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From: r...@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Richard Stallman)
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
Subject: A sad result
Date: 5 Jul 1993 23:36:09 -0400
Organization: GNUs Not Usenet
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Message-ID: <9307060336.AA23779@mole.gnu.ai.mit.edu>

It is sad that we cannot use GNU mp to write a free program for RSA
encryption.  We ought to be able to; we deserve the right.

I hope everyone concerned knows the reason why we cannot do it:
because of RSA Inc. and its patents.  A foolish government policy has
been stretched by a few selfish people to gain unjust power over the
rest of us.  (If you don't want anyone to have such power, join the
League for Programming Freedom, which aims to put and end to software
patents.)

In many cases, when there is aggression, people are divided on how to
respond.  Some are unwilling to forgive the aggressor while the
aggression continues.  Others would rather give in and accept whatever
terms they can get, rather than have a fight.

Sometimes this disagreement leads to a curious psychological
phenomenon: those who wish not to resist may start to blame those who
do resist, usually for "making trouble".  In effect, they exonerate
the aggressor and blame the victim.

It appears that this is starting to happen here: some people blame the
FSF for sticking to its policy of permitting its software to be used
only in free programs, rather than changing the policy to fit RSA's
dictates.

This attitude is understandable, but it isn't just.  I hope that those
who favor bowing to RSA's power (a mistake, in my opinion) will
respect those of us who will not.

When free software comes into conflict with the demands of powerful
proprietary software companies, the result is often sad.  If we
respond by standing up for free software and making it stronger, we
can make sad results happen less often.  If we treat the victory of
the greedy as inevitable, and assume we must do as they say, they will
make us sadder and sadder.



(Send mail to l...@uunet.uu.net if you want information about what the
LPF stands for; if you have heard about the LPF only indirectly, I
suggest you ask for information, since many people have heard
inaccurate information.  In particular, the LPF is not an organization
for free software.)

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