The Free Software Foundation project gives the Free Software Award annually to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software (free as in freedom; see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html for the definition), through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.
Any kind of activity could be eligible--writing software, writing documentation, publishing CDs, even journalism--but whatever the activity, we want to recognize long-term central contributions to the development of the world of free software. "Accord with the spirit" means, for example, that software, manuals or collections of them (on tape or CD) must be entirely free. (Once again, that's free as in freedom; see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html.) Work done commercially is eligible, but we give awards to individuals, not to companies, organizations, or teams.
People such as Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Miguel de Icaza, and Brian Paul who have already received this or other awards for their contributions, are not eligible for the Free Software Award. Among those who are eligible, we try to choose whoever has made the greatest contribution.
We ask for nominations from the public in the middle of each year, and we present the award late in the year or early in the next year.
The list of nominees, finalists, and citation of winner Larry Wall are available.
The list of nominees and citation of winner Miguel de Icaza are available.
Details of the 2000 awards ceremony, including a movie, still photos, text transcript, and citation of winner Brian Paul, are available here.
Details of the 2001 awards ceremony are available here.
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Updated: $Date: 2006/04/27 13:23:52 $ $Author: ramprasadb $