FSFE Newsletter - September 2016
Words from your editors
Thank you for contributing to making the FSFE Summit this past weekend a huge success! We were excited to see so many familiar faces and we're eager to meet again soon. Of course, the FSFE Summit was not the only thing going on in the past month. In this newsletter you can read about our community's other activities. In the October newsletter, we will share more of what happened at the Summit. Stay tuned for more!
The FSFE's 15 years
This year we are celebrating our 15th anniversary and the culmination of the official celebration took place during the FSFE Summit from the 2nd to the 4th of September. But this celebration should continue throughout the year: let us use the coming weeks and months to highlight 15 years of our existence, and use this opportunity to spread the word about free software and our work. Let us highlight our biggest achievements, recall personal stories and share them through blog posts, social media, mailing lists, chats and in other ways.
In order to get some inspiration about how you can contribute, you are welcome to visit our wiki page in which you will find examples and help to contribute. Some of the work we have carried out in the last 15 years is also available on the revised FSFE timeline.
One of our recent accomplishments has been the creation of our FSFE video to commemorate our birthday. This video has subtitles in no less than 12 languages, thanks to our amazing volunteer translators. Check out our new 15th anniversary sticker, which you can order from us to help spread the word, not only for yourself.
From the community
- Thanks to our translators (mentioned now for the second time in this newsletter!), we are able to reach a wide multilingual audience! The help of our translators is crucial to our outreach. French translator Julien Pivotto has improved the existing translation process to be more efficient and accessible. He has written a proposal to change the principal concept behind the process. Cryptie and André Ockers held a session about this during the summit.
- Paul Boddie blogged about the EOMA68 Campaign and some of its criticisms. The EOMA68 campaign later succeeded in its fundraising and will now be put in production.
- André Ockers also convinced Dutch authorities to remove ads for a non-free PDF reader from the official website Digid.nl used to access most of the public services in Netherlands.
- Matthias Kirschner blogged about a way to set up a slightly more secure solution for home banking, letting the browser you use for banking run separately from your other browser. In a separate post, he also wrote an overview of the positive aspects of Free Software included in parties' positions, for the forthcoming Berlin elections.
- Jonas Öberg wrote about the FSFE's group registration with IRC network Freenode, which makes it possible to request FSFE affiliated cloaks. He also wrote about his experience getting subtitles to work with our FSFE video using WebVTT.
What else have we done?
- The FSFE joined the Advisory board of the Document Foundation, whilst the Document Foundation became an associated organisation of the FSFE. With this mutual expression of support, both organisations will strengthen one another in their common goal to keep the general public in the technological driver's seat.
- Erik Grun and Erik Albers aligned in the name of the FSFE with several other organisations to run a Ask your candidates campaign called "Wahlprüfsteine". Questions have been sent to most parties in the upcoming elections in Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Berlin. Their responses have been analysed and published for the voting public.
- Since August 1st, thanks to a new German law, if you are the client of a German internet provider, you have the right to use an alternative router, ideally one running Free Software. Please provide us feedback whether you had any issues running a new router and help us to collect it in our wiki page. In case you don't have an alternative device at hand, the FSFE's German Coordinator Max Mehl has already sent the first Free Software routers to volunteers for testing and we can provide more.
- The FSFE was present at FrOSCon 2016 in Sankt Augustin, where our Policy Analyst and Legal Coordinator Polina Malaja gave a talk about "DSM, EIF, RED: Acronyms on the EU level and why they matter for software freedom" (in English), and the German Coordinator Max Mehl gave talk about "Routerzwang und Funkabschottung – Was Aktivisten davon lernen können" (in German). Max blogged about his conference experience and included links to recordings of both talks.
For our 15 year anniversary (there's a lot of this this month, as you can tell), we are organising the "Get to know your Local Free Software Hero" campaign. The idea is to bring our community members in touch with the local press in the region where they live. Our local heroes explain how the Free Software community affects the people in their region, its benefits for education, health system, local economy and the daily life of the citizens. If you are a journalist, blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or anyone else who can help us to get in touch with a media outlet, please contact us and we will tell you who your local heroes are and how to meet them.
Other Free Software news
The Lithuanian police migrated over 8000 workstations from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. The Dutch government in its Digital Agenda for 2016-2017 is considering making the use of Open Standards mandatory for public administrations, within the aim of providing businesses and citizens with easier access to eGovernment services. The city of Valencia (Spain) is reusing Epoptes, a software for managing school PC labs, developed as free software in Greece since 2008. The software is improved by staff members of the city’s IT department, who share their code publicly.
The FSFE in the Press
In light of its 15th anniversary, the FSFE received press coverage concerning a number of topics. Here are some of these articles for further reading:
- [EN] by William New, Matthias was quoted by an Intellectual Property Watch article about how the New US Government Source Code Policy Could Provide Model For Europe.
- [IT] [EN] by Sonia Montegiove, Tech Economy, Support to the digital freedom with FSFE: a double interview with Matthias Kirschner and Alessandro Rubini.
- [DE] [AT] by Patrick Dax, Future zone, Concerns regarding the limitation of alternative router software. In the article, there is a reference to the FSFE's campaign against compulsory routers.
- [EN] by Paul Brown, opensource.com, First ever FSFE Summit celebrates free software successes.
- [DE] by Hans-Joachim Baader, pro-linux.de, The FSFE compares the positions of the parties regarding Free Software for the elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
- [DE] by Mirko Lindner, pro-linux.de, FSFE und TDF arbeiten enger zusammen.
- [EN] by Paul Brown, LiNUX.com, First FSFE Summit Will Focus on Social Issues and Strategies.
- [DE] by Jan Raehm, Deutschlandfunk, Computer programs without constraints - the battle for free software.
Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,
your editors Polina Malaja, Erik Albers, Olga Gkotsopoulou and Jonas Öberg, FSFE