Free Software Award Winners Announced

The Free Software
Foundation (FSF) announced the winners of the annual free software
awards at a ceremony on Saturday March 20, held during the LibrePlanet
conference at Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, MA.

The award for the Advancement of Free Software was won by John Gilmore.
The award for Project of Social Benefit was won by the Internet Archive.
The awards were presented by FSF president and founder Richard M. Stallman.

Brewster Kahle co-founder and chairman of the Internet Archive was at
the ceremony to collect the award and spoke about the work of his
organization, “We are trying to follow in the footsteps of the the free
software movement and apply these ideas to the cultural materials layer,
building organizations that are founded on these principals.”

John Gilmore who had earlier given a presentation at the conference on
the future goals of the free software movement, said on receiving the
award, “Free software has been very good to me, and I’m glad that I have
been good to it.” The awards committee recognized Gilmore’s many
contributions and long term commitment to the free software movement.

The award citation for John Gilmore read:

As one of the founders of Cygnus Solutions, Gilmore gave free
software a place in the business world long before GNU/Linux became
popular. He is a well-known free software and freedom activist. He is a
co-founder of the EFF, the alt newsgroup, and a major promoter of
cryptography. He has written or contributed to free software including
the projects pdtar (which became GNU Tar), GNU UUCP, GNU GDB and
Kerberos. John has also promoted free software through his philanthropy,
funding many free software projects including, GNU Radio and GNU Gnash
and he remains active in advancing the cause of computer user freedom.

John Gilmore joins a distinguished list of previous winners:

* 2008 Wietse Venema
* 2007 Harald Welte
* 2006 Ted Ts’o
* 2005 Andrew Tridgell
* 2004 Theo de Raadt
* 2003 Alan Cox
* 2002 Lawrence Lessig
* 2001 Guido van Rossum
* 2000 Brian Paul
* 1999 Miguel de Icaza
* 1998 Larry Wall

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented annually to a team
or organization that applies free software, or the ideas of the free
software movement, in a way that significantly benefits society. The
award citation for the Internet Archive read:

The Internet Archive collects freely available information and
makes it public domain or freely licensed books, in collaboration with
libraries all over the world. They have collected hundreds of thousands
of live concert recordings, all freely available, all with permission of
the artists, almost all in lossless formats. These recordings were made
by thousands of volunteers, and curated volunteers. They have been
archiving the Web at large since 1996, making their copies available to
the public. They also collaborate with more than a hundred public
archives and libraries to make digital archives of entire countries,
agencies, and topic areas, in their Archive-It service (
Their movies/videos are all freely down-loadable in a variety of formats
— including the free software format Ogg Theora. They have written free
software of their own such as Heritrix, their web crawler —, and the Wayback Machine.

Previous winners of the social benefit award:

* 2008 Creative Commons
* 2007 Groklaw
* 2007 Sahana Disaster Management System
* 2006 Wikipedia

This year’s award committee was chaired by Suresh Ramasubramanian and
included Peter H. Salus, Lawrence Lessig, Raj Mathur, Hong Feng, Andrew
Tridgell, Jonas Oberg, Verner Vinge, Richard Stallman, Fernanda G.
Weiden and Harald Welte.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as
in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at
and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux.
Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
Media Contacts

Peter Brown
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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