A changing of the guard

By Malcolm Blaney on
I'm pretty shocked by the recent actions of people considered the leaders of the Free Software and Free Culture movements. Joi Ito was enough, but the response from Lawrence Lessig was sad, out of touch and disappointing.

Now we have RMS jumping into the conversation, just when another unkind and thoughtless voice was exactly what was required. If these people can't condemn the actions of their colleagues why are they even speaking? They might not be able to hear the hurt they are piling on to an already terrible history, but the rest of us can.

It took me many years to join the FSF as a member, even though I have considered myself a supporter of Free Software for as long as I have written code. I've only been a member for a year, but today I emailed the FSF to cancel my membership. This makes me very sad as I really believe in the Free Software movement, but I refuse to contribute to an organisation that supports RMS and the views he is currently sharing.

There needs to be a changing of the guard in these organisations, there is obviously too much history here in allowing systemic abuse to continue unnoticed or tolerated. But let's not look for new leaders among the old ones that have failed us. I hope whatever change comes, we find better representation for those who have been hurt by the current structures. Let's also look to new models where leaders aren't required for a group of people to find a voice.
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