Model Engineering College
Talk by Richard M. Stallman 

The Danger of Software Patents

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Prof. Jyothi John, Head of Computer Engineering Department introduces Stallman:

       It's my privilege and duty to welcome the most distinguished guest ever we had in this college.

        Mr. Richard Mathew Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system in 1984, the goal being to create a completely free Unix-like operating system. The organisation that was founded in 1985 to further this purpose is the Free Software Foundation. 

        Stallman is a visionary of computing in our times, and is the genius behind programs such as emacs, gcc, the GNU debugger and more. Most importantly, he's the author of the GNU general public licence, the licence under which more than half of all free software is distributed and developed. The combination of GNU with Linux, the kernel, called the GNU/Linux operating system, now has an estimated twenty million users worldwide.

        Stallman's concept of free software talks about freedom, rather than about price. His ideas g a long way into ensuring development of software for the welfare of society, collectively developed by programmers who do not  "lock up" their work, but rather release it for others to study, modify and redistribute.

        Stallman received the Grace Hopper award from the Association for computing machinery for 1991, in 1990 he was awarded McArhtur Foundation Fellowship - other recipients of this prestigious award include Nom Chomsky and Tim-Berners Lee. In 1996, an honorary doctorate of Technology from the Royal Institute, Sweden was awarded to him. In 1998, he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, along with Linus Torvalds. In 1999 he received the Yuri Rubinski Memorial award.

        Today, Stallman will be talking about the danger of software patents. In fact this is one of the most important aspect of the freedom of programming because the aspect of software patents may make all programmers potential lawbreakers because unknowingly they may be violating some of the patents registered by some other company.

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Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara, Kochi-21, India.