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Policy Advocacy 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.

We need political change to strengthen Free Software. Learn more about how we achieve this.

  • Logo of Public Money? Public Code!

    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!

  • Logo of Router Freedom

    Router Freedom

    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.

  • Logo of Device Neutrality

    Device Neutrality

    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.

  • Logo of Digital Markets Act

    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.

  • Logo of Radio Lockdown Directive

    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.

More Policy Activities

  • Logo of Electoral Activities

    Electoral Activities

    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.

  • Software Patents in Europe

    We are working towards a world where software does what software users want it to do. For this, software users must be able to participate in the development and distribution of the software. Software patents block this goal by adding legal and financial risks to software development and distribution and by giving the patent holders legal power to completely prohibit software developers from using the patented ideas.

  • PDFreaders

    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.

  • Microsoft vs. EU Antitrust CaseΟλοκληρώθηκε

    In 2001 the European Union started investigating Microsoft's dominant position in the market for desktop operating systems. The FSFE played two key roles in this case. First, we represented the interests of Free Software developers. Second, we are a public interest organisation who cannot be bought off. Thanks to the excellent work by all involved parties, the case has been won in all rulings up to the European Court of Justice in 2012.

  • Unlock Education in the NetherlandsΟλοκληρώθηκε

    We want to enable all citizens to have free access to education and all other public institutions, both online and offline. We wish to achieve this by pushing for a mandatory use of Open Standards and guaranteed platform-independent access to all materials required in the public educational system. This allows students and parents to use Free Software, enabling them to tap into their potential for personal growth and development, without being made dependent of a company. This activity was specifically aimed at the Dutch education sector.

  • 7th EC Framework Programme (FP7)Ολοκληρώθηκε

    The European Commission funds research and development through official framework programmes (FP for short). From 2007 these framework programmes were used to select projects for support until 2013. The FSFE played a central role in supported projects related to Free Software.

  • Forum Διακυβέρνησης Διαδικτύου (IGF)Ολοκληρώθηκε

    Το Forum Διακυβέρνησης Διαδικτύου (Internet Governance Forum, IGF) είναι ένα διεθνές forum διαλόγου των Ηνωμένων Εθνών για τη διαμόρφωση πολιτικής, το οποίο καθιερώθηκε ως επακόλουθο της Παγκόσμιας Συνόδου Κορυφής των Ηνωμένων Εθνών για την Κοινωνία της Πληροφορίας (WSIS). Το FSFE παρακολουθεί το IGF για να διασφαλίσει ότι οι συζητήσεις δεν θα απειλήσουν την ψηφιακή ελευθερία γενικά και ιδιαίτερα το Ελεύθερο Λογισμικό.

  • MS-OOXMLΟλοκληρώθηκε

    Since the very beginning of the standardisation process for Microsoft's Office Open XML - OOXML (hereinafter MS-OOXML), the FSFE has expressed serious doubts about whether MS-OOXML could be considered as open, if even as a standard at all. The FSFE first raised the issue in the community and led the movement against the standardisation of MS-OOXML, following closely over the years the relevant developments.

  • IPRED2Ολοκληρώθηκε

    Μια δεύτερη οδηγία σχετικά με την επιβολή ''δικαιωμάτων πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας'' έχει προταθεί από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή. Έχει στόχο να ποινικοποιήσει όλες τις ''σκόπιμες, εμπορικής κλίμακας'' καταστρατηγήσεις, και να επιτρέψει στους κατόχους των δικαιωμάτων να συμμετέχουν στη διεξαγωγή των ερευνών. Το FSFE θα επισημάνει στα θεσμικά όργανα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης πώς τέτοια νομοθεσία ενθαρρύνει την κατάχρηση του νομικού συστήματος και πώς ακινητοποιεί τις νομοταγείς δραστηριότητες.

  • Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Πνευματικής ΙδιοκτησίαςΟλοκληρώθηκε

    Ο Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Πνευματικής Ιδιοκτησίας (WIPO) είναι μία από τις 16 εξειδικευμένες υπηρεσίες του συστήματος των οργανισμών των Ηνωμένων Εθνών. Ο ρόλος του είναι να διαχειρίζεται 23 διεθνείς συνθήκες που αντιμετωπίζουν διάφορες πτυχές των περιοριστικών μονοπωλίων στη γνώση. Ως παρατηρητής στον WIPO και μαζί με έναν διεθνή συνασπισμό από άλλους παίκτες με παρόμοιους στόχους, το FSFE θα εργαστεί να μετασχηματίσει τον "Παγκόσμιο Οργανισμό Πνευματικής Ιδιοκτησίας" σε έναν "Παγκόσμιο Οργανισμό Διανοητικού Πλούτου."

  • World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)Ολοκληρώθηκε

    The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a two-summit UN conference organised by the ITU at which important cornerstones for the information and knowledge society were proposed to be laid. The FSFE participated along with other civil societies to make sure that the principles of the digital age would protect digital freedom, sharing of knowledge, access to information, and Free Software.

  • 6th EC Framework Programme (FP6)Ολοκληρώθηκε

    Funding of research and development by the European Commission is usually done within the "framework programmes" (FPs). These last for four years and FP6 started officially on December 17th, 2002. The FSFE sought to help with Free Software related activities in FP6.

  • Classification of Free Software as a World Cultural HeritageΟλοκληρώθηκε

    The objectives were to have Free Software classified as an intangible world cultural heritage by UNESCO, and registered in the World Memory Register (another UNESCO project). The Free Software community and UNESCO share the same values of freedom, equality, and fraternity. Such a recognition would be a great promotion of Free Software.

  • EUCD - Copyright extensions that harmΟλοκληρώθηκε

    The European Copyright Directive (EUCD) was the European equivalent of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). These laws not only lead to the creation of monopolies and cartels, they also provide serious impediments to the Freedoms of speech and press, as they provide means for digital censorship. The FSFE was actively involved in the resistance against such harmful legislation.