This is a bit of inside baseball [*] in the copyright reform world, so we'll understand if you wonder what the big deal is. But for those of us who were first inspired -- as I was -- by Richard Stallman's radical and prescient commitment to software freedom, his unwillingness to go the whole way and embrace Free Culture for non-software works is puzzling.
Recently we had some correspondence with an Internetizen known to us only as "openuniverse" or "libreuniverse", who resigned his membership in the Free Software Foundation over Stallman's insistence on exercising his state-granted monopoly to prevent derivative works from being made of his writings and speeches.
I phrase it that way for a reason. Elsewhere, you might see it expressed as "Stallman's insistence on using his copyright to control what can be done with his works". But Stallman himself understands these issues very well, and could easily spot the unspoken assumptions in that way of putting it. No one was asking to change his works, or to attribute to him thoughts or expressions not his. No one's existing copies of Stallman's works would be changed. Rather, openuniverse wanted to make a new work, using material from one of Stallman's books -- and Stallman quashed it.
Specifically, openuniverse asked:
i want to make a bash script (or python script) that is free software and contains the entirety of your book's text. (though it *might* have some parts in a different order, i'm not sure.)
(In this context, "script" means a computer program.) Stallman's reply, which is consistent with what he's said elsewhere, was:
Sorry, you can't incude my essays in such a program. Free programs can read my essays, but they need to be separate.