GNU Project Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry advocating free software

This month marks 25 years since the beginning of the GNU Project, Richard Stallman's ambitious project to build a completely free software operating system.

For GNU, and its parent organisation the Free Software Foundation, this is a significant anniversary and of course a good opportunity to further spread the message of their cause.

Interestingly, the FSF have recruited Stephen Fry to produce a five-minute film on free software and some of the history of the GNU Project.

"Stephen has generously donated his time to the cause of free software. His ability to communicate a technological and philosophical movement in terms of the basic principles of sharing and user freedom -- ideas that everyone can understand -- will introduce a new and broader audience to the benefits of free software," said Matt Lee, an FSF campaigns manager and writer/producer of the film.

I think this is a very interesting and unique marketing strategy - it's certainly something we haven't seen from the FSF before to try and spread their views on software.

Peter Brown, the FSF's executive director, added, "We intend for the 25th anniversary to be more than just a reflection on the history of the free software movement, because despite all of the success brought about by the GNU system and other free software projects, we still need a determined effort to replace or eliminate the proprietary applications, platforms, drivers and firmware that many users still run. In this light, the video of Stephen Fry is not just a celebration, but a rallying call for the work that still needs to be done. During September we plan a number of further announcements leading up to Software Freedom Day ( on September 20 and the GNU anniversary on September 27."

Read the official announcement and watch the 5-minute video.

[image licensed under CC-BY-SA, source Wikipedia / Freedom Fry - Happy Birthday to GNU]

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: GNU Project Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Stephen Fry

  1. Chris (guest)

    # Posted on 02 September 2008 at 08:28 PM

    This is awesome! Stephen Fry is a great comedian/actor (Fry and Laurie... great stuff) and this will definitely promote the cause of Free Software. Happy brithday GNU!

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