FSFE Newsletter - October 2015

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Oct 5 15:37:31 CEST 2015

 = FSFE Newsletter - October 2015 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201510.ro.html ]

 == FSFE elections and other news from Bucharest ==

At this year's General Assembly in Bucharest, the FSFE elected a new
leadership team for the next two years[1]. Reinhard Müller will continue
his role as Financial Officer while your editor will assume the role as
President, with Alessandro Rubini filling in as Vice-President.
Alessandro is an electronic engineer working on device drivers and
embedded systems. He was one of the first members of the FSFE and
recently joined again to support us in our work. The FSFE's former
President, Karsten Gerloff welcomed the change and wrote about his
future steps[2].

The city of Bucharest was already warming up to Free Software several
weeks before the FSFE's arrival, as Romanian public administrations were
invited by Rogentos Linux User Group to test out two GNU/Linux-
distributions[3]. This is a first step towards more awareness for
software freedom in the country's public administration. After the
General Assembly, we discussed this news and further collaboration with
Free Software contributors from Romania, especially with our friends
from Fundația Ceata, the Romanian foundation for Free Software and Free
Culture. We found out that they are looking for skilled designers to
contribute their ideas for a new logo for the foundation. So any graphic
artists out there who are willing to flex their muscles for a good cause
can find more information on their call for submissions page[4].

 == FSFE’s evaluation of the EU Parliament copyright report ==

In July, the European Parliament adopted its recommendations for
copyright reform initially drafted by MEP Julia Reda, and the FSFE
released[5] its assessment of the final report that was approved in the
Parliament after considerable amount of amendments. While some
improvements exist in the Parliament's final report over current
legislation, there are enough problems that it should be reconsidered,
especially in regards to Free Software. In particular, the report fails
to adequately address Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that can
still hinder the use of works that fall under copyright exceptions, and
it does not provide a possibility for software developers to contribute
their works directly to the public domain.

In the next step, the Commission will publish their proposal on
copyright reform sometime before the end of 2015. We ask the Commission
to take the copyright reform even further and ensure that no exception
to copyright should be ever limited by technological restrictions, to
provide for a fully harmonised set of exceptions, and to publish all
works that are publicly funded under a Free Software licence.

 == Tidying up PDFreaders ==

While wrapping up our PDFreaders campaign[6] it is worthy to highlight a
few success stories in particular. Our German Coordinator, Max Mehl,
blogged[7] about the success of the campaign in German government. In
fact, the campaign was so successful, the German "Migration Guide" now
includes a titbit about us, saying "If PDF documents are provided
publicly authorities shall no longer only recommend Adobe Acrobat Reader
for displaying them, but for example use the HTML templates provided by
the FSFE on their websites for downloading alternative PDF readers", as
well as recommending officials to expand to Free Software as viable

The FSFE helped to bring out the best in Free Software PDF readers for
the private sector as well. Our very own Polina Malaja was able to catch
up[8] with our former PDFreaders campaign coordinator, Hannes
Hauswedell, about his conversation with Google back in 2011 about
releasing Pdfium software as Free Software. Finally in 2014, Hannes's
request came to fruition. Now, we are not saying our campaign caused the
Pdfium release, but we would like to think our campaign played a part in

 == Something completely different ==

- FSFE Switzerland, in cooperation with the Swiss Open Systems User
  Group, sent out hundreds of letters to different political candidates
  asking them to participate in their online questionnaire,
  Freedomvote[9], as a way to collect candidates' opinions of various
  digital issues that are sometimes overlooked like e-voting, open data,
  Free Software, and data security. The results were posted online for
  citizens to make more informed decisions about who they will vote for
  on election day on 18 October.

- Paul Boddie interviews FSFE Fellow Nico Rikken[10] from the
  Netherlands. Nico's background is in electrical engineering, and he
  provides insight into open hardware and education policy amongst other

- On 1 September the Parisian High Court reaffirmed that software
  patents are illegal in Europe under the European Patent
  Convention.[11] However, this success comes only as a silver lining,
  considering that the plaintiff in this case was actually granted a
  patent from the European Patent Office.

- According to Felix Greve's PhD thesis, the German constitution
  requires vendor-neutral ICT standards to ensure interoperability in
  public administration and elsewhere[12]. The current lack of
  interoperability rules are a major barrier to the country’s uptake of
  Free Software.

- FSF certified Taurinus X200 laptop[13] to respect users' freedom. It
  also removes Intel's Management Engine (ME) which is a secret and
  proprietary software that allows remote access to the computer over a
  network, changing and upgrading the BIOS configuration, or wiping the
  disk. ME has full access to the computer with a wide functionality and
  could be a very useful security measure, but only if the owner of the
  device has the ability to control it.

- Public Administration: The UK government publishes an authoritative
  ODF guide[14] about integration of ODF with enterprise software in
  public procurement, the Italian military is switching to LibreOffice
  and ODF[15] making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice
  implementation, at the Debian Conference "DebConf15" the city of
  Munich showed that they are a major contributor to Free Software by
  sharing software solutions and best practices[16], and Open Forum
  Europe's Karel De Vriendt provided insight[17] into the thinking
  behind European Commission's call for tender concerning Microsoft
  products that will further increase the vendor lock-in in public IT

    - From the planet aggregation[18]:

    - Daniel Pocock argues that the only way to avoid scandals like the
      one with VW[19] in the future is to ensure everyone's freedom to
      see and modify the source code in the equipment that controls our

    - Dominic Hopf (now an official intergalactic diplomat) and new
      Fellow Pascal Wittmann, organised a booth at a Software Freedom
      Day (SFD) event in Kiel[20] and gave a presentation about F-Droid.

    - On a wet day in Frankfurt, the FSFE booth made a splash among
      visitors at the annual Rotlintstraßenfest who were eager to learn
      more about software freedom. Guido Arnold provides more details on
      this popular outdoor event.[21]

    - Meanwhile FSFE Fellow Michael Stehmann summarised his SFD
      experience in Cologne (in German)[22].

    - Our Executive Director Jonas Öberg gave a rundown on the logistics
      behind running a successful event[23].

    - Carsten Agger was busy organising the LibreOffice Hackfest in

    - Tobias Platen criticises[25] just how allegedly "free" Purism
      Librem computers actually are.

    - André Ockers explains how concerned citizens in the Netherlands
      convinced a Dutch government agency to use an Open Document
      format[26], and

    - Paul Boddie asks "Random Questions" about the Fairphone's source
      code availability"[27].

 == Get Active: Nominate people and projects for the Free Software Award ==

Often users do not realise that they are using Free Software. Sometimes
we need to explicitly state that fact. For instance the new upgrade of
WordPress[28] includes a tab with a reference to the GNU General Public
License and the four freedoms of Free Software, explicitly informing the
Wordpress community about the importance of freedom underlying their

However, very often a lot of amazing Free Software developers and
projects out there do not get the recognition they deserve. Right now
the FSF is accepting nominations for the 18th annual Free Software
Awards[29] for people and projects who have improved the world using
Free Software. There are two awards, one for people who have advanced
the movement, and another for a project that has fulfilled a crucial
societal need through the use of Free Software. Please submit your
nominations until 1 November.

Thanks to all the volunteers[30], Fellows[31] and corporate donors[32]
who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner[33] - FSFE[34]

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://fsfe.org/news/2015/news-20150922-01.ro.html
  2. http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2015/09/18/please-welcome-fsfes-new-president/
  3. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145574
  4. https://ceata.org/comunicate/international-challenge-logo-for-ceata.html
  5. https://fsfe.org/activities/policy/eu/20150918-Assessment-Of-The-Report-On-InfoSoc.en.html
  6. https://fsfe.org/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.en.html
  7. http://blog.mehl.mx/2015/german-government-wants-authorities-to-advertise-pdfreaders/
  8. http://blogs.fsfe.org/polina/2015/09/10/free-pdf-reader-for-the-web-browser/
  9. https://freedomvote.ch/
 10. http://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=672
 11. https://www.april.org/en/paris-high-court-reaffirms-ban-software-patents
 12. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145984
 13. http://www.fsf.org/news/now-fsf-cerified-to-respect-your-freedom-taurinus-x200
 14. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145658
 15. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145784
 16. https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145626
 17. http://www.openforumeurope.org/windows-dressing/
 18. http://planet.fsfe.org
 19. http://danielpocock.com/the-only-way-to-ensure-the-vw-scandal-never-happens-again
 20. http://blog.dmaphy.de/2015/09/how-to-travel-intergalactic-way-free.html
 21. http://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2015/09/fsfe-info-booth-at-rotlintstrasenfest-in-frankfurt/
 22. http://blogs.fsfe.org/stehmann/?p=1554
 23. http://blogs.fsfe.org/jonas/?p=20
 24. http://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2015/09/28/organizing-this-years-libreoffice-conference/
 25. http://blogs.fsfe.org/tobias_platen/2015/09/22/why-i-wont-buy-the-libre/
 26. https://blogs.fsfe.org/ao/2015/09/26/why-we-convinced-a-dutch-government-agency-to-use-an-open-document-format/
 27. https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=1129
 28. http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/wordpress-brings-the-freedom-to-the-front
 29. http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/who-is-improving-the-world-through-free-software-nominate-them-now
 30. https://fsfe.org/contribute/contribute.ro.html
 31. http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join
 32. https://fsfe.org/donate/thankgnus.ro.html
 33. https://fsfe.org/about/kirschner
 34. https://fsfe.org/index.ro.html

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