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Watch: "JavaScript: If you love it, set it free"

by Alex Patel Contributions Published on Aug 27, 2014 04:22 PM
FSF executive director John Sullivan spoke at this year's FOSDEM, a volunteer-organized conference held in Belgium that highlights the development of free software.

In his speech, John emphasized how proprietary JavaScript, which runs on the user's Web browser without being released under a free license, hurts the user's freedom to view and modify the software that they run. He also highlights some specific examples of malicious behavior by proprietary JavaScript such as blocking browser functions or recording the user's keystrokes.

Free your javascript video thumb

Watch the video on our GNU MediaGoblin instance

John discussed the progress of the FSF's Free JavaScript campaign, as well as the development of GNU LibreJS, a browser plugin built to stop non-free JavaScript from being executed on the user's computer. He also explained how simple it is to release JavaScript under a free license through Web Labels -- simple pages that enumerate the licenses of all the JavaScript distributed on a Web site -- or by adding a license tag to the code.

Through the Free JavaScript campaign, which grew out of Richard Stallman's insights in The Javascript Trap, the FSF is working to pursuade governments, NGOs, and other organizations to fix their Web sites to work without forcing the user to execute any proprietary software on their computer. The campaign is currently focusing on Reddit.

To get involved in the Free JavaScript campaign, join the low-volume Free JavaScript Action Team email list.

If you have expert-level knowledge of JavaScript or software licensing, we invite you to submit a request to join the JavaScript Developers Task Force, a discussion list that works closely with the FSF on the Free JavaScript campaign and provides technical guidance to Web sites working to free their JavaScript.

If you'd like to view the slides from John's presentation, you can view them on John's user page on LibrePlanet.

This blog post was written by FSF campaigns intern Alex Patel.

More information about the FSF's internship program is available on our Internships page.

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