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Richard Stallman Defies Push By 27 GNU Project Developers To End His Leadership

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"27 GNU project maintainers and developers have signed on to a joint statement asking for Richard Stallman to be removed from his leadership role at GNU," writes Slashdot reader twocows. The statement argues that "Stallman's behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: The empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to." The Register reports: The GNU maintainer memo follows a statement issued by the Free Software Foundation on Sunday. The FSF said that because Stallman founded the GNU Project and the FSF, and until recently had led both, the relationship between the two organizations remains in flux. "Since RMS resigned as president of the FSF, but not as head of GNU, the FSF is now working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future," the FSF said. Matt Lee, a free and open-source software developer and one of the 18 [now 27] signatories of the joint statement, said that the two organizations have been intertwined for so long -- the FSF provides GNU with financial, technical, and promotional assistance -- that their relationship is confusing. "For example, the GNU GPL is published by the FSF, not GNU," Lee said. "Key infrastructure that GNU relies on is owned by the FSF, and used by GNU and non-GNU projects alike." ZDNet reports: Stallman's only comment on this situation so far has been: "As head of the GNU Project, I will be working with the FSF on how to structure the GNU Project's relationship with the FSF in the future." LWN.net notes that the next day Stallman issued an additional statement: As Chief GNUisance, I'd like to reassure the community that there won't be any radical changes in the GNU Project's goals, principles and policies. I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so. But these won't lead to unbounded or radical changes. But the Register notes that Stallman's personal web site has also changed the first headline across the top of its page. It used to promote the Free Software Foundation's giving guide, saying "If you participate in the commercial ritual of end-of-the-year presents, please avoid the digital products that would mistreat the people you give them to." It nows says: I continue to be the Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project. I do not intend to stop any time soon.

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