Press release: Free Knowledge Institute promotes sharing of knowledge

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SELF team Netherlands matures into foundation

Amsterdam, January 17 2008

Yesterday a new foundation was launched aiming to stimulate a society in which technology, educational materials, and cultural and scientific works can be freely shared. The organisation receives the support from the Internet Society Netherlands, an association for internet professionals.

The Free Knowledge Institute ( is an initiative from three Amsterdam-based professionals who currently work for Internet Society Netherlands. In the past years coordinated a large-scale EU-project SELF which embraced the same objectives. The need to share knowledge freely has become so important that the institute now turns into an independent organisation.

“More and more governments realise the benefits of free knowledge and free information technology”, says Wouter Tebbens, the president of the new institute. The Free Knowledge Institute intends to be a knowledge partner helping to show the way in available free knowledge and technology. “That way, we can elaborate on the existing pool of free knowledge and free software, which is growing enormously. Look at projects such as Wikipedia, Linux, and the internet itself”, Tebbens states. “Why reinvent the wheel yet again?”

The concept of copyleft, which was introduced the Free Software movement, is the cornerstone of the Free Knowledge Institute. Its main lines of activity are Free Knowledge in technology, education, culture and science. Free Knowledge in education focuses on the production and dissemination of free educational materials; Free Knowledge in technology mainly refers to free software, open standards and open hardware; Free Knowledge in culture includes open content; and Free Knowledge in science refers open access and anti-privatisation of scientific knowledge.

Read the press release in Dutch

*** About is the Dutch chapter of ISOC. ISOC was founded in 1992 by the people who invented and built the internet “to assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.” ISOC works on facilitating a progessively better cooperation of internetprofessionals, organisations, governments, universities and companies towards a better internet, and to further extend the use of the internet for society. The Dutch branch of this truly global organisation,, was founded in 1997, and is among the largest and most active of its kind in the world. is actively involved in achieving and promoting internet standards, researching the use of the internet in democratic and governmental processes and keeping the discussion within and around the internet community alive.

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*** About the SELF Project:

SELF is an international project aiming to provide a platform for the collaborative sharing and creation of free educational and training materials on Free Software and Open Standards. On the one hand, the SELF Platform is a repository with free educational and training materials on Free Software and Open Standards. It is also an environment for the collaborative creation of new materials. Inspired by Wikipedia, the SELF Platform provides the materials in different languages and forms. The SELF Platform is also an instrument for evaluation, adaptation, creation and translation of these materials. Most importantly, the SELF Platform is a tool to unite community and professional efforts for public benefit.

The SELF Platform is inititated by in collaboration with an international consortium of universities and non-profit organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The European Commission supports the SELF Project to set up the platform and to produce the first materials.

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