldness to spar with someone as polar as RMS.  And lets be fair.  While Bryan lost his poise, lets not let RMS get off scott-free for what he verbalized.    He basically said that those who write proprietary software are thieves and swindlers, and their children starving doesnt justify them writing proprietary software.     He equates morally proprietary software as a theft on freedom.   Its an equivocation that is not justified nor socially held.  Its extreme.  So we Criticize Bryan for expressing his feelings, but at the same time we dont criticize RMS  for his moral hierarchy .   For any reasonable person,  Bryan’s overreaction pales in comparison to Issue at hand.   RMS also is defining freedom differently.  While we in America value personal freedom.  RMS is advocating a system in which you are not enslaved, but doesnt mean you have the freedom to choose, a starkly different view lost in ambiguity of the definition of “freedom”

    While I can respect RMS as a person.  I can not respect his ideals and beliefs.   I believe in personal liberty and not “the common good”.

  244. Jason Benoit Says:

    I’ve heard RMS state that he would rather someone not use proprietary and that he wouldn’t choose it for himself. I respected that. That is not what I heard in this show. He also has talked about SAAS, or software as a service. His main point is to do your own computing, as opposed to others doing it for you. When it come to say an airline, they are using their software for their purposes, he’s just a passenger. I’ve actually decided to make the commitment to not use proprietary software to the point of “if at all possible” eventually. Anything short of life or death, even if it means I have to bike everywhere. I’ve found that doing without things like Flash tend to be liberating in many ways and I don’t waste time in distractions. It’s funny how that happens.

  245. Jonathon R. Omahen Says:

    What was incredibly frustrating, was seeing that the hosts completely do not understand the logic of RMS’s philosophy. Bryan, I also want to make software for a living. But I want to do it in a free way. RMS is *not* opposed to selling copies of software (he did it himself with Emacs), only that the software you sell has the four freedoms. Essentially, this means selling games where the engine (the non-creative system code) is under a free license (like the GPL), and the assets under a license like CC-by-nc (so that users can share exact copies, but *not* profit from it). I really want to try this myself, and intend to do it.

    As far as “art belonging to the collective,” RMS never says that or makes that point. His point is like pure free market capitalism: once you sell a copy of a published work (someone exchanges money for a copy), the buyer owns that copy. You can no longer claim ownership on something you’ve already sold. DRM effectively does this. It says, “even though you’ve bought this from me, and it’s no longer my property, I’m going to tell you what to do with it.” From that viewpoint, it’s unethical.

    I really hope that helps, and RMS doesn’t always communicate everything clearly. It’s taken me watching lots of his lectures to understand the pure logic behind it.

  246. Eric Jpmb Says:

    I am pretty sure someone already pointed that, but you tend to make it a black or white choice.
    It’s quite a short thinking to establish causality between “writing proprietary software” and “keeping my daughter alive” or “writing free (as in freedom) software” and “letting my daughter starve”.In Richard position Freedom is a principle, and proprietary software shouldn’t be allowed because it is a way of taking freedom, a way of enslavement. You can take an easy parallel with slavery, when slavery was happening in US, if you told a cotton farmer to stop using slaves he could say you the same thing “You want my daughter and wife to starve!?”. So is that “right” to keep people enslaved to keep cotton farmers families alive? History said no.The thing is that Richard is talking about Freedom, and you stick an economic problem.Making free software don’t mean people will not want to pay for it. It’s just an economic platform problem, if all the software was free (as in freedom) it would naturally make some sort of open funding system appear.Imagine how great it can be, you use a software but it miss some feature you want, so you with others persons buy that feature via open funding. And the result?- You get the feature you wanted- Software get better- Programmer feed himself and his daughterIt sounds very healthy and generous to me.A system where you don’t buy, but where you contribute (to software and everybody freedom).

  247. Zukaro Travon Says:

    I support free software, but at the same time I understand making money off software.

    Personally I think the best way to make free software and make money off it is through advertising (look at Google, they’re huge and they go that way through advertising (although they’re a search engine the point is they’ve gotten where they are through advertising)).  Now I don’t mean an advertisement in the program, no one wants that (although you can always put that in the credits as sponsors), but I mean on the site where you download the game, make people watch a 30second advertisement before they download it and generate revenue from that (or even just have ads on the side of the website).

    I think you can make more money through free software combined with advertisements like that due to the fact it’s free, so there’s no harm trying it out, and that means more people who hear about it are likely to try it out (whereas if it’s paid for you have to be sure you want it otherwise you risk wasting money if it turns out to be something you don’t want).

    That’s just my thoughts on how you could create free software while still putting food on the table.

  248. WAT Says:

    Stallman isn’t saying he doesn’t have a _right_ to do this, just that he believes it is unethical.

    Also, I think you’re sensationalizing things here a bit. No one said you can’t sell your software. Just that the buyer has a right to do what he likes with the copy he buys. I can buy a desk from you and cut it up and make a shelf out of it and that is none of your business. Conversely, you sell me a phone but I can’t run the software I want on it? I can’t change the software to work in a different country or do basically anything you don’t explicitly allow me to do. This is the problem.

  249. WAT Says:

    to you, perhaps

    if i were in a certain kind of circumstance then stealing from the market would be ‘way more important’ than avoiding stealing

    you don’t have to agree with stallman’s assertion that non-free software is unethical, of course, so let’s keep things in perspective here

  250. WAT Says:


  251. WAT Says:

    even with the broken english this was a great comment!

  252. WAT Says:

    Right because Bryan was very open minded about his views…

  253. WAT Says:

    Err no, Stallman suggested he do what the majority of software developers actually do, _custom software_.

  254. WAT Says:

    No one is saying that… Did you even watch/listen to the episode?!

  255. WAT Says:

    IS IT? Is it easy for him to struggle to get people to understand his 100% logical argument about free software being important? Come on. He’s fucking RMS. He could easily code circles around these “Linux Action Show” fools. This guy wrote GCC for crying out loud. He could be absolutely stinking rich had he not worked the past 20+ years trying to keep the Microsofts and the Oracles and the IBMs from restricting everything you do with software (successfully in many cases, I might add!).

    People with kids seem to just love using it as some kind of discussion-ending trump card: “Well, I have kids so .” or “How dare you say that me ing is unethical, I have kids to feed!”

    Guess what asshole, there are more important things than your chubby tortured-cow-carcass-eating kids getting their next ice cream sundae and interactive iPad parenting-substitute.

  256. WAT Says:

    Indeed, we should judge people’s ideas based on their quirky personal habits. Like, I could say that all the work you do is bullshit and worthless because you post douchey comments on online forums.

  257. WAT Says:

    Uhm, no. Dude. If every company in question used only GPL software, then you could still be selling your products without incident on any number of other stores.

    You just don’t get it, apparently.

  258. WAT Says:

    You are absolutely free to call it Linux. That doesn’t make it correct, however, and you’re kind of acting like a dick. No worries. You are allowed to be a dick. Carry on.

  259. WAT Says:

    Uhm, what!? HOW can you not understand that the PAYING for it has nothing to do with it whatsoever. WOW. Honestly, I am continually shocked by this sort of shit. Well, actually I guess if I’m being honest I’m not shocked anymore… *sigh*

  260. WAT Says:

    You’re a classy guy, Michael.

  261. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks … could you please point to where was my English broken.( I’m not native English speaker ) 

  262. Fat Rastus Says:

    At first I thought that was a picture of Jesus.. Then he stated talking!

  263. Earl Cameron Says:

     he did say that he didn’t think your business was dishonest!

  264. Jose Fernandez Says:

    One more douche on an ethical high horse, I like Linus Torvalds a lot better. Not to say that I don’t agree with some of his ideas, but his tone is just quasi-religious. 

  265. Anonymous Says:

    Er, yes… he said go work somewhere else, multiple times.

    Not that Bryan should worry about having to do so. Radical leftist like RMS will NEVER get their views on this to remotely stick, the average person wont buy it. 

  266. WAT Says:

    The thing about ethics is that we all get our own set. They invited RMS on the show, presumably, just to LOL and snicker at his views on what he obviously considers to be an important issue for society.

  267. WAT Says:

    Correction. YOU invited him on the show to do that. Shame on you. GNU/Linux Douche Show.

  268. WAT Says:

    Once again, this has nothing to do with money and everything to do with freedom. You appear to equate something that is free of cost to something that is free as in free of restrictions. Stop doing that.

  269. WAT Says:

    You’re missing the point entirely.

  270. WAT Says:

    No no no. The airline is the one giving up it’s freedom by using the non-free software. It’s just silly to conflate these things. Listen more closely to what RMS is saying.

  271. WAT Says:


  272. WAT Says:

    It’s not a big deal, I was able to read it without trouble.

    It was mostly stuff like pluralization/tense problems (like ‘reproduces’ in the first paragraph should have been ‘reproduced’). Minor stuff like that for the most part.


  273. WAT Says:

    What does that have to do with the argument? He’s saying “I write software, non-free software is wrong in my opinion, so I will not write it. I consider writing non-free software to be unethical. If I were in a position where I was writing non-free software I would stop and write free software instead.”

    There is no ‘model’ for making “don’t steal” and “don’t kill” work. People have to agree that those things are bad and not do them. Just because that’s unlikely to happen doesn’t mean the argument is worthless. Get over yourself.

  274. Erik Imes Says:

    Just listen to RS. I am not sure about right wing economic policies…actually we have a lot of restrictions on trade in the US. The founding fathers expected us to trade freely with others.  We really changed the economic policy in the US after the 1900s.  Which began to switch us to more of a progressive maybe left wing type of economic policy.  Our economic policy is mostly based on keynesian economics and corporatism.  I guess by today’s terms right wing economics would be Austrian economics which of course we do not practice.  

    Sorry about the rant but in general worldwide no country practices capitalism. Which I am feel is what RS is talking about.  Which is not true.  The US does not practice capitalism.  It is corporatism.  

    I agree with him about NDAA and liberty….he should be using liberty not freedom.  Freedom is much different than liberty.  I am ranting again. Sorry.  I just love liberty…and the US.  I just hate when people get capitalism with corporatism.  And we have diverged so much from the true meaning of liberty and what Jefferson and Madison viewed in the constitution. Sorry for ranting again.

  275. Erik Imes Says:

    That is why he says freedom and not liberty….liberty is much different than freedom

  276. Anonymous Says:

    Get over yourself? Really?

    Dude, you have your head so far up your ass that a hiccup is now a fart. 

    You are clueless, totally clueless. You’re actually being ultra selfish and demanding that developers that have spent time and energy, perfecting their craft work in a way so that all your software is free, games included.  Get out of your” black and white” world and join reality.  

  277. Erik Imes Says:

    Bryan is wrong about the money situation…money is printed by the Federal Reserve with no restrictions….large businesses and corporations  are the beneficiary of that money printing.  Basically government’s businesses they like to see make it big.   

  278. Anonymous Says:

    I have spelling problems in maternal language also :))

  279. DubbaC Says:

    Oh bloody hell. . .

    Go back to youtube and watch more fucking Ron Paul videos.

    P.S. He’s not going to win shit! 

  280. Anonymous Says:

     I definitely agree.

  281. Anonymous Says:

     You don’t have to convert the vegan or the Fucking Cardinal .. You have to win the masses bro :D. You missed the point.

  282. Anonymous Says:

     Well said. Thank you.

  283. Myersg Says:

    it turns out RMS is 1) a communist 2) free software and closed code programs, should be to the freedom of the people to decide what they want to use, that is true freedom! not being forced to use free software.  BryanLunduke I hope will get enoth money from his software to feed his family, and that in my opinion is more important

  284. splicer Says:

     I found it uber frustrating that Richard kept cutting you guys off mid-sentence to argue a point you hadn’t even finished making yet. Idealist or not, RMS could at least have the human decency to allow others to finish stating their arguments before stating his owm.

  285. Miguel Says:

     By now we all know rms’ stance on proprietary software. There is no point in asking over and over if it is fine for Brian to write closed-source software for a living. He may try a crowdsourcing funding model and release his software products using an open source license. In any event whatever he may choose it is likely the world will keep on turning. By the end of the episode it was very hard to discern who was being sillier. This is a phenomenal achievement when you are talking with rms.

  286. Robbie drbob Straw Says:

    Now that I’ve listened to the interview all the way through, I think RMS finally made an argument I have to agree with. That justifying the so-called unethical practice of developing proprietary software is no difference than a thief justifying stealing to feed his family.

    If an act is morally/ethically wrong there is no justification for it.

    Now whether or not you agree with RMS’ ethics is a different question entirely; but I can at least understand his point of view a bit more.

    The thing about RMS, and part of the reason he interrupts so much, is because he works very hard to explain his premise so that your arguments with him are less convoluted. Its part of the reason he makes the distinction between commercial/proprietary, or Linux and GNU/Linux. He makes sure you’re arguing on his terms so that the argument doesn’t side-step (what he has defined as) important issues.

  287. Fat Rastus Says:

    What is wrong with Communism?  It’s no better or worse than Capitalism.  You’re view of Communism has undoubtedly been twisted by the media and pop-culture.  Stalin and Mao ruled under a Communist system but that only means that the Stalin and Mao regimes were cruel and ruthless not that Communism is bad.  Bye the way… I’m not advocating Communism, but then again I’m not advocating Capitalism either….   However,  after an extensive study of  PoliSci I have come to understand that Private property ownership isn’t working as the wealthy and elite have sucked up most of the globe!  Don’t tell me, “Hey, I own my house!”  Try not paying your RE taxes and then come back and tell me your a home owner! 

    As far as RMS stance.. I could care less what he thinks.  He’s written a quality product and I applaud him for it, but his political/philosophical idealism mean very little to me as I’m sure my idea’s mean very little to you to him.

    Have a great day!

  288. Jtt96 Says:

    These comments are a very interesting read!

  289. Jtt96 Says:

    Comepletely agree

  290. Jason Benoit Says:

    I think you’re the one missing the point. In your reality, developers are expected to play a game where they can fleece customers if they’ve got the marketing capital to do such. Smaller software writers or those passionate about writing software and less about marketing with the monopolistic tactics of a corporation are at a distinct disadvantage. In other words, screw a level playing field and the smaller ethical code writers.

    And most smaller code writers have decided to chase the carrot dangled, in the hopes of making it big according to the rules they believe they must follow (e.g. Bryan) and for other reasons, like fear of not being able to write the software they wish to write. It’s another form of control, “I” write this software, and I will “license” it, as opposed to a client has contracted me to expend my time to write code for them, and I will “sell” them the code/my time.

    The last bit is that information is just that, information. Where else but in trading information have we perverted the supply and demand model of capitalism and turned it on it’s head? We need copyleft business practices, and I am working on them. Only under the current corporate/monopolistic business “model” would it remotely make sense to reinvent the wheel instead of recycling code for the greatest benefit to society, read EVERYONE. The big boys greed has suckered us all into have a lot less overall, which hurts each and every individual.

  291. Jason Benoit Says:

    Well fellows, if you’re interested in making or watching change, email me at Jason.Alden.Benoit at ( I am working on some ideas, and whilst I am only a man, I believe in the power of one man. (See RMS) Things may progress slowly as with FOSS, but those that cherish liberty can lead the way and present our grass on the other side of the fence and it should eventually snowball.

  292. Freek Says:

    Freedom should be for everyone, therefor the only limit to personal freedom is the freedom of another person, who is your equal.
    This is the only way freedom can work. In practice this means that if people engage in business, they either come to a deal which they both agree upon or they part ways without a deal. The terms of such a deal with mutual consent is nobody else his business as the terms on which someone decides to live his own live is nobody else his business… as long as the freedom of other people is respected. This is what we call ever important privacy, the right to lead your life the way you choose it, without intervention of others, without being forced and without ever forcing anyone.

    It think most people define freedom that way.

    Richard M Stalin (in the trend of his nice messing with acronyms) defines freedom differently: Freedom is free software. All other freedoms are lower forms of freedom.

    But what does his statement lead to? It leads him to literally say: “If I could make proprietary software disappear, I would, it is unethical and anything that follows from it is unethical.”

    A world in which RMS would have power would be a world in which 2 people can not make a deal, with mutual consent, without hurting anyone else as long as proprietary code is involved.

    That is not freedom, in fact it is the opposite, RMS’ ideology does not allow a person to do as he pleases, to pursue happiness without hurting anyone else. He contradicts himself or he has a different definition of freedom than everyone else (in which case he should find another word for it).

    Bryan is right, RMS is wrong, 1984 style wrong.

    I’m writing this on an eee pc with Arch Linux installed on a DM-crypt partition, this is safe and private because many eyeballs have seen the code, I’m happy I can use it. Just as I am happy that I can make nice movies for friends’ weddings in iMovie which they find incredibly valuable. I’m happy that I have the freedom to choose my software myself and to live in a soceity where I can refuse deals that I don’t like.

  293. Freek Says:

     Yeah you can get your own set of ethics but if they only work over the backs of other peoples freedom I would call your set of ethics inferior.

    RMS’ ethics forbid people to do as they please even if they are not hurting anyone in the process. Yes, his line keeps coming back: “You are hurting with proprietary code!” But saying it more often does not make it true. He is talking about taking away freedoms by using closed code yet he is proposing to ban people from dealing in software under terms both parties agree with! Crazy!

  294. Freek Says:

    And the right to share trumps the right to (intellectual) property?! Is he crazy? Does he realize what the world will come to when innovation and creation are no longer rewarded? What does he think will happen when people can just get stuff based on their need?! Does he not realize that the world runs on those who produce valuable things? Clearly not.

  295. iN8sWoRLd Says:

    Yes, I bought Revolution OS after watching it for free – great flick if you’re interested in the history.

  296. Freek Says:

     Please, explain, in plain English, what is wrong with writing closed source code? You just say: “Yes I agree because writing proprietary code is wrong”… So then, who is it hurting? My definition of wrong, and I hope yours is as well, the hurting/forcing of another human being. Exactly how and when does this happen?

    And, moreover, how are you going to enforce your “no closed source code” ethics without forcing/hurting anyone?

  297. Freek Says:

     Communists reward need, capitalists reward ability… now use your brain to try and predict which of the two will lead to prospering, growing wealthy society.

    I really hate this “every world view is equal”-crap. Communism and capitalism are not equal, some philosophies are just plain bad ideas no matter how smart they sound.

  298. Anonymous Says:

    I always take what RMS says as an end goal. I’d never ask him for directions as he is an idealist and well, he just doesn’t see things as a process. Sadly he’s never been good at engaging people in social change. It’s impossible to get behind an argumentative figurehead.

    That being said, the approved distros are pretty damn amazing I tried and love parabola gnu/linux.

  299. Erik Imes Says:

    I would like the option to choose proprietary software as well.  I understand that business/developers have to distinguish their products from other companies.  So there is nothing wrong with hiding the things that make your product better.  Hopefully, that makes the competition make a product that is better and cheaper.  If FOSS can do that great. If not I like make my own decisions.

     I understand my agreements with those companies.  If the company has violated their agreement in anyway, I have the gov (one of the only true responsibilities of gov) to help me sue them or in the reverse the company can sue me.  Equal protection under the law.

    I can understand what RS says.  But I don’t want him to make my decisions for me.  He seems to me to be an elitist.  One of those university intellectuals who knows better than anyone else.  I still want him to spread his word.  His message is not incorrect, but I still like choice.

  300. Anonymous Says:

    RMS’s core vision of Freedom is ideally correct. He could relax a little bit, that would go a long way.

  301. Jason Benoit Says:

    Oh I agree about the option. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of an option to use FOSS, and that is the tragedy… What I mean is, it’s still a Windows (and partly MAC) world. Things are slowly being undone, but there is a bit more that can and will be done. Me personally, I don’t use proprietary software as I believe I’d then be a part of the problem, the problem of succeeding control to others, who will suppress eventually. (among other reasons)

  302. Carlos G Says:

    Good show, great guest, too bad the conversation didn’t go to another place. Where you might ask? I don’t know. Still, great effort guys, you brought a heavy hitter. I can’t wait for next week’s show and a return to a more familiar show with news, and content the way you use to do it. As for the criticism, well, don’t take it too serious, Bryan, keep doing what you do man, you are 50% the reason why I tune into this show week in and week out.

    Season 21 here we come!

  303. Telchar16y Says:

    This was a very interesting discussion because it was not about what Brian and Richard were acting like it was about. This discussion had nothing to do with FSF, it was Hierarchical vs. Absolute Ethics. To put it simply Hierarchical Ethics are viable for those who are more social and Absolute Ethics are for those who care little about society. Human society works on the basis of Hierarchical Ethics because Absolute Ethics makes progress as it is understood by most people arduous and nearly impossible.

     I think RMS goes way to far in looking at things on a global scale and completely ignoring the individual level. Any balanced viewpoint must be supported by an argument that uses several tools to examine the issue (Absolute and Global and Hierarchical and Ethical to name just a couple) . I think I shall quit now because if not I will end up with half a page of qualifications.

    One more thing I would like to way in on. Brian’s use of an dramatic example was not a low blow, or him being a drama queen. He was attempting to get RMS to take his viewpoints to a logical conclusion  which is something RMS doesn’t do. We live in a real world and RMS doesn’t seem to understand that.

  304. Telchar16y Says:

     Wups. That should have been “weigh in on”. Every time I post something I mess something up and don’t see it until after I post it.

  305. Freek Says:

    My ethics are: Never live for another man, never force another man. Those would by your standards be absolute ethics. But they also impact society on a global scale. It is a mistake to separate society as a whole from individuals because society is merely the sum of all those individual behaviours. As such it is a complex system, impossible to predict. Enforcing top down structure on an emergent property such as society will never work. One has to start at individuals. As Margaret Thatcher said, there is no such thing as society, it is a mistake to think that somehow there is a higher order that determines things. It is you and me who determine the face of or economy, our individual actions influence people, not societies.

    Please tell me, who is this “human society” you speak of and who determines what it wants and what is best for “it”?

  306. David Says:

    Jerkface response:

  307. Freek Says:

    For tfa:
    “The Japanese programmers that made Donkey Kong were certainly ethical. They put hard work into a game that I enjoyed and gladly payed a quarter for. There was an ethical exchange of labor for my quarter that both sides found positively rewarding. It’s only this fucking lunatic hippie and his nutball followers that have a problem with it. Funny too that after all these years I still haven’t played a GPL game that entertained me as much as Donkey Kong.”
    Yeah, what a jerkface he should just let all those nutball lunatic hippie’s interfere with his willingness to pay a quarter for a game. Nutball lunatic hippies have rights too!!

  308. David Says:

    FYI Jerkface is the blogger

  309. Xiang Li712 Says:


  310. Fat Rastus Says:

    Ok.. I’ll agree.. Capitalism is not very smart and you are correct; it was a bad idea!  Communism isn’t much better but the Chinese seem to be doing quite well..don’t you agree?  Capitalism does not reward ability…it rewards ruthlessness and the willingness to sell out your neighbors in order to get ahead. 

    Actually, I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate…  But I do keep an open mind and refuse to be blinded by the Red, White, and Blue.

  311. Offero Says:

     Thank you for the sound reasoning, Tiger.

    Bryan, why is it true that for you the following statement must be true: “To feed my daughter I must make proprietary software”?

    If this is a personal axiom, then any argument against proprietary software is, to you, an argument against feeding your daughter. Logically, I think this is a false assumption. As a fellow programmer, I would hope that you could see the logic in the argument that you are making. Instead, it seemed like an appeal to emotion only; not a sound argument.

  312. Jason Benoit Says:

     Agreed. I’ve eaten beans and rice for weeks before and it was my fault, but I ate. I take full responsibility even though I have a physical health handicap.

    Bryan’s issue is that his greed (truly from daughter or whatever) is making him blind to the fact that he can make money at free software, AND write the software that he wants to write. I think it’s the feeling of being shoehorned and working for someone else that he fears as well, and I applaud him for working for himself. I think that is the other biggest side of freedom we’re missing in the “free” world, besides software. There are solutions, and I don’t blame Bryan for feeling this way, because once you’ve had a taste of freedom… but knowing is half the battle as G.I Joe and the Transformers used to say. Execution is usually the easy part. I hope he takes this not as an insult, but just a fellow human pointing out his error.

  313. Trond Says:

    Stallman really does obviously does not want developers on the Linux side that makes money. That means they have to make software to Windows or Apple to make money and then spend the free time to develop to Linux.
    Who’s freedom are we talking about here?

    By freedom I think: 
    I would be able to decide if I want to put free or commercial software on my computer running Linux.
    I also want to be able to decide if I want to create software for Linux. 

    And what do we see with free software? They come to version x which is OK for the developer because now the software does what he/she feels is OK – or the developer gets a job and therefor have to put the programming of the program on hold. sometimes someone else will continue working on it, but in most cases the program dies at version x.

  314. Freek Says:

    Foolish reply. You just defined greed as getting money from people who willingly pay you for a service because they find that service worth their money (and “their money” equals “their labor”).

    So two types of labor are exchanged under mutually beneficial conditions and with mutual consent and you talk about greed? You somehow think the labor of the pig farmer that Brian buys his meat from is worth more than Brian’s labor behind a PC?

    Even worse, you want to inhibit the above action under the flag of Freedom???

    Fools, I am so glad the world is nut run by people with RMS’ and your philosophy.

  315. Freek Says:

    Uhm.. I typed whole response here, where did it go?

  316. Freek Says:

    I don’t understand you guys, you keep on insisting that RMS is right when he says closed source software is bad (mmmkay). Yes, if you agree upon that, RMS is right, Bryan is wrong. Bryan would also agree upon that much…

    But Bryan’s point is that closed source software is not bad and argues why it isn’t RMS does not even argue anything, he considers his statement “closed source software is bad” as an unchangable fact and then start to discuss from there.

    Why discuss if you are not willing to change your mind?

  317. Invisiblade Says:

    Here are my thoughts
    There are two ways paying for software is fine.First, if one is hired to make software either by a company or individual, then that person getting paid makes sense.Second, paying for a service that is given by software is fine. For example, I pay for ESET and Logmein. I don’t like to think that I’m paying for the software, instead I am paying ESET to identify malware and other malicious things and protecting me from them. The information and protection is paid for, but the software to deliver the info and protection is free. Logmein, similar concept, where the software is free but using their servers and bandwidth to host files so I can remotly install programs and patches to clients machines isn’t free.

    That’s my thoughts. There’s always advertising too.

  318. Freek Says:

    Yes, nice story but could you explain exactly what is bad about proprietary code. Many people here hold “proprietary code is bad” as some kind of religious mantra without (just like religion) no evidence at all that it is true. How is saying “proprietary code is bad” different from saying “Apple is the best brand” or “Jesus will return someday.”

    You are a fanboy, you do not require evidence for your stance, you uphold your standards solely because you feel you belong to a large group of like-minded people and that feels good. But that is not evidence.

    You don’t agree? Tell me specifically how proprietary code is hurting people and taking away their freedom. And while you do that, keep in mind that everybody has the freedom to decline the use of proprietary code.

    Yes, RMS has the freedom to decline using proprietary code, he should never be forced to use it, nobody should, just as nobody should be forced NOT to use it… and that is exactly what RMS wants. An anti-freedom stance if you ask me.

  319. Jason Benoit Says:

     Fool? I have reading comprehension…

    I defined greed as wanting to receive money to the point of not caring if others are subjugated – to the point of being blind that there are other options. That has NOTHING to do with raising pigs. Unless the pig farmer wanted a cut every-time you sold a pork chop in your restaurant or tried to do something with the pig he didn’t approve of and he used the force of law to prevent it.

    Lastly, I don’t want restrictions on knowledge… that’s YOU. All I want is a fair playing field and monopolistic corporations to stop fleecing my fellow man. Put a “license” backed artificially with the “rule of law” if you want, and I will respect it, I just won’t use it..

  320. JasonBenoit Says:

     You make a lot of assumptions and back them up only with insults.
    I did indeed require evidence, for any stance that I take. Here is a lecture that may help. But knowing what I see of you so far… well as you said above you don’t understand us by your own admission. That isn’t our fault. But you’d have to want to first. But then you’d have to admit you were wrong. Hint… all of us who are for free software weren’t originally.. and had to accept we were wrong. Yes, even Richard.

    How does it hurt? Let me count the ways… let me ask you this, is software good? If so, then keeping something good out of the hands of those that could benefit makes that action unethical. It makes it… bad. Here’s a little homework to undo the mountains of dogma you’ve tasted.

    Yes, I know he’s an atheist, but by the way, Messiah will return.

  321. Freek Says:

    So using your own logic the work you do: A; Does not create any value or negative value (hurts people) or, B; You give it away for free.

    As you say, if something is good, the ethical thing to do is to give it away for free! Beer is tasty (and good)! Let me get some for free from the story! Doesn’t matter how I hurt the honest hardworking store owner!

    Think about the kind of society we would live in using your ethics, ethics that do not rewards hard work. Nobody will want to work.

  322. puzzud Says:

    Does this show and shows like it generate money for kids to eat? If not, stop making it, as no one would pay for these episodes had they not had the exposure enabled by the freedom to watch it. If the guy on the left does make money from this show, then he should eat his words (or feed children with them), as it proves that freer methods of distribution work and could be improved upon if society as a whole was given the liberty to do so. If I had paid for this episode, I would like my money back. But with current software models, that’s not usually an option.

  323. puzzud Says:

    Please… Stallman argues for your digital freedom. Why are you so quick to retaliate against his statements as though what he promotes is ethically wrong. Stallman never suggested starving a child or for people to work low paying jobs. He did in the interview say that if you cannot do your job ethically, then you should find a different role in society–just as we expect our teachers, doctors, and politicians to do the same. What Stallman points out that we accept the unethical activity of software companies and politicians by buying their products and voting them into office. Stallman has never starved a child, but the economic system that our intellectual property/ownership system is based on has starved many an unfortunate child.

  324. Freek Says:

     I think you a very unethical, just like RMS. You believe that it is right to take away the freedom of creators which is to sell their stuff under their own conditions.

    I think you and RMS are dangers to society, if you would be allowed to make the law you would force creators to create under YOUR terms.

    Such a thing would take all motivation out of creating which would stop the motor of this very economy. This is certainly not what I would list under freedom.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the GPL, I love free software, I use it all the time, I think it is moral and nice and it helps humanity but the world is not a better place if we take away peoples right to create under their own terms.

    Please, create under the GPL, create creative commons content but do it if you think it is best for you. I would never ask of anyone to create under the terms the someone else asks of him. I my book, working under someone else his terms is called slavery.

    Claiming free software is good and everything that evolves from this “moral” priniciple is good leads to paradoxes such as “slavery is freedom” and “forcing is freedom.” Such doubletalk never helped anybody, let alone the world and is economy.

  325. Freek Says:

    And man, would I like it if this forum would allow me to correct some typos afterwards.

  326. Freek Says:

    By the way, I think this was a brilliant show and Bryan, I love it that you stood up for your ideas. At points such as this it just too easy to play the nice suck-up guy just to please listeners and/or create the chance that RMS will come on the show again. But you didn’t do that (you never do that and I appreciate that most about the show). Even though RMS is overwhelming and sharp you managed to get at the hidden heart of his statements. Good job.

    I think this interview really showed what RMS is all about and that is why I listened to it in the first place.

  327. Jason Benoit Says:

     See, that is the problem, you keep using YOUR logic. You didn’t even do your homework did you? WHO SAID GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE? We did? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. We said it’s ethical to be able to share it if it’s distributed. Certainly, one should get paid by whoever you contracted to write it for.

    I do think about the society according to my ethics, and people will live free and not be controlled. But you think yourself as superior to anyone who might disagree with you, so of course you want to control others. You’re just a scared little kid at heart, Freek.

    No? Then why did you just have that thought questioning me when you read that, and immediately validated yourself? (Heh, I AIN’T scared, he don’t know what he’s talking about, that fool!) Uh huh. I know a bully when I hear one or see their thoughts written across a page.

    It has nothing to do with free cost, but freedom. But you’re happy in your prison, with your Stockholm syndrome, because you’re too weak to dare to resist.

  328. Jason Benoit Says:

     I never said it was right to take away anyone’s freedoms. Stop putting words into my mouth and judging me, as you’ve said you don’t understand me so you only publicly make yourself look foolish.

    I don’t want to make the law, but abolish it because it isn’t fair. We are not allowed ot make software under our terms currently on the same playing field. The law promotes proprietary software, so it ISN’T fair to our freedom. Pot, meet kettle.

    You know little about what motivates people child. That and, you think you understand or just can’t comprehend how people make money off of free software. And it would stop the oppressive motor, and in turn allow for a much better one that isn’t fond of collapsing… look around you. I don’t call that freedom.

    Proprietary licences are slavery and subjugation. Copyleft merely seeks to cancel copyright. and I will ask others to use a libre license. They don’t have to, and I don’t have to and will not use their software or support it. Or, do you think “I” should be forced to?

    The only double talk is proprietary proponents speech seeking to confuse the issue.

  329. Peter Wang Says:

    Brian got screwed over by the VERY THING rms started the Free Software Movement and wrote the GNU GPL to prevent. And he has the fucking NERVE to insult and belittle this man.
    I’m unsubbing and listening to FAIF instead. Fuck you guys, fuck your show, and fuck your Machiavellian sponsor too!

  330. Lol Says:

    At 56:29 The guy was like WTF, Seriously. LOL

  331. Anonymous Says:

    As if you thought you would ambush Stallman.
    He’s been dealing with pea brains like you for years.

  332. Freek Says:

    But you would use the law to force devellopers to release theor software under your terms instead of their own?

    Is that freedom? You call that ethical?

    I don’t know what your profession is but if you were a pig farmer enforcing the gpl on you would be like saying: You should let our best pig bread and gove the children away. Is that not taking away effort from the farmer?

  333. Freek Says:

    “The law promotes proprietary software”? How does it do that? That last time I checked you were allowed to write your own software and release it under your own terms.

    Whether it is favorable for you to write gpl software in the current economic climate is another issue but you can’t always get what you want. I would love to run around naked screaming “jippie jee” in my lunchbreak, sadly it is unfavorable for my job and thus I won’t do it. Do I have the freedom to do it, sure! Is it wise? Not so much.
    And why is proprietary software unfair to our freedom? And can you make it fair, can your ensure our freedom by forcing developers to release open software? That is literally what RMS wants. He want to ensure freedom by forcing developers. WTF. Freedom should not be obtained by forcing others.

    Go RMS, go enforce freedom!

  334. Freek Says:

    By the way, I love open source software, I use Arch Linux, encrypt everything, now the ins and outs of TOR and I really believe that open source software contributes to my freedom.

    I also understand that profits can be made by support and by adds (although the last one usually comes with tracking so I’d rather pay.)
    GPL software rules, it taught me everything about computer and privacy. I will tell my kids about it and I always try to convince my friends to be privacy aware.

    Would I want to obtain it from someone who would rather use another license but is somehow forced by law to use the GPL? Hell No! My freedom should never be at the cost of someone else’s.

    I agree with Ayn Rand: I will never live my life for another man and never ask another man to live for me.
    In other words, never be forced, never force. Would I sacrifice a leg for my wife? Yes I would, out of pure selfishness because I can’t live without her. Would I ask her to do the same? Never. Same holds true for licensing: If I would code, would I release GPL software? Perhaps! Would I ask anyone to do the same? No, pick your own license and I will see if I agree with it.

  335. David Young Says:

    ah but he did say that making commercial software was ok,think you need to listen to it again sir,,because he did state that there are plenty of work out there to make commercial software an that’s how most developer’s make there living which is ethical .

  336. treesap Says:

    Richard Stallman acts quite rude in this interview.  Even during the times when Brian tries to find some common ground with him, Stallman uses it as an excuse to correct Brian’s wording or  otherwise attack his description of the idea he is trying to purvey.  

    tl;dr:  Dude needs to lay off the caffeine!

  337. treesap Says:


  338. Welll Says:

    “But I’m not talking about that; that’s a different issue.”

  339. Andrew Smith Says:

    heh, RMS is too much of a hippie for Brian. When you immerse yourself in the RMS view it makes sense and Brian hasn’t done that. That said, I am not saying that RMS’ view is valid or not. I’m willing to make a sacrifice to run flash.

  340. Andrew Smith Says:

    “Live Free or Die” –

  341. svncheckout Says:

    The fatal flaw Bryan had was bringing up his daughter to justify doing stuff “unethical”. Obviously bandits would rob for their daughter too.

  342. Michael Tunnell Says:


    I actually agree with your reactions on the show…I made the judgment
    of “this dude is a tool” and “this dude is crazy” way before you did so
    when you made the judgment it just made me laugh because the dude is a
    crazy tool.

    He doesn’t care if people make money…he wants them to make “free”
    software regardless if they go broke and lose their homes, families,
    etc. He talks about ethics…his statements are so unethical it begs the
    question if he even knows the meaning of the word.

    His opinion of everything should belong to everyone is…wait for
    it…EFFING STUPID!!! When I write code or when I make art it is MINE…I
    may release it to the public for free but the fact that I made it should
    be recognized so they know who to appreciate for making it. It isn’t a
    case of ego either, it is a case of without at least credit and
    gratitude why would anyone make anything…ever!

    I want all of my software, games and etc. to be open but whether they
    are open to allow me to put them on whatever platform I want…as many
    times as I want or if they are open to the point of source I don’t
    really care. I want the experience to use/play my stuff to be easy,
    enjoyable and not platform specific. I couldn’t care less if I was given
    the source for it or not AND that is the opinion of at least 90% of the
    planet who use software/games of any kind. We don’t care how it is
    released as long as it works and is enjoyable. I care if I can put it on
    Linux, Android, Windows, etc or not but whether I get source or not…in
    my opinion, that is a stupid argument he has.
    I also like Creative Commons much more than GPL. GPL is good for open source license but if you care about protecting yourself and your creation in any way at all…GPL is a horrible option. In GPL if you release something commercially and someone takes it and distributes it in a warez channel they have the right to do that…that makes it a stupid license commercially.

  343. Michael Tunnell Says:

    You don’t get it apparently…it has nothing to do with licensing and he is selling his stuff in other stores…it is the fact that one of the BIGGEST and most POPULAR stores is screwing him over. His app could be GPL or any license and the issue would still be the same…the biggest and most popular app store is screwing him out of his payments and any developer, or specifically any mobile developer, NOT in the Apple App Store is quite stupid when it comes to having a business. Someone who doesn’t go to the biggest option to make money, will certainly fail. Of course it sucks that Apple are DRM loving dbags but all the normals love those dbags so if you want to sell to those normals you have to deal with those dbags.

  344. CeremoniousMockery Says:

    RMS is advocating a boycott of proprietary software, which is extreme,
    but isn’t much different from the Boston Tea Party. Today many of us use
    proprietary software as much as an18th century Bostonian drank tea, but
    they still stood in the cold on a December morning and threw that s#^t
    overboard to send a message.

    I don’t understand why Brian can’t understand rms. Brian seems like a pretty smart guy, if he woke up in the morning and couldn’t program anymore he would find another way to make a living and support his family. If one day you have a crisis of conscience and find what you are doing for a living as morally wrong I would believe that you would make sacrifices in order to change your situation.

  345. freek Says:

    You: 1; Don’t follow RMS logic completely because otherwise you wouldn’t find a boycott reasonable, not extreme. And 2; You are not getting Bryan’s point because he asks one simple thing: “How is freedom taken away when two parties exchange propreitary software with mutual consent?”

    And let me ask you, is it more ethical to force software makers to release their code, their creation, their work, not under their own but under yours/rms’ conditions?

  346. freek Says:

    I mean you WOULD find a boycott reasonable in the first sentence.

  347. Sayurlodeh Says:

    Amazing interview!
    So what if it wasn’t software we were talking about? What if it was the prison industrial complex? A hypothetical PIC that puts people behind bars based on the color of their skin in such high numbers that it looks to anyone’s view as grossly unjust. Do you say, “I’m a really good prison guard and I couldn’t possibly do any other job. I’ve got to feed my kids.”

    My point is that some of us have more opportunity to choose ethical work than others. Fair enough. Maybe someone is holding you hostage. Maybe not. But you have to ask if you are in the situation where your paycheque depends on you not understanding RMS.

  348. Deep Thought Says:

    Food for thought.

  349. Darknuts Says:

    Stallman looks like a criminal on trail for murder. He needs to groom!

  350. tom firens Says:

    The difference between genius and nutcase is rather slim i would say.  Maybe it would work in utopia

  351. Anonymous Says:

    The thing is, it’s simply not okay to provide anyone a piece of software they don’t have the right to study, modify and share. Whether that means taking a second job for the time being, perhaps not having made the software, it is still not okay to rob any person or thing of these essential freedoms.

  352. Anonymous Says:

    He didn’t attacked you. Where do you get that from?

    I think you’ve insulted his intelligence by using your child as an argument, I think that’s so lame and had nothing to do with the topic. He gave you an answer about your problem: make custom software.

    What I get from this interview is that you only care about making money, sorry, I’m not saying this is wrong, but you can’t say Stallman doesn’t have deep toughts. Is there a more simplistic tought than saying “I have to do this because I have to feed my child”?

  353. Realsifocopypaste Says:

    hello people please watch this you will know that stallman was right :)

  354. Anon Says:

    > But they could also be richer in things other than money, with an enhanced society.

    I just wanted to say this was phrased very beautifully.

  355. Angry Says:

    Wow these two are complete idiots.

  356. Lev Says:

    My thoughts on the issue.

    – Lev 

  357. Craig Says:

    You are a freedom hater. The freedom in question being that of other people.

    You seem to think it’s fine to benefit from the decades of effort that have gone into GNU/Linux while writing proprietary badware for other people.

    The reason you just broke down and had a little hissy fit in the end was because there was nothing logical or accurate you could say to disprove him.

    It was obvious that you were trying to “agree to disagree” but Stallman just doesn’t roll like that. Ambiguity and phony rhetoric is for politicians.

    Some people don’t like Stallman because he doesn’t succumb to moronic social norms like “agreeing to disagree” or wrapping up a disagreement in agreeable ambiguity. Notice that he adamantly points out every time you use ambiguous language throughout the debate.

    In short – he exposed your phony double standards and you didn’t have a leg to stand on.

  358. Craig Says:

    You are a freedom hater. The freedom in question being that of other people.

    You seem to think it’s fine to benefit from the decades of effort that have gone into GNU/Linux while writing proprietary badware for other people.

    The reason you just broke down and had a little hissy fit in the end was because there was nothing logical or accurate you could say to disprove him.

    It was obvious that you were trying to “agree to disagree” but Stallman just doesn’t roll like that. Ambiguity and phony rhetoric is for politicians.

    Some people don’t like Stallman because he doesn’t succumb to moronic social norms like “agreeing to disagree” or wrapping up a disagreement in agreeable ambiguity. Notice that he adamantly points out every time you use ambiguous language throughout the debate.

    In short – he exposed your phony double standards and you didn’t have a leg to stand on.

  359. Craig Says:

    Nope. Stallman is far closer to Gandhi than to Pol Pot. Her fights for YOUR freedom and has the truth on his side.

    The reason he comes off as caustic is because he cuts through any phony, ambiguous bullsh1t that people normally use to justify their own position. He has a talent for it.

    People get angry because he doesn’t just back down or adhere to the social norms that allow people to live in ignorance. They get angry precisely because they know he’s right. And no one ever has any decent or logical counter-argument because generally one doesn’t exist.

    Just look how this Bryan guy lined him up for a “controversial” question like “if I have to choose between making proprietary software and not feeding my daughter, are you saying I should let her starve?!” – or something to that effect. Pure phony rhetoric. The number of logical fallacies in just that statement alone are appeal to emotion, false dilemma, false cause just to name a few.

  360. Craig Says:

    Gandhi’s chances didn’t look so good in the early days too but he had the truth on his side.

    One interesting thing about Stallman is that he objects to and corrects divisive rhetoric and employs very little of his own. He doesn’t need it, nor did Gandhi.

  361. Craig Says:

    You asked the universe to provide you with a purpose. It provided you nothing.

    This is yet another logical fallacy — that if someone can’t present you with a perfect solution on a golden platter, their points must be invalid.

    Stallman doesn’t owe you solution.

  362. Craig Says:

    Because it was abundantly obvious that they just stating the same half-hearted justifications over and over. Stallman took it upon himself to school them. It’s fine to take the lead in a conversation when faced with such obvious followers.

  363. Craig Says:

    He’s has said similar things before. He was right back then too:

    Appeal to emotion is an incredibly effective and well accepted rhetorical devise. Mainly due to people’s primitive lizard brain. Stallman ain’t buying it. Neither should you.


  364. Craig Says:


    Bryan has also descended low enough to compare Stallman with Pol Pot and Hitler.  Well, Bryan, many Nazis were “just trying to feed their kids” too.

    This Bryan guy truly does seem like a man desperate to justify himself and smear Stallman for having the AUDACITY to discuss his beliefs.

  365. Craig Says:

    The military industrial complex makes *very* good money too.

    I wonder how many mouths the military industrial complex is feeding (in full, wasteful American luxury) while they shoot bullets and artillery through foreign kids’ mouths around the world.

  366. FedericoSilvaUY Says:

    I agree completely.

    I need a solution
    Stalman doesn’t have the solution
    Stalman is hitler


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