Free Software Movement of Karnataka

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Free Software Movement Karnataka
Free Software Movement Logo.png
Free Software is the future, Future is ours
Abbreviation FSMK
Formation April 7, 2009 (7 years ago) (2009-04-07)
Type Not for Profit registered organization
Purpose To take free software and its ideology to all computer users and to all sections of society.
Headquarters Wilson Garden, Bangalore
  • Bangalore
Region served
Karnataka State
Prof K. Gopinath (IISc, Bangalore)
General Secretary
Vikram Vincent
Main organ
General Council
Affiliations Free Software Movement of India

Free Software Movement Karnataka (FSMK) is a non-profit organization working for spreading free software[1] and its ideals.[2] The movement is inspired by software freedom visionaries like Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen. A small organising team was created in 2007 and FSMK's formation was announced via several mailing lists on April 7, 2009.[3] The Free Software Movement-Karnataka has a sizable number of followers in Bangalore and South Canara.[4] FSMK has presence in six different districts across Karnataka, namely Bangalore, Mandya, Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore and Tumkur.

In the general body meeting conducted on 16 November 2014 in Bangalore Prof. Gopinath, Professor, Computer Science & Automation, IISc, was re-elected as President and Vikram Vincent, Research Scholar at IIT-Bombay, was elected as the new General Secretary. The first general secretary was Jaykumar H.S.[5]

FSMK is one of the member organizations of Free Software Movement of India.[6]


In order to build a mass movement for free software, FSMK organizes GNU/Linux User Groups(GLUG) in engineering colleges around Karnataka and currently has around two dozen under it.[7] FSMK hosted the 3rd National Conference on Free Software in Bangalore in the month of March, 2010. More than 1500 participants attended including the delegates from across the country.[8] FSMI, Free Software Movement of India, a platform for all such state level organizations was formed in that National Conference.

FSMK has conducted four major activities after the 2010 National Conference. Free Software Movement-Karnataka and Reva Institute of Technology conducted a State Level Convention for Academicians on Free Software in Research and Teaching in Bangalore. It was a two days convention on 11 and 12 March 2011.[9] The other three events are Winter camp-13 in association with SVIT, Bangalore(January 2013). Swataha-13 in association with PESCE, Mandya(April 2013). With the motto to spread awareness on free software and its philosophy, Free Software Movement of Karnataka (FSMK) along with Jnana Vikas Institute of Technology, Bidadi, organized a 9-days workshop(Summer Camp) between July 20 and 28 at the Institute campus near Bidadi to focus on free software is real freedom to compute.[10]

Akashavaani conducted a discussion on Free Software through its "Yuvavani" program in "Kannada" Language with the members of FSMK Unit from Government Engineering College, Hassan.[11] The Unit named as GLUE (GNU/Linux Users and Enthusiasts) is first of its kind in Hassan.

FSMK conducted protests against internet censorship on April 21, 2012.[12]


FSMK is opposed to the UIDAI project on the grounds that it uses proprietary software and is run by a company that does not conform to privacy laws of the land.[13]

Different Streams[edit]

  • GLUGs(GNU/Linux Users Groups, Basic units of FSMK) in Engineering Colleges.
  • Community Centers [14][15][16]
  • Localization
  • GLUGs in (Pre-University and other Degree Colleges)
  • Academicians Forum
  • Free (Free as in Freedom) Software Support for Start-ups, other organizations and Individuals[2]

Community Center[edit]

Students from the Community Center participated in the Second National Conference on Free Software held in Kochi.[17]


FSMK is driving a software project "Rasi", a social networking portal to contribute in localization projects. This project was named after the late Free Software Activist Rasinesh. Project is launched in GitHub.[18]

Efforts are on to localise GNU Health to Kannada.[19]

Free Software Support[edit]

In Karnataka many DTP Shops, Photography Studios, Ad Agencies, etc. are facing raids from the proprietary companies.[20] These shops are forced to pay huge amount of license fee even if they are using the outdated versions. In the name of software support they are forced to buy new versions and in turn new hardware too which is not economically feasible for many. FSMK is trying to help these small scale enterprises to switch to Free Software alternatives like GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Blender, etc.


Internet Censorship[edit]

On 21 April 2012, FSMK conducted a street level activity to register its protest against the Internet Censorship. The protest was organised by the Free Software Movement of Karnataka (FSMK), in collaboration with the Software Freedom Law Centre. The performances, singing and short speeches delivered by students and bloggers culminated in a candle light vigil.[21]

Wikileaks Campaign[edit]

To popularize the role of internet in democratic opinion and information sharing, Free Software Movement of Karnataka (FSMK) has done an online campaign that would explain to the public the underlying technology and process behind Wikileaks and the reason to oppose the government’s attempt to regulate information and views shared on internet platforms. This was done in the month of May, 2012.[22]

Section 66A of IT Act[edit]

On 2 December 2012, FSMK conducted a protest in front of Bangalore Town Hall against the section 66A of Indian IT Act.[23]

Campaign Against Internet Surveillance by NSA (US) & CMS(India)[edit]

On 6 October 2013, FSMK conducted session on awareness about electronic surveillance and importance of internet privacy. During this session, various tools which can be used to safeguard one's privacy while using internet was also discussed.[24]

Campaign in support of NetNeutrality[edit]

FSMK's walkathon in support of NetNeutrality Banner
FSMK's walkathon in support of NetNeutrality

On 23 April 2015, as part of Free Software Movement of India's call for campaign in support of NetNeutrality, FSMK organized a walkathon from National Games Village to Forum Mall in Bangalore.[25]


  1. ^ "Report in IndiaMart". Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Deccan Herald News On FSMK". 
  3. ^ Vincent, Vikram. "Launch of Free Software Movement - Karnataka". Indichix mailing list. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "News Report in The Hindu". Chennai, India. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  5. ^ C.S., Charan (26 April 2010). "FREE OF SHACKLES FREEDOM MOVEMENT 2.0". Times of India. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Website of Free Software Movement of India". Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Kurup, Deepa (1 October 2013). "Setting code free". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "3rd National Conference on Free Software". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "State Level Convention for Academicians". 
  10. ^ "Summer Camp-13 Website". 
  11. ^ "yuvavani-for-04-13-discussion". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "News Report in The Hindu against Internet Censorship". Chennai, India. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Subramani, L (23 September 2009). "Free software best suited for UI card project". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "We Use Free Software". 
  15. ^ "RMS in AC3". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 15 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "Bridging Digital Divide". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2 July 2008. 
  17. ^ "AC3 in Cochin Conference". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 November 2008. 
  18. ^ "Rasi". 
  19. ^ "COMMUNITY EFFORTS TO LOCALISE SOFTWARE". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Proprietary Companies Raid DTP shops". 
  21. ^ "Protest against Internet Censorship". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 22 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Wikileaks Campaign". 
  23. ^ "Protest Against Section 66A". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 December 2012. 
  24. ^ Kurup, Deepa (8 October 2013). "How does one buck NSA's snooping?". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Internet activists Free Software Movement Katnataka protest demanding Net Neutrality freedom Internet, Koramangla Indoor Stadium, taking walkathon Forum Mall". Pics4News. Bangalore. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.