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You are here: Home FSF News Stephen Fry's film "Happy Birthday to GNU" now available in 24 languages ready for Software Freedom Day

Stephen Fry's film "Happy Birthday to GNU" now available in 24 languages ready for Software Freedom Day

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Sep 17, 2008 06:14 PM

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 -- Since its release ten days ago, Stephen Fry's film "Happy Birthday to GNU" at has been viewed over a half-million times, and today the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the availability of twenty-four translations including Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Hebrew, that have been prepared especially for this Saturday's Software Freedom Day.

The translations, all provided by volunteers, are still coming in. In Kathmandu, community organizer Bibek Paudel is working with his local community to translate the text of the video into Nepali, to make the philosophy of software freedom easily accessible to the people of Nepal. In Buenos Aires, Franco Iacomella worked with two fellow activists to translate Fry's message into Spanish. "Having this video available in Spanish will help to increase awareness of free software in Latin America," said Iacomella.

Commenting on the popularity of the film, FSF campaigns manager and producer of the film Matt Lee added, "Stephen Fry and the FSF have been delighted with the response the film has received so far. The speed with which the translations were done is amazing and we're happy that this has become such an international effort. It's great to know that Software Freedom Day teams around the world will be able to use the film as part of their celebration."

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, and its Web sites, located at and, are 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.

About Stephen Fry and "Happy Birthday to GNU"

Happy Birthday to GNU is a short film featuring the English humorist, actor, novelist and filmmaker Stephen Fry, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the launch of the GNU project. In the five-minute film, Fry compares the free software operating system to "good science" and contrasts it with the "kind of tyranny" imposed by the proprietary software produced by companies like Microsoft and Apple that it replaces. He encourages people to use free GNU/Linux distributions like gNewSense ( and free software generally, for freedom's sake. The film is available for viewing and download from

About Software Freedom Day

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide project to celebrate software freedom. Each community celebrates software freedom in its own way -- some groups focus on advocacy, some give away software and others use the day for outreach and education. Their home page is

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see

Media Contacts

Matt Lee
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942

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