FSFE Newsletter - March 2015
press at fsfeurope.org
press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Mar 4 14:46:43 CET 2015
= FSFE Newsletter - March 2015 =
[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201503.en.html ]
== FSFE's reply to EU consultation on patents and standard ==
We believe that proprietary standards and software patents are barriers
to Free Software adoption. To get rid of those barriers we have to help
the public administration to understand this, too. That is why last
month we responded to a consultation on the interaction of standards and
patents by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal
Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
In our response, we focused mainly on how software patents negatively
affect competition and innovation in the software market. We also
highlighted that so-called “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory”
(FRAND) licensing terms are in practice a grave discrimination against
Free Software. In many segments of the software market, these programs
are the most significant competition to non-free offerings. So the FSFE
recommends that standards organisations instead implement the successful
patent licensing policies of the W3C and other bodies, and make the
restriction-free licensing of standard-essential patents mandatory.
If you want to help us to promote Open Standards, please participate in
this year's Document Freedom Day (see this month's get active item at
the end of the newsletter).
== Free Software as integral part of Open Educational Resources ==
The more we see classic educational environments equipped with
computers, the more important becomes an education system that teaches
every student to be in control of their technology. For the FSFE, the
basis for this is Free Software.
Together with other partners in the “Bündnis Freie Bildung” (Free
Education Alliance) we published a position paper about the creation and
usage of Open Educational Resources (OER). The paper has a specific
focus on the creation and usage of OER inside the German educational
system. It should be mandatory to publish educational resources
including software that has been paid with public money under free
licences. Furthermore, the position paper demands that educational
institutions should consider the compatibility with Free Software
already during the development or extension of their IT infrastructures.
By this it envisions to have “all educational resources usable without
any legal or technical barriers”.
If you want to know more about what happened in the education field
connected with Free Software, read the January Education team report.
== What happened on the “I love Free Software” day? ==
On 14 February 2015 people all over the world showed Free Software
contributors their appreciation. It was the fifth year we asked people
to participate in the “I Love Free Software” day. This year's report
shows a variety of love declarations that happened this day,
including blog posts, pictures, comics, poems, and an #ilovefs Android
We want to thank everybody who motivated Free Software contributors at
this year's “I love Free Software” day, and ask everybody to mark 14
February in their calendars to motivate the people who enable us to
control our technology.
== Something completely different ==
- Hannes Hauswedell from the German team wrote an update about the
situation with secure texting. The last months Hannes and others
wanted to improve the situation with Textsecure, which unfortunately
did not work out until now. So Hannes changed his mind and is now
- Fellow Cory Doctorow wrote an article in the Guardian imagining how it
would look like “If dishwashers were iPhones”.
- Christian Kalkhoff reported from FSFE's Munich group meeting in
January. To find upcoming local meetings close to you, please have
a look at our event page.
- The Fellowship election for one of the seats in FSFE's General
Assembly is running until 6 March 2015. All sustaining members should
have received the voting instructions to decide between Nicolas
Dietrich, Max Mehl, and Felix Stegerman. So if you have not yet
voted, do it now!
- From the planet aggregation:
- After there have been plenty of reports of Lenovo shipping
products with a form of adware known as Superfish, Paul Boddie
asks what Lenovo's reasoning was, and from whom they want
their money in future.
- Max Mehl has been asked by a friend why he is “investing so much
time in the FSFE instead of putting more energy in other
organisations with more focus on privacy issues.” In his blog
post, he answers that question.
- Mirko Böhm summarised his last weeks including what he worked
on with his students, about amendments to Julia Reda's report,
software patents, and Qt programming.
- Daniel Pocock wrote about the 3rd birthday of Lumicall.
- Christian Kallhoff reports from his experience to fix a bug in
- Nico Rikken wrote about understanding software and why it is not
magic, and about the freedom Ubuntu phone offers.
== Get active: Be a part of Document Freedom Day 2015! ==
Every year since 2008, people who care about a free information society
celebrate Document Freedom Day to raise awareness of Open Standards.
This year again people around the world come together on 25 March to
talk about access to communications, run local public activities, and
generally spread the word about Open Standards in a dozen different
We are offering promotion materials in many languages, and artwork you
can remix, share and improve to publicise your own event. If you are
running a local event, we may be able to offer funding of your local
activities or your local print runs - thanks to DFD's sponsors. To get
inspired, take a look at what other groups from Mexico to Japan did last
Participate in DFD 2015!
Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors
who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
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