THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A software user should advocate the user freedoms in the software so that they should outsmart the manipulations being done in software to cheat the users, Richard M Stallman, the founder and global campaigner for the free software movement, has said.
He was delivering a lecture on the topic ‘What free software means and why the government’s responsibility is to use it’ on Tuesday. The event was hosted by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) on behalf of the Government of Kerala.
“If one doesn’t appreciate freedom, they will end up losing it. Many employees in government or corporates may not be aware of the manipulations being done in software. Hence they should not be able to use it properly. Here is the relevance of free software and the users can understand all the aspects in the free software so easily,” Stallman said. IT Secretary M Shiv Shankar welcomed him on behalf of the state government.
Stallman will also deliver a lecture at Technopark on Wednesday. The two-hour long workshop and interaction will be on the topic ‘Free Software, the threats, and our responses’.
All the free software community organisations, including Free Software Foundation of India, SPACE Kerala, Free Software Users Group and Prathidhwani Technopark, the welfare group for the techies will be the stakeholders of the meeting.
The event also marks the 15th anniversary of SPACE Kerala, a collective of free software activist in the state. SPACE had undertaken many initiatives that show potential of free software in achieving a developmental goal like better education, the inclusion of disabled, gender gap in technology.
As the most vehement advocate of free and open source software, Stallman has been the global spearhead of the campaign for the use of free software, especially by governments. Over the decades, he has been touring the globe, advocating the use of free software as well as campaigning against legal and technical restrictions like software patenting, which come in the way of free and independent use of the software.