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RMS article: “Saying No to unjust computing even once is helpful”

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on May 04, 2020 04:36 PM

In today’s article on, free software movement founder Richard Stallman (RMS) corrects a common misunderstanding: that utilizing any nonfree software at all is to be regarded as complete capitulation and grounds for excommunication from free software circles. RMS says that “Nothing could be further from the truth,” and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) agrees.

Part of the difficulty of escaping proprietary software is that so many important tasks in your life may be caught up in its web (for instance, schools, governments, and job applications frequently require the use of specific programs). However, every step towards complete freedom -- whether it means installing and teaching yourself a new free program, or refusing an activity that requires a proprietary program -- is an important one. Furthermore, every refusal to engage in a Zoom or Skype chat is a teachable moment, giving you an opportunity to educate your friends, colleagues, or loved ones about why software freedom matters. And the necessity for online communication right now during COVID-19 lockdowns makes these teachable moments more common than ever, giving free software advocates plenty of occasions to introduce the people they care about to excellent free software substitutes that enable them to stay in touch without being abused by proprietary software companies!

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