Public Hackathons +++ Munich supports Public Code +++ New Podcasts

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Tue May 12 11:35:17 UTC 2020

 = Public Hackathons +++ Munich supports Public Code +++ New Podcasts =

[ Read online: ]

Read about our demand to publish the results of publicly financed
hackathons as Free Software, about a new coalition-agreement in Munich
that aligns with our principles of "Public Money? Public Code!" and what
happened inside the FSFE and our community. You will also read about the
results of our web-sprint, about our regular podcast and an
extraordinary one.

 == COVID-19 Hackathons: Only Free Software creates global solutions ==

In recent weeks we have seen many hackathons that have been organised to
tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, many of them have been
organised by governments and other public bodies who are hosting or
funding these hackathons. As with our "Public Money? Public Code!"
campaign, at the FSFE we demand that software resulting from publicly
funded hackathons can be re-used globally by publishing it under a Free
Software license [1].

Especially in a time when humanity needs to work together to find
solutions for a crisis, we cannot afford to reinvent the wheel again and
again for software that helps us contain the spread of COVID-19. Global
problems need global solutions! It is Free Software that enables global
cooperation for code development. Any proprietary solution will
inevitably lead to countless isolated solutions and will waste energy
and time which we as humanity cannot afford in such a critical

 == Munich commits to "Public Money? Public Code!" ==

Just a few years ago, a Munich government formed by SPD (social
democrats) and CSU (conservatives) decided to abandon the local
administration's migration to Free Software under the project name
"LiMux". Since the election in March a new government has been in place
and the coalition agreement between SPD and Greens in Munich includes a
positive statement on the use of Free Software: the principle "Public
Money? Public Code!" should apply in future [2].

While we welcome that the City of Munich seems to have come back on
track, the agreement leaves room for improvement as it includes some
typical loopholes such as the vague limitation to software whose code
does not contain personal or confidential data. The FSFE will continue
to closely monitor the progress of the implementation of the "Public
Money, Public Code!" policy and how procurement procedures will be
handled in the future.

 == Governments publish Corona tracing apps under a Free Software licence ==

In early March the FSFE published its demand [3] that the use of any
tracking technology to break the chains of disease infection may only be
promoted on a voluntary basis, with fundamental rights respected, and
that the software be published under a Free Software license. As a
reaction to this, EU member states, supported by the European
Commission, released a "Common EU Toolbox for Member States" [4]
including "Recommendations for a common approach to mobile tracing apps"
asking to "openly publish the technical specifications and the source
code for the apps, as a way to maximise re-use, interoperability,
auditability and security".

Now more and more governments, like Germany, Austria or the Netherlands,
follow the FSFE's demands and stipulate to publish the code of Corona
tracing apps under a Free Software license. Still, we will closely
monitor the process and want to achieve that the whole development
process happen transparently as we know it from Free Software - and not
to publish the code only after its development.


The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical
distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including
our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive,
please consider donating a part of your conference budget to Free
Software organisations, including the FSFE [5].


 == Upcoming events ==

- On 16-17 May will be the online event Özgürkon [6] during which
  Alexander Sander will present recent developments in our "Public
  Money? Public Code!" campaign. The FSFE is a partner organisation of
  the event.

- On 17.-18 June will be OW2online20 during which our legal coordinator
  Gabriel Ku Wei Bin will speak about REUSE and the NGI project.

 == What have we done? Inside and outside the FSFE ==

- We have a new episode of our regular Software Freedom Podcast, this
  time with Professor Lawrence Lessig [7], founder and present board
  member of Creative Commons. Together we discuss the different types of
  regulation that affect society both online and offline, such as laws,
  norms, the market, or architecture.

- We also published a special episode of the Software Freedom Podcast in
  which we talk about some of the advantages of GNU Health [8] and how
  it can and already does help with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our
  guests are Dr. Luis Falcón who is the author of GNU Health and Dr.
  Axel Braun who published the first live CD of GNU Health.

- The FSFE has joined the Advisory Board of NGI Pointer, one of the
  projects within the European Commission's Next Generation Internet
  (“NGI”) initiative. Within this role, the FSFE will provide license
  compliance support to successful applicants. The first call for
  applications to join NGI Pointer is now open until 1 June 2020 [9].

- The FSFE co-organised the online event "Forum Bits&Bäume" with the
  topic "Sustainable Soft- and Hardware". Erik Albers gave a session
  about the role of Free Software regarding sustainability of software.

- We ran a "little web sprint" to improve some major things regarding
  our website. Among the visible things are the relaunch of our front
  page [10] and the our team site [11]. Many other major improvements
  have been happening in the background and are only "visible" in our
  issue tracker [12].

- Matthias Kirschner and Max Mehl have been covered in two episodes of
  the Librezoom podcast which is done by the FSFE's local group in
  Zürich. Max Mehl talks about security and privacy [13] and Matthias
  Kirschner about "cloud" and Free Software [14]. Both episodes are in

 == Netherlands commits to Free Software by default ==

In an open letter to the Parliament, the Dutch minister for internal
affairs, Raymond Knops, commits to a "Free Software by default" policy
[15] and underlines its benefits for society. A rewording of current
market regulations shall be proposed to allow publishing of Free
Software by the government.

 == Stories from the FSFE Planet ==

- Hannes Hauswedell writes about Game-streaming without the "cloud"
  [16]: how to stream a native Windows game, "Divinity Original Sin 2",
  installed DRM-free from GOG, via Steam Remote Play from his Desktop
  running Devuan GNU/Linux in 4K resolution and maximum quality directly
  to his TV running Android.

- Dmaphy writes [17] about a new update for the terminal emulator
  Terminator 1.92, now supporting Python 3.

 == Get Active: Convince hackathons to create global solutions ==

We are still looking for hackathons that are organised by public
entitites and trying to convince them to publish their software under a
Free Software license. If you know such a hackathon, then help us to
gather more of them on our dedicated wiki page [18].

Please ask for others to help you or directly get in contact with the
organisers yourself to make them aware that the results of these
hackathons should be made ready to be used globally and adapted locally
- which is only possible if the software can be used, studied, shared
and improved. You can find help for your communication on the very same
wiki page [19].

 == Contribute to our newsletter ==

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to
us. As always, the address is newsletter at We're looking forward
to hearing from you!

If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and
support us with a donation or a monthly contribution [20].

Thanks to our community, all the volunteers [21], supporters [22] and
donors [23] who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators
[24], who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Stay safe,

Erik Albers


Support us with your donation [25]


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