FSF Europe Newsletter

FSF Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Sun Mar 6 21:59:54 UTC 2005

1. Fellowship of FSFE announced
2. Comments on WSIS/WGIG papers
3. Wilhelm Tux hits the apple
4. Software patents: the battle continues...
5. Microsoft tries to bypass European Court decision

1. Fellowship of FSFE announced

After months of preparation and much hard work, the FSFE presented the
Fellowship program at this year's FOSDEM event in Brussels.  For a
yearly fee of 120 Euro (60 Euro for students) you can become a fellow
of FSFE and support its work politically, financially and through your

The Fellowship is a community with its own web portal where fellows
can post blogs, share experiences in foras, and keep up to date with
the latest news.  Every fellow gets an email address in the fsfe.org
domain to publicly display his or her support for Free Software.

As a practical feature to strengthen their privacy and security, all
Fellows also receive a unique, personalised OpenPGP-compliant
SmartCard programmed and handled by Werner Koch, author of GnuPG and
Head of Office of the FSFE. The card contains keys for electronic
signatures, for encryption, and for state of the art secure key-based

During the past months, we worked on the planning and designs of the
Fellowship -- all designs were done pro-bono by the companies
futurebrand, who did the imagery and SmartCard, and artundweise.de,
who did the web page design.

Special thanks go to the global Plone community that helped us quickly
and competently with getting the site up within a little more than a
week -- an amazing feat. Special thanks go to Russ Ferriday for help
with the layout, as well as Riccardo Lemmi from reflab.it and Holger
Lehmann from catworkx.de, who helped us with the not-entirely-trivial
registration form.

The Fellowship will be very important to give Free Software and those
who actively work for digital freedom the necessary weight and
resources. So if you have not yet signed up, please do so at


2. Comments on WSIS/WGIG papers

On 1st February 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Internet
Governance (WGIG) published a set of 20 issue papers concerning
"Internet Governance."  Together with its associate organisation La
Fundación Vía Libre, the Free Software Foundation Europe managed to
comment on the paper on "Cyber security, cybercrime", which, among
other things, asked to outlaw the art of finding elegant solutions to
non-obvious problems ("hacking") and the paper on "Intellectual
Property Rights", which for instance asked to "balance human rights
with the interests of rights-holders."

For more information, see


3. Wilhelm Tux hits the apple

The Swiss associate organisation of the FSFE, Wilhelm Tux, shows
considerable activity: In Berne, Switzerland, an event called "LOTS"
(Let's Open The Source) was organized and Georg Greve was invited to
hold the keynote about Free Software. Also, several members of Wilhelm
Tux joined the FSFE booth at FOSDEM.

4. Software patents: the battle continues...

Politicians from all countries and of all parties show an ever
increasing awareness of the potential damage an introduction of
software patents in Europe would do to economy.  While the Commission
persists in the current directive draft and the Council still hasn't
finally approved its position, the European Parliament officially
demanded a restart of the whole process to get out of the current
deadlock situation.

5. Microsoft tries to bypass European Court decision

As reported in earlier newsletters, Microsoft has been asked to
publish technical information about the interfaces to their Windows
Operating System to enable competitors (most notably the Samba Free
Software project) to reach Windows interoperability.  However, the
licensing terms that Microsoft now has published for these documents
exclude Free Software in general and the GNU General Public License in
particular. The FSFE will, together with the Samba team, continue to
fight for just and reasonable conditions.

You can find a list of all FSF Europe newsletters on

More information about the Discussion mailing list