The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has set up a new scheme under which the foundation will start rewarding those who could spot and report any non-free or commercial components buried deep inside Linux distribution, thereby violating the guidelines maintained by FSF and the very essence of the free software movement.
FSF executive director Peter Brown said:
“By spurring users to find and report problems, this new awards program will help make sure that the FSF-endorsed free distributions of GNU/Linux stay really and truly free,”
The FSF is so aggressive in their stance that they refuse to endorse even the most popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, Suse, Gentoo etc, because these distributions doesn’t strictly meet their guidelines. The FSF’s definition of “free GNU/Linux distributions” currently encompasses only 8 distributions.
Brett Smith, FSF licensing compliance engineer said:
“Ever since we published the guidelines for what it takes to be a free system distribution, we have been looking for practical ways to deal with the issue of nonfree software that is accidentally included in these distributions -- steps that are within our means and the means of distribution maintainers. This new program does a good job of striking that balance,”
Those qualifying for the award will receive a “GNU Buck” bank note, in the amount of pi and signed by Free Software Foundation president and “Chief GNUisance” Richard Stallman. The bounty hunter will also have the option of receiving public recognition. You didn’t really expect real bucks, did you?
The award follow in the tradition of the checks written by legendary computer scientist Donald Knuth to anyone who found errors in his seminal textbook “The Art of Computer Programming.” To receive a check was such an honor that they were more often displayed on office walls than cashed.