FSFE Newsletter - July 2013
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Thu Jul 4 16:47:49 CEST 2013
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= FSFE Newsletter - July 2013 =
[Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201307.sv.html ]
== In Court: Defending our Freedoms with Copyleft ==
"To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you
these rights or asking you to surrender the rights. Therefore, you
have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the
software, or if you modify it: responsibilities to respect the freedom
of others." (Praemble of the GNU GPL)
Unfortunately sometimes companies forget their responsibility when using
Free Software in their products. Someone has to make sure that companies
are reminded from time to time. That's what we do with our compliance
work. After our volunteers found a GNU GPL violation in a workshop in
May 2012, we handed all the evidence to Harald Welte from gpl-
violations.org and his lawyers. They processed the case and we were
now informed that we won the case.
== EU's public bodies wasting 1.1 billion Euro every year ==
This month the European Commission published a Communication titled
"Against lock-in" (see FSFE's comments.) The European Commission
urges public bodies to break free from vendor lock-in in their IT
systems by relying on standards rather than brand names and proprietary
technology. Besides the Communication highlights that public bodies
unnecessarily spend 1.1 billion Euro every year because they do not
allow more competition among their suppliers. The Commission cites
studies saying that 16% of public procurement make reference to brand
names. In most of the cases those brand names are the names of non-free
Implementing Open Standard policies is hard work but is necessary to
ensure that Free Software companies can compete on an equal basis. We
criticised the EC before and will continue to remind them that Open
Standard policies only have value if they are really implemented.
== NSA: 24 hours video surveillance with Xbox One? ==
Faced with user protests, Microsoft has been forced to make the terms
for its latest Xbox gaming console look a little less restrictive.
However, the “new” terms which had caused such outrage were not in
fact new at all: they were similar to most other proprietary software
licences, including those covering other Microsoft software products and
on-line services. Anna Morris created a graphic about it.
Also on surveillance: twelve years ago the European Parliament called
upon the Commission and public bodies across Europe to help citizens and
companies protect themselves from surveillance. Free Software played a
crucial part there. Unfortunately the EC did not implement them.
After the leaks from intelligence services, some of your friends might
now understand much better what you talked about when you explained them
why you do not use Skype, Facebook, Xbox One, or others. They might now
understand why it is important to be in control of your device and
your data. Erik Albers wrote an article about ownership, remote control
and privacy, and in connection with Xbox One ask how many people
would visit a home when there would be a sticker saying “This flat is
under 24h surveillance by Microsoft and the NSA”.
== Something completely different ==
- Together with Turkish Free Software activists FSFE wrote an Open
Letter to Turkish President Erdogan about a contract for more than
10 million new tablet computers.
- FSFE continue to monitor that you can file your taxes with Free
Software in Slovakia.
- Founder of GNU and the president of the Free Software Foundation,
Richard Stallman was inducted into the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame!
His comment: "Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task
is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make
it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy."
- Events: On 8th and 9th of June 2013 the Vienna fellowship group of
the FSFE organised an information booth at the Austrian vegan
society’s summer festival with 9000 people visiting the festival.
Tobias Platen and Guido Arnold were at an FSFE booth at Fuxcon
in Frankfurt, while next month we will be with several activities at
RMLL in Brussels, Matija Šuklje will talk at aKademy in
Bilbao, and Sam Tuke will give a talk at the OpenSUSE conference
- After having three meetings in 2012 now there was the second
Fellowship meeting this year in Aarhus (Denmark). From now on they
plan to have monthly meetings.
- SCO scolding again: the case SCO vs IBM will be opened. Judging
from the past we can expect SCO spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt
about Free Software in the coming months again.
- And after the NSA leaks the journalist Glyn Moody asks how any company
can ever trust Microsoft again?
- From the planet aggregation:
- Our intern Lucile reports that on June 25 the French Senate
voted the final version of the law on education, accepting a
governmental amendment weakening the bill's Free Software provision.
Following April's call for action (FR), she spent a morning calling
and writing emails from the FSFE office to members of this
commission. Beside, she looked at what other Free Software news we
had in France during June.
- Mobile web users already number 1.5 billion, which happens to be
quite close to the total number of Internet users back in 2009. Read
Henri Bergius' article the mobile-first web.
- From a conference in Romania Karsten Gerloff created a quick list
about problems for Free Software in Romania and reports about
his problems with registering with Free Software for a workshop in
the European Parliament.
- Paul Boddie was actively writing last month. He argued that
standards are used as the ultimate excuse for not doing one's
- He also wrote an evaluation about Kolab and in a follow-up blog
post he wrote about the resource autocompletion in the webmailer
- His article "Where Now for the Free Software Desktop?" takes us
on a journey of GNU/Linux on the desktop. Paul concludes that "once
we have shown that we can work together and act on all of [the
mentioned challenges] simultaneously and continuously as a
community, maybe then it will become clear that the year of the
Linux desktop has at last arrived for good."
- And finally he analyses site licences and volume licensing and
who the real loser of those schemes is.
- How can you avoid the Microsoft tax when buying a new laptop? Kevin
Keijzer documented some tips and tricks on how to buy a new
laptop which is a nice follow-up on last months test of a
preinstalled GNU/Linux laptop from Dell. Help us in gathering
more information on laptops without Microsoft tax in our wiki.
- Daniel Pocock looks into the question if you should I use a 2048
bits or 4096 bits, looked into principles for free
communications, vendor lock-in in Australian schools, and
wrote about Girls Around Me and the NSA.
- Anna Morris wrote several howtos: e.g. how to cut out a photo and
removing the white edges in GIMP or how to to stay in the
Google's HTML5 trial when you clear your cookies.
- Sergey Matveev critisised current GNU/Linux distributions and wrote
about why he will switch back to *BSD. Related to that Hannes
Hauswedell is searching for a KISS GNU/Linux distro.
- Beside Hannes is also looking for a good way to publish Photos
- Sam Tuke writes about how to compile the Free Software audio program
Ardour from its source code in this tutorial.
- Your editor set the search engine duckduckgo as default in his
awesome window manager.
- Finally Matija gives some tips for your daily life: he describes why
and how to shave with shaving oil and DE safety razors.
== Get active: Post us Good Free Software News ==
Often the news we spread contain negative developments, topics where we
need attention to fix a problem. Fellow Chris "cw" wants to pay more
attention to the good news about Free Software. The idea is to publish
good news on a dedicated wiki page.
E.g. this month a city in Portugal wrote about their success with Free
Software and Italy's South Tyrol starts three-year LibreOffice
You can either publish them there on your own, just subscribe to
RSS, distribute the news with the hashtag #GoodFSNews, or send Chris
an e-mail with the news, and he will act as your proxy.
Thanks to all the Fellows and donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
53. mailto:cw at fsfe.org
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