FSFE Newsletter - April 2016


EU Radio Directive threatens software freedom

We published our position on the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (adopted in May 2014) that demands from device manufacturers to check each device software's compliance. At first sight, this may sound reasonable but it has highly negative implications on user rights and Free Software, fair competition, innovation, environment, and volunteering – mostly without large benefits for security. The directive needs to be implemented in member states before 13 June 2016. We have formulated several proposals to EU institutions and EU member states with concrete steps to solve these issues.

US government demands publicly financed software to be published as Free Software

As one of our main goals for 2016 is to push for the demand of all publicly funded software to be published as Free Software in the EU, we are positive to see some concrete steps in this direction happening across the Atlantic. In particular, in the beginning of March, the US Government published a draft of Source Code Policy for the public to comment upon until 11 April. The policy requires every public agency to publish their custom-build software as Free Software for other public agencies as well as for the general public to use, study, share and improve the software.

We would like the EU to follow this example and come up with similar policies on the European level. If you have any feedback or comments in regard to the US Source Code Policy, please send them to our English discussion list or directly to Matthias Kirschner. We would like to make sure to consider your feedback before talking with European politicians about this topic.

From the community

What else have we done?

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To all awesome translators out there! Help us to expand our outreach by updating the 'Spread the Word' page for ordering our promotional material into your language. Currently, the page exists in English, German, Dutch and Albanian but it would be great to include any other languages into this list too.

Good Free Software news

Indian Patent Office said no to software patents in its updated guidelines that clearly state that any patent claim that lies only in software will not be permitted under Indian patent law. Poland's new eGovernment strategy recommends that publicly financed software for a new system of public registers should be considered to be published under a Free Software licence. Sweden has updated the list of 'Open IT standards' that can be made mandatory when procuring software and related services. To make it to the list IT standards must be developed openly and publicly, must not constrain reuse of the standard, and standard-essential patents should be made freely available.

Thanks to all the volunteers , Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,

your editors Polina Malaja and Jonas Öberg, FSFE