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Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:17:17 -0500

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

I'm responding to the points you raised so as to educate you and
others about what we do and where we stand.  You don't have to agree,
but I want incorrect statements about us to be corrected.

  > All that you can do to enforce the GPL is sue people.

On the contrary, most of our enforcement actions don't go as far as a
court case.  But we need to have that option as a last resort
in order to win most of the time without suing.

                                                          Isn't there enough
  > litigiousness in the world today?

Yes, but that doesn't imply that any given lawsuit is wrong.

For instance, look at the ACLU's lawsuits.  The ACLU is constantly
suing to overturn unjust laws and protect human rights.  I support the
ACLU because I support those lawsuits.

The FSF's GPL enforcement is also a way of protecting human rights:
specifically, every user's right to change and redistribute certain

                                      Moreover, there is no other fruit
  > borne by these restrictions

No, it's the other way around.  We use the GNU GPL to STOP those who
redistribute our code from placing restrictions on subsequent users of

                                than that won in a court battle.

Usually we succeed without a court battle.  However, if do go to court
and win, that's still good -- it protects the users' freedom.

  > You
  > certainly aren't recruiting more developers in any projects which are
  > subject to this policy.

Yes we are.  There are several Emacs contributors that weren't
involved a few years ago.

However, Emacs would fail to give people freedom if we gave up on
defending it.

  > Of course, all of this would probably not be necessary were it not for
  > the controversial nature of the GPL which leads to lawsuits a lot more
  > than 

Our defense of freedom is controversial, but we don't mind.  The GPL
sometimes leads to lawsuits because it defends users' freedom.
If we gave up without a fight, we'd never have a fight, but that would
not be better.

         other open-source licenses.

This is the free software movement.  We believe that nonfree software
is an injustice because it denies users freedom.  We don't just wish
everyone had software freedom; we work and campaign and when necessary
fight for it.

Open source is a different idea; the term was coined specifically to
reject our views.  They disagree with us, and we disagree with them.

See https://gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
for more explanation of the difference between free software and open
source.  See also https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-meme-hustler for
Evgeny Morozov's article on the same point.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See https://stallman.org/skype.html.

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