FSF Europe Newsletter

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Jul 8 18:04:30 UTC 2005

1. WSIS/WSA Contributory Conference in Vienna, Austria
2. Round table in Venice, Italy
3. Podium discussion about software patents in Kiel, Germany
4. ChaosControl conference in Vienna, Austria
5. WIPO meeting in Geneve, Switzerland
6. GNU/Linuxtag in Karlsruhe, Germany
7. Karlsruhe Memorandum on software patents
8. Europython in Göteborg, Sweden
9. 1ere Conference Nationale de Logiciels Libres, Aleppo, Syria
10. Lobbying against software patents
11. Karsten Gerloff finished internship with FSFE

1. WSIS/WSA Contributory Conference in Vienna, Austria

Beginning of June, the World Summit Award (WSA) contributory conference
to the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
took place in Vienna, Austria. Speakers included Austrian Chancellor
Wolfgang Schüssel, Professor Joseph Weizenbaum from MIT, John Perry
Barlow and FSFE's president, Georg Greve.  

During the reception in the Federal Chancellery of Austria and the
event, Karin Kosina and Georg Greve spoke with many people inside and
outside the Free Software community and gave several radio and video

2. Round table in Venice, Italy

Stefano Maffulli was present at a round table on the topic "Art culture
knowledge democracy". Other participants included the Brasilian Minister
of Culture Gilberto Gil, the Italian Creative Commons Public Lead Juan
Carlos De Martin and many more.

3. Podium discussion about software patents in Kiel, Germany

The German Federal Small/Medium Enterprises Association (Bundesverband
mittelständischer Wirtschaft, BVMW) invited Georg Greve to a podium
discussion about software patents in Kiel, Germany where he discussed
the sense of patents on software algorithms with Dr. Gaston Willière,
Director of the European Patent Office (EPO) Computer Directorate and
other panelists from small and medium enterprises: The overall result
was that no proprietary or Free Software commercial enterprise has
anything to gain from software patents.

4. ChaosControl conference in Vienna, Austria

ChaosControl is a yearly conference organised by the faculty of law at
the university of Vienna. This year's topic of the conference was
"information freedom", and Karin Kosina spoke about software patents.

5. WIPO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland

On the occasion of the continued Inter-sessional Inter-governmental
Meeting (IIM/2) on a Development Agenda for WIPO (World Intellectual
Property Organisation), Georg Greve and Karsten Gerloff once more went
to Geneva to support the reform of WIPO. In FSFE's official observer
capacity, Georg Greve issued a statement to "include Free Software in
all its programmes and activities, educating its member states on the
social and economic benefits of the Free Software model." After the
very positive response for doing this during the first meeting,
Karsten Gerloff once more documented the local proceedings in his blog
where you can find more information.


6. GNU/Linuxtag in Karlsruhe, Germany

The GNU/Linuxtag (sic!) is not only the biggest Free Software event in
Europe - it also became a central meeting point for people from Free
Software organisations all over the world. The list of representatives
that were part of the FSFE booth team is impressive: Bernhard Reiter,
Georg Greve, Werner Koch, Joachim Jakobs, Karsten Gerloff, Matthias
Kirschner and Volker Dormeyer (all Germany), Karin Kosina, Reinhard
Müller (both Austria), and Ciaran O'Riordan (Ireland/Belgium) from the
FSFE, Niibe Yutaka, Tanaka Akira, and Ueno Daiki from the Free
Software Initiative Japan, Beatriz Busaniche, Federico Heinz (both
Argentina), and Fernanda G. Weiden (Brasil) from FSF Latin America,
Didier Clerc, Florian Verdet, Mario Fux, and Myriam Schweingruber from
FSFE's Swiss associated organisation Wilhelm Tux, Cornelius Wasmund
and Michael Kallas as volunteers that helped with the booth, Mohammad
Khansari from Iran, Pablo Machón and María Ruiz from Spain and Gareth
Bowker from UK.

Once again, Volker Dormeyer, our volunteer booth coordinator, did an
amazing job by preparing the booth, organising hotel rooms, finding
sponsors for booth hardware and thousands of other things to make this
event as successful as it was.

Several people have posted links to photos from the event on their
Fellowship blog space.


7. Karlsruhe Memorandum on software patents

On GNU/Linuxtag, the FSFE started an initiative for a memorandum
against software patents. More than 200 people spontaneously signed
the text, many people already added their signature after it was
posted on the web.


8. Europython in Göteborg, Sweden

At the Europython conference, Hendrik Sandklef held a speech about "Free
Software - Free Society" and Swedish team member Mathias Klang talked
about the Creative Commons project, in which he also is involved. Both
also took part in a panel discussion about software licensing questions.

9. 1ere Conference Nationale de Logiciels Libres, Aleppo, Syria

Karin Kosina opened this follow-up event to the highly successful Free 
Software workshop in Damascus earlier this year with an introduction to
Free Software. In addition to a general outline of our philosophy and
vision, the talk focused on Free Software as a way to develop an
independent and sustainable IT industry. She also gave several
interviews for Syrian TV and radio stations. Karin intends to continue
working closely together with Free Software advocates from the region,
and had many interesting discussions regarding potential future
developments in the Middle East.

10. Lobbying against software patents

The Software Patents directive has been heating up and FSFE's full-time
Brussels representative, Ciarán O'Riordan, has been working mostly
inside the European Parliament building this month.  Besides meeting the
MEPs to inform them directly, he has been briefing newly arrived
lobbyists to prepare them for their meetings, connecting information
from bodies outside the Parliament with the MEPs, and coordinating
between FSFE and FFII.

Ciaran also made sure every MEP received a copy of the Karlsruhe


And he would like to thank the FSFE translators team for their work on
making a pre-vote summary available in non-English languages.

11. Karsten Gerloff finished internship with FSFE

After four very busy months, June was the last month for the internship
of Karsten Gerloff, who described his numerous experiences as part of
FSFE in his blog. In these four months, Karsten became an integral part
of the FSFE Team -- his friendly, reliable and energetic personality
earned him great respect and FSFE thanks him for all his good work.


If you are a student and can see yourself spend some time becoming part
of an extremely busy and lively, multi-national and distributed
political non-governmental organisation, you will find more details at


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