Richard Matthew Stallman, often known by his initials, rms, is an American software freedom activist and programmer.
The free software movement or free libre open source software is a social movement with the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for software users, namely the freedom to run the software, to study and change the software, and to redistribute copies with or without changes.
Political freedom is a central concept in history and political thought and one of the most important features of democratic societies.
A programmer, computer programmer, developer, dev, coder, or software engineer is a person who writes computer software.
He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute and modify that software.
Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software.
Free software, freedom-respecting software, software libre, or libre software is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute the software and any adapted versions.
Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.
The Free Software Foundation is a 501 non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 to support the free software movement, which promotes the universal freedom to study, distribute, create, and modify computer software, with the organization's preference for software being distributed under copyleft terms, such as with its own GNU General Public License.
The GNU General Public License is a widely used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software.
The GNU Project is a free software, mass collaboration project, announced on September 27, 1983, by Richard Stallman at MIT.
Stallman launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software.
Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, developed in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.
A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification.
An operating system is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.
With this, he also launched the free software movement.
He has been the GNU project's lead architect and organizer, and developed a number of pieces of widely used GNU software including, among others, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger and the GNU Emacs text editor.
The GNU Debugger, usually called just GDB and named gdb as an executable file, is the standard debugger for the GNU operating system.
A text editor is a type of program used for editing plain text files.
In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.
Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law to preserve the right to use, modify and distribute free software, and is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.
Copyleft is the practice of offering people the right to freely distribute copies and modified versions of a work with the stipulation that the same rights be preserved in derivative works down the line.
Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.
A free software license is a notice that grants the recipient of a piece of software extensive rights to modify and redistribute that software.
In 1989 he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom.
League for Programming Freedom was founded in 1989 by Richard Stallman to unite free software developers as well as developers of proprietary software to fight against software patents and the extension of the scope of copyright.
Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and other legal and technical systems which he sees as taking away users' freedoms, including software license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, activation keys, dongles, copy restriction, proprietary formats and binary executables without source code.
A non-disclosure agreement, also known as a confidentiality agreement, confidential disclosure agreement, proprietary information agreement, or secrecy agreement, is a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to or by third parties.
A proprietary format is a file format of a company, organization, or individual that contains data that is ordered and stored according to a particular encoding-scheme, designed by the company or organization to be secret, such that the decoding and interpretation of this stored data is only easily accomplished with particular software or hardware that the company itself has developed.
In computing, executable code or an executable file or executable program, sometimes simply an executable, causes a computer "to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions," as opposed to a data file that must be parsed by a program to be meaningful.
As of 2016, he has received fifteen honorary doctorates and professorships.
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation and the passing of comprehensive examinations.