Richard Stallman quotes

  • The idea of copyright did not exist in ancient times, when authors frequently copied other authors at length in works of non-fiction. This practice was useful, and is the only way many authors' works have survived even in part.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Practice #Ideas #Fiction

  • I did write some code in Java once, but that was the island in Indonesia.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Islands #Java

  • Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Thinking #Geek

  • Snow is so beautiful, it doesn't have to be useful.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Beautiful #Snow

  • Free software is software that respects your freedom and the social solidarity of your community. So it's free as in freedom.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Community #Social #Solidarity

  • If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough - you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Goal #Needs #World

  • If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Creating #Use #Program

  • Playfully doing something difficult, whether useful or not, that is hacking.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Hacking #Difficult

  • All governments should be pressured to correct their abuses of human rights.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Rights #Government #Abuse

  • I have met bright students in computer science who have never seen the source code of a large program. They may be good at writing small programs, but they can't begin to learn the different skills of writing large ones if they can't see how others have done it.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Skills #Done

  • If the users don't control the program, the program controls the users. With proprietary software, there is always some entity, the "owner" of the program, that controls the program and through it, exercises power over its users. A nonfree program is a yoke, an instrument of unjust power.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Exercise #Yoke #Unjust

  • It is hard to write a simple definition of something as varied as hacking, but I think what these activities have in common is playfulness, cleverness, and exploration. Thus, hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness. Activities that display playful cleverness have "hack value".
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Mean #Simple

  • While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance in technology is an opening for them to further restrict its users.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Technology #Law

  • The GNU GPL was not designed to be "open source".
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Source

  • My favorite programming languages are Lisp and C. However, since around 1992 I have worked mainly on free software activism, which means I am too busy to do much programming. Around 2008 I stopped doing programming projects.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Mean #Language #Busy

  • By the way, I hope you all know about the worldwide boycott of Coca Cola company for things like murdering union organizers in Colombia. See the site killercoke.org.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Unions #Way #Coca Cola

  • I have not seen anyone assume that all the citizens of New York are guilty of murder, violence, robbery, perjury, or writing proprietary software.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #New York #Writing #Violence

  • The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we've redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do,
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Clouds #Interesting #Cloud Computing

  • The Adobe flash plug-in is non-free software, and people should not install it, or suggest installing it, or even tell people it exists.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #People #Flash #Plugs

  • Every decision a person makes stems from the person's values and goals. People can have many different goals and values; fame, profit, love, survival, fun, and freedom, are just some of the goals that a good person might have. When the goal is to help others as well as oneself, we call that idealism. My work on free software is motivated by an idealistic goal: spreading freedom and cooperation. I want to encourage free software to spread, replacing proprietary software that forbids cooperation, and thus make our society better.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Fun #Helping Others #People

  • Writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that's good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Running #Writing #People

  • I don’t have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don’t think the highest calling is success. Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Successful #Thinking #Justice

  • Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn't all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Jobs #People #Needs

  • People sometimes ask me if it is a sin in the Church of Emacs to use vi. Using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance. So happy hacking.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #People #Church #Use

  • A hacker is someone who enjoys playful cleverness—not necessarily with computers. The programmers in the old MIT free software community of the 60s and 70s referred to themselves as hackers. Around 1980, journalists who discovered the hacker community mistakenly took the term to mean “security breaker.”
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Mean #Community #Mit

  • The paradigm of competition is a race: by rewarding the winner, we encourage everyone to run faster. When capitalism really works this way, it does a good job; but its defenders are wrong in assuming it always works this way.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Running #Jobs #Race

  • Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Surveillance

  • Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Jobs #Jail #Fool

  • GNU, which stands for Gnu's Not Unix, is the name for the complete Unix-compatible software system which I am writing so that I can give it away free to everyone who can use it.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Names #Giving

  • It doesn't take special talents to reproduce--even plants can do it. On the other hand, contributing to a program like Emacs takes real skill. That is really something to be proud of. It helps more people, too.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Real #Hands #Skills

  • Programming is not a science. Programming is a craft.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Crafts #Programming

  • I figure that since proprietary software developers use copyright to stop us from sharing, we cooperators can use copyright to give other cooperators an advantage of their own: they can use our code.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Giving #Use #Figures

  • People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Government #People #Deserve Better

  • We need to teach people to refuse to install non-free plug-ins; we need to teach people to care more about their long-term interest of freedom than their immediate desire to view a particular site.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Views #Long #People

  • You know, if you were *really* going to starve, you'd be justified in writing proprietary software.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Justified #Software

  • I never imagined that the Free Software Movement would spawn a watered-down alternative, the Open Source Movement, which would become so well-known that people would ask me questions about 'open source' thinking that I work under that banner.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Thinking #People #Alternatives

  • Paying isn’t wrong, and being paid isn’t wrong. Trampling other people’s freedom and community is wrong, so the free software movement aims to put an end to it, at least in the area of software.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #People #Community #Movement

  • The most powerful programming language is Lisp. If you don't know Lisp (or its variant, Scheme), you don't appreciate what a powerful language is. Once you learn Lisp you will see what is missing in most other languages.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Trust #Powerful #Appreciate

  • Proprietary software tends to have malicious features. The point is with a proprietary program, when the users dont have the source code, we can never tell. So you must consider every proprietary program as potential malware.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Program #Source #Software

  • Android is a major step towards an ethical, user-controlled, free-software portable phone, but there is a long way to go.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Phones #Long #Way

  • Globalizing a bad thing makes it worse. But globalizing a good thing is usually good.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Globalization #Good Things

  • Whether gods exist or not, there is no way to get absolute certainty about ethics. Without absolute certainty, what do we do? We do the best we can.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Way #Ethics #Absolute Certainty

  • So, make a real effort to avoid getting sucked into all the expensive lifestyle habits of typical Americans. Because if you do that, then people with the money will dictate what you do with your life.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Real #People #Effort

  • Our mailing lists (and their repeater newsgroups) are only for the purpose of promoting proprietary software.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Lists #Purpose #Computer

  • Laws that oppress people have no moral authority
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Law #People #Moral

  • If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad… DON'T buy a parrot figuring that it will be a fun surprise for me. To acquire a parrot is a major decision: it is likely to outlive you. If you don't know how to treat the parrot, it could be emotionally scarred and spend many decades feeling frightened and unhappy. If you buy a captured wild parrot, you will promote a cruel and devastating practice, and the parrot will be emotionally scarred before you get it. Meeting that sad animal is not an agreeable surprise.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Fun #Animal #Practice

  • There is no system but GNU and Linux is one of it's kernels
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Linux

  • Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Technology #Digital #Easy

  • Prior art is as effective as US soldiers in Iraq: They control the ground they stand on, and nothing more. I used to say Vietnam, but, well, you know...
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Art #Iraq #Soldier

  • Free software' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of 'free' as in 'free speech,' not as in 'free beer'.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Beer #Thinking #Liberty

  • Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Breathing #Copying #Natural

  • If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Writing #Evil #Trying

  • Would a dating service on the net be 'frowned upon' . . . ? I hope not. But even if it is, don't let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Dating #Mail

  • No person, no idea, and no religion deserves to be illegal to insult, not even the Church of Emacs.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Ideas #Church #Insult

  • Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Alliance.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Awards #Giving #Rebel

  • People said I should accept the world. Bullshit! I don't accept the world.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Bullshit #People #World

  • Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Fighting #Malaria #Mosquitoes

  • I'm always happy when I'm protesting.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Always Happy

  • Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Movement #Development #Social

  • I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Wall #Writing #Years

  • One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Use #Reason #Should

  • In the free/libre software movement, we develop software that respects users' freedom, so we and you can escape from software that doesn't.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Movement #Software #Libre

  • Android is very different from the GNU/Linux operating system because it contains very little of GNU. Indeed, just about the only component in common between Android and GNU/Linux is Linux, the kernel.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Littles #Androids #Linux

  • I suppose many people will continue moving towards careless computing, because there's a sucker born every minute.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Moving #People #Minutes

  • For personal reasons, I do not browse the web from my computer. (I also have not net connection much of the time.) To look at page I send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to me. It is very efficient use of my time, but it is slow in real time.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Running #Real #Looks

  • You can use any editor you want, but remember that vi vi vi is the text editor of the beast.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Editors #Want #Use

  • If ebooks mean that readers' freedom must either increase or decrease, we must demand the increase.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Mean #Demand #Decrease

  • Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society is free to use the results.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Creativity #Use #Social

  • EMACS could not have been reached by a process of careful design, because such processes arrive only at goals which are visible at the outset, and whose desirability is established on the bottom line at the outset. Neither I nor anyone else visualized an extensible editor until I had made one, nor appreciated its value until he had experienced it. EMACS exists because I felt free to make individually useful small improvements on a path whose end was not in sight.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Learning #Sight #Editors

  • I'm trying to change the way people approach knowledge and information in general. I think that to try to own knowledge, to try to control whether people are allowed to use it, or to try to stop other people from sharing it, is sabotage.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Thinking #People #Trying

  • Because I don't believe that it's really desirable to have security on a computer, I shouldn't be willing to help uphold the security regime.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Believe #Helping #Computer

  • In terms of effect on the world, it's very good that I've lived. And so I guess, if I could go back in time and prevent my birth, I wouldn't do it. But I sure wish I hadn't had so much pain.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Pain #Wish #World

  • I'm the last survivor of a dead culture. And I don't really belong in the world anymore. And in some ways I feel I ought to be dead.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #World #Way #Lasts

  • Idiots can be defeated but they never admit it.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Idiot #Defeated

  • Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. 'Don't bother us with politics', respond those who don't want to learn.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Want #Teach #Bother

  • To be able to choose between proprietary software packages is to be able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master. And in the area of computing, freedom means not using proprietary software.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Mean #Able #Masters

  • Somebody is saying this is inevitable – and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Inevitable #Campaigning

  • The desire to be rewarded for one's creativity does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that creativity.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Creativity #Desire #World

  • Control over the use of one's ideas really constitutes control over other people's lives; and it is usually used to make their lives more difficult.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Ideas #People #Use

  • I've read that male dolphins try to have sex with humans, and female apes solicit sex from humans. What is wrong with giving them what they want, if that's what turns you on, or even just to gratify them?
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Sex #Giving #Trying

  • Anything that prevents you from being friendly, a good neighbour, is a terror tactic.
    -- Richard Stallman

    #Friendly #Tactics #Terror

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