FSFE Newsletter - October 2012
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Thu Oct 4 17:51:02 CEST 2012
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= FSFE Newsletter - October 2012 =
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201210.nl.html ]
== Software Freedom Day: What alternative is there to Skype? ==
The Free Software community celebrated the worldwide Software Freedom
Day, held annually the third Saturday in September, with diverse
events and meetings. Our local Fellowship group in Manchestermet to
test and discuss what alternative there is to Skype. They did extensive
testing and published the results.
Dressed with hoodies with the slogan "Independent through Free Software"
our Vienna Fellowship grouphad an information booth giving away 300
Free Software live CDs and over 1000 Free Software leaflets. At
Freedom Kosova 2012, Erik Albers gave a talkand the day before he
helped to free some Android phones. More devices were liberated during
the Free Your Android workshop, that Torsten Grote organised during
SFD in Berlin. And, in Cologne, there was a gathering with lectures
about software freedom.
== The resurrection of the debate: Should Europe have software patents?
After Apple sued Samsung, Personalweb Technologies and Level 3
Communications is suing GitHub, and"Twin Peaks Software, Inc." is suing
Red Hat(they filed a counterclaim because of a GNU GPL violation)
Meanwhile the European Parliament has postponed the debate about the
Unitary Patent, which gives us more time to work on pointing out the
serious problems and hazards of the proposalto the Legal Affairs
Our president, Karsten Gerloff, wrote a series of articles about
software patents pointing at the current situation at the European Union
leveland he has published his notesabout "The Case Against
Patents", a recent draft paper by economists Michele Boldrin and David
K. Levine. He concludes that we cannot "leave it to the EPO" and that
"patent policy needs to be integrated into a larger innovation policy
strategy"within the EU.
== France's Prime Minister issues guideline in favour of Free Software
After Italy's new lawon software procurement which clearly prefers
Free Software upon non-free software, France also took action: On
September 19th France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault signed a
guideline, addressed to all ministries, that the French public
administration should favour Free Software. The advantages the Prime
Minister sees in Free Software, are its lower costs and that it
increases flexibility and competition in the IT market. The public
administration should make "an educated choice", and do "a systematic
review of free alternatives when doing development and major revisions
The cross-ministry IT services give a set of recommendations to be
implemented by the French ministries aiming at developing and improving
the use of Free Software such as: find Free Software alternatives,
follow and contribute to the communities, or improve the culture of Free
Software and Free licences.
FSFE's new intern Léopold Baillard explains this in detail in his first
blog post; EC's joinup wrote about it; and the French Free
Software organisation APRIL also has good information on the case.
== Something completely different ==
- Free Software policies from France, Italy, UK, or Sweden were also a
topic in the German Parliament. On Friday 21st September, your editor
was invited to speak there as an expert for Free Software. In the next
weeks you will receive a summary on this topic, but, until then you
can take a look at the questionsyour editor had to answer before
it, as well as links to the written statements from the other invited
- FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff was busy giving talks: During
Finland's Openmind conference he spoke about Free Software migrations,
procurement, and overcoming common obstacles. Another talk was about
the intense battle about who will control the computers we will use
tomorrow, and why the general-purpose computer is worth fighting
- There is information that the City of Freiburg wants to switch to a
proprietary office suite. FSFE, together with OSB Alliance and BIKT,
wrote an open letter about itasking several questions to the
City's officials (German). EC's joinup reported about it in
- "How can I change the license, so my software cannot be used for
military use?" Richard Stallman published an articlearguing, why a
program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it, and why we
cannot stop torture through software licenses.
- "Who controls the internet controls the data. Who controls the data,
controls the future", says Georg (T)ORwell in the latest episode "Big
Brother is WWWatching you"from Juice Rap News (youtube link, you
can use youtube-dlto download it). It is about several Free
Software connected topics and the advantages of TOR, and also
features the Linksys-WRT-54 router, which was the first GNU GPL
violation court case worldwide.
- Thanks to Kåre Thor Olsen the article"Democracy requires Free
Software"is now translated also into Danish. It is now available
in 12 languages, thanks to all the volunteers in our our translators
- FSF is updating the Free Software directory, and is looking for
your help with this task.
- From the planet aggregation:
- Isabel (now Drost-Fromm) took your editors advise from the August
newsletter(under "The Fellowship: One to rule them all") and made
sure that Thilo became a Fellowbefore their wedding. Of course
marrying did not stop her to write several other blog postslast
month. FSFE thanks the two of them for their support, and wishes them
all the best for their marriage.
- FSFE's intern Ana Galan has a journalist background. She now wrote
about her experience from Campus Party in"my first time", as well
as the above mentioned Free Your Android workshop at Berlin's Software
- How much do you pay per month for Free Software? Last month Torsten
Grote payed $25and your editor $20 for Twidere, an Android
Status.net and Twitter client, who's developer needs new hardware.
- Can you verify Karl Beecher's resultsthat PHP is essential to a
career in web programming?
- On the technical side Torsten also wrote about his first experiences
installing the Kolab 3.0, Daniele Domenichelli had some fun with
the KDE telepathy text user interface plugins, Matija
Šukljeand Christian Kalkhofboth migrated their websites,
Alexandre De Dommelin wrote about how a small hosted site gets
redundancy, and Alexandre Keledjian describes how to convert your
audio CDs into FLAC(French).
- And finally FSFE would like to thank Michael Stehmann who organised an
FSFE Fellowship project room at FrOSCon, which dealt with the usage of
Free Software in SMEs(German).
== Get active: Less than 3 minutes to support FSFE ==
To make it short: If you care about Free Software and support what FSFE
is doing, please become a supporter of FSFE. It does not cost any
money and takes less than 3 minutes to do so. If you are interested you
can read about the background of this.
Thanks to all the Fellowsand donorswho enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
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