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Arise Sir Georg, a free software ‘knight’

Georg Greve, founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, has received the Cross of Merit on ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz am Bande). Georg received this high award from the German President for his work on Free Software and Open Standards.

FSFE logo“FSFE is very proud to have a ‘knight’ among its team,” says FSFE President Karsten Gerloff. “Georg’s tremendous dedication to freedom in technology has been a driving force for Free Software in Europe and around the world. He has put Free Software on the political agenda and has created the structures to harness the community’s energy towards our common goals. His hard work over more than a decade has brought enormous progress for Free Software.”

With FSFE, Georg worked hard to create the understanding of Free Software as a cultural technique. He gave Free Software a voice at the United Nations, including the “World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). With FSFE’s Freedom Task Force, he was the architect for a centre of expertise on legal aspects of Free Software and drove the concept of legal maintainability for Free Software projects. He initiated community resistance against Microsoft’s OOXML format and worked on some of the first EU-funded projects for Free Software. Under Georg’s leadership, FSFE was also a key player in averting the threat of software patents in Europe.

“I’m deeply grateful for the official recognition that Free Software and Open Standards receive with this award”, says Georg Greve. “Around 2000, I decided to dedicate myself fully to this cause out of a sense of necessity: I felt that I had glimpsed how software shapes our society. But I also saw that society had not yet understood how much it is shaped by software. It is my hope that this award will help to make people aware of these questions, and bring support for the work of FSFE, which is more important than ever.”