April 20, 2017

Software Heritage Backed By UNESCO

UNESCO and INRIA signed last Monday an agreement to contribute to the preservation of the technological and scientific knowledge contained in software. This includes promoting universal access to software source code.

The agreement, signed by UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova, and INRIA's Chief Executive Officer, Antoine Petit, and in the presence of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, focuses especially on Software Heritage. Software Heritage is an INRIA project that strives to collect, preserve and make accessible the source code of all available software.  The Software Heritage project aims to build a universal and perennial archive of software accessible for future generations.

"We are expected to be able to control, to be able to transmit, to be able to put these technologies, this information, these elements that become of the heritage at the service of the humanity" said M Hollande during the event. The FSFE was involved with Software Heritage's early success, by offering support and helping publicise its creation and activities. Matthias Kirschner, President of FSFE, says "It is important to preserve our collective knowledge about how software has influenced humankind. Collecting source code makes Software Heritage a valuable resource to understand how our society worked at certain times, and to build upon knowledge from humankind’s past."

Software Heritage is the brainchild of Roberto Di Cosmo (founder and CEO) and Stefano Zacchiroli (founder and CTO), two long-time Free Software advocates and activists.

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