[LWN Logo]


Media Contact:
      Free Software Foundation
      Bradley M. Kuhn <pr@gnu.org>
      Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Richard M. Stallman Addresses Brazilian Congress on Free Software and the
Ethics of Copyright and Patents

Brasilia, Brazil - March 20, 2001 - Today Richard M. Stallman, founder and
president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), addressed the members of
the Brazilian Congress on the issues of free software, the ethics of
copyright, and the dangers of software patents.  Stallman stressed both the
ethical and practical importance of free software, which grants other
developers the freedom to examine and improve the software.  He also
discussed issues of copyright and patents, and how they should be
interpreted in terms of freedom for software users and programmers.

"I find in Brazil considerable awareness that free software is a social and
political issue as well as a practical and economic one," Dr. Stallman said.
"The programmers and users that I have met here are very receptive to the
ideas of freedom that free software represents."

Dr. Stallman's visited the Brazilian Congress as a guest of Congressperson
Walter Pinheiro.  Dr. Stallman's visit is indicative of the rising interest
in free software in Brazil, which represents the largest growing market for
hardware and software in Latin America.

Werner Koch, author of GNU Privacy Guard, also addressed the assembly.
Mr. Koch spoke about free software in relation to issues of computer

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer
programs.  The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom)
software---particularly the GNU operating system (used widely today in its
GNU/Linux variant)--- and free documentation.  The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of
software.  Their web site, located at http://www.gnu.org, is an important
source of information about GNU/Linux worldwide.  They are headquartered in
Boston, MA, USA.

About Richard M. Stallman:

Richard M. Stallman is the founder of the GNU project, launched in 1984 to
develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for "GNU's Not Unix"), and
thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost.  GNU is
free software: everyone is free to copy it and redistribute it, as well as
to make changes either large or small.

Stallman received the Grace Hopper Award from the Association for Computing
Machinery for 1991 for his development of the first Emacs editor in the
1970s.  In 1990 he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and in
1996 an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
In 1998 he received the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award along
with Linus Torvalds; in 1999 he received the Yuri Rubinski memorial award.

About GNU Privacy Guard:

GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is a free software program that encrypts and
decrypts email messages using public key encryption technology.  It serves
as a complete and free replacement for Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).  Because
GnuPG does not use patented algorithms, it can be used without any
restrictions.  GnuPG is compatible with other email encryption programs.
More information is available at the GnuPG website,