FSF Free Software Awards

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Yukihiro Matsumoto accepting the 2011 Advancement of Free Software award from Richard Stallman

Free Software Foundation (FSF) grants two annual awards. Since 1998, FSF has granted the award for Advancement of Free Software. Since 2005, it has also granted the Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

Presentation ceremonies[edit]

In 1999 it was presented in the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. The 2000 Award Ceremony was held at the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris. From 2001 to 2005, the award has been presented in Brussels at the Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM). Since 2006, the awards have been presented at the FSF's annual members meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Advancement of Free Software award[edit]

This is annually presented by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to a person whom it deems to have made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.[1]


Larry Wall YAPC 2007.jpg
Larry Wall, 1998
Miguel de Icaza.jpg
Miguel de Icaza, 1999
Brian Paul and Richard Stallman crop.jpg
Brian Paul, 2000
Guido van Rossum OSCON 2006.jpg
Guido van Rossum, 2001
Lessig forehead.jpg
Lawrence Lessig, 2002
Alan Cox at FOSS 2007.jpg
Alan Cox, 2003
Theo de raadt.jpg
Theo de Raadt, 2004
Andrew Tridgell.jpg
Andrew Tridgell, 2005
Theodore Ts'o, 2006
Harald Welte, 2007
Wietse Venema.jpg
Wietse Venema, 2008
John Gilmore.jpg
John Gilmore, 2009
Rob savoye.JPG
Rob Savoye, 2010
Yukihiro Matsumoto.JPG
Yukihiro Matsumoto, 2011
Fernado Perez, 2012
Matthew Garrett.jpg
Matthew Garrett, 2013
2014 Sébastien Jodogne
for his work on easing the exchange of medical images and developing Orthanc.[2]
2013 Matthew Garrett
for his work to support software freedom in relation to Secure Boot, UEFI, and the Linux kernel [3]
2012 Fernando Perez
for his work on IPython, and his role in the scientific Python community. [4][5]
2011 Yukihiro Matsumoto
the creator of Ruby, for his work on GNU, Ruby, and other free software for over 20 years.[6]
2010 Rob Savoye
For his work on Gnash
Additionally, a special mention was made to honor the memory and contribution of Adrian Hands, who used a morse input device to code and successfully submit a gnome patch, three days before he died from ALS.
2009 John Gilmore
For his "many contributions and long term commitment to the free software movement."[7]
2008 Wietse Venema
For his "significant and wide-ranging technical contributions to network security, and his creation of the Postfix email server."[8]
2007 Harald Welte
for his work on GPL enforcement (Gpl-violations.org) and Openmoko
2006 Theodore Ts'o
for his work on the Linux kernel and his roles as a project leader in the development of Kerberos and ONC RPC. The other finalists were Wietse Venema for his creation of the Postfix mailserver and his work on security tools, and Yukihiro Matsumoto for his work in designing the Ruby programming language.
2005 Andrew Tridgell
for his work on Samba and his packet analysis work which led to the withdrawal of gratis BitKeeper licenses, spurring the development of git, a free software distributed revision control system for the Linux kernel. The other finalists were Hartmut Pilch founder of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure for his combatting of the Software Patent Directive in Europe and Theodore Ts'o for his Linux kernel filesystem development.
2004 Theo de Raadt
for his campaigning against binary blobs, and the opening of drivers, documentation and firmware of wireless networking cards for the good of everyone. The other finalists were Andrew Tridgell for Samba and Cesar Brod for advocacy in Brazil.
2003 Alan Cox
for his work advocating the importance of software freedom, his outspoken opposition to the USA's DMCA as well as other technology control measures, and his development work on the Linux kernel. The other finalists were Theo de Raadt for OpenBSD and Werner Koch for GnuPG.
2002 Lawrence Lessig
for promoting understanding of the political dimension of free software, including the idea that "code is law". The other finalists were Bruno Haible for CLISP and Theo de Raadt for OpenBSD.
2001 Guido van Rossum
for Python. The other finalists were L. Peter Deutsch for GNU Ghostscript and Andrew Tridgell for Samba.
2000 Brian Paul
for his work on the Mesa 3D Graphics Library. The other finalists were Donald Becker for his work on Linux drivers and Patrick Lenz for the open source site Freshmeat.
1999 Miguel de Icaza
for his leadership and work on the GNOME Project. The other finalists were Donald Knuth for TeX and METAFONT and John Gilmore for work done at Cygnus Solutions and his contributions to the Free Software Foundation.
1998 Larry Wall
for numerous contributions to Free Software, notably Perl. The other finalists were the Apache Project, Tim Berners-Lee, Jordan Hubbard, Ted Lemon, Eric S. Raymond, and Henry Spencer.

Social benefit award[edit]

2009 Award for Projects of Social Benefit awarded to The Internet Archive.

The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is an annual award granted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In announcing the award, the FSF explained that:

This award is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.[9]

According to Richard Stallman, President of FSF, the award was inspired by the Sahana project which was developed, and was used, for organising the transfer of aid to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The developers indicated that they hope to adapt it to aid for other future disasters.[10]

This is the second annual award created by FSF. The first was the Award for the Advancement of Free Software (AAFS).


The award was first awarded in 2005, and the recipients have been:[11]

2014 Reglue
which donates refurbished GNU/Linux computers to underprivileged children in Austin, TX.[2]
2013 GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women
OPW's work benefits society, "addressing gender discrimination by empowering women to develop leadership and development skills in a society which runs on technology".[3]
2012 OpenMRS
"A free software medical record system for developing countries. OpenMRS is now in use around the world, including South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti, India, China, United States, Pakistan, the Philippines, and many other places."[4][5]
2011 GNU Health
For their work with health professionals around the world to improve the lives of the underprivileged.
2010 Tor
For writing software to help privacy online.[12]
2009 Internet Archive
For collecting freely available information, archiving the web, collaborating with libraries, and creating free software to make information available to the public.[7]
2008 Creative Commons
"[For] foster[ing] a growing body of creative, educational and scientific works that can be shared and built upon by others [and] work[ing] to raise awareness of the harm inflicted by increasingly restrictive copyright regimes."[8]
2007 Groklaw
"An invaluable source of legal and technical information for software developers, lawyers, law professors, and historians"[13]
2006 The Sahana FOSS Disaster Management System
"An entirely volunteer effort to create technology for managing large-scale relief efforts"[14]
2005 Wikipedia
The Free Encyclopedia

Award Committee[edit]

External links[edit]