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January, February 2017: Photos from Michigan

by Jeanne Rasata Contributions Published on Feb 14, 2017 10:07 AM

RMS was in the US state of Michigan this month, to give stand-alone speech on three different campuses. He was…

…at Kalamazoo College, in Kalamazoo, MI, on January 30the as a guest of the college's Department of Physics, and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, to give his speech “Computing, Freedom, and Privacy” to the local students and faculty and to some computer professionals from the Kalamazoo community.1

…at Wayne State University, in Detroit, MI, on January 31st, he gave his speech “Freedom for Computer Users: Free Software” to WSU students, other people from of the local community, as well as to students from the University of Windsor's Department of Computer Science in Toronto, Ontario, via live stream. Professor Loren Schweibert, interim chair of WSU's computer science department, shared that he wanted to host RMS as a speaker,

because I think there is not a general understanding of the extent to which proprietary software undermines our privacy, but even I was not aware of some of the examples presented. I think there were a lot of good questions from the audience, which indicated that they also care about these issues. It definitely gave people food for thought. And, I know that it has encouraged people to make more effort toward making sure that the software developed here is released as free software.

He added, “The only significant software project I have was already released with a license of Version 3 of the GPL Version or later, based on the recommendations of your website.”


(Photo under CC BY-SA 3.0 and courtesy of Loren Schwiebert.)

…and at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, MI, where RMS gave his speech “Free Software and Your Freedom” to about 350 people, on February 1st. After the talk, the Department of Computer Science's Professor Keith VanderLinden said,

We invited RMS to speak at Calvin College because of his long-standing, compelling work on behalf of free software, and he delivered a talk that was both engaging and challenging. We're very pleased to have hosted him. I believe that his talk motivated a number of students to consider working on free software. And although the institutional inertia strongly favors the use of commercial software in our courses, our department is considering making an effort to move to free platforms.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can inform you about future events in and around Kalamazoo, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. Please see for a full list of all of RMS's confirmed engagements, and contact if you'd like him to come speak.

Thank you to everyone who made these appearances possible!

1. See here for Kalamazoo College's The Index's reporting on the speech.

2. You can find instructions on how to use GNU licenses for your program here.

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