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You are here: Home FSF News Wietse Venema and Creative Commons announced as winners of the 2008 annual free software awards

Wietse Venema and Creative Commons announced as winners of the 2008 annual free software awards

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Mar 21, 2009 01:52 PM

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- March 24, 2009 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the winners of the annual free software awards during the GNU/Linux conference LibrePlanet, held on March 21-22 at Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, MA.

Creative Commons was honored with the Award for Projects of Social Benefit, and Wietse Venema was honored with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software. Presenting the awards was FSF founder and president Richard Stallman.

The FSF Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented annually to a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society by 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.

Since its launch in 2001, Creative Commons has worked to foster a growing body of creative, educational and scientific works that can be shared and built upon by others. Creative Commons has also worked to raise awareness of the harm inflicted by increasingly restrictive copyright regimes.

Richard Stallman presenting the Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit to Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons.

Creative Commons vice president Mike Linksvayer accepted the award saying, "It's an incredible honor. Creative Commons should be giving an award to the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman, because what Creative Commons is doing would not be possible without them."

In receiving this award, Creative Commons joins previous winners Groklaw (2007), Sahana (2006), and Wikipedia (2005).

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software went to Wietse Venema. The awards committee honored both Venema's significant and wide-ranging technical contributions to network security, and his creation of the Postfix email server. Venema said, "In my experience, free software presents a tremendous opportunity for individuals and organizations to make contributions to society. I'm grateful for the opportunities that I have had over the past twenty years, and I'm proud that so many people have adopted my software."

Richard Stallman presenting the Free Software Foundation Award for Advancement of Free Software to Wietse Venema, creator of Postfix.

Venema joins a distinguished list of previous free software award winners:

  • 2007 Harald Welte
  • 2006 Ted Ts'o
  • 2005 Andrew Tridgell
  • 2004 Theo de Raadt
  • 2003 Alan Cox
  • 2002 Lawrence Lessig
  • 2001 Guido van Rossum
  • 2000 Brian Paul
  • 1999 Miguel de Icaza
  • 1998 Larry Wall

This year's award committee was composed of Suresh Ramasubramanian (Chair), Peter H. Salus, Raj Mathur, Hong Feng, Andrew Tridgell, Jonas Oberg, Verner Vinge, Richard Stallman, and Fernanda G. Weiden.

About the FSF

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

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Thanks to Matt Hins for taking images of the awards ceremony. Images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

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