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Digital Freedom Foundation (DFF) is a non-profit organization now based in Hong Kong whose primary function is to coordinate Software Freedom Day all around the world, all contributors to the success of SFD volunteer their time. Find more about Software Freedom on our about page.

Our Vision & Objectives

Vision

FIXME => This is changing, but we are waiting for our new bylaws to be approved to update it
Our vision is to empower all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world that is participatory, transparent, and sustainable.

Objectives

  1. to celebrate software freedom and the people behind it
  2. to foster a general understanding of software freedom, and encourage adoption of free software and open standards
  3. to create more equal access to opportunities through the use of participatory technologies
  4. to promote constructive dialogue on responsibilities and rights in the information society
  5. to be inclusive of organizations and individuals that share our Vision
  6. to be pragmatic, transparent, and responsible as an organisation

Who is DFF?

Formerly called SFI, the Digital Freedom Foundation is run by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors meets every other week for half the year and every week in the lead up to Software Freedom Day with an IRC conference to discuss various topics pertaining to the regular activities of DFF and Software Freedom Day.

The Board up to 9 elected members, is responsive to teams and full of energy to encourage team participation in the running of Software Freedom Day internationally.

The Board can be contacted on <info AT sf-day DOT org>

Core Board

The organization has now a website where all the current information can be found. Please visit http://www.digitalfreedomfoundation.org for more!

Previous board members

The board changes from year to year, as we invite members of the SFD community to join us for a year or longer. Previous community representatives include

Previous members of the board

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Matt Oquist, SFI Vice President and Treasurer
Majen.net Consulting
Country: United States
Matt is the CIO of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School. He has a few years of experience with Linux and other *NIXy operating systems, but mostly he's focused right now on Moodle, a GPL Learning Management System.

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JM C. Bitanga, Director
UP Linux Users Group (UnPLUG)
Country: Philippines
JM was introduced to Linux in their introductory programming class at the University of the Philippines - back in 2002. From then on after seeing the "light" about its "ideals", he ventured on what he describe as a continuing and exhilarating journey about what he believes as the future of computing and cyberspace i.e. FOSS, GNU/Linux, Open Standards, Open Content, and the like.

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Jan Husar, Director
Country: Slovakia
Jan is is a Slovak activist, marine biologist and journalist. Active in international Free/Libre and Open Source Software since 2000. Founded Digital Standards Organization and Slovak Open Source Initiative, also works with European institutions and as a hobby helps free software in Kosovo and Albania.

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Quiliro Ordóñez
Country: Ecuador
Quiliro is founding member of Asociación de Software Libre de Ecuador asle.ec and is currently a board member of Free Software Foundation Latin America fsfla.org He actively works for libre standards and the liberation of cyberspace closely with Richard Stallman and the developers of FSF approved distros.

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Silvia Aimasso
Country: Ghana/Italy
Silvia has contributed to different ICT for Development projects in Africa using FOSS. She coordinated the development and localization of a FOSS tool for the young people of the Arab region, while working at the UNESCO office in Rabat, Morocco (http://www.arabopensource.net/Miftaah/).
As a project coordinator at the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), Silvia was responsible for building awareness and advocating for FOSS and the FOSS development model in West Africa, within the framework of the project “FOSSWAY” (http://www.fossway.fossfa.net). Silvia has also organized the celebrations of SFD in Accra and Freetown in 2009 in collaboration with Linux Accra Users Group and Sierra eRiders.
You can follow her thoughts using Twitter (cliomedia33) and Identi.ca (cliomedia)

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Alexjan Carraturo
Country: Italy
Alexjan is the administrator of Free Software User Group Italia, member of Free Software Foundation Europe, Fedora Ambassador, openSUSE Ambassador. Active in the Italian community FOSS, is working with various Linux User Group, and he tries to migrate some schools to free software.

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Thilo Pfennig
Country: Germany
Thilo is an active member of the Linux User Group Kiel (LUG Kiel). In the past he has worked as a member of the GNOME Marketing Team. He is doing mostly wiki work & support. He has co-hosted some Free Software events in the last years including the Kieler Linuxtage and SFD Kiel. He is also an active Creative Commons advocate since the beginning and also organized Document Freedom Days (DFD).

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Robert Schumann
Country: United Kingdom
Robert has been taking free software too seriously for the last six years. He has been involved in launching a movement to promote open source software in Zambia and when not working on SFD he is a consultant in the telecommunications industry.

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Pia Waugh
Linux Australia
Country: Australia
Pia is involved in many FOSS organisations and advocacy. She believes FOSS provides the basis of ensuring our basic freedoms (freedom of association, freedom of choice, etc) are protected as we move forward in an increasingly digital age. Because of this she bases her work and play in the FOSS arena. Pia is married to Jeff Waugh, another FOSS person who rocks :) She lives in Sydney, Australia. Check out her biography or blog for more information.

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Joe O.A Olutuase
KnowledeHouseAfrica
Country: Nigeria
Joe, a Computer Scientist was the Founding President of Info Tech Corps of NYSC which operates in 6 States in Nigeria.He currently serves as the CEO of KnowledgeHouseAfrica which empower youths and women to fight poverty by imparting them with knowledge and skills using FOSS as a key tool to brigding the digital divide

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Phil Harper
TheOpenCD project
Country: United Kingdom|
Phil is a founding member of the SFD project.

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Peter Ruwoldt
Country: Australia

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Judy Wilson
Country: Belize

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Henrik Omma
Country: Norway
Played a crucial role in launching SFD in 2004 and, as the first president of SFI, in helping make it an annual fixture.

Advisory Board

SFI also has an Advisory Board made up of sponsors and supporters.

Board meetings

The board has regular (every one or two weeks) IRC meetings to plan SFD. If you would like an issue raised at a board meeting, please contact the board.

How did SFI (and SFD) begin?

Sometime in January of 2004, Matt Oquist concluded that

  1. Free Software had improved to the point of being suitable for public use, and
  2. public ignorance was one of the primary roadblocks to public acceptance.

He remembers driving past a retail store that he knew had piles of AOL CDs lying around, and he thought to himself that a CD filled with software such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and GIMP would be of vastly greater value to the public. He planned to burn such CDs and try to get permission to distribute them at the retail store in question.

After contacting his local LUG regarding this idea he was referred to project, which maintained a CD of high-quality Free Software for Windows that matched Matt's (so far vague) vision. Matt proposed the idea of an international day of handing out Free Software CDs in TheOpenCD forums, and project leader Henrik Omma and project contributor Phil Harper both shared this vision and began collaborating immediately.

After considering several proposals of dates, names, and logistics, Henrik, Phil, and Matt agreed on "Software Freedom Day" because they believed that ultimately, everyone without a vested interest in proprietary software can unite to educate the worldwide public about the ideals of Software Freedom and the practical benefits of Free Software. August 28th, 2004, was the first annual Software Freedom Day.

Henrik, Phil, and Matt recruited Fred Noronha and Jules Sidenburg to have the required total of five board members to found a non-profit corporation in the state of New Hampshire, USA.

Since that time the board has been pleased to welcome Sidsel Jensen, Joe O.A Olutuase, Benjamin Mako Hill, Robert Schumann, and Pia Waugh, who bring a wealth of energy and experience to the organization.

Components of "Software Freedom Day"

Software

SFD is primarily about Software, but Software Freedom can affect almost every aspect of our lives. Software Freedom enables governmental transparency and openness; for example, voting machines and government records can be examined and available to a degree that is impossible when proprietary secrecy stands in the way of public scrutiny. Software Freedom empowers non-profit organizations (such as libraries, schools, and religious organizations) and businesses (especially in developing countries) to compute with state-of-the-art software without the undue restrictions and costs imposed by proprietary software licensing. Software Freedom can provide a higher degree of security than is possible with proprietary software, because the artificial barrier of proprietary secrecy is not in place to keep security experts from contributing ideas, and it's in those experts' best interest to make sure the software is secure.

Software Freedom has massive legal and economic benefits, and it ultimately empowers people on a local level to exercise enlightened self-interest concerning any area of life that involves software.

Freedom

The English word "free" is ambiguous. Here's how Richard Stallman disambiguates the term:

"Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer."

This now-famous distinction addresses the two most fundamental categories of benefits of Software Freedom: ideological and practical.

Ideology

Ideological proponents of Software Freedom are most centrally concerned with freedoms such as in speech, association, privacy, and education. The word "proprietary" refers to ownership and private control, and while ownership and private control are very beneficial to society in many areas, they are directly opposed to the public good when they are applied to software, which consists of expressions of ideas (and these expressions happen to be understandable by computers).

Practicality

Pragmatic proponents of Software Freedom are most centrally concerned with economic, governmental (see above), and educational benefits. Free Software is not produced without cost, and there is no guarantee that it will be available to you without cost. But in practice, almost all Free Software is free from licensing fees, and the licensed publication of Free Software source code guarantees that no private interests have the power to revoke this public economic benefit.

Software Freedom benefits society educationally in two primary senses:

  1. schools have access to a greater amount of high-quality software because licensing fees are not a limiting factor, and
  2. students of computer science are free to begin working directly with state-of-the-art software.

It is only fitting that the ideals and practical benefits of this academically-inspired movement are now turning full-circle and benefiting schools of all levels, around the world. Visionaries who wanted to improve their own educations have laid down a legacy that will improve the educations of billions of others.

The Day

Software Freedom Day is centered on a particular day each year in order to heighten the sense of unity that SFD teams around the world experience - we're all in this together, working simultaneously in scores of countries toward a common goal. Many proponents of Software Freedom have been holding publicly educational events for years; it is our hope that by concentrating such efforts on a single day each year we can achieve a worldwide awareness that remains elusive when our efforts are chronologically dispersed.


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