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You are here: Home Bulletins 2010 Fall 2010 Bulletin GNU Contributors Around The World

GNU Contributors Around The World

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Oct 11, 2011 04:51 PM
It's my job to handle the copyright-assignment process for the Free Software Foundation, and because of that I am well aware of the international scope of the GNU Project.

Every day I process and send out assignment contracts to people all across the world. It is part of the copyright registration process to keep a record of the country of citizenship of each contributor. By looking at the citizenship counts in our records, we can get a basic idea of what parts of the planet are involved in GNU development. This count paints a rough but interesting picture of our community.

I have noted in my duties that while many GNU contributors are US citizens, the majority of them are hackers in other parts of the globe. Recently, I had an opportunity to compile some rough statistics on where they are all from: while US citizens represent the largest single chunk of contributors, they comprise less than a third of total GNU contributors; Germany and France are the second and third best-represented countries in our records, accounting for 14 and 7 percent respectively (Europe in general tends to be well represented, with the Netherlands in particular having a very high rate of contribution); and while the number of contributors from China and India are currently relatively small (even when combined they represent less than 5 percent of total contributors), the proportions are rapidly shifting, and both are likely to represent a larger share in the future.

In all, we have contributors from sixty-six different countries, and from every continent except Antarctica--which is pretty good considering one cannot be a citizen of Antarctica.

Sixty-six countries down, 137 to go!

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