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As proponents of Stallman’s vision of freedom saw what was happening with open content, they attempted to reclaim the conversation by beginning to speak about “free content.” (This is one place in the historical record where open came first.) However, there was significant ambiguity around the phrase free content, particularly as it was used by participants in Wikimedia projects.
The Freedom Defined work was initiated by Erik Möller as a means to resolve the ambiguity about the phrase free content. It was inspired by the Free Software Definition. Helpful feedback was provided during the initial authoring process (in this chronological order) by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, Lawrence Lessig of Creative Commons, and Angela Beesley, board member of the Wikimedia Foundation and Vice President of Wikia, Inc. Benjamin Mako Hill, who had been pursuing similar goals (as exemplified in his paper “Towards a Standard of Freedom“) quickly joined the project and helped to improve the definition even before the launch of the open editing phase, which occured in 2006.
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