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.
Public Money? Public Code!
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 FSFE is running a project to make licensing easy for humans and machines alike. It solves a fundamental issue that Free Software licensing has at the very source: what license is a file licensed under, and who owns the copyright? REUSE provides easy recommendations in three steps that help users, developers and legal professionals.
It should go without saying that in our society we should be able to freely choose technical devices for use in our homes. But some Internet service providers in Europe dishonor this principle by dictating which device their customers have to use in order to connect to the internet, or they discriminate against the owners of alternative devices. This undermining of our basic freedom of choice is strongly opposed by the FSFE and many other organisations, projects, and individuals. Router Freedom is not merely a topic for experts. It affects all of us.
Book "Ada & Zangemann"
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.
Youth Hacking 4 Freedom
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.
Free Your Android
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 area.
I Love Free Software
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.
The Legal Network is a neutral, non-partisan, group of experts in different fields involved in Free Software legal issues. Currently the Legal Network has several hundreds of participants from different legal systems, academic backgrounds and affiliations. The aim of the Legal Network is to promote discussion and foster better knowledge of the legal constructs that back Free Software. The conversations on the Legal Network are intended to be dynamic, thought-provoking and up to speed with the most recent developments. Since 2007, we have been conducting the annual Legal and Licencing Workshop (LLW) which has become the world’s foremost gathering of lawyers, technologists, and thought leaders on Free Software legal and licensing topics in an informal and confidential atmosphere.
Digital Markets Act
Device Neutrality is the policy concept to regulate monopoly over devices and re-establish end-user control over their digital equipment. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulates the economic activity of large digital platforms and introduces Device Neutrality in the EU legislation, fostering access to Free Sofware in Devices.
Radio Lockdown Directive
An EU regulation may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio devices like WiFi routers, smartphones, and embedded devices. It requires hardware manufacturers to implement a barrier that disallows users to install any software which has not been certified by them. We are working to avoid the expected negative implications on user rights and Free Software, security, fair competition, the environment, and charitable community initiatives.
The FSFE’s Licence Questions mailing list is our group of volunteers dedicated to provide help with Free Software licences and compliance. If you need advice on what Free Software licence you should use, or if you want to know more about what rights you have over a piece of Free Software, you can contact us.
The ZOOOM Initiative
The FSFE is working with 9 European organizations to promote and raise awareness about the importance of Free Software, Open Data, and Open Hardware amonog academia, business, industry, and innovation supporting organizations. As a big part of our work with the ZOOOM Initiative, we are promoting the REUSE specification as an important element for licensing compliance.
Next Generation Internet
The FSFE is a partner organisation of NGI, a coalition of various not-for-profit organisations from across Europe. Funded by the European Commmission, NGI provides grants to individual researchers and developers, as well as teams that wish to work on new ideas and technologies that contribute to the establishment of the Next Generation Internet. The FSFE provides legal support for projects that improve openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data.