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FSFE Newsletter - August 2012
Helping the European Parliament to release its own Free Software
For the first time, the European Parliament (EP) is about to release one of its own programs as a Free Software. The program in question is called AT4AM, short for "Automatic Tool for Amendments". The Parliament is making laws, and AT4AM automates a lot of the formalities associated with the legislative process.
Karsten Gerloff and Carlo Piana were invited to give talks at the event to discuss the right license under which to publish AT4AM, and to explain the political dimension of Free Software.
Do you want to know why the FSFE suggested the EP to license their software under GNU AGPL version 3, and what else our president has on his wishlist for the EP? Then read his report!
Protect Free Software licenses from bankruptcy
When the companies or authors that license Free Software enter bankruptcy, there is a risk that granted Free Software licenses will face legal challenges in some jurisdictions. The FSFE is trying to prevent this situation in Germany. We started talking about this during a meeting with the German Minister of Justice, who we could have meet thanks to receiving the Theodor Heuss Medal. Now the ifrOSS supported by the FSFE suggests the German Ministry of Justice to include a specific Free Software clause in the German Insolvency Code. The clause ensures that Free Software licenses would not be negatively affected by a bankruptcy of a licensing rights holder. It makes it clear that any offer to grant a Free Software license made before the licensor's bankruptcy can be accepted by anyone even after the bankruptcy proceedings started.
If Free Software face similar problems in your jurisdiction, please contact us or take similar steps.
The Fellowship: One to rule them all
In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum does not want to share the ring. He is such an egoist. But Barbara "swimmi" Roth and Martin "gollo" Gollowitzer, both Fellows of the FSFE are used to share (as well as use, study, and improve).
After signing their public keys with the highest trust level, they now finally decided to swim into the harbour of marriage. It is the first marriage your editor knows about, where both were Fellows before their marriage. The FSFE wishes them all the best for their future and is looking forward to see a lot of "forks", so we have more Free Software activists. May many fellow this example!
Something completely different
- From August 21st to 26th Free Software will be one major theme at Campus Party in Berlin. Your editor helped to find some interesting speakers for the event. Well, see yourself.
- La Quadrature Du Net published a video tutorial how to call a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). You can apply their instructions to our Ask You Candidates campaign and talk with politicians about general Free Software topics, our campaigns, or other issues.
- How, exactly, can you have a successful project with collaborators? Can we quantitatively analyse past projects to figure out what works, instead of just using our best guesses? David A. Wheeler reviewed a book which analyses how to be successful with Free Software.
- You want to have a small low cost Free Software PC? Take a look at this overview and decide what is best for you.
- Digital Restriction Managmenet: Our sister, the FSF finished an update of the "Guide to DRM-free Living" with dozens of new places to get ebooks, movies, and music without DRM.
- A selection from the Fellowship blog aggregation:
- Berlin Fellowship group coordinator Alexander Kahl wrote about why git kicks ass and how to use GNU Emacs as a terminal emulator.
- What is going on in Norway, and what is the role of Free Software competence centres? Paul Boddie takes a look at the Norwegian government's recent withdrawal of all financial support for the Norwegian Free Software Competence Center.
- Hugo Roy explains how to microblog links quickly with duckduckgo.
- Timo Jyrinki tells a story how sometimes computing brings you to the closet.
- Our interns were attending Richard Stallman's talk in Dresden. Anatolii Doludenko published some pictures in his blog.
- From the Nokia 770 to the N800 to the N810 to the N900 to the N9. What is next? Read Henri Bergius' dreams of the MeeGo diaspora.
- Our former president Georg Greve gives an update and overview about the Free Software groupware Kolab 3.0,
- and finally our vice president is looking for someone who can write a GUI front-end to Searduino. Can you? If not, but you want to help Free Software, continue reading our this month's get active item.
Get Active: Help us with Android installation parties!
Torsten Grote, who started our Free Your Android campaign, wrote down what he is missing in CyanogenMod 9. In good Free Software fashion he created feature requests for a configurable power control widget, an ssh daemon, direct in-app shortcuts, or native OpenVPN support in CyanogenMod’s issue tracker.
We want to help as many people as possible to regain control of their Android devices and their data in general. One important step in this process is helping people to install Free Software on their phones and tablets. So on Software Freedom Day (15th September) the FSFE wants to have public Free Your Android installation parties.
If you can organise such a workshop, please let us know! If you still need help on how to do so, we will try to help you having a successful event. E.g. on August 26th we will have a workshop in Berlin for people who plan to give such workshops in the future, be it at Software Freedom Day, at a conference or another occaison.