CCau is very proud to wish our free culture brothers across at GNU a very happy 25th birthday.

25 years ago today (ok, so it was yesterday – but it’s still 2 September in most parts of the world) Richard Stallman and his collaborators began a project to develop an operating system that could be legally used, improved on and tinkered with by programmers everywhere. In doing so, they pretty much invented the free software movement. Which in turn led to open content licensing, the free culture movement, and Creative Commons.

Software from GNU (“Gnu is Not Unix”) now powers everything from Apple OS X to the Firefox web browser to the software behind internet itself. Their social influence has, perhaps, been even greater, encouraging us all to rethink what ‘ownership’ means, and what rights we should have over our own culture.

So we join British comedian Stephen Fry and the rest of the CC community in wishing GNU 25 more years of setting the standards for freedom everywhere. And another 25 after that. And another.

Freedom Fry — “Happy birthday to GNU” by the Free Software Foundation Inc and The Sampsonian Company. Creative Commons License
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2 thoughts on “Happy birthday to GNU!

  • 2 January 2009 at 10.44 am
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    Why smart people are so annoying? When they know something very well.
    C’mon, on the bottom of our hearts we all know that gnu refers to the free software community and the job of millions of coders working as one, it doesn’t matter the type of license they use. We all know that OS X is writen on top of the hard work of GNU coders as well as BSD, they are not going to tell you…

  • 19 September 2008 at 12.49 am
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    I share you enthusiasm for GNU and was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear Stallman talk in my town recently. But for the sake of accuracy…

    “Software from GNU (“Gnu is Not Unix”) now powers everything from Apple OS X to the Firefox web browser to the software behind internet itself.”

    Actually… no. OSX is a proprietary operating system based on BSD, which is open source, but *not* free according to the GNU definition, which requires all software derived from free software code to be released under a free license. Apple is able to build a proprietary OS on top of BSD precisely because it is non-free. They can leverage the free work of the well-meaning BSD hackers for profit, without contributing any of their own code back into BSD. Sorry guy, you mean well, but it’s just not leach-proof (in this respect BSD vs GNU is like Gnutella vs. BitTorrent).

    Firefox is based on the Mozilla codebase, which was originally Netscape Navigator. AOL ‘open sourced’ their browser in a brave, but futile attempt to fight off the threat of M$ Internet Exploiter. Netscape is now dead, but thanks to Firefox, that code is starting to regain ground. Again, Firefox is open source, but I’m not sure that it’s free, and it definitely wasn’t written by GNU.

    By ‘the software behind the internet itself, I presume you mean the TCP/IP protocols, http protocols, the html standards etc. These aren’t actually software. They are a set of agreed rules about how different software should interact, which means you can implment any protocol or standard in either free, open source, or proprietary software. This hardware and os agnostic pluralism is what allowed ‘the internet’ as we know it to become the standard for networking of digital devices.

    Thanks for the great video though. I love Fry’s work, especially his portrayal or Oscar Wilde, and this is no exception.

    Hei kōnei rā
    Strypey

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