FSFE Newsletter

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Nov 13 19:42:15 UTC 2006

1. DRM.info platform launched
2. Introducing Shane M. Coughlan and Maria Luisa Carli
3. FSFE helped liberating Italian ZIP code database
4. FSFE at LWE fairs in Utrecht (Netherlands) and London (UK)
5. FSFE Swedish Team at the Internet Days in Stockholm (Sweden)

1. DRM.info platform launched

Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology affect all users of
digital technology. At the same time, there is an almost total lack of
critical dialog. To address this issue, FSFE has contacted multiple
organisations from various areas, such as consumer rights, libraries,
digital rights and Creative Commons, and jointly started the DRM.info
platform to provide the critical view that is currently missing.

Accompanying the launch, FSFE organised protests in various cities,
including Zürich and Gothenburg, to inform people about the problem
that in order for DRM to work, they need to be at least partially
disowned of the devices they bought, surrendering control over them to
third parties.

The platform, which also contains pictures from the protests, can be
found online at


Please help FSFE and its collaborators on DRM.info to spread the
information, link to DRM.info and point others to it!

2. Introducing Shane M. Coughlan and Maria Luisa Carli

Shane Martin Coughlan has started to work for FSFE full time as a
project coordinator. Shane was born in Dublin City and moved to England
for higher education. He graduated 2003 in Birmingham with an MA in
International Studies (Globalisation and Governance). He joined FSFE
because he believes ICT needs to be available to society at large, and
he thinks FSFE is in an excellent position to work towards this goal.

Maria Luisa Carli works as an intern for FSFE from October 2006 to June
2007. Marilu was born in Foligno, Italy. She gradueted 2004 in businness
law and did an MBA at University of Perugia. Marilu joined to FSFE
because she was impressed by the enthusiasm that drives the
organization and by the international and motivated team.

Both work together with FSFE president Georg Greve in FSFE's new
office in Zürich, Switzerland, which has been set up as the third
operational base after Düsseldorf and Gothenburg.

3. FSFE helps liberating Italian ZIP code database

As soon as the ZIP codes have been updated by the private company
Poste Italiane, the official list of codes distributed as compressed
text file has disappeared from the websites of Poste Italiane and of
the Ministry of Communication.  Such text file was used to develop
Free Software useful in many commercial environments.  Poste Italiane
made available the ZIP codes only with proprietary software and
proprietary formats (even encrypted) running only on one operating
system or via a web search form.

As ZIP codes are public data under Italian laws, FSFE's Italian Team
helped the developers of Free Software providing legal expertise and
protection to rebuild the list of codes using a crawler.  FSFE also
promoted an open letter to the Minister of Communication asking to
release the list of ZIP codes as before.


4. FSFE at LWE fairs in Utrecht (Netherlands) and London (UK)

During the 2006 LWE in Utrecht, FSFE president Georg Greve presented
the strategic value of Free Software in business as part of a Free
Software masterclass in collaboration with Harald Welte. The show also
served to present and promote to the public the "Scientific Education
and Learning in Freedom" (SELF) project.

FSFE's Gareth Bowker and Rainer Kersten were in London, manning a
booth at the LinuxWorld Expo on 25-26th of October. The show itself
was very successful, raising a significant amount of awareness about
the work FSFE do in Europe - as well as outfitting the UK masses in
FSFE's latest fashions! Thanks must also go to Richard Smedley and
Simon Morris for helping out on the booth.

5. FSFE Swedish Team at the Internet Days in Stockholm (Sweden)

During the last week of October, the Swedish II Foundation held their
annual Internet Days in Stockholm, where the FSFE participated with
its Swedish team. Besides having a booth with information about our
activities, FSFE vice president Jonas Öberg also participated in a
panel debate on open document formats.

The Swedish Team of the FSFE was also there as one of the recipients
of the II Foundation stipends that are given out during the Internet
Days each year. The stipend was given to the Swedish Team to complement
the activities of the SELF project in Sweden, in particular to work
with schools in Sweden to give educations based on SELF material and
make more material from SELF available in Swedish.

Henrik Sandklef from the FSFE also received a stipend from the II
Foundation. His work will focus on translations of manuals and other
documents for GnuPG into Swedish. 

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