Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 03:08:23 -0400

    RMS's theory is that people don't want to think about the issues he
    brings up, and so they get pissed off when he insists on bringing them

Actually I think that is just part of the reason.  There are others.

I'm sure I do things that rub people the wrong way.  My special
abilities are in programming and determination, not in dealing with
people.  So people probably sometimes have this or that good reason to
be unhappy with me.  However, this alone would not produce the amount
of anger that we observe.  People focus on it because they have some
other reason to want to criticize me.

When people believe the popular picture of what the "Linux system"
consists of and where it came from, they will tend to think that I am
trying to "steal" credit for someone else's work when I point out the
truth.  These people are angry because they are misinformed about the
situation: if their picture were accurate, it would justify the anger.
However, some of them are not rational about it.

Other people object to copyleft, because they want to be able to use
our free code in their proprietary software.  Some of them are so
selfish that they seek to manipulate the situation purely in the hope
of being allowed to use the code we write.  Most often they make
scrurrilous attacks on the GPL itself, but they also call me names,
such as "communist".

Each of these groups includes some people who don't scruple to
exaggerate and distort facts about me personally, to make me look bad.
If you keep your eyes open for it, you'll probably see it going by.