[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE Newsletter August 2010

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Wed Aug 4 10:07:35 CEST 2010

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= FSFE Newsletter - August 2010 =

[Permanent URL: http://www.fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201008.en.html]

The focus of this edition is Free Software in the public sector: on a 
national level within the United Kingdom, in the Italian region of
Bozen, and in the Austrian city of Linz. We introduce a new definition
and of mnemonic Open Standards, and invite you to participate in 
upcoming local Free Software events.

Additionally in July Maëlle Costa and Sam Tuke started their
internships. Răzvan Sandu transcribed Richard Stallman's speech from 
eLiberatica, Maëlle created a structured web edition [1], and our active 
translator Stelios Stavroulakis translated it into Greek. Matthias 
Kirchner gave the first in a new series of radio interviews [2]
occurringon the 4th Monday of the each month for the public radio
station 'Dradio Wissen'.

Europe is witnessing an ever increasing number of public administrations
considering the migration to Free Software. Public administration
represents the largest purchaser of software in each EU country, and is 
a critically important area of Free Software growth. Increased public 
sector use of free software means more money invested in the development 
and deployment of Free Software, which ultimately results in greater 
quality and quantity of Free Software programs.

In June the Government of Malta asked all their agencies to prefer
Free Software in all future purchases [3]. In their statement they 
directly referred to FSF's Free Software definition

== Saving money with Free Software in the UK ==

In the UK, her Majesty’s Treasury asked 60,000 people working for the
government how more savings could be made. They got 60,000 ideas out of 
it, processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of those 
proposals [4] relate  to Free Software. They include annulling the 
government’s contract with Microsoft to furnish government departments, 
and replace their products with Free Software, including GNU/Linux and 
OpenOffice. Supporting arguments for the switch included lower costs, 
improved security, and the opportunity to create a "more diverse 
spectrum of the IT industry, instead of [just] one corporation".

== Public tendering: Bozen reconsiders deal with Microsoft ==

Progress in the public sector of Italy was also made this month, when 
the regional government of Bolzano accepted FSFE's request to discuss a
rethink of a plan forged earlier this year to renew and extend their 
licenses from Microsoft. On the 25th of May Italian politicians agreed 
to spend 2.2 million EUR over the next three years on contracts with 
Microsoft Ireland, and increase the number of licenses that they had 
purchased. This decision was made without a public call for tender, 
making it impossible for competing suppliers to make offers of their own.

We asked the local government to rethink their decision [5] and accept
an offer
of dialogue extended to them by local Free Software experts at the
User Group Bolzano (LUGBZ). The local government has now  accepted
LUGBZ's offer [6],
and the first meeting is planned for the beginning of August. Also in
shall be representatives from the Free Software Center of TIS and the
Free University
of Bolzano.

== Linz - region for Free Software ==

In the Austrian city of Linz, Free Software is already the norm, and a 
new scheme is being devised to crown it a 'Free Software Region'. Linz 
City councillors recognise the social importance of Free Software, and 
as a result are instigating a much wider programme of Free Software use 
and promotion. Government officials have identified 7 key 
characteristics [7 that an area should ulfil in order to merit the title 
of Free Software Region. Amongst them: general public sector support for 
Free Software, regular Free Software events together
with local companies and user groups, usage of Free Software in
universities, schools and other education bodies, as well as the 
suggestion that public administration and organisations should 
cooperation with Free Software organisations, or become members of them.

== Open Standards on the political agenda in Germany ==

Beside the progress of Free Software in the public sector, Open 
Standards continue to be on the political agenda. In June, Thomas de 
Maiziere, German Minister of Interior, demanded Open Standards for all 
public IT systems [8], therefore supporting FSFE's long standing 
demands. The minister's permanent secretary and IT Commissioner of the 
German government, Cornelia Rogall-Grothe explained his position further 
in an interview [9]: "only by using Open Standards can [the government] 
obtain independence from software development
companies". She also recognised that "maximal interoperability can be
reached with open IT-Standards".

== Now available in English: AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards ==

While publishing our press release Kai Eckert translated our
German AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards into English [10]. We hope it
helps you to remember a clear and meaningful definition of the term Open 
Standard. This definition requires formats and protocols to adhere to 
the following rules:

- -Applicable (without restrictions): free from legal or
   technical clauses that limit its utilisation by any party or in any
business model,

- Existing (implementations): available in multiple
   complete implementations by competing vendors, or as a complete
   implementation equally available to all parties.

- Independent (of a single vendor): managed and further
   developed independently of any single vendor in a process open to the
equal participation of competitors and third parties

- Open (specification): subject to full public assessment
   and use without constraints in a manner equally available to all partie

- Untainted (with dependencies to closed standards):
   without any components or extensions that have dependencies on 
formats or   protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open 
Standard themselves

== Get active: Help at local events ==

This month FSFE President Karsten Gerloff participated in local regional
events, including RMLL Bordeaux (France) [11] and
Free Software events in Vitoria, San Sebastian, and Bilbao in Basque
For organising such events we depend local volunteers. Help us to
introduce Free Software to people in your region:

-We have an event calendar where you can add Free Software events
(Thanks to Paul Boddie for implementing this great feature!)
-Add the ical calendar [12] to your own digital calender, and get
in contact with us if you can help at one of the events.
-Contact fellowship at fsfeurope.org if you organise an event and you need
more help at the booth or a speaker from FSFE.
- Help us to improve our documentation for organising booths

Matthias Kirschner

[2] http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=625
[4] http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=614
[5] http://www.fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20100702-01.html
[7] http://www.netzpolitik.org/2010/linz-will-open-commons-region-werden/
[8] http://mailman.fsfeurope.org/pipermail/press-release-de/2010q2/000158.
[9] http://www.fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20100705-01.de.html
[10] http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=618
[11] http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=376
[12] http://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipEvents
[13] http://wiki.fsfe.org/BoothCountdown

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