Subject: Re: Open Source Definition, paragraph 4
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 01:10:32 -0700

To believe that freedom will "follow of itself", in the face of
contrary experience, is a leap of faith that I don't want to join in.
We are already failing to reach all the free software users to tell
them that an issue of freedom is involved.  Users often let their
freedom slip away, or choose a non-free option, without even thinking
about the matter.  They don't know there is a matter of freedom to
think about.

The more people accumulate in the community who haven't started to
think about freedom, the more likely they are to follow the pied piper
in some other direction.  No set of rules, or trademarked definition,
can keep people from throwing away their freedom if they want to.  If
we want to build a community that lasts, we need to build a foundation
of conscious thought.  We need to teach people to value freedom.

I'm inviting everyone reading this message to help in that job.  We
don't need all of you to help, but we need to do more than we have
been doing.  The more people who help, the stronger a foundation we
can build.