The Free Software Foundation (FSF) grants two annual awards. Since 1998, FSF has granted the award for Advancement of Free Software and since 2005, also the Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit.
In 1999 the award for Advancement of Free Software was presented at the Jacob Javits Center European Meeting (FOSDEM). Since 2006, the awards have been presented at the FSF's annual members meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Advancement of Free Software award
The Advancement of Free Software award is annually presented by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to a person whom it deems to have made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.
for his work advocating the importance of software freedom, his outspoken opposition to the USA's DMCA as well as other technology control measures, and his development work on the Linux kernel. The other finalists were Theo de Raadt for OpenBSD and Werner Koch for GnuPG.
for his campaigning against binary blobs, and the opening of drivers, documentation and firmware of wireless networking cards for the good of everyone. The other finalists were Andrew Tridgell for Samba and Cesar Brod for advocacy in Brazil.
Additionally, a special mention was made to honor the memory and contribution of Adrian Hands, who used a morse input device to code and successfully submit a GNOME patch, three days before he died from ALS.
for his work in promoting Free Software and the involvement in projects like the maintenance of linux-libre and the reverse engineer of the proprietary software used by Brazilian citizens to submit their taxes to the government.
Deborah was the director of community operations at the Software Freedom Conservancy, Stallman praised her body of work and her unremitting and widespread contributions to the free software community. "Deborah continuously reaches out to, and engages, new audiences with her message on the need for free software in any version of the future. "
The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is an annual award granted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In announcing the award, the FSF explained that:
This award 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.
According to Richard Stallman, former President of FSF, the award was inspired by the Sahana project which was developed, and was used, for organising the transfer of aid to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The developers indicated that they hope to adapt it to aid in other future disasters.
"[For] foster[ing] a growing body of creative, educational and scientific works that can be shared and built upon by others [and] work[ing] to raise awareness of the harm inflicted by increasingly restrictive copyright regimes."
"A free software medical record system for developing countries. OpenMRS is now in use around the world, including South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti, India, China, United States, Pakistan, the Philippines, and many other places."
a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and digital tools to stop surveillance, the project hopes to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the local communities they serve.
a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Founded by Steve Coast in the UK in 2004, OpenStreetMap is built by a community of over one million community members and has found its application on thousands of Web sites, mobile apps, and hardware devices. OpenStreetMap is the only truly global service without restrictions on use or availability of map information.
Leads the Panfrost project, a project to reverse engineer and implement a free driver for the Mali series of graphics processing units (GPUs) used on a wide variety of single-board computers and mobile phones.
2021 Protesilaos Stavrou
A philosopher who since 2019 has become a mainstay of the GNU Emacs community through his blog posts, conference talks, livestreams, and code contributions.
2022 Tad (SkewedZepplin)
Lead developer of DivestOS, which aims to remove proprietary binaries, and supports free software, security, privacy, and extending usefulness of older devices. Also a contributor to Replicant.