The right to install Free Software +++ 60 books to libraries +++ Berlin workshop

press at press at
Wed Mar 9 09:53:00 UTC 2022

 = The right to install Free Software +++ 60 books to libraries +++ Berlin workshop =

[ Read online: ]

In our March Newsletter, we share some much needed good news: people
donated 60 children's books about software freedom to public libraries.
The FSFE calls for the right to install Free Software. The first
Upcycling Android workshop is happening in Berlin. The local group in
Aarhus, Denmark, meets after a long time.

 == We call for the right to install and uninstall any operating system on any device ==

Installing and uninstalling software as we wish on any device is a right
that comes with an extra benefit: we can fix our devices and keep using
them longer, avoiding the environmental impact of a new device. So what
is keeping us from fixing existing devices by installing Free Software?
Unfortunately, legal and technical barriers are often intentionally
imposed on users so that they cannot change the operating system on
their devices. 2022 offers a unique opportunity to improve the situation
in Europe. The EU is about to redraft its ecodesign criteria of products
with the Sustainable Products Initiative, the Circular Electronics
Initiative, the Right to Repair, and other directives.

This is our chance to claim the right to install any operating system on
any device. The FSFE started to advise the European Commission as early
as possible on this. But a positive outcome is far from certain;
counter-lobbying is there. If the role of software freedom is not
considered as essential to the longevity and re-usability of our
devices, the throw-away culture will continue. We will advocate for the
necessary changes in the upcoming legislation [1]. Manufacturers must
not be allowed to create artificial restrictions preventing users from
installing Free Software operating systems.


Help us push for the universal right to install Free Software. Become a
supporter [2].


 == 60 books for software freedom donated to libraries ==

After the publication of Ada & Zangemann [3] we asked our German
speaking community to bring copies of the book to public libraries for
children who cannot afford it or have not heard of it. The response was
overwhelming [4]. The book entered the shelves of numerous libraries
across Germany and Austria including the cities of Cologne, Rosenheim,
Magdeburg, Manheim, Stuttgart, Vienna, and Lustenau. Thank you for
helping raise awareness of software freedom!

'Ada & Zangemann' received a very good rating by the organisation
reviewing new publications for public libraries in Germany and Austria.
According to the ekz information service "the story is attractively
illustrated by S. Brandstätter, [...] didactically well structured and
very suitable as a basis for discussion, e.g. in primary school." Learn
more about the book in a dedicated new podcast episode. Matthias
Kirschner, President of the FSFE, is the guest on the series Open source
couch [5] [DE]. Also, an author reading took place in the yearly Winter
Congress, an event organised by the Digital Society.

 == What we have done ==

On 20 February, the FSFE Women group [6] had its monthly online meeting.

On 16 February the FSFE country team Netherlands [7] had its monthly
online meeting.

On 14 February, people around the world celebrated the “I Love Free
Software Day” by thanking all the people who contribute to software
freedom. Numerous Free Software organisations, and, among others, DINUM,
a part of the French public administration, spread the thank you
message. The gaming event in the afternoon was a ton of fun. Thanks for

On 5 February, we participated at the most prominent annual conference
for Free Software, FOSDEM. We raised awareness on wider issues that
impact our movement in the Legal and Policy Devroom, co-hosted by the
FSFE and the Software Freedom Conservancy. We summed up the experience
in an article. Enjoy the videos from the talks and stay in touch via
Matrix until the next FOSDEM [8].

 == The road to technological sustainability - a word from the Planet: ==

"The ever-increasing demands of things like Web browsers means that
systems become obsolete and are replaced with newer, faster systems to
do exactly the same things in any qualitative sense. This wastefulness,
burdening individuals with needless expenditure and burdening the
environment with even more consumption, must stop." Paul Boddie wrote an
opinion article on FSFE Planet about the requirements to achieve
technological sustainability [9], including hardware that can easily be
supported by Free Software, a public infrastructure we collectively
control through our representatives, and better-paid Free Software

"We need a combination of genuinely open standards facilitating Free
Software and accessible public and private services, with users able to
adopt and retain open and long-lasting hardware", Paul concludes. You
can follow the thoughts of the FSFE community in the blog aggregator
Planet [10].

 == Save the date ==

Date TBA. The FSFE local group Aarhus, Denmark is planning to meet in
March after a long time! Anyone who is interested in Free Software is
welcome to join. For more information you can contact Carsten Agger
(agger [at] fsfe [dot] org).

On Saturday, 12 March 17:00 CET, an author reading of Ada & Zangemann
will take place in German. Meet the author of the book and President of
the FSFE, Matthias Kirschner, and ask any questions you might have. The
event is part of the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage. You can join the event at no
cost. No registration is needed. The reading will take place online

On Tuesday 15 March 14:00 – 15:30 CET, Erik Albers, FSFE Programme
Manager and sustainability expert, will participate in 'Sustainable
software for phones that last', a webinar organised by Fairphone. A
panel of experts will discuss why the longevity of phones continues to
decline. Erik Albers explains why the universal right to install Free
Software operating systems on any device will help us to live in a more
sustainable digital society. The tickets are free of charge [12].

On Saturday 19 March, 11:00 - 17:00 CET, together with the FSFE Local
Group Berlin, we are organizing our first Upcycling Android workshop in
Berlin [13]. This workshop is primarily about bringing tech enthusiasts
and sustainability enthusiasts together and exchanging views on
technology and sustainability while flashing phones with Free Software
operating systems. In addition to the actual phone flashing, there will
also be a short keynote speech on longevity and sustainability on
Android and other devices. The venue is the Holodeck of
at Schönhauser Allee 6/7. Are you coming?

On Wednesday 30 March 14:00 - 14:45 CET, Erik Albers will give a talk in
the Digital Social Summit on politics and software surrounding phones.
Using phones as an example, Erik will explain how software design
impacts the sustainability of hardware and infrastructure. The session
is in German, translated in real time in sign language. It will be
livestreamed [14].

Vincent Lequertier and Erik Da Silva, FSFE Deputy Coordinators of
France, are participating in a workshop on data protection and Free
Software. The French Data Protection Authority organises this workshop
in the context of the Open Government initiative.

 == Contribute to our newsletter ==

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please 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 [15]. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers,
supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our
translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

Discuss this [16]

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