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Richard Stallman

Leader of the Free Software Movement

Image of Richard Stallmain pointing at his laptop
Richard Stallman with his Thinkpad T400s laptop, which has a free initialisation program (libreboot) and a free operating system (Trisquel GNU/Linux).

About Richard Stallman

Dr. Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU project and the president of the Free Software Foundation. He began developing GNU in 1984 and has been working on creating freedom-respecting and open source software that is available to the public, for free. In 1992, Linus Torvalds liberated his kernel, Linux, which completed the final piece of the GNU project, resulting in the combined GNU/Linux operating system, which is a completely free operating system used by hundreds of millions today.

Stallman personally developed a variety of the free and open source software components of the GNU system, including the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger, GNU Emacs, and various others.

Stallman invented the concept of copyleft, “Change it and redistribute it but don’t strip off this freedom,” and wrote (with lawyers) the GNU General Public License, which implements copyleft. This inspired Creative Commons.

In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free online encyclopedia through inviting the public to contribute articles. This idea helped inspire Wikipedia.

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