Award for the Advancement of Free Software
The Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free
Software is presented annually by FSF president Richard Stallman to an
individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and
development of free software, through activities that accord with the
spirit of free software.
Individuals who describe their projects as
"open" instead of "free" are eligible nonetheless, provided the
software is in fact free/libre.
Last year, Matthew Garrett was recognized with the
Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work to keep
"Secure Boot" free software compatible, as well as his other work
to make sure that so-called security measures do not come at the
expense of user freedom. Garrett joined a prestigious list of previous
winners including Dr. Fernando Perez, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Rob Savoye,
John Gilmore, Wietse Venema, Harald Welte, Ted Ts'o, Andrew Tridgell,
Theo de Raadt, Alan Cox, Larry Lessig, Guido van Rossum, Brian Paul,
Miguel de Icaza, and Larry Wall.
Award for Projects of Social Benefit
Nominations are also open for the 2014 Award for Projects of Social
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
Last year, the GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women
(OPW) received the award, in recognition of its work to involve women
(cis and trans) and genderqueer people in free software
development. OPW's work benefits society more broadly, addressing
gender discrimination by empowering women to develop leadership and
development skills in a society which runs on technology. OPW does
this critical work using the ideals and collaborative culture of the
free software movement.
Other previous winners have included OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the
Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and
In the case of both awards, previous winners are not eligible for
nomination, but renomination of other previous nominees is encouraged.
Only individuals are eligible for nomination for the Advancement of
Free Software Award (not projects), and only projects can be nominated
for the Social Benefit Award (not individuals). For a list of previous
winners, please visit https://www.fsf.org/awards.
Current FSF staff and board members, as well as award committee
members, are not eligible.
The tentative award committee members are: Marina Zhurakhinskaya,
Matthew Garrett, Rob Savoye, Wietse Venema, Richard Stallman, Suresh
Ramasubramanian, Vernor Vinge, Hong Feng, Fernanda G. Weiden, Harald
Welte, Vernor Vinge, Jonas Oberg, and Yukihiro Matsumoto.
After reviewing the eligibility rules above, please send your
, on or before Sunday,
November 16th, 2014 at 23:59 UTC. Please submit nominations in the
In the email message subject line, either put the name of the
person you are nominating for the Award for Advancement of Free
Software, or put the name of the project for the Award for
Projects of Social Benefit.
Please include, in the body of your message, an explanation (forty
lines or less) of the work done and why you think it is especially
important to the advancement of software freedom or how it
benefits society, respectively.
Please state, in the body of your message, where to find the
materials (e.g., software, manuals, or writing) which your
nomination is based on.
Information about the previous awards can be found at
https://www.fsf.org/awards. Winners will be announced at an awards
ceremony at the LibrePlanet conference, March 21-22 2015, in
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 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
https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
More information about the FSF, as well as important information for
journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942