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fsfe-website/activities/mankind/worldmemory.draft

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Summary:
Please highlight uniqueness and universal value of proposed documentary heritage.
"UNESCO has always supported the extension and dissemination of human knowledge
and recognizes that, in the domain of software, Free Software disseminates human
knowledge in a way proprietary software cannot do. UNESCO recognizes also that
the development of Free Software encourages solidarity, collaboration and
voluntary community work amongst programmers and computer users." (Abdul Waheed
Khan, UNESCO Communication and information department, [0])
Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study,
change and improve the software.
More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the
software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
(freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the
public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3). Access to the
source code is a precondition for this.
"To serve humanity with software, software should be free, because software
belong to human knowledge. Proprietary software do not belong to human
knowledge." (R. Stallman, Free Software Foundation leader)
Free software vehicles ethics: freedom, equality, fraternity, transparency.
Freedom to copy, to study, to modify and to redistribute software or
documentations. Equality, the same rights for every user, without any
discrimination. Fraternity, because it deals with share and mutual assistance.
Transparency, because it's deeply rooted in the Free Software development model.
Free software has also social implications. It's about mutual help and knowledge
sharing, and it gives tools available to everybody. Nobody tries to take your
freedom away. Among its consequences, it allows developing countries to
develop faster, and acts for defense of cultures and ease of access (eg
multilingual support).
Technically, Free software has proved itself: stability, performances, etc.
Access to the source code and peer review is also essential for security and
continuity. The better example is that Free Software makes Internet go round
(web, mail, domain name, etc). With Free software, you benefit from work already
done, not reinventing or reselling the wheel everytime.
Moreover, free software gives independence, from governments, from companies,
from political groups, etc. And better, an economical independence: it isn't
plagued by compulsory profit.
In fact, Free software is already patrimony of mankind, in the common sense. It's
got numerous supports from governments, associations, companies, more and more
users, and from the UNESCO (eg Free software portal [1]). We hope UNESCO'll
register it in the Memory of the World program.
[0] https://fsfe.org/activities/mankind/lsm2002/UnescoAnswer.pdf
[1] http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft
1. Identity and Location
1.1 Name of documentary heritage
Free software
1.2 Country
Worldwide
1.3 State, province or region
N/A
1.4 Address
N/A
1.5 Name of organisation or institution (if appropriate)
N/A
2. Legal Information
2.1 Owner (name and contact details)
Copyright owned by software author(s), but the four freedoms are given to
everybody, without any discrimination.
2.2 Custodian (name and contact details)
Software author(s).
Foundations like Free Software Foundations [2], or project-related foundations
like Apache Software Foundation [3], GNOME Foundation [4] or KDE League [5].
[2] FSF http://www.fsf.org
FSF Europe https://fsfe.org
FSF India http://gnu.org.in/
FSF China http://www.rons.net.cn/english/Links/fsf-china/
[3] http://www.apache.org/
[4] http://foundation.gnome.org/
[5] http://www.kdeleague.org/
2.3 Legal status (if different from 2.1)
(a) category of ownership
Cf 2.1
(b) details of legal and administrative provisions for the preservation of the
documentary heritage
Some free licenses have been developed to protect free software, like the GNU
General Public License [6], the GNU Lesser General Public License [7], the BSD
license [8], etc.
Some foundations like Free Software Foundations [2], or project-related
foundations like Apache Software Foundation [3], GNOME Foundation [4] or KDE
League [5] protect free software.
Many users group and associations act locally to support free software.
All of them communicate and fight against threats like software patents,
dangerous laws or law propositions (DMCA, EUCD, CBDTPA, etc) and digital rights
management [9].
[6] http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.html
[7] http://www.fsf.org/licenses/lgpl.html
[8] http://www.xfree86.org/3.3.6/COPYRIGHT2.html#5
[9] https://fsfe.org/activities/mankind/links.en.html
(c) accessibility
Everybody can copy, modify and redistribute Free Software, so they are available
by many media (Internet, CD-ROM, etc).
(d) copyright status
Copyright owned by software author(s) (people, foundations, firms, associations, etc)
2.4 Responsible administration
(a) details should be given of the mechanism or organisation already
established, or to be established, to ensure the proper management of the
documentary heritage
Due to the nature of the free software, there is no central organisation
responsible for, just software authors taking care of their software, and
foundations, associations and organisations to federate the free software
community.
3. Identification
3.1 Description and inventory
Free software is a software giving four kinds of freedom to its users:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
(freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the
public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3). Access to the
source code is a precondition for this.
The inventory is huge and difficult, since there are tens of thousands of free
software projects. Below are the most important lists of free software.
[10] http://www.gnu.org/directory/
[11] http://savannah.gnu.org
[12] http://www.tuxfamily.org/
[13] http://www.freshmeat.net/ (not all projects are free software)
[14] http://www.sourceforge.net/ (not all projects are free software)
[15] http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft/
3.2 Bibliographic/Registration details
The FSF websites [2] are probably the best place to learn more about free
software, software licenses, free software community, history or philosophy.
3.3 Visual documentation, if appropriate (for example, photographs or a video of
the documentary heritage)
N/A
3.4 History
The UNESCO Free software portal has a short page [16] about free software
history. The creation of the FSF and of the GNU project have played a great
role in the free software revolution. Details can be found on the FSF pages [2]
and on the GNU project page [17].
[16] http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft/open_history.shtml
[17] http://www.gnu.org
3.5 Bibliography: Please indicate up to three published sources describing the
proposed documentary heritage
About free software definition, philosophy and catalog,
http://www.fsf.org
Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman
Author: Richard M. Stallman
Introduction: Lawrence Lessig
Editor: Joshua Gay
ISBN 1-882114-98-1
Publication Date: October 2002
Many scientific papers on MIT Free/Open source research community
http://opensource.mit.edu
3.6 Names, qualifications and contact details of up to three independent people
or organisations with expert knowledge about the values and provenance of the
documentary heritage
- Philippe Aigrain, Head of Sector "Software Technologies" European Commission
Philippe.Aigrain@cec.eu.int
- Juan Carlos Gentile from Uruguay, www.hipatia.info admin
jucar@hipatia.info
- Free Software Foundation http://www.fsf.org
Free Software Foundation Voice: +1-617-542-5942
59 Temple Place - Suite 330 Fax: +1-617-542-2652
Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA E-Mail: gnu@gnu.org
4. Assessment against the Selection Criteria
4.1 Assessment of the documentary heritage against each criterion described in
Annex 2.
Criterion 1-Influence:
About 60% of the webservers using Apache [18], most famous software for mail
servers (Sendmail, Postfix, etc) and domain-name servers (Bind), not a week
without an announcement by some government about a move to free software.
GNU/Linux system became really famous, enough to be used, developed and
supported by big companies like IBM or HP, governments like China or non
governmental organisation like UNESCO.
[18] http://www.netcraft.com/survey/
Criterion 2-Time:
Twenty years ago, free software was unknown and a new philosophy.
Announce of the GNU project September 27, 1983
http://www.fsf.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html
FSF creation, 1984
http://www.fsf.org
First version of Linux kernel (0.0.1) august 1, 1991
http://www.kernel.org/
Overview of the GNU project
http://www.fsf.org/gnu/gnu-history.html
Free software history on the UNESCO portal
http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_freesoft/open_history.shtml
Criterion 3-Place:
Worldwide, sign of universality.
Criterion 4-People:
Hundred thousands of people have been and are developing free software, on each
continent, working during free time or work time.
Criterion 5-Subject/Theme:
At the same time, a philosophy in the software domain, a software development
method and software available for everybody without discrimination.
Criterion 6-Form and Style:
N/A
Criterion 7-Social Value:
Free software has also social implications. It's about mutual help and knowledge
sharing, and it gives tools available to everybody. Nobody tries to take your
freedom away. Among its consequences, it allows developing countries to
develop faster, and acts for defense of cultures and ease of access (eg
multilingual support).
Secondary Criterion 1-Integrity:
Free software is threatened by excessive appropriation of the public domain
of ideas, by technology excessively restricting access to information, by
hostile acts from holders of dominant positions in some industries, and by
legislation that has been designed without taking into account the value and
power of free cooperation. For instance, such threats include patentability
of software ideas, copyright protection legislation such as the DMCA or the
EUCD, technology deployments such as Digital Rights Management systems and
associated technology (TCPA) or legislation (CBDTPA).
Secondary Criterion 2-Rarity:
N/A
4.2 Contextual assessment including an assessment of the importance of a series
of documents, the importance of a series of documents in a particular setting,
and the assessment against other documentary heritage.
"UNESCO has always supported the extension and dissemination of human knowledge
and recognizes that, in the domain of software, Free Software disseminates human
knowledge in a way proprietary software cannot do. UNESCO recognizes also that
the development of Free Software encourages solidarity, collaboration and
voluntary community work amongst programmers and computer users." (Abdul Waheed
Khan, UNESCO Communication and information department)
4.3 an evaluation of the authenticity
N/A
4.4 an assessment of rarity (if appropriate)
N/A
5. Management plan - see below Annex 1.
The UNESCO free software portal or the FSF free software directory for example
are already maintaining catalogs of free software (just name lists, not full
software source mirroring).
On the legal aspects, free software organisations protects free software and
enforces free software licenses.
6. Consultation
6.1 Details of consultation about the nomination with the
(a) Owner
See (b).
(b) Custodian
FSF Europe and other Free Software associations set up a working group to
discuss with the UNESCO about Free Software and its protection and recognition
(https://fsfe.org/activities/mankind/).
(c) relevant Regional or National Memory of the World Committee (if appropriate)
Contact by email and phone with A. Abid
7. Nominator
7.1 Name
Free Software Foundation Europe
7.2 Relationship to documentary heritage
The FSF Europe actively supports development of Free Software and provides a
competence center for politicians, lawyers and journalists in order to secure
the legal, political and social future of Free Software.
7.3 Contact person (if appropriate)
Benoît Sibaud
7.4 Contact details
Email: bsibaud@april.org
Mail: Benoît Sibaud
20 rue Jean-Baptiste Potin
F-92130 Issy les Moulineaux
France