July 19, 2001

Stallman to inaugurate FSF-India, Stanco to inaugurate FreeDevelopers-India

Author: JT Smith

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

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