Software Freedom Day
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2012)|
Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education effort with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.
Software Freedom Day was established in 2004 and was first observed on 28 August of that year. About 12 teams participated in the first Software Freedom Day. Since that time it has grown in popularity and while organisers anticipated more than 1,000 teams in 2010 the event has stalled at around 400+ locations over the past two years, representing a 30% decrease over 2009.
Since 2006 Software Freedom Day has been held on the third Saturday of September, it has occasionally coincided with International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Software Freedom International
"Software Freedom International" (SFI) is a non-profit organisation that acts as the official organiser of Software Freedom Day, and is the legal body that handles donations, sponsorship contracts, and accounting. SFI has successfully obtained a tax-exempt status in the USA where it is registered, in order to make donations tax-deductible. The name Software Freedom International was chosen to distinguish the organisational body from the event of Software Freedom Day itself.
The day itself
Each event is left to local teams around the world to organise. Pre-registered teams (2 months before the date or earlier) receive free schwag sent by SFI to help with the events themselves. The SFD wiki contains individual team pages describing their plans as well as helpful information to get them up to speed. Events themselves varies between conferences explaining the virtues of Free and Open Source Software, to workshops, demonstrations, games, planting tree ceremonies, discussions and InstallFests.
|28 August 2004||12||N/A||linux.com|
|10 September 2005||136||60||linux.com SFD 2005 map|
|16 September 2006||180||70||SFD 2006 map|
|15 September 2007||286||80||SFD 2007 map|
|20 September 2008||563||90||SFD 2008 map|
|19 September 2009||700||90||SFD 2009 map|
|18 September 2010||397||90||SFD 2010 map|
|17 September 2011||442||87||SFD 2011 map|
|15 September 2012||301||73||SFD 2012 map|
|21 September 2013||N/A||N/A||SFD 2013 map|
Note on the figures above: we are going to have a hard time to dig the figures of the early years and even more find sources. The maps on the SFD website are only reliable after 2007, however some years such as 2009 saw extra teams from two different sources which didn't "officially" register with SFI. There was about 80 teams from China and a hundred from the Sun community (OSUM) who heavily subsidized goodies for their teams. In the early year of SFD the map was an optional component not connected with the registration script and therefore some teams didn't go through the troubles of adding themselves.
The primary sponsor from the start was Canonical Ltd., the company behind Ubuntu, a Linux distribution. Then IBM, Sun Microsystems, DKUUG, Google, Red Hat, Linode, Nokia and now MakerBot Industries have joined the supporting organisations as well as the FSF and the FSFE. IBM and Sun Microsystems are currently not sponsoring the event. In terms of media coverage SFI is partnering with Linux Magazine, Linux Journal and Ubuntu User. Each local team can seek sponsors independently, especially local FOSS supporting organisations and often appears in local medias such as newspapers and TV.
SFI Board Members
- Frederic Muller (President), founding member and former President of the Beijing LUG, co-organizer of many international FOSS events in China and Asia such as the Linux Developer Symposium (2008), Gnome.Asia Summits, OOoCon 2008, and of course local SFD events. Fred is as well as co-maintainer of RUR-PLE (a python learning environment for children) and a GNOME Foundation member.
- Matt Oquist (VP, Treasurer and co-founder), a Tufts University graduate and employee of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.
- Pockey Lam (Secretary), Former president of Beijing Linux User Group, founding member of SFDChina.org, GNOME.Asia Summit, College OSS Society and Beijing GNOME User Group.
- JM C. Bitanga
- Patrick Sinz
Past SFI Board Members
- Quiliro Ordóñez
- Silvia Aimasso
- Alexjan Carraturo
- Pia Waugh (President), of Linux Australia
- Henrik Nilsen Omma of TheOpenCD project
- Phil Harper, of TheOpenCD project
- Benjamin Mako Hill, of the Free Software Foundation
- Sidsel Jensen, DKUUG
- Frederick Noronha, Goa SFD Team
- Joe Olutuase, of Knowledge House Africa
- Robert Schumann, of TheOpenCD project
- Jan Husar
- Wassim Derguech, Tunisian SFD Team
- Outline of free software
- Culture Freedom Day
- Hardware Freedom Day
- International Day Against DRM, promoted by the Free Software Foundation in its "Defective by Design" campaign.