FSFE Newsletter - April 2011
A decade of Freedom: FSFE turned 10
One room with a bed, a desk, and a sofa. That was the situation when
your editor started working as an intern for FSFE in Georg Greve's one
room appartment in Hamburg in 2004. FSFE started with its operations
in March 2001 as the first
sister organisation of the FSF in the US. We have come a
long way since then.
First of all, our interns don't get Georg's mandatory cooking lessons any more,
instead they now have their own desks and do not have to work from the
sofa any more. Second, we now have the Fellowship which leads to a growth
of volunteers and activities:
- In the UK, Sam Tuke is currently busy setting up a punchy team. They
are giving talks, organising events, and documenting
the developments in the future
role of Free Software in the British public sector.
- Our Italian team is currently supporting ADUC to get rid of the
Windows Tax. ADUC is
an Italian association for users/consumers' rights who recently filed a
class action request against Microsoft Italy's refusal of reimbursing
unused OEM licences for its operating system. Carlo Piana is helping
ADUC's lawyers and Giacomo Poderi with the Italian team will help to
raise awareness on this issue.
- In Switzerland you have a confusing landscape of different Free
Software organisations, which have problems with coordination. It was
nearly impossible to find out what is going on in the next weeks, or
to find a date for an activity which does not interfere with another
group. That's why the Zurich Fellowship group has now set up an event
calendar on freie-termine.ch to
improve this situation.
- Our Swedish team was actively publishing
videos from FSCONS.
Last year in
November, we hosted our own track at FSCONS around different topics of
decentralised (social) networks and free network services. Now the
videos of the talks
are finally online.
- This year there are at least 8 Federal State elections in Germany. The
German team already received replies from the parties in
on questions like general support of Free Software, problems of vendor
lock-in, Open Standards,
non-free PDF readers advertisements
on public websites, the use of Free Software in education,
and software patents. The same will
be done for the remaining elections.
Worldwide celebration of Open Standards
Open Standards are a common language, publicly documented, that computer
programs can speak. They are central to interoperability and freedom of
choice in technology. Open Standards allow Free Software developers to
create programs that can interoperate with other solutions, so users can
migrate away from proprietary solutions.
Many of you followed our call to participate in this year's Document
Freedom Day: in Brazil, the Federal Data Processing Company - Serpro -
hold events in 10 cities. In the European Parliament, experts discussed
Open Standards as a means to guarantee access to cultural works in the
long term. Other groups participated in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil,
Croatia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Portugal,
Spain and United Kingdom. Selected FSFE activities include:
- The City Munich was awarded with the European Document Freedom Day
prize for its LiMux project.
- Tagesschau.de awarded for
the use of Open Standards: The prize was
awarded in Berlin and Hamburg by the Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure (FFII) and us for offering the broadcast shows also
in the free video format "Ogg Theora". As you can see on the
pictures (DE) the cake
was amazing (also available in French)
- "A bright Document Freedom Day for Britain?"
about Open Standards in Britain.
Something completely different
Get Active - Translations for free PDF readers
During our pdfreaders campaign
we received the
feedback that it is difficult to use some free PDF readers, as the
download pages, or the actual software is not translated. Since then our
intern Nicoulas Jean is in contact with several free PDF reader developers.
Take a look at our list of PDF readers
and how to help them with translation, and take action:
- Help translating your favorite PDF reader and ask others to do so.
- Find out how to help with translations of the missing readers and add
this information it to the website.
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe
Upcoming FSFE Events
Fellowship Blog Aggregation
Free Software Discussions