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
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
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
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."
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
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
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.
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