On the return of Richard Stallman to the board of the Free Software Foundation

Cusy has supported free and open source projects for many years, including those managed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Given the circumstances surrounding Richard Stallman’s resignation in 2019, Cusy is appalled that he has now returned to the FSF board. As a result, we will no longer participate in any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Cusy contributors have indicated that they too no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or supported events.

In 2019, Stallman was forced to resign from his board position at the FSF as well as his position at MIT due to public pressure following his controversial comments on the Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking scandal. At the time, we hoped that the opportunity created by his resignation would be used by the Free Software Foundation to transform itself into a diverse and inclusive organisation. Unfortunately, the FSF has taken few steps in this direction. Richard Stallman’s return now dashed our hopes for the time being, and the Board’s preliminary statement also sounds less than credible to us.

Stallman himself was allowed to announce his return to the board of the Free Software Foundation:

Some of you will be happy at this, and some might be disappointed but who knows. In any case, that’s how it is and I’m not planning to resign a second time.

– Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet 2021 [1]

On its website, however, the FSF emphasises:

Free software is only as successful as the communities that create, use, support, and advocate for it.

It is overtly clear that the FSF must change fundamentally and permanently to regain the squandered trust of the free software movement and to fulfil its statutory, public good mission.