Free Software Foundation gives annual awards

The organisation has honoured the Creative Commons group and Postfix creator Wietse Venema for their contributions to the free-software movement

The Creative Commons organisation and the Dutch security programmer Wietse Venema have become winners of the Free Software Foundation's annual awards.

The awards were handed out by FSF founder and president Richard Stallman at the LibrePlanet conference held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 21-22 March.  The FSF named its award winners for 2008 as the Creative Commons organisation, for projects of social benefit, and Venema, for the advancement of free software.

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit group that promotes flexible copyright — or so-called 'copyleft' — licences for creative works. According to an FSF statement, Creative Commons's vice president, Mike Linksvayer, said upon receiving the award that his organisation "should be giving an award to the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman, because what Creative Commons is doing would not be possible without them".

Previous winners of the award for projects of social benefit include Wikipedia in 2005, and the open-source legal blog Groklaw in 2007.

Venema, who was honoured for his contributions to network security and creation of the Postfix email server, joins previous winners of the 'advancement of free software' award, including Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig in 2002, and Mono project leader Miguel de Icaza in 1999.

"In my experience, free software presents a tremendous opportunity for individuals and organisations to make contributions to society," Venema said upon receiving his award. "I'm grateful for the opportunities that I have had over the past 20years, and I'm proud that so many people have adopted my software."

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