Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Why Stallman is right about Steve Jobs

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A simple Google search for "Stallman Steve Jobs" brings up a fair few condemnatory rants about his eulogy to Jobs. I haven't been able to find one person who thinks he was justified in writing what he did.

But then, remember, he was saying this about the former chief executive of a company that is at the forefront of trying to prevent its competitors from bringing products to market by using patent suits; a company that sues at the drop of a hat; a company that tries to dictate everything to its users including the type of songs and books they buy; and a company that enjoys restricting its users hardware upgrade options.

In that context, one cannot really see anything incorrect with what Stallman said. He may have put it in direct language - would it have been any better if it was couched in bizspeak?

At no point did he say that he was glad that Jobs had died; indeed, he took care to point out that nobody really deserved to die.

Of course, it wasn't politically correct to write such an eulogy. But then when has Stallman been politically correct? Had he been concerned about what people think about him, where would those who care about software freedom be?

Stallman has nothing to be ashamed about; if only some of the hypocrites in the FOSS ranks were half as direct, we would live in a much better world.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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