Whoah. Bryan apologizes for Stallman interview.

I want to take a brief moment to apologize for getting so torked off at Richard Stallman (yes… you heard me right… I’m apologizing).

So, we had Richard Stallman on the show.  And it didn’t really go as planned.

The plan was, roughly, this:

RMS would come on the show.  We would ask him some questions and let him talk about a few things he wanted the opportunity to talk about (namely eBooks).  Then we would talk about practical solutions for migrating a piece of proprietary software to be licensed under the GPL… all while trying to maintain steady income for those involved.

Then, after the show, I was going to turn around and try to put one of RMS’s suggestions into practice with some of my own software.  Turn the whole thing into a real-world example of some of his ideas.

But that’s not exactly how it turned out.  I’m not going to go into it all in detail here, as you can easily watch (or listen) the episode.

But what I will say, is this:

I allowed Stallman’s responses and ideas (which he has every right to have) piss me off.  And that resulted in me loosing my cool.

Do I agree with Stallman’s views on children?  No.  Not even a little bit.  I find his views to be deeply unethical and frightening.

But that should not have been part of the discussion.  Initially I brought the word “child” into the conversation as a means to illustrate the reason for a need (that most of us have) for a practical solution to migrating software to the GPL (“how do I put food on the table and feed the kids”).  Stallman’s reaction here surprised me (in retrospect, it really shouldn’t have).  And once Stallman ratcheted it up a notch, by declaring that nobody should have children… well… that kinda broke my brain.

On the other hand, I also have (fairly major) disagreements with his valuation of software licensing and his stances on how best to implement said licensing.

Those disagreements should have been the focus.

I doesn’t matter, not even a little bit, what Stallman thinks of children (or the people who have them).  What does matter is the specifics of the licensing (that he has made his life’s work) and the practical applications therein.

Was the interview a wasted opportunity?  No.  But it could have been even better.  I could have pressed Stallman harder for an answer to the questions presented to him.  But I let myself get derailed.

And that is my bad.

When I see, what I feel is, harmful extremism.  It makes me cranky.  Should it?  Probably not… there’s plenty of it in this world, and a man can’t be cranky all the time.  When that extremism is directed towards children, I get doubly-cranky.

And that’s what happened here.

So, to Stallman: I would like to apologize for focusing on this topic, and your statements relating to children, when there are other areas you would be better prepared to comment on.  I would also like to apologize for discussing this topic after the fact, when you were not there.

To everyone else: I would like to apologize for the exact same thing.  How many of us really care what Stallman thinks of children?  Does it actually matter?  Are any of us going to be having him over to babysit for us next weekend?  No.  So the topic isn’t relevant and simply serves as a distraction away from the areas where he does have an influence.

Now, all that said.

Next Sunday’s Linux Action Show is going to be a much more up-beat one.  It’s time to play games.

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  • JavaJake

    Bryan, you had every right to get torqued about Stallman’s views on children; and while they may not be relevant to the intended discussion, they do matter. That being said, I’d have to say my respect for you has gone up a few notches due to the whole situation (including your apologies here). Keep up the good work!

  • http://shacketom.wordpress.com shackletom

    I think there are a good number of sick mugs like me who found the heat between you and RMS entertaining. I realize that was far from your intentions and I don’t mean entertaining in a “hah hah” way but entertaining in that emotionally stimulating way like when say, a bad guy in prowrestling insults the crowd he’s going to preform in front of. I shared your frustrations with Stallman’s views on children and was further pissed with him after learning about his “developing minds can consent to sex” garbage. I also feel that your apology is more to yourself for, in your perspective, “stooping” to a level that you usually put under yourself. I hope that you can forgive yourself because you and Chris put on a good show every week, including these last two.

    You da B-man!

  • http://www.beyersite.com Eric Beyer

    Typo on paragraph #13: “I doesn’t matter..” –> “It doesn’t matter..”

    Apart from that, I agree.

    Kudos for taking on a task as ambitious as interviewing RMS. You knew doing so might break your brain but you did it anyway. And if you can walk away having learned something new, then that’s double good. Definitely keep it up.

  • passstab

    it shouldn’t be your job to not make him look like an idiot

  • Jesse

    I agree with the previous poster, I have way more respect for Bryan now than I had before the interview. RMS is an interesting character, but his ideas of ethics are screwed up.

  • Bill

    Bryan, the apology is well done. Don’t worry excessively about freaking out, Stallman is a bomb-throwing extremist (although a thought-provoking one.) Next time, prepare for the worst! You and Chris are too used to dealing with reasonable people whose greatest disagreement is the distro or file system they prefer (and we all know which ones ARE the best….lol)

  • Giovanni capalbo

    mmh. Professional journalists never loose their cool. Imagine how hard it’s got to be to interview a mass murderer and stay objective.
    Usually though, technical journalists don’t have these problems, tech issues don’t stir up a lot of emotions.
    Every episode of LAS is entertaining and informative, I feel as if it’s time well spent, I get all the news on linux and a smile or two, double win.
    Keep up with the good work, nobody’s expecting you guys to be Anderson Cooper.

  • RenX99

    Bryan, you got nothing to apologize for. You were fine. It is hard for any sane people to deal with rabid fanatical fundamentalism no matter what form is comes in. Any form of extremism is inherently destructive and can not be reasoned with so you really shouldn’t try.

    Just keep doing what you do, I love your work.


  • Randy

    Stallman is a zealot. You can’t argue with a zealot. It’s a waste of time. His responses are 100% consistent and 100% academic with no application to the real world. If you made a mistake, it was to think you could engage him in a real conversation. He has a great history and has had some great ideas, but without others morphing those ideas and making them work in real life his work would be a small footnote.

    Your show is fun to listen to. RMS is not fun to listen to and is a crappy guest. His ideas are an important starting point for a discussion but are so strident that they always lead to a dead end. Any views in opposition of his are not in favor of Freedom. End of discussion. It’s the worst religious arguement ever. And worse yet, it’s really boring. You guys bowed down to his altar and gave him enough rope to hang himself… I will continue to enjoy the Linux Action Show and will continue to avoid RMS.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Tzvi

    It takes a man to make an apology. For the record I still think you were a 100% right, you were just a bit sidetracked.

    Love the show especially with you on it..

  • ProjectMorris

    Bryan, that is RMS’s modus operandi to confuse and fluster and then go “see I told you”…or…”you have no idea”…and is smart enough to throw out continuous corrections and such outrageous nonsense that it completely derails your thoughts.

    He is an ocean going idiot, if the GNU project and FSF (ffs?) have a democratic leadership board they should throw Stallman out, he is a loose cannon, and will ultimately spell the demise of what they are honestly and rightly trying to achieve.

    Stallman is a dangerous fundamentalist, and with all fundamentalists his views are set in black and white…”let’s all just use cash and buy nothing with credit cards or on the internet”….That ship, my dear Mr Stallman, sailed a long time ago, and has no intention of coming back…Now go and sit down like a good fellow and wait for the Police to arrive, as they inevitably will.

    Bryan, Chris, you do a great job, the shows are great entertaining and informative. I look forward to them every week. There is a real world which is populated with the likes of you, Chris and everyone else in the chat room. Stallman however inhabits a parallel universe of his own making.

    There is no need for apologies, I was impressed you didn’t start shouting.

  • http://olgguyswhogame.blogspot.com.au/ Andrew Stanstiuck

    Stallman was & is an Extremist & Fundamentalist, there was no way you were ever going to Rationally debate him over anything, you may of well been trying to get the Mullah’s in Iran to allow Nude Female Bathing. You should have [as soon as you realized that he had changed the agreed “script”] Gone in Hard like a 60 minutes reporter, you should have “TORN HIM A NEW ONE” & shown him up as the extreme nutjob he is, The Time has come to dispose of these anachronistic & retrograde idiots from amongst our number.
    Stallman did himself no favors in the interview but you could have made it much better. Still Love the show guys probably because you are a Developer & a Sysadmin & not a professional Reporter, it’s the amateur nature of it that makes it endearing & the fact that you two are just so likeable you all grumpy all the Time & Chris with his Plastic DEVO Hair… Keep Up The GOOD WORK.

  • StarsAbove

    “When people tell me, ‘You know i’m educated and/or wealthy and therefore I should have more children because I can do it’ it just seems to me an incredibly effete attitude; that they have more of a right and somehow can give a greater gift to the future by having children than anyone else..

    The wonderful thing about genetics as far as I can see is that from a slum in India you can get one of the greatest mathematicians in the world and so I just take that argument of people who know something should have more kids to be just ludicrous.”

    – Lawrence Krauss

  • http://olgguyswhogame.blogspot.com.au/ Andrew Stanstiuck

    PS. the Plastic hair that devo wore is NuTra Pompadors. These were plastic hair pieces based on John F. Kennedy’s hairline; the most famous version was black, google it you’ll see what I mean — SORRY CHRIS but if the shit fits wear it !.

  • Felix Albrecht

    Thank you for this post! I was a little baffled and even annoyed the way you dealt with the Interview. And also we now had two episodes of LAS being dominated by this topic. So I really appreciate you taking a step back and reconsidering a bit!

  • Flo


  • cyberwolf

    In my opinion you have nothing to be sorry about and you conducted your self like a pro. would … That being said I had a lot of respect for RMS but after that interview my opinion has changed about him I think he is just plan mental … I mean look at the guy , he looks like he just came down of his hermit hill . Bryan you are correct in saying that he is a big fat hypocrite getting paid by the big corps. to travel around the world telling the rest of no nothings that software should be free, and somethings he says i agree with but come on…
    I think some software should be free and other software should be closed source . I also think that open source software developers should be paid for there hard work ,because like you said developers got to eat too. RMS should stop eating thing of his feet and try doing something new . I mean what has he developed lately , how long can he live on his past glory , he wrote GNU how long ago?
    Bryan I love the linux action show and I am glad that put the tuff question to him good job .
    And for those of you that dont get the eating things off his feet you need to google , Richard Stallman Eats Something From His Foot . that will take you to the you tube video . he even gos back for seconds and did in front of a hole room full people . This guy is not a good rep for open source and for free software and people who think he is need to watch the video and make up there own minds .

  • TotoyKamote

    Just keep doin what you do best and keep it up =)

  • Joseph

    This is demoralizing for those of us who have been steadfastly defending you and Chris across the Internet. :-( You can be sure the Stallmanistas aren’t going to apologize.

    What I wish you and Chris would have done would have been to acknowledge what the Stallmanistas don’t: that the man has Asperger’s Syndrome. That explains his obsession regarding software freedom, his inability to relate emotionally regarding people with children, etc. Chris tried to rationalize Stallman’s behavior as some sort of greater good thing and you tried to suggest he didn’t really believe what he says. Neither are very convincing, but mental illness is still a stigma in this society and thus the elephant in the room was avoided.

    Stallman can’t help but say the things he does or feel the way he does, which is sad because no one ever cared enough about him to help him. There is no excuse though for the people who enable him and encourage him and feel that “free” software is more important than human life and don’t suffer from mental illness. They’re just twisted.

    But maybe all this can be put behind us and we can all pick on Fedora instead. :-)

  • http://crshbndct.com crshbndct

    Bryan, I think this apology was a really humble thing to do. Personally I do not think that he deserved it. I think Joseph pretty much said everything else I wanted to say, but basically I (and a lot of your fans) are still rooting for you. Keep up the good work, and don’t let something like this get you down.

  • Joshua S. Grant

    Major respect level earned. It takes a man, with mainly man balls to admit they may have taken things a bit to far.

    So as a loyal Gnuser, (Which I would define a someone who runs an all FAIF set of systems) I would just like to say, keep rockin it the Freedom Dimmension. \m/_

  • Allen F

    Bryan, you bitched-up. There was no need to apologize to that necrophiliac pedophile RMS.

    I’m sure you did it for Chris’s sake. But come on! He deserved an upper cut to baby maker. Not that he’d ever use it.

    And remember, don’t be so negative in the freedom dimension.

  • Stephen

    It does take a man to apologize. I don’t see why there should be any apology; there was an argument that got a little out of control and that was that. I have seen a few RMS interviews before and you are not the first to break your teeth on his philosophy and the way he argues. For this reason, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the interview but all in all I think it was quite interesting – apart from the part where your head started bleeding. But sometimes it’s best to but a bucket under your nose or suck it up.

    To be honest, I don’t see why you must apologize for not tamely subscribing to all of his ideas and views. Everybody agrees that he is eccentric and in some cases downright weird. That’s it. The man has done the world (at least us, as daily GNU users) a favor with his work, but not necessarily with the way he thinks. Fair enough. He is probably out of touch with most of us and especially the corporate dwellers but I guess most people who make the kind of choices that he did will eventually branch off in some direction (or dimension :-) ) that is alien to most others. I think it’s a little sad that many seem to feel the need to write him off as a Terrorist or Extremist for that, but okay.
    I would have just left it at that and let people decide for themselves what to make of it. Nothing to apologize for.

    That said, if you do feel that you have maneuvered yourself into a position where you need to apologize, it should be done properly. And then I don’t see an apology but another round of slander disguised as an apology and given that you’ve already used your last episode to express how you feel about him, it is starting to look like you were out to expose him as a malevolent freak right from the start.

    The premise of the apology is this: “It was a mistake to try and argue with a nutjob who has very strange views about children. I got a little carried away and I take the full blame for that.”
    It reminds me about how my ex-girlfriend used to settle arguments. She’d say something like: “Okay, I was obviously wrong to think I could have a mature argument with a vile creature like you. As the better person, I should have known better; I am deeply sorry.”
    Which somewhat explains why our relationship perished in a global thermonuclear exchange at some point.

    Seems to me like another round of mudslinging and I think it is a little regrettable.
    I hope you guys can think of a better way to celebrate episode 300.

    (Torvalds has anger issues and Raymond is probably a “Don’t Treat On Me” kinda guy who likes to shoot things and talks about himself in the third-person plural).

  • Michael Stephenson

    Well done Bryan, thought you weren’t gonna man up and do it for a while there.
    It takes balls to do that and you should be commended.

    To some of the other posters: If you think that all these attacks on Stallman are justified you might want to look in the mirror at who is being the extremist, necrophilic and pedophilic, really you gonna back that one up with actual evidence? Dismissing him because he isn’t slick and good looking.

    And for the record the argument he made wasn’t that no one should have kids, that as an individual the best way you can do a positive thing for the planet is to forego the right to have them.

    In that interview the worst thing Stallman said. And this has not been picked up by people who are too busy twisting his words was this.
    “Propriety software is bad and if he had the power to ban it, he would.”
    Now that is tyrannical and megalomaniacal and negative in the freedom dimension. If Bryan had attacked that rather than some poxy crap about his kid starving we’d have had some good debating with SRM on his back foot.

  • veritanuda

    Well I am quite glad that you have had time to reflect over the interview and some of the points made. It was unfortunate you framed the argument that, having children is not an excuse to do immoral, unethical or illegal acts as a justification, incorrectly. On that point I have to agree with RMS as it is sensible argument to have.

    Where his and your discordance manifests is in the stance that non-free software is fundamentally immoral. That discussion is still open, but for the sake of completeness I do feel that fundamentally it is ‘morally superior’ to share knowledge, tools, ideas than it is to proprietorize (is that even a word?) for just a few.

    It is true you do get rather visceral on some topics and while most of the time I don’t mind Apple bashing or Oracle baiting I did not find it was really so justified in this case.

    Other than that I think it is very gracious of you to rethink and publicly apologise for your emotional tone. In some ways I am happy that it has got people to think about the issues so much more than they would normally. The is a real need in the world for Free Software just as there are for Free ideas and Free co-operation. Ultimately that WILL make the world a better place.

  • Michael Stephenson

    Some of the other posters have really got me annoyed.

    Fundamentally I agree with Bryan’s point of view, Stallman is willing to be luddite and wait for stuff to come in decades as free software that can be provided in another way, now by proprietary software. The only way to stop new proprietary technology being made would be by force, and that would most certainly be negative in the freedom dimension.

    But these other posters have taken the point of view that because Stallman is wrong, that justifies ANY attack on him as being for some kind of righteous cause.
    Even if RMS were erotically attracted to corpses, what effect does that have on his view of free software. Other people hold the same belief so have you shattered there argument? No.
    Did the fact that Reiser killed his wife instantly make all the technology decisions he made in creating his filesystem invalid? No.
    If you can’t argue against Stallman in the arena of Free Software you might not be up to the challenge, and you’d be better just shutting the fuck up, because you’re debasing the entire argument.

    On the new show on Sunday Bryan hit onto a good and relevant argument against Stallman, how all his jet-setting is funded. This was some good debating, it’s just a shame it didn’t happen with Stallman present.

    There is a right and a wrong way to do thing, and your belief that the other person is on the wrong side doesn’t justify you doing things in the wrong way people!

  • Billy Pride

    You call this an apology … for an utter lack of integrity.. Give me a break, this apology is yet another attack and attempt to make out as if what you did was understandable and ok. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. You dig yourself in deeper with every utterence.

    Bryan, we are all geeks who watch LAS, but dude, you are seriously uncool.

    YOU need to watch your own bloody interview. It is as painful as you are disingenuous… because you can’t be this stupid. Disgusting.

  • Scott Deagan

    Bryan, very tough call.

    On the one hand, the RMS bashing appealed to, and appeased, a certain group of viewers. On the other hand, many viewers (while not necessarily agreeing with RMS) were left with a bad taste in their mouths after watching the interview. Friend turned against friend, brother against brother.

    My respect for you and what you’re doing for the community has increased 10 fold (not to forget Chris and Alan! We love them too!!!).

    It takes real man balls to reflect, and even bigger man balls to apologize. I want to see you use those balls to bounce in to the next episode and open up a can of whoop-ass on the live stream!

    Suggestion – if you ever interview RMS again, try using Jedi powers: “These are not the four freedoms you’re looking for….”. You’d have a better chance of convincing him his philosophy and beliefs are not practical in this day and age by doing this than by trying to debate the issue.

    Question – are goats edible?

  • Michael Stephenson

    “This guy is not a good rep for open source and for free software and people who think he is need to watch the video and make up there own minds.”

    Unfortunately there is no way to democratically elect our long legged mac daddy representative of open source. RMS is entitled to represent his beliefs in public.
    No amount of whining and verbal attacks on Stallman is going to change that.
    Start your own foundation and find a sexy figurehead if you like, send Danica Patrick to software conventions to espouse the values you hold if you like.

  • Michael Stephenson

    @Billy Pride,
    Given that Bryan could have chose to not say anything more on the subject and this would have all died away I think it’s positive that he admitted he was wrong. The previous blog post especially is the most egregious thing rather than anything that happen on LAS.
    Bryan obviously still believes Stallman said he hates children, I still completely disagree.
    But acknowledging that he did not conduct himself in an acceptable manner is not some attempt to absolve himself of wrongdoing as you present it, it is an admission of guilt to wrongdoing.

  • Billy Pride

    Reread more closely this alleged apology. He never owns up to the baseless and vicious slander of stallman being a paedophile Although it is far more likely that Bryans has goat sex with his tied up goats we refrain from making the baseless accusation…both sleeping with kids…but really, it is a contemtible thing to have said and hid behind, and he does need to apologise for it. Clearly, not in some mealy mouth way that he (Bryan) is some amazing defender of kids and therefore was justified. He has not even come close, he has again asserted it all, and has apologised for “understandably loosing his cool”. Bollocks.He did a hell of a lot more than that, he resorted to vicious character assassination because his argument was too weak to stand.

  • http://www.lunduke.com Bryan

    Billy Pride: I never *EVER* said that Stallman is a pedophile. Nor would I. I have no idea if he is or not.

  • Scott Deagan

    @Billy Pride – a bit harsh. You seem to be harboring much anger and frustration, as I did after watching the interview. But now it’s time to let go! The interview was silly, there was a personality clash, (very) stupid things were said, many viewers were left perplexed and annoyed while others were frothing at the mouth with glee (as people once did when a Christian was thrown in with the lions – not saying RMS is a Christian or anything!!! Just using a loose analogy!!!). The Duke has been very anti-RMS for a while now, so why they invited him onto the episode is an unsolved mystery.

    I’m not going to get into semantics or “he said, she said” arguments. While The Duke’s apology may not meet your approval, he has made the effort (and I’m hoping it’s a sincere effort), and that’s good enough for me. I have every confidence that The Duke and Chris learned much from that interview, and that’s what these kids are doing – learning as they go along (they’re still “wet behind the ears” in many respects, but that’s all part of growing up).

    I’m still deeply saddened that the majority of the audience still don’t understand “free as in free speech”, and that most immediately resorted to “I need money so I have the right to create proprietary software and sell it” based arguments. I’ve always held the view (and it’s simply my view) that those trying create fame and fortune by creating proprietary apps for these app stores are similar to budding musicians who want to become rich and famous rock stars. If you aspire to this model (and I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t – I haven’t really formed an opinion about this), some of you will make it. But those that don’t (which is the majority) often feel like they’ve somehow been cheated and that things are not fair because they’re not rewarded for their superior intellect, creativity and efforts.

    I’ve been in the unfortunate position to witness this first hand – close friend of mine created something (which he copied from someone else – not “copy” as in copying code, but “copy” as in copying game play, screen layout etc) and released it on the Android market. He makes maybe £30 to £50 per month from his “creation”, and is full of frustration and vitriol towards Google. Why? Because he firmly believes his lack of “success” (fame and fortune) is Google’s fault for not featuring his app, for not providing a better eco-system, for not putting in place an approval system similar to Apple’s, for not providing human points of contact etc etc etc (I’ve heard them all). What he doesn’t consider is the extremely simplistic nature of his app (it’s only a step up from a “guess the number” type game) and market forces (supply/demand etc). He watched episode 200, fully agreed with The Duke (i.e. “programmers should be paid for their creations! The GNU is idealistic and impractical”), and even went so far as to call RMS a Nazi and Communist (not sure how he reconciled that one).

    The friend I speak of owns a Hackintosh (didn’t pay for the OS and excuses the license violation with “it’s for experimentation purposes only, I don’t really use it commercially” justifications), a hacked version of Windows 7 (and excuses this with “I have bought many computers with Windows licenses, so one of those should cover that”), several downloaded PDF books (the excuse – “I buy a real book every now and that’s because I illegally download copyrighted works”), yet believes fully in proprietary software and the right for programmers to be paid.

    A classic case of “loss aversion” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion).

    I have another friend who has been writing “custom” software for a bank over here for the last 36 months at £700 per day – a rate that is not uncommon for working in banking and finance here in the UK. I can’t be bothered doing the math right now, but needless to say, he’s living a very comfortable life (paid off his mortgage, expensive restaurants, nice cars etc).

    Anyway, I digress… Just food for thought, my 2 cents worth. I still have much faith in LAS, as it makes Linux appealing to a new younger generation – something that the RMS could never achieve (and this is something I firmly believe the Linux movement really needs – exposure to the new generation). It’s impossible to discuss RMS and the GPL without causing divisions.

    Let’s try to be bigger men (with big man balls), and make every effort to put this debacle behind us while concentrating on the future as a Linux loving community.

  • Benedict


    Good of you to apologize. The ad hominem did get in the way of the debate a little.

    That said, kudos for taking on a big, tough interview and not being afraid to challenge RMS on the air. I am kind of new to linux (uh sorry, GNU/linux) and I did not know anything about RMS and what he stood for before your show.

    Still love LAS

  • madjo

    Hi B-Man, you are no longer negative in the freedom dimension. In fact, you’ve transcended the freedom dimension right into the awesome dimension.

  • Ryan

    Respect you for posting this. I think that you both raised some good points and some not so good points …

    His view of unethical is a bit out there … keep doing what you’re doing!

    Oh, I think it should be Linux/GNU Action show if you have to include GNU … ; )

  • securezone

    Bryan, Yes I think your opinion about food/daughter/kids is totally wrong and exaggerated. Yes I think you are missing the biggest picture.

    But, that’s not wrong. It’s called freedom of speech. RMS disagrees with many people, including you. And you disagree with many people including RMS — So what? It’s all cool.

    If you want to enrich your knowledge, I suggest you to revise your thoughts on GPL and software freedom/ethics. But, if you happen to be still ignorant, then it’s perfectly OK to express your disagreement!

    Have fun. Troll hard.

  • securezone

    Bryan, you said that no one cares about RMS’s opinion on certain matters?

    The more important question is, who cares about YOUR opinion on RMS? Seriously, pfffft. At least RMS is far more important to the software industry than you are. In fact, the mere comparision between him and you is insulting him.

    You really need to be a deeper thinker. You are missing a lot of think and a candidate of being a clear case of dunning-kruger (google it).

    Freedom of speech. Have fun. Troll hard.

  • http://michaeltunnell.com MichaelTunnell.com


    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.

  • http://michaeltunnell.com MichaelTunnell.com

    oh yea, I like Creative Commons much more than GPL for when I release stuff that I care even the slightest amount about…I will release under GPL when I couldn’t care less if get anything from it or not…but CC is much better for protecting my stuff.

  • Scott Deagan

    @MichaelTunnell.com – still confusing “free as in free speech” with “free as in free beer”. Put Stallman’s opinions to one side for a moment – it’s too confusing when the discussion switches from his “opinions” (especially those about children etc) to the GPL.

    Stallman does not say he does not want people making money. That’s just ludicrous. He does say he believes (it’s his opinion) that it’s “unethical” to create proprietary software, but let’s keep his opinions to one side.

    Regarding “he doesn’t care if people make money” – it’s not his job to care. Do you really care if people make money? I certainly don’t take it upon myself to worry about the financial earnings of anyone I know – it’s none of my business. That goes for the companies I acquire software from (purchased or otherwise). Do I “care” about the profits of the developer who created the chess game I bought from some app store? No, I do not. Of course I would be annoyed if he went out of business and I couldn’t get a bug fixed or a feature added (which plays into the argument about being “free” if you have access to the source code), but I certainly couldn’t claim potential future “annoyance” is today’s “caring”.

    Same applies to Illumination Software Creator. If I purchased a copy of Illumination Software Creator from Bryan Lunduke, only to find out 6 months down the track that Mr. Lunduke was actually a raging cocaine addict who had to go into rehab for two years without a computer (I don’t like using the “…was hit by a bus…” hypothetical), I would be left with a product that I couldn’t fix or modify – so the product I have purchased could potentially become useless to me.

    Everyone is free to choose whatever license they please, so long as they do not violate other licenses (like using large portions of GPL licensed code and not sticking to the terms and conditions of the GPL license).

    What annoys me is the lack of understanding and the Stallman bashing. Whether you like it or not, Linux is more than the lines of code millions have contributed to over the years. Stallman is a big part of Linux, and regardless of what happens in the future, he always will be. If you don’t like it, feel free to write your own GPL-free kernel and OS (along with removing Linux as your “primary OS”, as published in your resume).

    In case you don’t realize – there’s a war going on out there. Companies want to destroy Linux (remember the SCO lawsuit back in 2003, or Apple trying to hire Linus and preventing him from working on the Linux kernel, or Microsoft “licensing” Android to manufacturers based on a purported 300 or so patent violations?). This is where the uncompromising nature of Stallman is a big plus.

    Linux is more than just an OS – it is something that encapsulates Stallman’s “four-freedoms”. It’s not a “free for all” (it has a license, and this license must be adhered to), and it’s not going to attempt to offer you any suggestions or guarantees on how to monetize using the GPL. If you don’t like it, there’s always BSD, Windows, Mac OS etc…

  • Chris

    Why would you apologize to someone like RMS. He’s not someone that can understand how normal people work and needs to be ignored. It’s pointless to talk to someone like that.

  • Tito

    Well written, Bryan.

    To people who don’t get it: this is actually more of an “oops, I messed up there” than an apology aimed at any particular person.

    Bryan got carried away and ended up in an off-topic discussion. It was also mostly his fault, but it’s not a big deal. It happens to all of us, we learn and we move on.

    I hope to see LAS host RMS again some time, hopefully with more specific and on topic discussion.

  • http://gnu.org rms

    I’d just like to interject for a moment.

    What you’re referring to as the Linux Action Show, is in fact, the GNU/Linux Action Show, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, the GNU plus Linux Action Show. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

    Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project. There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use.

    Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

  • SylvesterStallman

    It’s untrue that Stallman don’t want to have children. He simply *can’t*. No woman will ever let him to get laid. Not since he eats cheese produced by his foots!

  • billiebob

    I think it’s crazy that you make it seem like he expressed his views on children. In response to you bringing up you daughter absolutely out of nothing, he said that feeding your family is not an excuse for doing unethical things. Now what you really should’ve discussed is why you don’t think proprietary software is unethical. Instead, you managed to somehow focus the entire discussion on your family life, and now make it seem like he propagated his “unethical” views on children in your fake apology.

    You made the interview really embarassing and your view on it in retrospect shows how badly you failed to grasp his point.

  • billiebob

    If you wanted to argue his answer to your question in which you brought up your daughter, you should’ve explained why selling proprietary software is ethical and therefore perfectly fine to do to feed your kids. Or even explain why you think it is okay to do unethical things to feed your daughter. Instead you just responded by saying that he doesn’t like children to have food… In a really childish way.

  • Mark Tarver

    I’m afraid I do not agree with the view that Bryan was childish his reasoning was clear enough. Bryan said

    1. The only thing Bryan does really well is write non-free games software for $.
    2. Doing 1. is needed to support his family.

    Stallman’s response wasn’t to show that there was a business model in this area that would support Bryan – he simply averred that Bryan should not do 1., thereby indeed making his ‘free’ crusade more important than the welfare of Bryan’s family. In doing so Bryan exposed how fundamentally out of touch Stallman is.

    A good response from Stallman would have been to show how Bryan could have continued as a games developer under GPL and shown 2. to be false. But Stallman did not do that. Hence Bryan rightly in my view said he was disappointed in Stallman’s lack of ideas.

    Stallman was totally shown up to be empty and irrelevant. No apology was needed from Bryan who behaved with great restraint to a man who called him a thief.

  • Chris Wininger

    Stumbled on this recently (I know this is very old post). I don’t think you needed to apologize at all, that interview was painful but great. I remember it well. Often when Stallman is interviewed it’s either by someone who has no idea what he’s talking about or someone who drinks the kool-aid without question. It was great to see someone who takes Stallman’s ideas very seriously (enough to want to implement them) debate and question him. This has always been one of my favorite Stallman interviews, and a great moment in JB history. Also where would be today without all those great soundbites on LA?