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such things are done for me against my will.So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided toput together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get alongwithout any software that is not free. I have resigned from the AI Lab to denyMIT any legal excuse to prevent me from giving GNU away.2Why GNU Will Be Compatible with UnixUnix is not my ideal system, but it is not too bad. The essential features of Unixseem to be good ones, and I think I can fill in what Unix lacks without spoilingthem. And a system compatible with Unix would be convenient for many otherpeople to adopt.2The expression “give away” is another indication that I had not yet clearly sepa-rated the issue of price from that of freedom. We now recommend avoiding thisexpression when talking about free software. See “Words to Avoid (or Use withCare)” (p. 93) for more explanation.
Chapter 4: The GNU Manifesto29How GNU Will Be AvailableGNU is not in the public domain. Everyone will be permitted to modify andredistribute GNU, but no distributor will be allowed to restrict its further redis-tribution. That is to say, proprietary modifications will not be allowed. I wantto make sure that all versions of GNU remain free.Why Many Other Programmers Want to HelpI have found many other programmers who are excited about GNU and want tohelp. Many programmers are unhappy about the commercialization of systemsoftware. It may enable them to make more money, but it requires them to feelin conflict with other programmers in general rather than feel as comrades. Thefundamental act of friendship among programmers is the sharing of programs;marketing arrangements now typically used essentially forbid programmers totreat others as friends. The purchaser of software must choose between friendshipand obeying the law. Naturally, many decide that friendship is more important.But those who believe in law often do not feel at ease with either choice. Theybecome cynical and think that programming is just a way of making money.By working on and using GNU rather than proprietary programs, we canbe hospitable to everyone and obey the law.In addition, GNU serves as anexample to inspire and a banner to rally others to join us in sharing. This cangive us a feeling of harmony which is impossible if we use software that is notfree. For about half the programmers I talk to, this is an important happinessthat money cannot replace.How You Can ContributeI am asking computer manufacturers for donations of machines and money. I’masking individuals for donations of programs and work.3One consequence you can expect if you donate machines is that GNU willrun on them at an early date. The machines should be complete, ready to usesystems, approved for use in a residential area, and not in need of sophisticatedcooling or power.