Today, when it already seems almost anachronistic to talk about the free-software 'movement,' Stallman's concerns about the corporate mandate to make information proprietary put him squarely in the middle of the digital era's most simmering hot spots.
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'I've never been able to work out detailed plans of what the future was going to be like,' says Stallman, offering his own premature epitaph. 'I just said 'I'm going to fight. Who knows where I'll get?'
For the most part, the WWW runs on software whose availability is the result of work by Richard. Without Richard, none of this would have happened.
His vision of free software and social co-operation stands in stark contrast to the isolated nature of his private life. Stallman considers himself afflicted by autism, a condition that, he says, makes it difficult for him to interact with people.
Stallman, an American, believes that it is immoral to copyright software, and that every program a computer needs to run should be free. He has spent 15 years trying to fulfill this vision, and this has made him one of the most influential programmers.
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