August traditionally is a month with a lower level of activity due to holidays. Still, a lot of things happened under FSFE's and the Fellowship's roofs.
Fellowship groups met in Zurich and Stuttgart, other Fellows and volunteers manned a booth at the FrOSCon, our website now benefits from an improved contact page, Karsten Gerloff commented on the ruling about software patent infringement against Microsoft, and Thomas Jensch took on the role of coordinator for our edu-team.
On 26 August the Fellowship group of Zurich met for their traditional Free Software summer barbecue. About 13 Fellows and other interested people participated. Christian Holz, FSFE's Executive Director, also joined them meeting to discuss our potential participation in OpenExpo, the consolidation of the Swiss Fellowship group, and the philosophical differences between Free and proprietary Software.
We participated with a lively and highly populated booth at the 4th FrOSCon in St. Augustin, Germany. Ten of our Fellows and volunteers were present at the booth during the two days event to explain our work and our projects. As a result new people will join the Fellowship. Matthias Kirschner, Fellowship coordinator, and Michael Kesper, our team member, were also interviewed by a local radio station. Michael wrote a short post on his blog with a couple of pictures taken at FrOSCon.
On Tuesday 11 August, Microsoft received an injunction for patent infringement concerning an XML-related patent held by Canadian XML specialist i4i. The injunction prevents Microsoft from selling the 2003 and 2007 versions of Word in the United States and requires the company to pay US$ 290 million in damages. Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's president, commented the news on his blog and focused on how damaging software patents can be even for the biggest corporation.
After some redesign work, our contact page is now available with a new section providing a better overview of our Community contacts. We hope that these improvements will make it easier for people get in touch with the right groups and to start becoming involved in our community of Free Software supporters.
The Fellowship group in Stuttgart gathered together with some KDE people to celebrate the release of KDE 4.3. The meeting started at 19:00 on 1 August and went on until midnight with about ten people discussing about the new improvements of KDE and Free Software in general. There was also space for a small tournament of Ksquares played on the touch screen of a tablet PC.
FSFE's Education project aims at furthering Free Software in all education related activities and institutions, such as kindergartens, schools and universities. In recent years the project had been inactive due to lack of a coordinator and workforce. Now, thanks to Thomas Jensch, our current intern in Zurich, we will be able to revive this important project.
Thomas accepted the role of coordinator for the edu-team as a part of his internship and he is already working to reorganise the activities of the project. Thomas also agreed to continue coordinating the team after his intership ends in November.
To receive information about the progresses and news of the edu-team, it is possible to register to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list, to get in contact with the team you can send an e-mail to edu-team < AT > fsfeurope < DOT > org
In August 2005, Karsten Gerloff, now FSFE's president, was invited to give a speech at ATTAC Germany's summer academy in Goettingen about the developments within the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the A2K (Access To Knowledge) Treaty. At that time, Karsten had just finished his internship with FSFE.
The Fellowship will take part with a booth to the "Braderie de Lille" (Lille's flea market) in Lille, France. FSFE and, in particular, the Fellowship booth, will get a lot of visibility, since millions of people from different nations take a walk on Lille's streets during the event. The booth will be located on Place du Vieux Marché aux chevaux. If you would like more information about this event please send an e-mail to Benjamin Morant:
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