Subject: Re: Giving Richard His Due
From: "Tony Stanco" <Tony@FreeDevelopers.net>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 06:48:01 -0500

>From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
>I recall an organization Richard promoted some years ago called the
>League for Programming Freedom.  One of the League's tenets (and I was
>a member) was that reinvention is commonplace in the software world,
>and so patents on software are bad.
>
>Now you're trying to give Richard a virtual patent on inventing free
>software, and free software licenses?  I expect him to decline.

I am only suggesting we give Richard his due. If he is trying to take too
much credit, we should resist that, just as much at giving him too little.
But from my view of things, he is not overreaching. Again, my propositions
are that without the GPL we would not be where we are today. And without
Richard there wouldn't be a GPL.

For me the GPL is the Constitution of Free Software. It is hard to overstate
its position in protecting our software freedoms, just like it is hard to
overstate the position of the US Constitution in protecting American
freedoms.

>History has forgotten those who took ethical stands over ideas ... and
>failed to convince anyone that those ideas were worthwhile.

Yes, history is the final judge. And it may be impossible to know how it
will ultimately turn out while we are still going through it. But what we
say and do now is how history will judge us. So, we might as well take the
high moral road.

As some in Washington often say - don't do anything you wouldn't want
repeated on the front page of the New York Times. That may be as good a
proxy as any.

In the end, we all have free will to do what we want and history will judge
us accordingly.