Archive for the ‘ Freedom redefined ’ Category

Why I’m rejecting your email attachment: for freedom and the good of the web!

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Wednesday, March 31, 2010 — The Free
Software Foundation (FSF) today launched a campaign calling on all
computer users to start politely rejecting email attachments sent in
secret and proprietary formats: for freedom and the good of the web!

The campaign is in support of Document Freedom Day and the OpenDocument
format. OpenDocument is an ISO standard that allows anyone to create
software that supports it, without fear of patent claims or licensing
issues. Documents, spreadsheets and presentations sent in Microsoft Word
or Excel native formats, or documents created in Apple’s iWorks, are
proprietary and incompatible with freedom and an accessible web.

“If we are serious about gaining freedom and accessibility for all users
of technology and the web, we must demand an end to proprietary document
formats. The best way to get started is for each of us to take
responsibility and begin rejecting their use. OpenDocument is available
now, as is free software such as that allows anyone to
create OpenDocument files at no cost. If we can convince the 300 Million
users who have already downloaded, to reject proprietary
formats we could quickly secure a victory. Let’s do this for freedom and
the good of the web,” said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

The campaign highlights ways in which emails that include attachments in
secret or proprietary formats can be politely rejected, and the issue
explained to the sender. Users can respond individually, or email
administrators can configure their systems to automatically reject such

FSF campaigns manager Matt Lee added, “For governments, businesses,
archivists and others, it’s critical that documents be stored in a way
that guarantees they can be read for years to come. This hasn’t been a
problem for printed matter, but proprietary digital file formats are
secretive by nature and get changed every few years, putting at risk
future access to needed documents. We must ensure that documents we
store on our computers and that are made available on the web are
accessible regardless of what computer you use.”

The FSF is providing graphics that supporters can use to promote the
campaign at

Reject proprietary formats and use OpenDocument:

Learn about OpenDocument:

Learn about Document Freedom Day:


My email to Dr.Stallman

maitraya to
Hello Mr.Stallman,
I am a high school student residing in India and have been inspired by your speeches recently. I first knew about free (as in freedom) softwares from a tech magazine a few years back and started using free softwares after your inspiring speech video on your Wikipedia article. I use gNewSense now.
Thank goodness the world has someone like you who gave us GNU/Linux which helped a lot in my school work. Sadly, here in India, many students/teachers/parents do not know much about free software, FSF or GNU. I am probably the only student in the school who knows about free softwares. But I am trying to enlighten others with whatever knowledge I have acquired through . Hope my state uses GNU/Linux more in the near future.
Lastly, this is perhaps of very little significance, I wanted to present you something. See the attached png and jpeg : its a bookmark created with GIMP. It might come in handy while reading physical books. I wish to distribute printouts of it to friends in order to spread the word of freedom.
Plus: I create GDM themes for gNewSense. they are available at under artist maitraya (i.e. me)
Yours faithfully,
Maitraya Kanta Bhattacharyya
High School Student
Calcutta Boys’ School,
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Richard Stallman: Autoreply message

I am not on vacation, but I am at the end of a long time delay. I am
located somewhere on Earth, but as far as responding to email is concerned,
I appear to be well outside the solar system.
After your message arrives at, I will collect it in my next batch of
incoming mail, some time within the following 24 hours. I will spend much
of the following day reading that batch of mail and will come across your
message at some point. If I can write a response for it immediately, the
response will go out in the next outgoing batch–typically around 24 hours
after I collected your message, but occasionally sooner or later than that.
As a result, you should expect a minimum delay of between 24 and 48 hours in
seeing any response to your mail to me.
If you are having a conversation with me, please keep in mind that each
message you receive from me is probably a response to the mail you sent 24
to 48 hours earlier, and any subsequent mail you sent has not yet been seen
by me.
If you are in big hurry to speak with me, and one day’s delay would be
a serious problem, you can ask my assistant to phone me. Send mail to
<> saying what you would like to talk with me about,
and giving your telephone number. You can also call the Free Software
Foundation office at 617-542-5942 (weekday Boston business hours) and
ask them to phone me on your behalf.
If you aren’t in such a hurry that phoning me is needed, please don’t
bother contacting them; just send me mail directly. The message you
send me directly will reach me sooner than any message forwarded by
someone else. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
If you do not wish to receive this message ever again, please send a message
to with the subject “OFF”.
Otherwise, you might receive a reply like this one up to once a month. to me

Sadly, here in India, many
students/teachers/parents do not know much about free software, FSF or GNU.
I am probably the only student in the school who knows about free softwares.
But I am trying to enlighten others with whatever knowledge I
have acquired through .
One idea for how to spread awareness of the issue is to invite others
to watch that same video.  It’s worth a try.  You can also learn to
give speeches yourself.  It comes with practice; that’s how I learned
to do it.
Would you like to work with FSF India?  I am sure you can be helpful
to them.
Regarding the bookmark, would you like to give it to the FSF?  Please
write to  Our webmastering is mostly done by
volunteers, and they may lose track of something; so if you get no
response in 2 weeks, please write again.

The Free Software Song

This song was composed by Richard Stallman at a science fiction convention  early in 1991. He chose Sadi Moma as the tune because he felt it was “not too fast or complicated” and was “easy to sing.” The writing of the song is another wonderful story which you can read from here. Even GNU (as always) claims no copyright on this song.

[To the melody of Sadi Moma:]

Join us now and share the software;
You’ll be free, hackers, you’ll be free.

Hoarders may get piles of money,
That is true, hackers, that is true.
But they cannot help their neighbors;
That’s not good, hackers, that’s not good.

When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We’ll throw out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.

Join us now and share the software;
You’ll be free, hackers, you’ll be free.

This song is therefore the symbol of freedom and should be known by everyone who support the free software movement. So, its time to be a good neighbor.