Public Awareness Activities
As a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, Free Software
Foundation Europe works to create general understanding and
support for Free Software and Open Standards. The following
activities are concrete actions that we take in the areas of
public awareness, policy advocacy and legal support.
Since its foundation in 2001, the FSFE has been working every
single day to further Free Software in Europe and beyond. With
our concrete activities, based upon the three pillars of our work, we
focus on protecting and extending user rights. Some of our
actions run for many years, some are aimed at short-term
developments, but all are part of our mission: empower users
to control technology.
Another major part of our work consists of continuous engagement
and background work. We are present at dozens of conferences per year,
support and maintain an excellent community and
provide it with helpful resources. Furthermore, we are a
prominent contact point for all questions and enquiries around
software freedom, Open Standards, and user rights. We also provide basic education resources on Free Software legal and licensing issues.
Read more about why
Public Awareness is a key element of the FSFE's work, and our
general approach in that area.
Why is software created using taxpayers' money not released as Free Software? We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well. Code paid by the people should be available to the people!
The illustrated book "Ada & Zangemann - a tale of software, skateboards, and
raspberry ice cream" by the FSFE, tells the story of the famous inventor
Zangemann and the girl Ada, a curious tinkerer. Ada begins to experiment with
hardware and software, and in the process realises how crucial it is for her
and others to control technology.
Although digital devices are ubiquotous today, the number of devices on which users
cannot run Free Software is exponentially increasing. The consequence is an increased
loss of control over users’ technology. Device Neutrality aims to
enable end-users to bypass gatekeepers to have a non-discriminatory use of
Free Software on their devices.
Keep using your phone with Free Software. Upcycling Android explains
the issue of software obsolescence in the Android world and helps
people flashing their phones with Free Software operating systems.
Young people compete in Youth Hacking 4 Freedom by creating programs of
their choice licensed as Free Software. The winners receive an award in a
ceremony. Youth Hacking for Freedom inspires people to learn programming
and to collaborate.
Android is a mostly free operating system developed mainly by
Google. Unfortunately, the drivers for most devices and most
applications in the built-in store are not Free Software. This
activity helps you to regain control of your Android device and
your data. We collect information about running an Android system
as free as possible and try to coordinate the efforts in this
We often underestimate the power of a simple Thank
You. Free Software contributors do important work for
our society and they deserve attention. The "I love Free Software
Day" on 14 February (also known as Valentine's Day) is the
perfect opportunity for you to express your special gratitude.
Since 2010, we have celebrated this wonderful annual event with a
ever-growing diverse community.
More Awareness Activities
In 2021, the Free Software Foundation Europe turns 20. Throughout
this time we have empowered users to use, study, share, and
improve software. In 20 Years FSFE, we thank everyone who helped
us along the way. Here you will find interviews discussing the
FSFE progress as well as technological issues. You are welcome to
celebrate with us!
What better time is there to ask politicians about their stance
on Free Software and Open Standards than in the time before an
election? We believe that we can and should make these topics an
issue in all elections, be it on a European, national, regional,
or local level. Depending on the electoral system and culture,
there are different strategies and tools we use: Ask Your
Candidates a set of questions, the Digital-O-Mat online tool, the
Freedomvote online platform, and the Let's Promise pledges.
An initiative aiming to bring Free Software in Education. Goal of the
campaign is to increase the digital sovereignty and competence of the
students, but also of the teachers. Created by the local group Zurich,
Lernen wie die profis ("learning like the professionals"), has been
awarded the DINAcon Award. The activity is in German.
With the PDFreaders campaign we turn the spotlight on government
organisations who advertise proprietary PDF readers, exposing how
frequent such advertisements for non-free software are. With the
help of activists across Europe, we contacted these organisations
and explained to them how to improve their websites so that they
respect our freedom. On pdfreaders.org we present Free
Software PDF readers for all major operating systems.
DRM.info is a collaborative platform initiated and maintained by FSFE to
inform on the dangers of Digital Restrictions Management and make visible
the concerns from various different groups. DRM.info contributors include
digital liberty, consumer protection, net-activism and library organisations.
FOSS4SMEs was a two years collaborative Erasmus+ project. The
FSFE worked together with five organisations with different
geographical and work backgrounds to spread and extend the
knowledge about Free Software. To reach this objective, the
project developed free online educational resources for managers
and staff of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Since its foundation in 2001 we have achieved many things. The
FSFE has been instrumental in a successful antitrust-case,
maintained software patents unenforceable in Europe, avoiding a
veritable apocalypse for small and medium-sized tech companies,
and set ground-breaking legal precedents for the whole of the EU.
It's time to celebrate the last 15 years!
STACS (Science, Technology and Civil Society) was a project that sought
to bridge the gap between civil society and research in order to
increase the societal relevance of research being done. The project aimed
to accomplish by educating both civil society organisations and
researchers, and finding common projects to work on for the future.
The SELF project (Science, Education and Learning in Freedom) aimed
at creating a repository of educational materials on Free Software
and Open Standards. It did this by providing a platform for the
collaborative development of educational materials, as well as by
engaging in the development of educational materials that were missing
in the field today.
The Brave GNU World was a monthly column issued from 1999 to 2004 that
addressed technical and non-technical readers alike. Its aim was to
provide insights into current projects and developments based upon the
philosophy of Free Software. The Brave GNU World was translated into nine
languages, possibly making it the farthest-spread monthly column
The GNU Business Network had the vision to network all companies,
developers and users in and around Free Software in a way that
the potential synergies are encouraged and informed decisions
The TUX&GNU@school column was a regular column about Free
Software in education written by by Mario Fux. It informed about
educational Free Software, useful web sites on the topic and
other interesting topics for teachers, students and all software
Free Software is often referred to as "Open Source". But we are
convinced that Free Software is the better term: easier to
understand, harder to abuse, well-defined, providing additional
value, and offering freedom. We connected companies,
organisations and even co-founders of the Open Source movement
that prefer to use the term Free Software.