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Benjamin Mako Hill

Benjamin Mako Hill
Benjamin Mako Hill in 2012
Born (1980-12-02) December 2, 1980
Residence Seattle[1]
Occupation Assistant Professor
Employer University of Washington
Spouse(s) Mika Matsuzaki (2006-present)
Website .ccmako

Benjamin Mako Hill (born December 2, 1980) is a free software activist,[2] hacker,[3] and author. He is a contributor and free software developer as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects as well as the co-author of three technical manuals on the subject, Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible, The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and The Official Ubuntu Book.

Hill is an assistant professor in Communication at the University of Washington,[4] and serves as a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors.[5]


  • Biography 1
  • Debian 2
  • Ubuntu 3
  • Other work 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Hill has a master's degree from the Software Freedom Day). Since 2006 he is married to Mika Matsuzaki, having used mathematically constrained wedding vows at the marriage ceremony.[3][8]


Since 1999, Hill has been an active member of

  • Personal website
  • Copyrighteous — personal weblog
  • Biography from the University of Washington
  • MIT LabCAST: Selectricity
  • Laboratories of Oligarchy, video recording of a presentation at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

External links

  1. ^ Hill, Benjamin. "Contacting Benjamin Mako Hill". Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Lessig, Stallman on 'Open Source' DRM • The Register". 
  3. ^ a b "Hackers' wedding vows based on Pi and Phi - Boing Boing". 
  4. ^ "Hill, Benjamin Mako". University of Washington. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "FSF - Leadership". Free Software Foundation. June 25, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  6. ^ "University of Washington, Department of Communication". University of Washington. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "GNU speakers". Free Software Foundation. July 17, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Art, Activism and Other Fun Projects :: Benjamin Mako Hill". Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Non-Profit". Debian. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ Akkerman, Wichert (February 22, 2003). "Result for vote regarding new members for the board of directors". Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  11. ^ Hill, Benjamin (July 5, 2006). "Stepping Down From Software in the Public Interest, Inc.". Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  12. ^ Graham, David (September 7, 2004). "Minutes for August 10th, 2004". Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  13. ^ Linton, Susan (July 14, 2013). "Has Ubuntu lost it? Some say Canonical has lost its way. Are they right?". Tech Radar Pro. Future US, Inc. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ Paul, Ryan (October 20, 2009). "5 years later, 5 ways that Ubuntu has made Linux more human". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ Graner, Amber (February 10, 2011). "Ubuntu Increasing Its Diversity". Linux Pro Magazine. Linux New Media USA. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Don't use Gmail? Here's how to determine how many of your emails Google may have.". Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Benjamin Mako-Hill on Open Source vs. Free, GPL and Prepping for OSCON". 
  19. ^ "Penguicon 6.0 -- Penguins in Space!". 
  20. ^ Doctorow, Cory (February 5, 2011). "Antifeatures: deliberate, expensive product features that no customer wants". Boing Boing. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ "The contribution conundrum: Why did WorldHeritage succeed while other encyclopedias failed?". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ "WorldHeritage Editor Threatened With Lawsuit For Participating In Discussion Leading To Deletion Of Entry". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ Doctorow, Cory (May 10, 2013). "What makes a project remixable?". Boing Boing. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  24. ^ Steadman, Ian (May 13, 2013). "Study: open source remixing seems to lead to less original work". Conde Nast UK. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  25. ^ "OSCON 2008 talks". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Free Software Project Management HOWTO". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  27. ^ Peek, Robin (April 1, 2007). "Stickers, a Pit Bull, and Brussels: A Busy Month for OA".  
  28. ^ Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "Berkman Center Fellow". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ MIT Center for Civic Media. "MIT Center for Civic Media Fellow". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ Beesley, Angela; Devouard, Florence; KIZU, Naoko; Möller, Erik; Dillen, Oscar; Moreau, Nicholas; Kaganer, Paul; Pathoschild; Aprabhala. "Advisory Board". Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  31. ^ "Advisory Council". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  32. ^ "Staff and Board". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Poll Results: Ubuntu Community Council 2009". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 


  • Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible ISBN 978-0-7645-7644-7
  • The Official Ubuntu Server Book ISBN 978-0133017533
  • The Official Ubuntu Book ISBN 978-0-13-243594-9


He serves on the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation,[30] the advisory council of the Open Knowledge Foundation[31] and the board of the Free Software Foundation.[32] He was a founding member of the Ubuntu Community Council[33] in 2009.

Previous to his current positions, Hill pursued research full-time as a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Laboratory.[27] At the lab, he has worked in both the Electronic Publishing and Computing Culture groups on collaborative writing and decision-making software. One project, Selectricity is an award-winning voting tool which received prizes and grants from MTV and Cisco. He was a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society[28] and the MIT Center for Civic Media.[29]

Hill has worked for several years as a consultant for FOSS projects specializing in coordinating releases of software as free or open software and structuring development efforts to encourage community involvement.[26] He spends a significant amount of his time traveling and giving talks on FOSS and intellectual property primarily in Europe and North America.

In addition to software development, Hill writes extensively. He has been published in academic books and magazines, newsletters, and online journals,[16] and Slate Magazine republished one of his blog posts.[17] He is the author of the Free Software Project Management HOWTO, the canonical document on managing FOSS projects, and has published academic work on FOSS from anthropological, sociological, management and software engineering perspectives and has written and spoken about intellectual property, copyright, and collaboration more generally.[18][19][20] He has also studied the sociology of community involvement in web communities, and been widely published and cited about projects like Scratch and WorldHeritage.[21][22][23][24] He has talked about these topics publicly, as well as giving a keynote address at 2008 OSCON.[25]

Other work

Hill is also a core developer and founding member of Ubuntu, and continues to be an active contributor to the project. In addition to technical responsibilities, he coordinated the construction of a community around the Ubuntu Project as project "community manager" (later ceding the role to Jono Bacon) during Ubuntu's first year and a half.[13] During this period, he worked full-time for Canonical Ltd. Within the Project, he served on the "Community Council" governance board that oversees all non-technical aspects of the project, until October 2011. His work included contributing to a code of conduct[14] and diversity statement for the project.[15]



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