[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE : Newsletter November 2011
press at fsfeurope.org
press at fsfeurope.org
Thu Nov 4 17:19:31 CET 2010
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= FSFE Newsletter - November 2010 =
[Permanent URL: http://www.fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201011.en.html]
This edition explains how we counter the lobby work of proprietary
organisations at the European level, what we do at the United Nations
level to inform more people about the dangers of software patents,
what we are doing to get rid of non-free software advertisement on
public websites, and what you can do to make a change.
Beside that the Document Foundation was formed to take care of the
development of Libre Office. More and more organisations raise
awareness about government spendings on non-free software, like the
parlamentarian group Digital Sustainability in Switzerland and our
associated organisation ANSOL in Portugal (Portuguese). The
Austrian Fellows asked the political parties in Vienna about their
stance on Free Software related issues, the Fellowship interviews
started again with a new interview with Leena Simon, Karsten gave a
talk about "Power and Freedom" at Tedx which was recorded
(bittorent), and I (Matthias) informed the listeners of Dradio Wissen
about Free Software licenses (German).
== Facts against BSA's fictions on Open Standards ==
Open Standards are always a hot topic in Brussels. Where Open
Standards go, Free Software can easily follow. That's why we're
pushing for Open Standards in the rules and recommendations that the
European Commission makes for public bodies across Europe. For example
we document the changes of EU's new interoperability recommendations (
European Interoperability Framework), we publish analysis, and
with Document Freedom Day we raise awareness for the topic in a
But not everyone out there likes Open Standards. The Business Software
Alliance (BSA), a lobby group for proprietary software, is pressuring
the European Commission to remove the last traces of support for Open
Standards from the latest version of the European Interoperability
We obtained a copy of a letter sent to the Commission by the BSA.
We analysed their arguments and explained why their claims are
false, and why Open Standards are key to interoperability and
competition in the European software market. In short we dealt with
the following points:
- Restriction-free patent licensing opens up participation and
- The example standards cited by the BSA are irrelevant to the
- (F)RAND licensing in software standards is unfair and
- The BSA's letter to the Commission isn't supported by its own
- membership, much less by the software industry as a whole
- (F)RAND is incompatible with the most widely used Free Software
- Restriction-free specifications will promote standardisation,
competition and interoperability
We sent a letter with those arguments to the European Commission
to support Open Standards and interoperability, and informed the
press about it. Although this topic is quite complex, several media
outlets picked it up. You might especially be interested in an article
by Glyn Moody about "A (Final) Few Words on FRAND Licensing".
== WIPO - Fighting software patents at WIPO ==
But why wait until we have to deal with topics at the European level?
We always try to fix them at the root, so we work in some committees
of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). From October
11-15, WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) had its
15th session. We participate there because the committee discusses
questions related to patents and standards.
Our main goals in the committee are to convince WIPO member states and
WIPO staff why software should not be patentable, explain to them the
relation between standards and patents from the perspective of Free
Software, and make them understand how rules must be shaped so that
their countries can get the most out of Free Software.
In our most important statement "Statement on the relation between
standards and patents at WIPO SCP/15" we explain why software
standards must be implementable in any software or business model,
including those based on Free Software. We argued that when patents
are included in software standards, they need to be licensed in a
manner that does not restrict their implementation in any way. Besides
the absence of any other restriction, that means royalty-free
licensing to any party implementing the standard.
== PDFreaders: 2162 public websites advertise non-free software ==
One month, one campaign, one goal: getting rid of non-free software
advertisements on public websites. In four weeks, we received reports
concerning 2162 European institutions who advertise non free
PDFreaders. Apart from the 305 activists who participated to the
search, 1500 individuals, 46 businesses and 38 organisations signed
our Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising
On Public Websites. Now that the hunt is over, it's time to chase up
those websites which encourage visitors to jeopardise their freedom.
It's time to stamp out the ads!
Highly motivated volunteers searched the internet for public websites
that advertise for non-free software and reported 2162
institutions. Some of them, like Massimo Barbieri and Lucas Bickel
individually reported more than 350! Alessandro Albini, Rainer
Schmitz, and Павел Харитонов (Pavel Kharitonov) also made a remarkable
contribution in reporting around 50 institutions each.
But we will not stop with a list of institutions. In the coming weeks,
we will send letters to the institutions to draw their attention
to their unfair advertising. In the name of the signatories of the
petition, we will ask the institutions to either remove any
recommendation for non-free software from their website, or give a
choice of several programs.
== Get active: stamp out the ads! ==
Wherever you are, whatever time you have, you can contribute to the
removal of non-free software adverts on public website. The amazing
work of the ads hunters and our translators has laid a firm
foundation for the next phase. Now it is up to you to enable us to get
things done. You can make a difference! Help us to translate the
letter into missing languages or donate to the PDF readers
campaign fund to help cover the 1600 EUR for postage and the extra
costs of administration to deliver the messages throughout Europe.
Help us stamp out the ads!
Hope to see you at FSCONS,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe <http://www.fsfe.org>
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