FSFE Newsletter - May 2016

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Mon May 2 15:43:50 CEST 2016

 = FSFE Newsletter - May 2016 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201605.el.html ]

 == EU jeopardises its goals in standardisation with FRAND licensing ==

As a part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission
has published the communication on ICT standardisation priorities[1] as
one of the key factors in the digital economy. FSFE welcomes the overall
approach taken in the communication in favour of more open standards and
a greater inclusion of Free Software communities into standardisation

However, the document lacks proper understanding of licensing conditions
of standard-essential patents in order to include Free Software into
standard setting processes. In particular, FSFE expresses its concerns
in regard to the promotion of so-called "fair, reasonable, and non-
discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms[2] that in practice are
incompatible with Free Software. This way, the document jeopardises
every effort set by the European Commission to integrate Free Software
communities into standardisation.

 == European Commission vs Google Android ==

On April 20, the European Commission outlined its charges in regard to
Google's business practices relating to the Android operating system[3].
According to the Commission, Google is abusing its dominant market
position by pre-installing and setting Google Search, Google Play Store
and Google Chrome as the default on most Android devices sold in Europe.
These practices close off ways for competitive search engines to access
the market.

FSFE has previously raised its concerns in regard to the claim against
the free-of-charge distribution of Android[4] that had been raised to
the European Commission by a coalition of certain online service
providers who claimed that this practice is harmful to competition. We
argued against that claim as it undermines the whole essence of Free
Software licensing, and are pleased to see that the Commission
disregarded that claim in its antitrust case against Google.

 == From the community ==

Guido Arnold, our education team coordinator, summarised legal aspects
and possible activities to take, when public schools make MS Office

Vitaly Repin published the course by Richard Stallman "On the Road to
the Free Digital Society" in Moodle Backup and IMS Common Cartridge
formats[6], and invites everyone to give feedback and promote the course
through their channels.

Since Let’s Encrypt has left beta testing, Michal Nazarewicz uses and
promotes this new certificate authority which provides free TLS
certificates[7]: "If you're running your own server there's no excuse
not to use TLS".

Björn Schießle blogs about a self hostable application for saving web
pages, "Wallabag", and about its maintenance on a shared web hosting

Marcus Moeller explains how to set up a Freedombox on a Beagle Bone
Black in order to self-host a blog on freely designed hardware and
without the need to use proprietary software[9].


 == What else have we done? ==

We ran the eighth annual election for a Fellowship representative who is
to represent our community and the FSFE's Fellowship in FSFE's general
assembly[10]. Although we only had one candidate, we would like to thank
and congratulate Mirko Boehm to run for the office and being

We now have over 30 organisations and companies who joined us in
proposing measures to EU institutions and EU member states to avoid
negative implications on users' rights and Free Software imposed by the
EU Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU, aka 'Radio Lockdown
Directive'[12]. The joint statement is open to new signatures against
negative implications that the 'Radio Lockdown Directive' poses on
software freedom, users' rights, fair competition, innovation,
environment, and volunteering.

FSFE also joined a coalition of organisations that fight the negative
implementations of the 'Radio Lockdown Directive' in France. Together,
we signed an open letter to the French government and French
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART)[13] to ensure that the
implementation of the 'Radio Lockdown Directive' in France will not harm
Free Software.

On our way to become more transparent and inclusive, we published our
transparency commitment[14] in line with the guidelines from
Transparency International Germany.

A lot of our initial structure and founding documents have not been
updated ever since the FSFE grew from being a small circle of volunteers
into an organisation with hired staff, with a Fellowship program and a
community of thousands of people. We now begun to revise our "Self
Conception"[15], to better reflect our grown decision-making process.
Jonas Öberg, FSFE's executive director, shared his thoughts on and
insights about potential future steps to FSFE's structure and
membership[16] on his blog.

On the backend of our work, we have introduced a ticket system built on
OTRS[17]. Although at first sight not many people seem to be directly
affected by this, our whole communication will profit over time from
higher control of our workflow. Also, it shall be opened to be used by
volunteers as well.

>From 13 - 15 April, FSFE's annual legal licensing workshop LLW took
place in Barcelona, Spain. The event is dedicated to gather legal
practitioners from all over the world to dicuss the most challenging
issues in and around Free Software licensing. This year it had a record
number of participants, showing the increasing interest and importance
of Free Software in software licensing.


 == Take Action ==

>From 2 - 4 September, 2016, the first summit of FSFE will take place, an
event dedicated to our community. To make it a unique and appealing
experience for everyone, we sent out a Call for Participation[18] last
week to all our Fellows and on our mailing lists. Take your chance and
be part of FSFE's main event in 2016 by becoming a speaker or a
volunteer, by hosting a workshop or another event.

 == Good Free Software news ==

Spain's Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations published its
web-based solution for archiving electronic files under a Free Software
license[19]. France is also not lagging behind and recently published
the source code of the fiscal calculator used by the French fiscal
administration to calculate the income taxes of individuals in
France[20]. This was an outcome of the legal case in Paris'
administrative court that concluded that a source code of a software
written by and for public authorities can be considered as a public
information that can be freely accessed.

Thanks to all the volunteers[21] , Fellows[22] and corporate donors[23]
who enable our work,

your editors Polina Malaja and Erik Albers, FSFE[24]

Free Software Foundation Europe <https://fsfe.org>
FSFE News <https://fsfe.org/news/news.en.rss>
Upcoming FSFE Events <https://fsfe.org/events/events.en.rss>
Fellowship Blog Aggregation <https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml>
Free Software Discussions <https://fsfe.org/contact/community.en.html>

  1. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/communication-ict-standardisation-priorities-digital-single-market
  2. https://fsfe.org/news/2016/news-20160428-02
  3. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-16-1506_en.htm?locale=en
  4. https://fsfe.org/activities/policy/eu/20130729.EC.Fairsearch.letter.en.html
  5. https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2016/04/public-schools-making-ms-office-mandatory/
  6. https://blogs.fsfe.org/vitaly_repin/2016/04/14/course-on-the-road-to-the-free-digital-society-is-available-in-moodle-and-ims-common-cartridge-formats-now/
  7. http://mina86.com/p/tls-is-a-yes/
  8. http://blog.schiessle.org/2016/04/16/installing-wallabag-2-on-a-shared-web-hosting-service/
  9. https://blogs.fsfe.org/mmoeller/2016/04/20/setting-up-a-freedombox-on-bbb-to-host-a-blog/
 10. https://fsfe.org/about/team.en.html#general-assembly
 11. https://fsfe.org/news/2016/news-20160502-01
 12. https://fsfe.org/activities/radiodirective/statement
 13. https://fsfe.org/news/2016/news-20160406
 14. https://fsfe.org/about/transparency-commitment
 15. https://blogs.fsfe.org/jonas/?p=60
 16. https://blogs.fsfe.org/jonas/?p=50
 17. http://blogs.fsfe.org/jonas/?p=65
 18. https://wiki.fsfe.org/Events/Summit2016/CallForParticipation
 19. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/spain-publishes-file-archive-tool-open-source
 20. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/france-unveils-source-code-income-tax-application
 21. https://fsfe.org/contribute/contribute.el.html
 22. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join
 23. https://fsfe.org/donate/thankgnus.el.html
 24. https://fsfe.org/index.el.html

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