FSF Europe Newsletter

FSF Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Aug 6 20:44:48 UTC 2004

1. FSFE supporting European Commission in their case against Microsoft
2. Widely noticed interview in "Die Zeit"
3. Writing new licenses often counterproductive
4. RSS feeds for FSFE news and events available
5. FSFE supports the declaration of Caceres
6. Investigations on the impact of Free Software on companies

1. FSFE supporting European Commission in their case against Microsoft

In 2001 the European Union, through the DG Competition of the European
Commission (lead by Prof. Monti), started investigating Microsoft's
dominant position in the desktop operating systems market. The Free
Software Foundation Europe was invited by the EC to represent the
interests of the Free Software movement. 

Together with the Samba team, which the FSFE involved in the case and
with which it cooperated closely, we were able to provide much of the
arguments that the European Commission based its decision upon.

Microsoft recently appealed against the antitrust decision and the DG
Competition called upon FSFE in cooperation with the Samba team again
to now join the efforts of the Commission to defend that decision.

FSFE, representing itself and the Samba team as well as the interests
of the Free Software Community, has participated in the preliminary
hearing held in Luxembourg on 27th of July.

Sun, which originally started the antitrust trial in Europe, declined
to participate to the appeal, so the list of the supporters of the
Commission are: Novell, RealNetworks, CCIA (Computer & Communication
Industry Association), SIIA (Software and Information Industry
Association) and FSFE.

In the course of the upcoming months, FSFE will read and comment on
all the documentation submitted by Microsoft to sustain the idea that
"disclosing documentation on interfaces and protocols is harmful" for
their business and for consumers. 

These will be busy months, so if you know anybody that values being
able to use SAMBA and could support our efforts, please tell them to
support our work with their donation.

2. Widely noticed interview in "DIE ZEIT"

"DIE ZEIT", a well-respected German newspaper, has printed an
interview with Georg Greve that has been cited in several other
newspapers and news services.  Georg Greve explains why software
patents are job- and economy-killers: "Many companies are facing a low
liquitidy and can spend their money only once: either on software
patents, or on innovation."

3. Writing new licenses often counterproductive

There seems to be a trend that more and more projects create new
licenses for Free Software instead of using the well established ones
used by thousands of existing projects. The FSFE emphasises that the
GNU GPL, the GNU LGPL and the BSD-style license are excellent for most
- if not all - projects. Claims that the GPL is not fully applicable
outside the U.S. have been proven wrong by a recent court decision in

4. RSS feeds for FSFE news and events available

Our web team has created automatic RSS feeds for news and upcoming
events. Feeds are focus and language dependent.  The URL for the news
feed is:


while you find the event feed at:


For example, for German speaking news and the German focus, you would
choose http://www.germany.fsfeurope.org/news/news.de.rss as the URL.
For your convenience, the news and event pages contain links to the RSS
feed URLs.

5. FSFE supports the "Declaration of Caceres"

During the Free Software Summer Event of the University of Extremadura
in Caceres, Spain, Georg Greve gave a presentation on the Free
Software Foundation Europe and participated in a panel discussion
about software patents. 

As closing highlight of the university course, the participants made
the "Declaration of Caceres" against software patents drafted by
Hispalinux, which was read out in Portuguese by Marcelo D'Elia Branco,
German by Georg Greve, English by Maureen O'Sullivan and finally
Spanish by the vice-rector of the University, Fernando Sanchez

The FSFE officially supports this declaration, which reads: 

  "Freedom, equality and fraternity, the old Europe's values applied
   to technology, have achieved the biggest innovative space ever
   imagined.  Software Patents are the countermeasure that augments
   costs, bureaucracy and legal costs to stop European progress."

6. Investigations on the impact of Free Software on companies

The University Bocconi in Milan, Italy held a conference to discuss
the impact Free Software has on Italian companies. Stefano Maffulli
was invited to hold a speech in the name of the FSFE.

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