FSFE Newsletter - May 2013
Free Software Foundation Europe
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Mon May 6 14:49:28 CEST 2013
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= FSFE Newsletter - May 2013 =
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201305.sv.html ]
Note: As Matthias Kirschner is on vacation, this edition of the monthly
Newsletter is written by Erik Albers. Enjoy!
== Document Freedom Day 2013 ==
Every year on the last wednesday of March, Document Freedom Day
(DFD)takes place: the global day to raise awareness of Open
Standards, organised by the FSFE. It has been amazing to see year by
year how the message of freedom and Open Standards has continued to
spread around the world. This year, there were 59 events in 30
countries, and many first time participants, including Niger, Indonesia
and the United States.
Highlights from Document Freedom Day include more than a hundred press
articlesand blogs, Libre Office's publication of a new migration
guide, support from Lawrence Lessig, and a storm of social media
coverage and opening up discussions.
But let's not forget: all these events were organised by local groups.
Among them were many FSFE Fellowship groups, a wide variety of other
Free Software community organisations, and teams of friends who care
about Open Standards. So, this is a big thank you to everybody who made
this year's DFD so successful! It is awesome to see how Free Software
and Open Standards connect people around the world. Read the extended
== Free Software LegalLicensing Workshop ==
In early April, we held our annual Free Software LegalLicensing Workshop
in Amsterdam. More than 70 Free Software legal experts from the Legal
Networkcame together for two days in order to share their knowledge
and discuss cutting-edge questions in the field.
Topics discussed this year included recent court rulings, patent-related
developments, and transferring Free Software licensing ideas to
hardware. Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian's (now former) project leader,
delivered a keynote speech, describing the community perspective on
Several talks at the conference were covered by LWN, for example those
by Eben Moglen, Daniel Germanand Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh.
== FSFE welcomes Ceata as associate organisation ==
A new foundation from Romania and Moldova has joined FSFE's program of
associate organisations. Ceatahas been promoting Free Software
and culture since 2008, and in February this year was officially
incorporated. The group, based in Bucharest with local chapters in Cluj
and Chișinău, organises conferences on Free Software, Free hardware,
and Free culture. Ceata also develops their own applications, translates
programs into Romanian, and participates in international campaigns.
Fundația Ceata and FSFE will now join forcesand work more
effectively on promoting software freedom in Romania and throughout
== Something completely different ==
- The German Parliament (the 'Bundestag') has voted on a joint motion
against software patents. The resolution urges the German
government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer
programs. The Parliament's resolution reminds the government that,
under the EU's Computer Programs Directive, software is covered by
copyright, not patents. It calls on the government to finally put the
directive's "copyright approach" into practice, and make German law
more concrete in this regard. It also points out that the restrictions
which patents impose are incompatible with the most widely used Free
- The winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GAis Heiki
"Repentinus" Ojasild. The election period for this year's
Fellowship GA seat ended on March 15, and proved exciting to the end.
Thanks to all Fellows who participated in the process and made this a
valuable experience for the Fellowship and for FSFE.
- Please welcome the latest Fellowship group, from Bari, South
Italy! The way the group was formed was unprecedented in FSFE
history: As a former GNU/Linux user group, 15 people joined FSFE
simultaneously to create a new Fellowship group. According to the
members, they took this step in order to be more active on a political
level in future.
- The chancellor of the "Freie Universität Berlin" has asked all staff
to use exclusively 'Apple iTunes U' for the publication of University
materials, such as recordings of lectures. To access University
resources therefore, students now have to use Apple iTunes, which
excludes users of Free Software operating systems, and includes a
variety of anti-consumer measures to lock them in to the service. FSFE
has written to the chancellor explaining why University resources
should be available without software barriers (German).
- As part of the Ask Your Candidates campaign, FSFE has sent out
'voting benchmarks' ("Wahlprüfsteine") for all three elections in
Germany, that will be in autumn this year. The aim is to obtain public
statements on Free Software policies and committments from parties
which are hoping to be elected. Some responses have already been
received and will be published soon.
- FSFE participated in the Chemnitzer Linuxtage conferencethis
month. The FSFE booth received lots of attention, and many people
approached the team to ask about campaigns. Free Your Android proved
to be a hot topic, generating many questions and ideas. Reinhard
Müller, FSFE's Financial Officer, gave a talk entitled "Free
yourself: how to save the world in five easy steps", and Erik Albers,
Fellowship Deputy Coordinator, gave a presentation on Free Your
Android. Erik was in Freeing frenzy this month, and delivered the same
talk at Cebit in Hannover, Germany. The conference organisers
filmed and hosted a video of the talk, but unfortunately only in
- From the planet aggregation:
- Hugo explains why the HTML5 video tag has been a
failureand still is. He argues that we need to weigh in to the
political process which is shaping HTML5, and to fight the surrounding
Fear Uncertainty and Doubtto keep the Internet a place where
everyone is free to express themselves - without having to ask for
permission or signing a restricted-patent-license.
- Mia Julia Eley encourages women that are interested in technology and
engineeringto apply for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women.
"Plenty of women out there have skills that could benefit the Free
Software movement and the barrier to entry should be clearly
understood" she states.
- Torsten Grote reports about the latest changes in CyanogenMod's
collecting anonymised data for statistical purposes including the
option for everyone to opt-out. Suddenly, this opt-out feature was
removed and a tracking feature was added that sends the collected data
to Google Analytics, too. After some days, the first decision was
reversed, that means you have the option to opt-out again. But, still,
if you agree that your data will be sent to CM, it will also be sent
to Google Analytics. Read all details on Torsten's Blog.
- Paul Boddie reflects about "The Academic Challenge: Ideas, Patents,
Openness and Knowledge" and argues why Universities should insist on
freedom of knowledge instead of just defending openness of knowledge.
Read why there should be no commercialisation of academia and no
monopolization of ideas.
- Did you already set up your Fellowship card? If not, you might be
interested in a'How To' which was made by Jens Lechtenbörgerto
support the already existing Fellowship Howto.
- Beside this, Jens Lechtenbörger also explains why, for privacy
reasons, Ubuntu users should not update to Ubuntu 12.10 or 13.04,
but instead stick with version 12.04 LTS.
- Finally, some fun: Henrik Sandklef shows how to use your calendar for
artistic purposes, in this case to illustrate the Fellowship
== Get active: oppose integration of DRM into HTML5 ==
FSFE, FSF and other prominent organisations defending digital freedom
have prepared a joint letter to the World Wide Web Consortium and its
member organisations urging them to reject the Encrypted Media
Extensions (EME) proposal. This proposal aims at incorporating
support for Digital Restriction Management (DRM) into HTML5 and might
become a threat to Free Software users. P lease join usin calling on
the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its member organizations to
reject the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal (EME).
Thanks to all the Fellows and donors who enable our work,
Free Software Foundation Europe - http://fsfe.org
FSFE News - http://fsfe.org/news/news
Upcoming FSFE Events - http://fsfe.org/events/events
Fellowship Blog Aggregation - http://planet.fsfe.org
Free Software Discussions - http://fsfe.org/contact/community
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