[FSFE PR][EN] Changing the world: The GNU project turns 30
Free Software Foundation Europe
press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Sep 27 11:42:18 CEST 2013
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/2013/news-20130927-01.en.html ]
It was 30 years ago that Richard Stallman announced the GNU project.
An initiative that started with a programmer's frustration over a broken
printer driver has changed our society. The idea of software that
everyone can use, study, share and improve has proven very powerful
"Without the GNU project and the Free Software movement that it
inspired, our everyday lives - and the Internet - would be a very
different place right now," says Karsten Gerloff, President of the
Free Software Foundation Europe.
Free Software puts the control of electronic devices where it
belongs: with the people who own them. Today, Free Software is
everywhere. It powers the Internet, our mobile phones, televisions,
cars, routers, and electronic devices of all sorts. Free Software has
fundamentally changed the way people create software: instead of
preventing people to adapt the software to their own needs, they invite
people to participate in the development.
"The GNU project has acted as the starting point of a movement that
makes sure we can control technology, and not technology controlling
us," says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's head of Public Awareness.
The influence of the GNU project's approach to sharing knowledge goes
far beyond the GNU/Linux operating system, and extends beyond computer
programs. With the power of shared knowledge, Wikipedia has fast risen
to become the world's mainstream encyclopedia. Creative Commons licenses
let artists, musicians and authors use their work in ways ideally suited
to the digital age. Scientists and engineers rely on Free Software tools
to cure diseases and make everyone's life better. A generation of young
people is now coming of age for whom sharing knowledge is simply the
natural thing to do.
"We are grateful to Richard Stallman for sparking this epochal change,
and to everyone who has worked so hard to drive Free Software's
progress for three decades," says Gerloff. "Join our movement, support
our work, and help us met the challenges ahead."
== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
of the FSFE.
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