Video: Programming pioneer challenges computer students’ beliefs on freedom © Dec. 2, 2011, Norwich University Office of Communications

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Richard Stallman, a programmer who developed many widely-used software tools, shared his deep concerns on the state of our freedoms in the digital age with Norwich University staff and students.

Founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, Stallman was a principal creator of the GNU Project, geared toward creation of an operating system free from proprietary software. At his Nov. 16, 2011, Norwich presentation, he touched on a wide range of issues, including the freedoms he feels are necessary for software, the expansion of “malicious” copyright laws, and the methods corporations use to control distribution of digital content.

His ideas, which range from allowing users to alter and distribute source code for all software to removal of copyright protections from any published material that helps people work, have never failed to spark controversy, and prompted some impassioned disagreement from the audience.

This video shows a sample of Stallman’s comments.