Brief History Of Linux (#21)
The GNU Project
Meet Richard M. Stallman, an MIT hacker who would found the GNU Project
and create Emacs, the operating-system-disguised-as-a-text-editor. RMS,
the first member of the Three Initials Club (joined by ESR and JWZ),
experienced such frustration with software wrapped in arcane license
agreements that he embarked on the GNU Project to produce free software.
His journey began when he noticed this fine print for a printer driver:
You do not own this software. You own a license to use one copy of this
software, a license that we can revoke at any time for any reason
whatsoever without a refund. You may not copy, distribute, alter,
disassemble, or hack the software. The source code is locked away in a
vault in Cleveland. If you say anything negative about this software
you will be in violation of this license and required to forfeit your
soul and/or first born child to us.
The harsh wording of the license shocked RMS. The computer industry was in
it's infancy, which could only mean it was going to get much, much worse.