Business needs free software, says Stallman

Free Software Foundation (FSF) leader Richard Stallman said at the launch of the group's new version of the General Public Licence that businesses are "foolish" not to adopt non-proprietary technologies.

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Free Software Foundation (FSF) leader Richard Stallman said at the launch of the group's new version of the General Public Licence that businesses are "foolish" not to adopt non-proprietary technologies.

Speaking at the launch of the version three of the General Public Licence (GPLv3), Stallman contended that the continued use of paid products limits companies' innovation and weakens security of their IT operations.

Stallman detailed his opinions on why businesses - large and small - would be better suited to pursue the use of free software programmes at the GPLv3 launch at FSF's Boston headquarters last Friday.

By turning to alternatives like his GNU operating system rather than the proprietary technologies, such as Microsoft's Windows OS, that dominate corporate IT shops today, Stallman said, businesses would become less dependent on technology vendors to help solve many of the issues around applications development and security that currently prove troublesome.

Stallman said FSF isn't about catering directly to businesses, reiterating that he considers the group's mission more of a human rights campaign than a technological debate.

However, the expert said that businesses could help loosen the current stranglehold on the market maintained by proprietary products like Windows if they were more open to the use of free software.

"Business users should have the same freedom over the control of their software as everyone else and for businesses to use software they don't have control over is foolish," Stallman said. "Today, many businesses look at free software in terms of convenience and say that it is impossible to make a shift, but there is already free software available for doing a lot of the jobs businesses want to do."

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