Revenge of the Nerds: The ‘Anyone But Richard M Stallman’ License

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Oooooooh, Richard M. Stallman, you've been served! And this one has the makings of a genuine nerd throwdown. User landondyer on software development site GitHub has posted an open source project called kasm, a "simple two-pass 6502 assembler." What makes it entertaining to me is the ABRMS license under which he published it. ABRMS stands for "Anyone But Richard M Stallman," and true to its name, the license allows anyone in the world to use the software in any way they want. Well, anyone but Richard M. Stallman, who is expressly prohibited from, "mak[ing] use of or redistribut[ing] this program or any of its derivatives." Richard M. Stallman is the father of the GNU license, a license that requires any software using code covered by the GNU license to be freely available for anyone else to "use, study, share (copy), and modify the software." The GNU license is a rallying point for many in the open source software community, especially those who see it as a movement, while others see it as the bane of software innovation. I'm not taking sides on this issue (there's a time and place for GNU), but the ABRMS license cracked me up. (Courtesy of Denis Dzyubenko, via Florian Mueller) (Image made with help from Shutterstock)


Check It Out: Revenge of the Nerds: The ‘Anyone But Richard M Stallman’ License

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Oh that’s hysterical. I know of a few people I’m going to send this too.


Hysterical, but they didn’t think this through. For example, if I use their code for an app that I sell through Apple’s App Store, and Richard Stallman buys a copy of the software (which is admittedly unlikely), what would be my legal situation? I think Apple wouldn’t accept an app with that license on their store in the first place.

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