FSFE Newsletter - April 2009

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Mon May 11 16:09:10 UTC 2009

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) Newsletter - April 2009

Do you know one thing that makes Free Software sustainable? You! Yes, it
is your support that allows us to operate across the whole Europe and at
different levels to promote and defend Free Software principles.
Amongst other things, your donations made possible the planning and
coordination of the Second European Licensing and Legal Workshop. They
allowed the Austrian team to participate in many public events across
the whole Austria and to continue having an intern in our Zurich office.

We finished the accounting work for the last year and we published our
financial figures. Take a look at them to see how we use your donations.

I want to conclude by introducing a couple of changes in the newsletter.
I hope they will improve your 'reading experience' of FSFE's ongoing
work. First, "In the spotlight" is a new section where I will treat in more
details a selected news. Second, since time passes by and the events
pile up, I will pick-up a noteworthy item from the past and mention it
under the "It happened in the past" section.

						Giacomo Poderi

1. Second European Licensing and Legal Workshop for Free Software, 23-24 April
2. FSFE at WIPO's 3rd Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property
3. FSFE amicus brief to European Patent Office on Software Patents
4. The Fellowship interviews: Myriam Schweingruber
5. FSFE welcomes Thomas Jensch, new intern for Zurich office
6. Fellowship vote for GA seats - the election is ongoing
7. Renewal of Fellowship services
8. PDFreaders.org enjoys continued success
9. FSFE invades Austria


10. FSFE - Income and Expense 2008


11. The first Fellowship Smartcards 


12. FSFE at eLiberatica 2009, 22-23 May

1. Second European Licensing and Legal Workshop for Free Software, 23-24 April

The second European Licensing and Legal Workshop was a resounding
success. On 23 and 24 April, legal experts and interested parties in
Free Software licensing gathered in Amsterdam for a vibrant event
organised by our Freedom Task Force (FTF) and sponsored by Bender von
Haller Dragsted, Blackduck, Canonical, HP and Mozilla. Harald Welte,
from gplviolations.org, says from his blog: "I have to admit that it was
a big surprise to me that the constructive atmosphere and the quality of
the presentations, panels and hallway discussions has even improved beyond
the already exceptional level last year". Indeed, the conference was
considerably bigger than in 2008, and planning is already under way for
an enhanced and even larger event in 2010.


2. FSFE at WIPO's 3rd Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property

>From 27 April to 1 May, FSFE's President Georg Greve, participated to
the "Committee on Development and Intellectual Property: Third
Session" (CDIP/3) at World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO). In preparation to that meeting, Georg published "The case for
a World Innovation Policy Organisation", reflecting on the current
significance of the WIPO Development Agenda and how it should relate
to international issues such as the one of software patents. Issues
that Georg raised at CDIP/3 as three formal intervention on FSFE's behalf
throughout the week. 


3. FSFE amicus brief to European Patent Office on Software Patents

Along with many other organisations, FSFE submitted its comments to
the European Patent Office (EPO) on the patentability of software,
responding to a request of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. In the
submission, FSFE explains why software patents are harmful for
innovation, competition and economy, based also on the rationale of
the work done at WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP)
in March.


4. The Fellowship interviews: Myriam Schweingruber

Myriam Schweingruber is the Fellow interviewed for "The smallest unit
of freedom" series. Myriam is a devoted Free Software advocate with a
flair for convincing people. Having worked as a translator, a school
teacher and a pharmacist, Myriam is quite experienced in the art of
communication, and gives a clear impression of trustworthiness. In the
interview she tells us about her experiences with Whilhelm Tux,
Amarok, KDE, FSFE and Free Software in general.


5. FSFE welcomes Thomas Jensch, new intern for Zurich office

We are happy to welcome Thomas Jensch as our new intern in the Zurich
office.  Thomas is a political science student at the University of
Leipzig in Germany.  His job during the next 8 months will be to help
us in administrative work and to support the President in coordinating
his various activities.  Once again, welcome on board Thomas!

Doing an internship at FSFE is an exciting and formative experience.
If you want to be our next intern, take a look at:

6. Fellowship vote for GA seats - the election is ongoing

The voting period for the first seat at our General Assembly (GA)
reserved to a Fellow is approaching. The four candidates: Torsten
Grote, Jan-Hendrik Peters, Michel Roche, and Björn Schiessle presented
themselves to the whole Fellowship. You can get to know them by
visiting their blogs and our wiki election page. The approaching and
important dates are: the entire month of May as the voting period and
the 1 June 2009, when we will announce the results. All our Fellows
already received an e-mail containing information and instructions on
the voting procedures.


7. Renewal of Fellowship services

The work on the new Fellowship technological infrastructure is going
on.  Last month, we completed the migration from the old Fellowship
portal to the new site http://fellowship.fsfe.org (for more
information about moving your data: http://wiki.fsfe.org/OldPortal)
and we activated the new home page, registration procedure and account
management pages.  You can find an overview of the active Fellowship
services at http://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipServices and stay informed
about their status following the "Fellowship News" blog at:


8. PDFreaders.org enjoys continued success

PDFreaders.org was launched less than six months ago, as a Fellowship
project to promote Free Software PDF readers for all the major
platforms. Since then, the website has become a formidable success,
gaining the attention of several vendors of proprietary PDF readers,
including Adobe, as well as much positive response from the community.

April saw yet another increase in traffic after an RSA security
conference, where Mikko Hypponen research officer at F-Secure referred
to PDFreaders.org in light of the recently disclosed vulnerabilities
present in Adobe Reader. Our volunteers managed to translate
PDFreaders.org into 15 languages and our Fellows are continuously
updating it.  New readers have recently been added and a major update
concerning Open Standard is approaching!


9. FSFE invades Austria

Continuing the "Linuxwochen Österreich Tour" started in March, our
Austrian team spread Free Software principles to major Austrian events
for the whole April. The tour consists of six events, four of which in
April, for a total of nine days booth and six talks. Peter
Bubestinger, Deputy Coordinator Austria, held five of the speeches and
David Ayer, Austrian team member, held the one in Linz. The themes of
the talks ranged from Free Software in schools and education to future
scenarios on Free Software usage. These are the April stages of the
tour: "FLOSStag 2009", 15 April, Danube University Krems; "Linuxwochen
Wien", 16-18 April, Vienna; "Liwoli 2009", 23-25 April, University for
Art and Industrial Design Linz; "LinuxTage", 25 April, Graz.


10. FSFE - Income and Expense 2008

We recently published our financial figures for 2008. This has been an
intense year and as the previous ones it confirmed the growth of our
work's breadth. With 245,000 and 68,000 EUR respectively, donations
and the Fellowship programme confirmed to be vital to the sustainment
of our organisation. Once more, we would like to express our gratitude
to anyone who decided to donate or to become a Fellow. This allows us
to run our projects and to work for the diffusion and defence of Free
Software. With a total income of 383,221 EUR and an expense of 303,419
EUR, 2008 concluded with a very positive balance and this will allow
us to empower our organisation as we were planning to do since some
time now.

To manage and coordinate the ever growing base of employees and
volunteers working for us at local, national and international level
we decided to look for an Executive Director as a full-time
employee. A similar figure will also be hired to coordinate the
Fellowship programme and to overview our German area, where most of
the Fellows and our donors come from. The activities of our Freedom
Task Force (FTF) will also be strengthened and finally, we will
investigate the possibilities to extend our policy work on EU and UN
levels.  We hope you will continue to follow and to support us!


Relevant links


11. The first Fellowship Smartcards

It was only April 2005 when we prepared and delivered the first batch
of 250 Fellowship Smartcards. Since then, many more people joined the
Fellowship and many more Smartcards have been delivered.



12. FSFE participates to eLiberatica 2009, 22-23 May

Georg will talk about the challenges of the traditional
standardisation system, the role of patenting and the mechanisms that
allow us to cope with legal issues at eLiberatica 2009. One of the
biggest events discussing Free Software in Eastern Europe.


You can find a list of all FSFE newsletters on

You can join the Fellowship and find how to support us on

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