The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced its annual awards for services to the software community.
John Gilmore, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the fifth person to be employed at Sun Microsystems, won the prestigious Advancement of Free Software award for his work on popularising and protecting free software.
"Free software has been very good to me, and I'm glad that I have been good to it," said Gilmore.
Gilmore left Sun to set up Cygnus Support and used his considerable earnings to help set up the EFF and promote free software projects like GNU Tar, the GNU Debugger, GNU Radio and GNU Gnash.
He also coined the famous observation that the internet "interprets censorship as damage and routes around it", and is an active campaigner for the legalisation of some drugs.
The Project of Social Benefit award went to the Internet Archive, which takes publically available information and condenses it into an easily searchable format. The site also archives old web pages and media recordings with the aim of "universal access to all knowledge".
Brewster Kahle, co-founder and chairman of the Internet Archive, was at the ceremony to collect the award.
"We are trying to follow in the footsteps of the free software movement and apply these ideas to the cultural materials layer, building organisations that are founded on these principals," he said.
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