Project of social benefit award
The Award for Projects of Social Benefit 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.
We look to recognize projects or teams that encourage people to cooperate in freedom to accomplish social tasks. A long-term commitment to one's project (or the potential for a long-term commitment) is crucial to this end.
This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. We have deliberately chosen this broad criterion so that many different areas of activity can be considered. However, one area that is not included is that of free software itself. Projects with a primary goal of promoting or advancing free software are not eligible for this award (we honor individuals working on those projects with our annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software).
We will consider any project or team that uses free software or its philosophy to address a goal important to society. To qualify, a project must use free software, produce free documentation, or use the idea of free software as defined in the Free Software Definition. Projects that promote or depend on the use of non-free software are not eligible for this award. Commercial projects are not excluded, but commercial success is not our scale for judging projects.
In 2016, the Library Freedom Project received the award. A partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries, the Library Freedom Project teaches librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and offers digital tools to stop surveillance, all with the aim of creating a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the local communities they serve. Notably, the project helps libraries launch Tor exit nodes. Project founders Alison Macrina and chief technology wizard Nima Fatemi accepted the award.
Previous winners have included Reglue, GNOME Outreach Program for Women, OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and Wikipedia.