His position in the popularity stakes is bound to be even lower today following release of the third version of the General Public Licence - or GPLv3 as it is called - simply because a lot of people fear that their ability to profit from free and open source software will be diminished.
Let me state this again in simpler terms. The detractors of the GPLv3 have a simple mantra: anything that demands a modicum of principle should be thrown out of the window
If you subscribe to this line of argument, we need software licences which allow companies to benefit, which force rubbish down the throats of naive and uninformed customers, while companies pile up the moolah (and you have to see Michael Moore's latest film Sicko to understand exactly to what lengths people will go in order to make money).
All kinds of questions are being raised about the GPLv3 - mostly by people who don't take the trouble to read something which is available in plain English. The breed which is trying to spread misinformation would have definitely preferred a licence which was written using turgid prose - bizspeak or weasel words.
When Stallman released the final draft of GPLv3 on June 1, he told me he had decided to include a cut-off date in paragraph 7 of section 11 of the draft to make it possible for Novell to continue to distribute software covered under GPLv3 as part of its deal with Microsoft. In other words, the man was being merciful to a company which has sought to pervert the GPL. He was being anything but a software Talib (for the uninformed that's the singular of the collective noun Taliban).
Stallman said at the time: "I decided to include the date cut-off that makes paragraph 7 (of section 11) forbid only deals made after last March - which means it will not forbid Novell from distributing GPLv3-covered software under the effects of its deal with Microsoft.
"When Novell does that, paragraph 6, which has no date cut-off, will apply. We expect this to make the deal backfire against Microsoft, by extending the deal's limited patent protection for Novell customers to the whole user community. That is a better outcome than forbidding Novell from distributing the software, and that is why I made this decision."