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Debian honoured with LNM award for Outstanding Contribution to Free Software

Dear Debian contributors and otherwise involved,

Those who followed the live stream or read our News[1] already knew it:
Debian has been honored with the Linux New Media Award in the Categories
"Best Open Source Server Distribution" and "Outstanding Contribution to
Open Source/Linux/Free Software".  Especially the second one, considered
to be the "kings class" of the LNM awards, is a great honour.

  1:  http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110304

While it is called the "Linux New Media" award, the decision of whom to
honor with them isn't done by the company themselves, but by a bigger
jury, consisting of over 300 representative community members,
developers, journalists and companies.  Deciding in a secret vote.  To
the best of my knowledge, there's nothing similar.

So one can truly say, we weren't awarded by a company, but by the entire
Free Software community!

Congratulations to everyone involved!

For our "Outstanding Contribution to Open Source/Linux/Free Software"
award, we also had the special pleasure, to receive our presentation
speech from Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software Foundation
Europe, who found words, I can hardly explain myself.  As it might take
some time for the video of the award ceremony to be published and
several people already asked for it, you'll find the text of the speech
below.  Still, you might want to watch the video for a special surprise
by Karsten:

  "I'm here to congratulate the Debian project. Debian has recently
  taken a nearly unprecedented step, one that many people thought would
  never come to pass: The project has updated its website design. 

  Today, Debian receives the "Linux New Media Award" for its
  *outstanding contribution* to Free Software. I could hardly think of a
  more fitting recipient for such an award.

  Debian is coming of age, literally. In August, the distribution
  will turn 18. 

  Debian offers great technology. It's stable. Really stable. It's
  highly flexible, and performs well in lots of different roles. IT
  supports more different architectures than almost anything else out
  there. It runs on pretty much anything. The package management is
  great. It makes a highly complex system of almost 30,000 packages
  extremely simple to configure and use.

  Debian started out as a true pioneer. When the project was created in
  1993, the whole concept of a "distribution" wasn't too well
  established. Ian Murdock announced the project thus:

    "Debian Linux is a brand-new kind of Linux distribution. Rather than
    being developed by one isolated individual or group, as other
    distributions of Linux have been developed in the past, Debian is
    being developed openly in the spirit of Linux and GNU. [...] Debian
    is being carefully and conscientiously put together and will be
    maintained and supported with similar care."

  At a recent conference, the current Debian project lead, Stefano
  Zacchiroli, gave a talk titled "Who the bloody hell cares about

  Turns out that many people do indeed. Debian is the GNU/Linux
  distribution that has the most derivatives based on it -- currently
  128, if Distrowatch.com is to be believed: Ubuntu, Knoppix, gNewSense,
  and many more. And those distributions again have their own
  derivatives. None of these could function without Debian.

  Lots of people rely on Debian. That makes it all the more important
  that Debian is so reliable. The Debian project gives us Free Software
  that is both rock-solid and exciting. 

  But the greatest thing about Debian is not the fact that it delivers
  great software. Other distributions do that, too.

  The big thing about Debian is the *idea* of Debian: The idea that a
  massive Free Software project can be totally independent.

  Debian shows how it's possible to build a highly reliable operating
  system without a formal body. The project has created some pretty
  complex structures to run itself, as a do-ocracy, based on consensus
  and running code.

  This is important. We are currently debating how Free Software
  projects can best be governed in the long run. How do we make sure
  that a project's users can always enjoy the freedom they deserve? How
  can we structure a project in a way that makes it immune to a hostile

  Oracle's acquisition of Sun has shown that these are important
  question. A Free Software license, preferably one like the GPL that
  protects freedom in the long run, is an important first step. But a
  Free Software project consists of much more than code.

  While uncounted people and companies are earning good money with
  Debian, the Debian project itself can't be bought -- simply because
  there is noone you could buy it from. Debian has been doing vendor
  independence long before it was cool.

  What I love most about Debian is that like few other big projects,
  Debian has the idea of freedom at its core.

  Debian's Free Software guidelines are a central manifesto for software
  freedom. The Debian Social Contract does not mention a single package
  or program. But it is without a doubt one of Debian's most important
  pieces of documentation.

  In Debian, quality is the focus of everyone's attention. But those who
  work on the Debian system know that great software is worth nothing
  without Freedom.

  With the release of Squeeze, the latest stable version, in February,
  Debian has taken the important step of offering a completely free
  kernel, with no binary blobs. This is a first for a major distribution
  in recent times. Debian is giving its users Freedom by default.

  And this Freedom for users and developers on a massive scale truly is
  Debian's outstanding contribution, not just to Free Software, but to
  the information society. 

  On behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe, I would like to
  thank everyone in Debian for their work, and congratulate them on this
  award. It's well deserved. Keep up the good work!"

Best Regards,

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