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FSF-India and FreeDevelopers-India To Be Inaugurated at Freedom First! Conference

Jul 19, 2001, 17:57 (30 Talkback[s])

Washington, D.C., USA - July 19, 2001 - India joins the Free Software movement. A group of government officials and Free Software practitioners and enthusiasts in India persuade Richard Stallman to establish an Indian Chapter of the Free Software Foundation.

On July 20, 2001, the Free Software Foundation will inaugurate Free Software Foundation-India, [http://www.fsf.org.in], an affiliate organization headquartered in Trivandrum, Kerala, India, at the "Freedom First!" ceremonies. FSF India will be the national agency for the promotion of the use of Free Software in India.

Government officials and other Free Software supporters in the state of Kerala believe that Free Software meshes particularly well with Kerala's long tradition of democracy, equity and public action. Just as Kerala is often held up as a model of equitable social and human development in the region, Free Software supporters there believe they can leverage the inherent freedoms of Free Software to evolve an equitable Knowledge Society based on software independence and self-reliance. They propose to help to make Free Software a viable alternative to proprietary software for large-scale applications, such as for e-government, e-education and e-commerce. Free Software developers in India intend to be important contributors to the GNU project and the newly announced DotGNU project. DotGNU is a Free Software alternative to the services and functions proposed by Microsoft in its .Net initiative. DotGNU was initiated and is sponsored and supported by FreeDevelopers.

India joins a long list of other countries, like Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Japan, who look to Free Software as a basis for creating home-grown software industries. Free Software helps countries foster an indigenous software industry, because it encourages solidarity, collaboration and voluntary community work among programmers and computer users to create viable alternatives to proprietary software products, since it permits access to the software by all developers, not just a privileged few.

Tony Stanco, founder of FreeDevelopers [http://www.FreeDevelopers.net], will inaugurate FreeDevelopers-India at the same ceremony.

Tony Stanco, founder of FreeDevelopers.net, says "FSF-India is an amazing affirmation that Free Software is poised to revolutionize software development in the near future. Imagine, India, with its huge number of software developers, is saying, 'we want our own software industry. We don't want to be a second-class software country anymore.' That is big. If each country says that, we will be in a very different world very quickly."

Radhakrishnan CV, founder of FreeDevelopers-India says "I believe that Free Software can level the playing field around the world, so that people can be judged on their abilities, not their wealth. That is what I hope to do with FreeDevelopers."

Anil of FreeDevelopers-India says "FD is a great idea. It is more society-oriented as well as developer-oriented. This factor makes FD different from proprietary companies where profit is the major concern and social obligation is almost nil. Moreover, it is a revolutionary idea to replace all the proprietary software (especially those which runs public systems) with Free alternatives; that is what FD is mainly aiming for and at the same time paying the developers."

About DotGNU:
DotGNU is part of the GNU system. DotGNU is a GNU project initiated and supported by FreeDevelopers. DotGNU is the Free Software alternative to the .Net services proposed by Microsoft and other proprietary software companies. However, the DotGNU project is based on principles of freedom and decentralization, rather than the centralization of information and services leading to supplier lock-ins.

About FreeDevelopers:
FreeDevelopers is a self-regulatory organization of free software developers from around the world. It currently has over 1000 developers from about 50 countries. FreeDevelopers is a software development company, but it is very different from traditional, "corporate" software companies. FreeDevelopers has a decentralized, "The Community is the Company" structure, and all the software they develop is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).

FreeDevelopers was founded by Tony Stanco, a securities attorney, who recently left the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internet and Software group, to help Free Software develop a viable business model by creating a revenue model that will allow Free Software developers to get paid for their work.

FreeDevelopers is headquartered in Washington, DC, USA. FreeDevelopers-India is based in Trivandrum, India.

Media Contacts:
USA: Tony Stanco, Tony@FreeDevelopers.net
India: Radhakrishnan CV, Radi@FreeDevelopers.net