Richard Stallman Delivers Speech at NYU, Countering Mundie's Attack on Free Software

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Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <>
Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - May 25, 2001 - Richard M. Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, announced today that New York University has asked him to deliver a talk that will counterbalance the speech made on May 3, 2001 at NYU by Craig Mundie of Microsoft.

Stallman, author of the GNU General Public License, will deliver this speech, entitled "Free Software: Freedom and Cooperation", at Warren Weaver Hall, Room 109 at 251 Mercer Street on the New York University campus. The speech will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, May 29, 2001, and a press conference will immediately follow the speech at 12:15 PM. The press is also invited to a reception at 09:30 AM at the same location.

Stallman's speech will cover the importance of software freedom and cooperation among programmers and users, and why the GNU project developed the GNU General Public License to facilitate sharing, cooperation and freedom.

To help correct the myths propagated by Mundie's statements, the Free Software Foundation has published a frequently asked question (FAQ) list about the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). This FAQ list addresses many misconceptions about the GNU GPL. That FAQ list is available at:

In Microsoft's first attack against the GNU GPL earlier this year, Jim Allchin of Microsoft, claimed the GNU GPL threatens the American Way. Stallman responded with an essay that shows how the GNU GPL reflects and embodies the American spirit. That essay is available at:

About Richard M. Stallman:

Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU project, launched in 1984 to develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for "GNU's Not Unix"), and thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost. GNU is free software: everyone is free to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small.

Stallman received the Grace Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery for 1991 for his development of the first Emacs editor in the 1970s. In 1990 he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and in 1996 an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. In 1998 he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award along with Linus Torvalds; in 1999 he received the Yuri Rubinski memorial award.

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software---particularly the GNU operating system (used widely today in its GNU/Linux variant)--- and free documentation. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. This web site, located at, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. The FSF is headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.

About GNU:

GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. Development of GNU began in 1984. GNU is used most commonly today as GNU/Linux.

GNU/Linux is the combination of the GNU system and the kernel named Linux, modified to work together smoothly. Although there is no way of actually counting them, this combination has millions of users, probably over twenty million.

The GNU/Linux combination is often confusingly called "Linux", which leads people to an inaccurate picture of the history and nature of the system. Distinguishing between GNU/Linux, the complete system, and Linux, the kernel, helps correct the confusion.