Free Software Activist to Speak at WSU


OGDEN, Utah – Richard Stallman, a MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ winner, a computer programmer and activist, will present "Free Software and Your Freedom," at Weber State University on Oct. 30 at 12:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Hall George S. Eccles Lecture Hall Room 229. The public is invited to attend the 90-minute presentation followed by a 60- minute question-and-answer period.

Stallman launched the free-software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system in 1984. The free GNU software is on tens of millions of computers and is also part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

He emphasizes free software must not restrain a user's ability to run, copy, distribute or even modify the software. Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and pioneered the Copyleft software license, which not only makes software programs free but requires also that all modified and extended versions of the program be free as well.

As an activist, Stallman encourages people to think about freedom and liberty and to consider what types of software and hardware forward those ideals.

“My main speech topics are not technical,” Stallman said. “They are about political issues regarding the use of software, and anyone concerned about ethical issues and the effects on our daily lives should be concerned about that as well.”

While Stallman is a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, he travels the world promoting the free-software movement.

“For at least two decades, Utah has been a lead innovator in the software industry,” said Luke Fernandez WSU’s Program and Technology Development manager. “That innovation, in turn, rests on giving innovators the freedom to innovate. Under his leadership, the Free Software Foundation has played a key role in defining and promoting this freedom.”

In addition to being a MacArthur 'Genius Grant’ winner, Stallman received the 1990 AMC Grace Murray Hopper Award, which is presented to the outstanding young computer professional of the year. Also he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment as well as several honorary doctoral degrees. He is an inductee in the Internet Hall of Fame.

 Stallman’s presentation is part of the College of Applied Science & Technology speaker series and is sponsored by the Weber State Technology Outreach Center.

Visit for more news about Weber State University.Contact:
Luke Fernandez, WSU Program and Technology Development manager
801-626-8088 ·
Allison Barlow Hess, Director of Public Relations
801-626-7948 •