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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Free Software Foundation Bradley M. Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.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 privacy. 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, http://www.gnu.org/software/gnupg/.