[FSFE PR][EN] Free Software Foundation Europe Celebrates Eighth Birthday
Free Software Foundation Europe
press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Mar 11 11:36:37 CET 2009
For eight years now, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been
working tirelessly for basic rights and freedoms in an increasingly
software-driven society. The 11th of March 2009 sees another major
milestone passed, with its 2^3 (eighth) birthday being celebrated by
its friends, Fellows and associates.
"The world of Free Software has developed dramatically since FSFE was
founded, and FSFE was a core part of that change," Greve observes.
"Free Software has won its first antitrust action. We helped to bring
issues of interoperability and standardisation to the forefront of the
debate, with OOXML being the culmination of this debate. As a
consequence, more governments and public institutions have begun to
ask questions about the sovereignty of their software and data."
In the fast-moving Free Software world, FSFE has often found itself in
at the forefront of new developments. While public campaigns like the
annual Document Freedom Day and the recently launched pdfreaders.org
campaign have been the most visible aspects of FSFE's work, many other
activities have received less publicity because of their inherent
Over the course of the last eight years, FSFE has been working
intensively at the United Nations, has promoted Free Software interests
at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), contributed to
the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), taken part in discussions at the
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and taught project
managers of the World Bank about Free Software. FSFE has worked with the
European Commission not just as part of its antitrust work, but also
through research and development funding under the framework
programmes, been directly involved in these projects, and has assisted
the Commission by offering input into policy-setting initiatives.
Work in international policy-setting fora always involves a conflict
between getting the word out and affording the confidentiality
necessary to the process involved. Proclaiming victory publicly can
often mean bringing about defeat, and a carefully maintained reputation
is the key to being able to convey the right message, in the right
place, at the right time.
From assisting in legal matters through its Freedom Task Force (FTF) and
overseeing the development of Internet regulation, to ensuring
interoperability and keeping software patents at bay, FSFE has played an vital
role in shaping the future environment for Free Software.
In 2005, FSFE initiated its community programme, the Fellowship, which
besides being a major source of funding for FSFE has grown to be a
highly successful independent network in its own right, with projects,
meetings and celebrations taking place in several countries. Matthias
Kirschner, Fellowship Coordinator for FSFE, explains that the
Fellowship has chosen to mark the 2^3 birthday event with a special
edition of the Fellowship Interview series, in which Georg Greve
explains the history behind FSFE and how he came to found it. The
interview is available at http://fellowship.fsfe.org/interviews/greve/.
About the Free Software Foundation Europe
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these
issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving
people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
central issues of the FSFE.
You will find further information about the work of the FSFE at
More information about the Press-release