Free Software challenges you to learn: to do for yourself, to be fearlessly independent when it comes to your tech. In the past few years I have taken pride in watching my skill base catchup with and overtake that of my proprietary-loving peers, even some paid professionals, simply by having a free and curious mindset. Free Software frees you in many ways.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) brings together dedicated and engaged activists from all over Europe to seize the opportunities to secure our rights to use, share, study, and improve software because without Free Software, technology subjugates us instead of enhancing our freedom.
I joined the Fellowship to stop being \'a minority of one\', as George Orwell once put it. I wanted to meet people who shared my ideals and beliefs, so it would no longer feel as if I was fighting the system all by myself. It\'s reassuring to know that you\'re not alone, which probably motivates people to keep up with the work they are doing, even if it\'s not always as successful as they would like it to be.
Freedom is one of the core values of our Society and one of the basic concepts of Democracy. Supporting and spreading Free Software is one way to build creative alternatives for social inclusion and to protect our citizens from the digital exploitation. We are responsible to build a better World as a gift for our future generations.
I\'m very impressed with what the FSFE has achieved on the EU and national level. Back when I was working in the public sector I was able to glimpse the vast amounts of money that are thrown at lobbying for proprietary software and so called industry standards in Germany and the EU. It\'s astonishing how the FSFE has still managed to get itself heard. Supporting this was one of my motivations for becoming a fellow.
Free software is important in our time. It needs professional representation which is hard work and expensive. Joining the fellowship meant a way for me to contributing my skills and some money back to the free software movement to ensure it\'s future.
I was a solitary voice for years, explaining the principles behind Free Software and its importance for people in my country in numerous articles and blog posts. I wanted to belong to an organization with the goal of building the digital society on 100% free software, and supporting the FSFE and gaining access to its blogging and fellowship infrastructure seemed like a logical first step.
I believe that actions of support for the FSFE are important for encouraging Free Software development and adoption in Europe as well as the rest of the world. I\'m an FSFE Fellow because financially supporting the cause of Free Software brings positive improvements to all societies throughout the world.
I\'m a free sofware supporter for a long time, I fought against software patents in Brussels, co-organised the system theme at the Libre Software Meeting (RMLL) and run a Free Software company. Free Software is an essential part of our global freedom, so it was natural to become a Fellowship member at the FSFE.
Free software and FSFE is to me: sharing, learning, being independent of monopolies, producing things together, passion and freedom! Since I\'ve been a Fellow, I am finding new friends who help me in Free Software and other topics, teaching new things every day even though we are kilometers away. It is magnificent to be in a community that continually supports my Free Software passion and motivation!
Free Software needs a voice in politics. We volunteers do amazing things together, but some tasks are not that much fun, or are time sensitive or need extensive expertise. FSFE can only tap its full potential with paid staff to do the things the volunteers wouldn\'t get to. By now, I met all of the staff and can say that I don\'t regret a cent I\'ve given to allow the FSFE to operate.
If software is licensed as free software, we can audit it, and be sure that it does what it\'s intended to do (and nothing else). Public institutions develop software, and hire companies to make it, and the citizens should own and reuse all that code. I contribute to free software with translations, user help desk, finding free software alternatives at the University... but I cannot reach the policy-makers, nor people and institutions in other countries. I\'m fellow to support the FSFE doing this task, and as one more way to say thank you to the free software community.
I have always been fascinated by free software. I\'m supporting free software projects in my spare time. My education as well as my work would not be possible without free software. The fellow group in Berlin showed me how to contribute to free software in a non-technical way. It was and still is great fun to work with them in a cogenial atmosphere. As I\'m involed in the group now, I think it is time to join the FSFE officially and to support them financially.
I join the fellowship because I\'m seeing more and more that writing free code is ultimately not enough to foster a culture where free software is seen as an integral part of society. Free software should not be a fringe topic supported solely by geeks.
I have been using free software for years, during the last couple month I started "giving" back, by supporting on forums and writing smaller patches. But I felt like free software deserves some money, too. And the Free Software Foundation is simply the best place for the money to go. I also wanted to show my support for Free Software publicly.
I started doing UNIX sysadmin work while a visiting scientist at MIT in the early \'90s, concentrated more and more on free software as time went on, and have made a living entirely from sysadminning free software for the past eight years. It\'s well past time that I gave money back.
I\'m interested in values, politics, society; in new forms of production, based on free co-operation in egalitarian structures; in knowledge commons and collective intelligence. That\'s why I\'m here and why I wish to support the free software movement. I have no technical background, and neither do most of the people I know.