Richard Stallman has resigned from the position of president of the Free Software Foundation and a place on its board. An era in the Free Software movement has ended.
Stallman left the FSF
The Free Software Foundation announced the change on September 16, 2019. We won't find any details in the short message. John Sullivan only noted that the Foundation immediately began to look for a new president and will keep up to date on progress. Stallman founded this foundation in 1985.
Stallman also retired from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT.
In the background there is human trafficking
Stallman made these decisions because of outside pressure. The creator of GNU does not shun controversial statements, but this time he found himself in a situation with no good solution.
It's about Stallman's attitude to Jeffrey Epstein – a sex trafficker. The topic surfaced at a respected technical college when it came to light that it had accepted donations totaling $ 7.5 million from Epstein.
In an email on a departmental group, Stallman wrote that Epstein's dark business victim was willing cooperation. I am talking about Virgini Giuffre, who at 17 was forced to have sex with the late professor MIT (it is difficult to say whether Prof. Minsky was aware of coercion). All correspondence has been published. Stallman also criticizes the rhetoric of the accusation.
Based on various examples of accusations, I came to the conclusion that using the phrase sexual assault is completely wrong in the accusation.
– Ruchard Stallman
Of course, on this occasion Stallman was reprimanded earlier statements about the legalization of child pornography and the abolition of the minimum age of a person with whom you can have sex legally (in the US it is 18 years). It wasn't until September 14, 2019, at the age of 66, that Stallman admitted that he understood that sex with a minor could harm his mental development. He also believes that MIT had to give up because of misunderstandings.
Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell a few weeks ago. He didn't get to the federal court trial.