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FSF offers "GNU Bucks" for finding nonfree works in free distributions

From: Brett Smith
Subject: FSF offers "GNU Bucks" for finding nonfree works in free distributions
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 18:19:37 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17+20080114 (2008-01-14)

## Free Software Foundation announces new bounty program, offering
   "GNU Bucks" for finding nonfree works in free distributions

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, October 1, 2009 -- The Free
Software Foundation (FSF) today announced that it will begin rewarding
those who find and report any nonfree components in free software
operating system distributions with public recognition and "GNU
Bucks." The FSF maintains a list of guidelines covering what it means
to be a free distribution, and endorses distributions that commit to
meeting those guidelines.

"By spurring users to find and report problems, this new
awards program will help make sure that the FSF-endorsed free
distributions of GNU/Linux stay really and truly free," said FSF
executive director Peter Brown.

"Ever since we published the guidelines for what it takes to be a free
system distribution, we have been looking for practical ways to deal
with the issue of nonfree software that is accidentally included in
these distributions -- steps that are within our means and the means
of distribution maintainers. This new program does a good job of
striking that balance," said FSF licensing compliance engineer Brett

Those qualifying for the award will receive a "GNU Buck" bank note,
in the amount of pi and signed by Free Software Foundation president
and "Chief GNUisance" Richard Stallman.

In order to qualify for the GNU Buck award, someone first submits a
detailed, actionable report about nonfree materials in a free
distribution to both the FSF and the maintainers of the distribution.
If the the report is confirmed, the person will receive an award and
the option of public recognition. The FSF will also notify other free
distributions to make sure they can address the issue as well.

The awards follow in the tradition of the checks written by legendary
computer scientist Donald Knuth to anyone who found errors in his
seminal textbook "The Art of Computer Programming." To receive a check
was such an honor that they were more often displayed on office walls
than cashed. (Knuth stopped writing actual checks in 2008 due to check

A full explanation of the program is at

For more information on the FSF's criteria for classifying a
distribution as free, see
The full list of distributions meeting these criteria is published at

### About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free
software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
located at and, are an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
<>. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

### About Free Software and Open Source

The free software movement's goal is freedom for computer users. Some,
especially corporations, advocate a different viewpoint, known as
"open source," which cites only practical goals such as making
software powerful and reliable, focuses on development models, and
avoids discussion of ethics and freedom. These two viewpoints are
different at the deepest level. For more explanation, see

### About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a
free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only
operating system developed specifically for the sake of users'
freedom. See <>.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for
one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under
the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux
formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for
the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination
is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see

### Media Contacts

Brett Smith  
Licensing Compliance Engineer  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942  

John Sullivan  
Operations Manager  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942  


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