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[GNU/FSF Press] Software Freedom Day in Boston is a Wealth for the Commo

From: Deborah Nicholson
Subject: [GNU/FSF Press] Software Freedom Day in Boston is a Wealth for the Commons: Saturday, September 20, 2008
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 16:00:56 +0000

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, September 11th, 2008 -- It's
Saturday and a roomful of people are advising each other on modifying
their mobile devices, optimizing their GNU/Linux systems and organizing
for software freedom. But it's not a room full of experts -- at least
not mostly. Artists, activists, students and others want the freedom to
do anything they want with their computers and they're here to learn new
tricks and garner shortcuts from each other.

The Free Software Foundation is hosting a Boston event to honor Software
Freedom Day, an international holiday that was observed on every
continent but Antarctica last year. The FSF will be one of more than 200
teams hosting events around the world. Boston's celebration is
especially notable because this is where the free software movement
began. Richard M. Stallman, FSF founder and president, started work at
MIT on the free software GNU operating system twenty-five years ago.

The event takes place on September 20th from 10am-4pm, and participation
is open to the public. More info about the schedule is available at, and
RSVPs to address@hidden are appreciated. The location is in
Chinatown at the Encuentro 5 Community Center
(, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th floor, Boston, MA

"It's great to take a day to celebrate the ideals of free software
simultaneously with so many people around the globe. It emphasizes one
of the most exciting things about this movement and community -- the
ability to share and collaborate with people in all corners of the
world. Last year's Boston event was incredibly well attended and
received, and I think this year's will be even better," said John
Sullivan, FSF operations manager and representative on the Software
Freedom Day advisory board.

Free software, controlled by the community, is the ideal tool for
keeping democratically elected leaders accountable. Keynote speaker
Aaron Swartz of will explain how he used free software in
his project to free public domain books, government archives, and
databases -- and how others can too. Later in the day, attendees will
participate in workshops on diverse topics like using free software to
make art and to get a great website up and running.

British comedian Stephen Fry recently made a video with the FSF in which
he talks about free software and how important it is for society, saying
that it is indicative of a culture that values transparency,
accountability and "good science." The six-minute video, which can also
be seen at, will be screened and discussed after
lunch. Finally, the floor will be open for news and questions that
didn't get covered during the rest of the day -- possible topics include
free software development hurdles, hardware compatibility issues, and
the state of software patent reform.

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 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

Media Contacts
Peter Brown
Free Software Foundation 
+1 (617) 542 5942 

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