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Stallman offers prizes for finding free software faults


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The Free Software Federation (FSF) has set up a reward scheme for programmers who spot commercial software buried in free software distribution packs.

Where users find commercial software they need to notify both the distributor and the FSF. If the report is correct they will receive a "GNU Buck" to the value of pi, signed by Richard Stallman.

"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," said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

The FSF is taking an increasingly aggressive attitude towards the free software issue, and has been taking on some of the biggest players in the business, including Microsoft and Cisco.

"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," said FSF licensing compliance engineer Brett Smith.

"This new program does a good job of striking that balance".

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