[NetBehaviour] Behind the doors of the Free Software Foundation.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Aug 30 12:31:55 CEST 2008
Behind the doors of the Free Software Foundation.
By Bruce Byfield
The purpose of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is probably obvious
from its name -- but what does promoting free software mean in terms of
everyday activity? Examining the roles of the organization shows how
complex the FSF's advocacy role has become. It also reveals the range of
services available to the free software community, and helps to explain
how such a small group has had such a major influence on computer
As a 501(c)3 charity in the United States, the FSF is run by a board of
directors. The current board includes FSF founder and president Richard
M. Stallman and long-term member Henry Poole, but, in the last few
years, new faces have appeared on the board.
According to director Benjamin Mako Hill, "The board's most important
responsibility is to protect software freedom and to decide the FSF's
goals and tactics. That means that they are ultimately responsible for
the GNU General Public License, the LGPL, AGPL, and GNU Free
Documentation License, for FSF-copyright-assigned software and manuals,
and for much of the infrastructure of running the GNU Project. As a
result, board members must first and foremost be committed to the cause
of software freedom."
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