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HLTC Special Seminar Series

Department of Computer Science
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Human Language Technology Center

The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System

Free Software Foundation

Date :     6 September 2005 (Tuesday)
Time :     16:30-18:30
Venue :   LTA (Citigroup Lecture Theater, Chia-Wei Woo Academic Concourse)


Richard Stallman will speak about the goals and philosophy of the Free Software Movement, and the status and history the GNU operating system, which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by tens of millions of users world-wide.

He will also also consider how software patents obstruct software development. Software patents are patents that cover software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict every computer user. Economic research shows that they even retard progress.


Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system (see in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.

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Human Language Technology Center
The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2358-8831
Last updated: 2005.09.06 Dekai Wu