FSFE Newsletter - May 2012
press at fsfeurope.org
press at fsfeurope.org
Fri May 4 10:21:39 CEST 2012
= FSFE Newsletter - May 2012 =
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201205.en.html ]
== 54 DFD events and FSFE handcuffed EU Commissioner ==
As you can read and see in this years report, Document Freedom Day
2012 was celebrated with 54 events in 23 countries and in 19 world
languages. It was the biggest DFD in history with over 26 talks, over 6
awards for Open Standards, lots of other events and the press coverage
counted almost one hundred articles. FSFE coordinated between all the
different events, awarded several organisation, and in Germany mailed
over 370 and called over 170 politicians about Open Standards.
Several of these politicians, from a range of political parties, did
activities for DFD. FSFE also send out 100 information packages
including handcuffsto suggested people including several politicians,
CEOs, and the Pope. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes used our handcuffs in a
public speech, which resulted in a lot of additional press
coverageincluding the front page of the Guardian Online. FSFE is
eager to hear more reports of what recipients of the package did with
== May 4th: Day against DRM. Is it their "good right" to restrict us? ==
Last week your editor gave an interview about Digital Restriction
Management (DRM)(German). It was about the questions of what DRM is,
why companies introduce DRM, why you have to treat your customer as an
enemy to make DRM work, and which other possibilities exist. When
discussing Free Software, DRM, Antifeatures and other topics you might
often hear from intelligent critical people that it is "the good right"
of producers to control their products. Why do so many people think so?
Would they also accept those restrictions in "the analogue world"? Is it
the good right of a publisher to prohibit that you can read a book out
loud, lend it friends, or sell it? Several times your editor abused
books: last week he used three of them to fix his broken sofa. Would it
be acceptable that the publisher or the author can forbid such use
cases? Do more people accept such restrictions with software and data,
and if so, why? Has the industry with the term "Digital Rights
Management" successfully implied that they have this right, and a lot of
people accept this?
The 4th of May is the Day against DRM. While DRM has largely been
defeated in music, it is a growing problem in the area of ebooks. So it
is good news that due to pressure from their readers, Tor/Forge will
drop DRM from ebooks. Discuss the topic with your friends or
colleagues, e.g. send them Richard Stallman's short story"The Right to
Read", and tell us your experience on our public discussion lists
<http://fsfe.org/contact/community.en.html>or send it directly to your
== Free Software topic in the French Presidential elections ==
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that 15 percentof the State's
IT budget is spent on Free Software programming, support, and
maintenance. In future this budget will increase by 30 percent per year.
He said this policy is "strategic for the development of the French IT
sector". His challenger François Hollande even said this policy has to
Besides that, the French Free Software advocacy group April asked all of
the candidates in the French presidential electionsabout their
positions on Free Software, software patents, DRMand more.
It is important to raise awareness for Free Software with your
politicians, and sending them questions is a good start. FSFE is
gathering all such effort in our"Ask Your Candidate" campaign. FSFE
would like to thank Aprilfor their good work in France, and
encourages other Free Software supporters in Europe to get in contact
with their politicians. If you have questions how to start such
activities in your country, region, or municipality, please get in
contact with us. By next month you will also have the political parties'
replies to the questions from FSFE for two federal state elections in
== Vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year? ==
A report on the City of Helsinki's pilot project for the use of
OpenOffice in the public administrations leaves the public with more
questions than answers. The city trialled the Free Software productivity
suite on the laptops of council members for ten months in 2011. The
suite enjoyed high approval rates among its users. When the pilot was
finished, the City produced a report stating that the costs of migrating
the entire administration to OpenOffice would be very high. Read more
about it in the press releaseand if you are interested in details of
the City of Helsinki's OpenOffice pilot project, and in lessons that may
be drawn from this project, we have published an analysis of the
== Something completely different ==
- "Replace 'ICT' with 'Sex'": 42 minutes before the deadline our
education teamsubmitted FSFE's position for a consultation on ICT
educationto the UK Department of Education. Besides other points
we highlighted the importance of "ICT education", instead of "ICT
- Fellowship Interview: Operating Free Software based servers and
workstations in a pro-privacy web hosting and IT service company,
advocating Free Software since 2001, volunteering for the Freedroidz
project, and more: this months's interview is Bernd Wurst.
- The Czech municipality Grygov uses Free Softwarefor nearly
everything in their public administration.
- On the 31st of March, FSFE's UK Fellows have set up a link between the
Green Light (Manchester) and Chorlton's Big Green (Leicester)
festivals. There was a Free Software talk and booth at both events,
and a live link-up which brought environmentalists together via Free
- Our web team met in Manchester for a web sprint. A variety of
international volunteers worked together to improve website features
and infrastructure. Interested in fixing bugs, or implementing new
functionality to improve our information about Free Software in web
work? Join our web team!
- Computerworld UK published a a good article on software patents.
- A selection from the Fellowship blog aggregation:
- Affiliate Userscripts to support FSFE: If you already spend money on
Amazon or libri, you can install a userscriptdeveloped by Hannes
Hauswedell and 5% of the money you spend there goes to FSFE to the
struggle for Software Freedom! The userscripts are tested for
Chromium, Firefox, and Iceweasel.
- Distributed Free Software: Thomas Jensch wrote an article on how to
setup OwnCould on Hiawatha, and Sam Tuke also looked into setting
up a local web development server.
- Different experiences than Wikipedia: Hannes Hauswedell from the
PDFreadersteam is currently living in China, and wrote about his
technical experiences with the Chinese firewall.
- After his hard disk died Patrik Willard wrote about git and
rsyncand Isabel Drost also dedicated a blog article to git.
== Get Active: FRAND is FRAUD - Participate in UK consultation ==
Busy times in the UK. Besides the consultation on education (see above)
the UK government is holding another one until the 4th of June about
what sort of patent licenses an Open Standardshould require. FSFE
and our sister organisation the FSF published a joint statementon
the UK Open Standard consultation, explaining why FRAND conditions for
Open Standards discriminate against Free Software (regular readers might
realise this is an ongoing debate), and recommending the UK government
to abolish software patents to prevent damage to the UK's economy. We
also informed UK Free Software businesses, organisations, and Fellows
about the consultation, prepared draft answers to some of the questions
in the survey, held a Summit Meeting of Open Standard experts,
and also published a joint statement together with other Open Standard
There is a website explaining how to participate in the
consultation. Please do so to support the requirement for royalty-
free licenses for Open Standards.
Thanks to all the Fellowsand donorswho enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe <http://fsfe.org>
FSFE News <http://fsfe.org/news/news.en.rss>
Upcoming FSFE Events <http://fsfe.org/events/events.en.rss>
Fellowship Blog Aggregation <http://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml>
Free Software Discussions <http://fsfe.org/contact/community.en.html>
More information about the Newsletter-en