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The What, Why and When of Free Software in India

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Free software is not yet as media-visible as its breakaway sibling open source. Consider GNU/Linux, for example, which you hear about much less often than you do Linux. Quietly, however, and away from the glare of publicity, a small group of committed techies in India is using its skills to bring more attention to free software.

Some of the Free Software Foundation India's (FSF-India) accomplishments include helping to fight patent threats in the country and promoting the use of free software in schools, government and other cultural institutions. In mid-2005, FSF-India put together an ambitious four-nation meeting in Kerala, India, which featured representatives from Venezuela, Brazil, Italy and India.

Some of the FSF-India techies have achieved amazing feats, spurred on not only by their skills but also by the underlying ideology of free software. For them, free software isn't only about producing good quality technology. It's also about sharing and ethics.

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