Subject: Re: Open letter to those who believe in a right to free software
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 18:52:22 -0700 (MST)

    Do you really like playing the part of the Pope to my Galileo?

There is a vague and limited resemblance between the two situations.
But the aspects of Galileo's situation which lead to our condemnation
of the pope's behavior are distinctly absent here today.

Galileo reported observations.  The pope had him put on trial and
forced him to keep silent.

By contrast, you are making a model based on certain assumptions, one
of them being a moral position that I disagree with.  I am saying that
that this could have bad effects.

If you were reporting facts, and if I were trying to arrest you, the
analogy would be valid.

    "Talking about birth control leads teenagers to have sex."  I think

I would expect that it does.  I don't object, because I see nothing
wrong with teenagers' having sex.