[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE celebrates its fifth birthday: "Seeing an even greater need today for strong coordinated actions to protect everyones freedom!"

FSF Europe Press press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Mar 10 18:56:08 CET 2006

FSFE celebrates its fifth birthday: "Seeing an even greater need
today for strong coordinated actions to protect everyones freedom!"

The Free Software Foundation Europe celebrates its fifth birthday
today. FSFE President Georg Greve looks back at the Foundation's
history so far: "To me, it is exciting what we have achieved in five
years since our formation - AGNULA, one of the first projects funded
by the European Commission to be published as Free Software; our
efforts in the Microsoft antitrust suit; the great success we had, in
association with others, in preventing software patents in Europe last
year; our eminent standing at UN level and last but not least our
fellowship, which we initiated last year. I would have never expected
these prosperities in such a short time."

FSFE's workload continues to grow at a substantial rate. "If FSFE
didn't already exist, then there would be an even stronger reason
today to found it, than when we did, five years ago", says Jonas
Öberg, Vice-President of FSFE. Explaining his reasons, Öberg
continues: "Some markets in information technology are saturated. So
there is almost no market growth possible anymore. This is why
proprietary businesses worldwide try to bind their customers as
tightly as possible with any technical, political and legal means
available. This kind of 'customer retention' is often not in the
customers' interests."

The arenas FSFE is called upon to work and comment upon continues to
change too. "In the past few years, we have seen technologies such as
Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) encroach on users' freedoms and
restrict where and how they can use data or media they own or
purchased. These restrictions can not be tolerated in a society where
we to such a large extent build upon our past and present to create
our future, and the FSFE will work very hard to prevent these
technologies from becoming the norm" says Jonas Öberg.

"International businesses are lobbying heavily in favour of a legal
basis for software patents and the intensification of copyright
law. Politicians should consider carefully whether their economy in
fact benefits from this kind of market monopolisation", Georg Greve

Greve continues: "FSFE's work continues unabated as we try to give
freedom to computer users and developers. To further this, we aim to
establish a Freedom Task Force (FTF) and a GNU Business Network
(GNUbiz). FTF looks to provide a stable legal network which will help
Free Software developers and businesses if threatened by unfounded
legal attacks. GNUbiz aims to catalyse the Free Software business by
bringing together developers, system vendors, users and other
participants. Whilst in their early stages of planning, we hope to see
their fruits in the not too distant future".

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

    The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable
    non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free
    Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
    in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and
    redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition -
    allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness
    of these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and
    giving people freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
    central issues of the FSF Europe, which was founded in 2001 as the
    European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation in the
    United States.


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