Join the FSF for an online birthday celebration on Friday, October 9th

FSF birthday ilustration

Thirty-five years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), its mission is more important than ever, and the organization has grown to fill that need, with multiple departments attending to crucial education, advocacy, and enforcement. Our Campaigns Team sounds the alarm about freedom-restricting developments and creates educational materials to bring more free software advocates to the movement. Our Licensing and Compliance Lab defends the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the thousands of programs distributed under its terms, and is actively building a future in which we can direct people to ethical hardware of any kind through the Respects Your Freedom (RYF) program.

Free software is first and foremost about ethical principles. But we also want everyone to be able to actually live in freedom, and to demonstrate the way free software can be technically excellent. This work is supported by our talented Tech Team, who provide dedicated “bare metal” and virtual machines for the daily operations of the GNU Project and other free software communities, including Web hosting, mailing lists, software repositories, and compiling and testing software packages. The FSF Tech Team is also building a free collaboration site, which will assist free software projects and developers with being able to share their code, as always, in full freedom.

We are so grateful for our community, who have stood with the FSF to demand change for the past thirty-five years. And as we celebrate the FSF’s birthday week, we reflect upon the changes that we are all fighting for. Change is necessary, because people view and experience the world through technology, and that view is obstructed by the lens that proprietary software corporations try to force us to look through.

We couldn’t let thirty-five years of free software accomplishments pass without a celebration with, and for, the community that has made this happen. Traditionally, we would celebrate such a milestone in person, but for this exceptional coral anniversary of the FSF, we had to get creative.

Birthday event program for Friday, October 9th

This Friday, October 9th, from 12:00 EDT (16:00 UTC) until 17:00 (21:00 UTC), we will host a fun and informative live event with guests from all over the world, to discuss the future of free software and learn from their experiences in different fields driving free software forward. You can find the full program on the FSF Web site, but here are some of the highlights we are looking forward to:

  • We invited illustrator and artist David Revoy, who also designed our beautiful coral anniversary artwork, to join us and talk about his artwork, the challenges of design in free software, and his work with Pepper & Carrot. You can join us in the IRC #fsf channel on Freenode to ask him questions as well!
  • We count on federated social media to keep developing our ethical social experience online, so we asked Pouhiou, co-director of Framasoft, to have a conversation with us about what a program like video sharing platform Peertube can mean for the future, and the importance and challenges of moderating a server.
  • We will also be joined by Eda Nano, board member at April in France, who can elaborate on developments of free software in France, and talk about collaboration between organizations.
  • A segment focusing on the challenges and successes of local free software activism worldwide will welcome organizers from free software groups large and small, including long-time LibrePlanet speaker Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation, located in Italy, and Bonnie Mehring, Free Software Foundation Europe‘s junior project manager.
  • Also, be sure to join us for short talks from FSF president Geoffrey Knauth, executive director John Sullivan, and FSF founder Richard Stallman on the last thirty-five years of software freedom, and what the future holds for the FSF.

It is promising to be a fun, educational, and entertaining event. You can join us via, and join the conversation with our speakers live through IRC on Freenode in the #fsf channel; we’ll make sure we put the link up prominently on our homepage as well. You can also join the online experience by sending in your own video commemorating the occasion, following the instructions on the LibrePlanet wiki.

This birthday celebration is gratis, and all of our speakers are volunteering their time to create a joyous event where we can share our experiences and knowledge together. The LibrePlanet safe space policy will be followed throughout the event, so please make sure you read it. If this online experience is anything like LibrePlanet 2020, we will have a wonderful event, and we can’t wait to see everyone online.

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