FSFE Newsletter - November 2011
WWW would have been better if it was patented
How long should copyright last? Should living beings or software be patentable? The World Intellectual Property Organisation deals with this sort of questions. Since 2004, we are involved in the WIPO to make sure they do not harm Free Software. Our most important demand is that when it comes to copyright and patents, the benefits should be weighed against the costs.
The new Director General Francis Gurry's said that the World Wide Web would have been better if it was patented. This shows us that the current trend is in the opposite direction. Read more about this in Karsten's article WIPO sliding back into the Dark Ages?, our WIPO dossier, and support the Geneva Declaration.
Daily business - step by step
Why do FSFE so frequently give interviews and talks, and travel to promote FSFE issues? Our mission is to promote freedom in emerging digital society. So as you can see on our events page it is part of our daily business to travel around, give talks, interviews, and organise events. Paul Boddie improved our Fellowship event calendar which now integrates GriCal. This way you can subscribe to the calendar. If you are already subscribed to the the event's RSS feed or the Ical feed you can skip the next paragraph.
So for example in October Karsten and Matija gave talks at LinuxCon Europe in Prague, Sam gave a speech at the DIY Feminist Festival in Manchester, our UK team had a booth at FLOSS UK Unconference 2011 in Manchester, your editor gave a talk about "10 misunderstandings about Free Software (or are they lies?)" at the technical university in Berlin, our Austrian coordinator Peter Bubestinger gave a talk "Free Software and Open Formats: virtual immortality and independence for digital archives" at the National Library in Vienna, and our French coordinator Hugo Roy organised a talk on "A Free Digital Society" by Richard Stallman.
On the interview front: Karsten gave a radio interview about our work at WIPO, Hugo an interview to the French GNU Linux Magazine Essentiel, your editor to the German newspaper TAZ about Secure boot.
Something completely different
- Rikard Fröberg works at The Society for Free Culture and Software, and contributes this year to the FSCONS organisation and thereby supporting our Free Software in Politics track. In the October Fellowship Interview he considers the importance of having an active and engaged community of users.
- Free Software from a human rights angle. Instead of just saying good-bye after the end of his internship, Diego wrote us a nice article as a gift: "Free Software social networks for social change".
- A selection of interesting blog entries from our planet aggregation:
- Denmark - Portugal 4:5. The regular qualification for the EURO2012 in Free Software are over. Which country has good Free Software and Open Standard practices? Guido Arnold looked at this. (Even though they were not able to win against Belgium, your editor is happy that Germany qualified. It is difficult to compete against teams with such good players as FOSDEM.)
- New government in Denmark, read what new opportunities Fellow Carsten Agger sees.
- Converting letters into e-mails? Working on our PDFreaders campaign, Sam received letters from public administrations and had to forward them to our mailing list. So he took this opportunity to write about Easy OCR on GNU/Linux with gImageReader".
- The first 100 customers matter! Writes Georg Greve in his article about an Open climate for entrepreneurs in Europe. Read more about Research and Development programmes, Silicon Valley, and software patents.
- UnRAR in freedom: Thanks to The Unarchiver initiative, we are now able to extract recent rar files completely with Free Software.
- When is a bug report useful? Read the article, and file about to this month newsletter.
- KDE became 15 Years in October. Paul Adams wondered how that does look like.
Get Active: Document Freedom Day - Let's get ready to rumble
Coordination for next years Document Freedom Day is starting. Your editor is responsible for next years international coordination, and shamelessly asks you to join the team, subscribe to our mailinglist, give input about the last year, help with campaign planing, taking care of coordination events in a certain country, taking care with the communication with partners, help with the organisation of events for next year, help with setting up the new website, writting texts, translate them, help with designing t-shirts and other promotion materials, or if you do not have time, make a donation to support us in this activity.
Thanks to all the Fellows and donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe
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