[Update]29-07-2012: There is a video recording available under http://os.inf.tu-dresden.de/download/Stallman.webm.[/Update]
[Update]12-07-2012: It was pointed out to me, that the line RMS draws when it comes to non-free software is, when _anyone_ can do a update. See down below.[/Update]
I did a recording of Richard Stallman’s Keynote at „Output 2012“. The sound quality isn’t very good, I forgot to bring my Zoom, so it was recorded with my Samsung’s YP-U5 internal mic. After beeing processed by auphonic.com I think the quality is acceptable to put it online. The content is licensed, as wished by the speaker, under a cc-by-nd license.
I’m very happy that I had this opportunity to see him live, even though he declined to (GPG-) sign me a txt file with his book „Right to Read“ („To complicated right now.“). I even copied it to a ext3 formated volume beforehand.
He started with a lengthy Keynote (some 1 hour and 40 minutes), which was in the same way interesting and entertaining. He is a marvellous speaker. In the Question and Answer section afterwards, he gave an insight into his views. A very interesting issue raised was, when is software or firmware allowed to be non-free. The line RMS draws, he says, is: As long as the firmware/software cannot be updated [update]
(by third persons)[/update], it should be considered and treated as a circuit – which is not open either and doesn’t need to be, because we cannot produce circuits at home anyways. And he got mad at me when I tried to question this view :)
In my opinion this might be an acceptable view for the world as it is now (and it’s a thing that’s pratically achieveable), but I think this definition doesn’t go far enough (so did other people in the room think as well). I think, people will be able to do more with the upcoming technology like 3d-printers than just program software. We will be able to produce (simple) circuits in a couple of years at home. And thus, I think it’s not good to stop demanding free software just for updateable devices. We have to demand freedom for all the devices that we use – if it be the microwave oven or our hearing aids. Here I think Cory Doctorow’s talk from the 28c3 about „The coming war on general computation“ describes the problems arising better and Doctorow’s call for arms for the right to be allowed to know the details of the software in our devices is the right thing to do.
Nevertheless. I came out of the talk (and q&a) with the strong urge to get involved in the movement, get rid of proprietary things, educate people but most importing: Go through the world with open eyes, trying to make it a better place.