Stallman trumpets free software

Amidst hisses and applause, political activist Richard Stallman — standing barefoot behind a podium, sporting a wild beard and playing with his long, shaggy hair — discussed what he terms the “conspiracy” of companies against the consumer Wednesday night.

Stallman, the widely-recognized founder of the free software movement, argued in front of a Yale Political Union audience of about 125 students that companies should not be allowed to use digital restrictions management to limit the rights of software users. Digital restrictions management is the use of technology by organizations to prevent unauthorized replication of digital material, including creative media like music and video.