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You are here: Home FSF News New FSF campaigns team to coordinate free software activism in defense of computer user freedom

New FSF campaigns team to coordinate free software activism in defense of computer user freedom

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on May 16, 2007 11:35 AM

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA—Wednesday, May 16, 2007—The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the creation of a new activist campaigns team to organize public support into action on software freedom issues.

The new team will be composed of two campaigns managers and an international group of volunteers, with one position to be filled by current staff member John Sullivan and the other by new appointee Joshua Gay. They will work together on the FSF campaigns and, and launch additional campaigns in the near future.

In announcing the decision to create the campaigns team, FSF executive director Peter Brown spoke about the recent attempts by Microsoft to use software patents as the basis of an attack against free software. “Microsoft continues to threaten the freedom of all computer users with vague claims of software-patent infringement. Although more people than ever before in the U.S. have the technical capabilities to develop software, the blight of patents prevents them from making useful advancements. As such, we need to ask—what is the best way to eliminate the specter of software patents so that free software development can flourish, and how do we get organized to make it happen?”

With the expanding use of free software, the defense of its ethical principles is becoming more important. In addition to software patents, other proprietary software schemes like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and Treacherous Computing threaten to stifle free software development and shackle users to proprietary software.

“In the early years of the free software movement, the FSF worked to solve the problem of proprietary software by funding free software development. With the creation of this campaigns team, we are expanding our work to help clear the way politically and publicly for free software,” said John Sullivan.

On joining the campaigns team, Joshua Gay said, “I am excited to be joining the staff of the Free Software Foundation at such an exciting and important time. I look forward to working with John Sullivan and continuing the momentum of,, and community adoption of GPLv3. Most of all, I hope to begin reaching out and working with the many communities that value and appreciate the importance of software freedom.”

About the Free Software Foundation

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. Its Web site, located at, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation

Joshua Gay
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation


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