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News Archive for 2004

The FSFE empowers users to control technology with its diverse activities and concrete engagement for software freedom. Follow us and make sure to receive regular updates and deeper insights on our various channels.

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A great day for SAMBA, Free Software and Europe

22 December 2004

Bo Versterdorf, President of the European Court, has today rejected Microsoft's appeal to delay execution of the sanctions.
"Those who value freedom and competition have received two nice christmas gifts this week. First, new EU member Poland does not allow the introduction of innovation- and job-killer software patents through the diplomatic back-door. And now the European Court decides that Microsoft should not get another four years to further harm its competitors" says Georg Greve, President of the FSFE.  

How much does freedom influence your life?

10 December 2004

The Free Software Foundation Europe believes that freedom is priceless and works hard for freedom in the digital society. Being a non-profit organisation, much work is done by volunteers, but not everything can be done that way. Working for something as priceless as freedom does have a cost. That is why we would like you to support our work.  

Software patents detrimental to European power supply business

06 December 2004

The European Union is on the way to introduce a legal basis for software patents in Europe. While you may consider this a topic outside your daily business, it is likely to become the cause of serious security problems to European power supplies.  

FSFE becomes WIPO observer

25 November 2004

In the scope of the FSFE WIPO project team, the FSFE will work with other players to change WIPO from an organisation that is solely oriented towards monopolisation of knowledge to one that is aimed at increasing the intellectual wealth of all of humankind through a more flexible, sustainable and effective tool set.  

Freedom is priceless, but has a cost!

24 November 2004

"Those who wish to see freedom of market restored should be aware that never can someone with deeper pockets divert support already given to FSFE, as it happened with the CCIA. This independence is priceless, but not without cost. The only thing that might therefore be able to stop us is lack of resources because of lack of support."  

First South Tyrolean Free Software Conference

23 November 2004

As Free Software becomes even more important in South Tyrol, the GNU/Linux User Group Bozen/Bolzano/Bulsan has developed the traditional Linux Day into the three day South Tyrolean Free Software Conference.  

For the FSFE, the battle continues

09 November 2004

Microsoft has steadily been soliciting supporters of the European Commission antitrust case to withdraw their support for the Commission by offering a series of financial settlements. The agreement with Sun Microsystems to withdraw has now been joined by financial settlements with Novell and the CCIA, in which they also agreed to withdraw from the case.  

Ensuring increased Intellectual Wealth

14 October 2004

Common declaration: "We are convinced that new answers sometimes require new questions, not more careful repetition of old questions. [...] We need a World Intellectual Wealth Organisation, dedicated to the research and promotion of novel and imaginative ways to encourage the production and dissemination of knowledge." To view the list of signatories, please follow the link.  

Allianz Group will suffer because of software patents

04 October 2004

Have you ever considered offering general insurance for stock brokers against the risk of losing money? As absurd as this sounds, the European Commission is seriously considering equivalent measures at the moment.  

Anniversary of the decision of the European Parliament about software patents

24 September 2004

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) commemorates the anniversary of the software patents decision by the European Parliament on 24th September. "The parliament voted for a restrictive way to grant software patents in Europe. That decision was wise as it accounted for the numerous recommendations of scientists throughout the world. For this reason, we would like to encourage the parliament to maintain an attitude to this matter that is consistent with its previous decision - to withstand the pressure by certain lobbying parties." the President of FSFE Georg Greve emphasises.

FSFE mourns death of Ralf Niemand

15 September 2004

Free Software activist Ralf Niemand, member of the Wilhelmshaven GNU/Linux User Group, contributor to the SkoleLinux project and volunteer of the Free Software Foundation Europe died of terminal illness on September 14th 2004. His death was much too early and came as a shock to all who have known him. He will be missed.

Open letter to Prime Minister Dr. Balkenende

06 September 2004

Europe should conserve a competitive advantage and prohibit a legal basis for software patents: "During the dutch Presidency of the European Union you have the best opportunity to initiate this revision."  

Introducing Wilhelm Tux, the new FSFE associate

16 August 2004

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and Wilhelm Tux proudly declare that Wilhelm Tux, a Swiss Free Software organisation, has officially become associate organisation of the FSFE.  

Donations to the FSFE in the United Kingdom

12 August 2004

Due to substantial bank fees charged for international money transfers, small donations or standing orders are too expensive to be send directly to the Free Software Foundation Europe bank account. To rectify this, FSFE in july 2004 entered into an agreement with UK based associate organisation AFFS to collect donations and transfer them in larger batches.
FSFE welcomes donations through the simple interface at (only bank cards from UK are accepted):  

Open letter to IBM

02 August 2004

Software patents will destroy the foundations of IBM's future: "So while IBM is transforming in reaction to the arms race, upon its sudden end, IBM will find itself having become a grotesquely deformed giant with a suddenly useless weapon where all its energies go into sustaining that deformation."  

Computerzeitung: Interview with Georg Greve

30 July 2004

"Free Software leads to security of investments" -- Interview about work and plans of the Free Software Foundation Europe in the German Computerzeitung. (only available in German)  

FSFE in front of European Court

27 July 2004

FSFE to challenge Microsoft in its appeal against European Commission: Among general interests of Free Software, the FSFE will specifically be representing the interests of the SAMBA team, a Free Software cooperation developing the only remaining competing implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocols that permit interoperability between various operating systems and the MS Windows family.  

RSS feeds of news and event announcements available

26 July 2004

Our web team has created automatic RSS feeds for news and upcoming events. Feeds are focus and language dependent.
The URL for the news feed is, while you find the event feed at For example, for German speaking news and the German focus, you would choose
For your convenience, the news and event pages contain links to the RSS feed URLs. Interview with Georg Greve

08 July 2004

Email interview of German news site with Georg Greve, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The interview covers issue such as the software patent strategy, the work in the United Nations Summit and future perspectives. (interview only available in German)  

Open letter to Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

06 July 2004

"Research should be able to earn its money also on the market!" - say politicians - so we, the Free Software Foundation Europe, understand when researchers use creative ways to get a better income. But even researchers should take care not to bite the hand that feeds them. This danger is real, especially with the actual software patent discussion.  

FSFE issues call for donations

01 July 2004

The projects of the FSFE are multifaceted: participation in the German government's delegation at the "World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)", consulting with the European Union during the establishment of the framework programmes, participation in AGNULA, a project to build a fully Free Software distribution for professional musicians and multimedia authors and also the maintenance and advancement of the GNU General Public License (GPL). This diversity costs a lot of money: travels round the world, production of information and marketing material, personnel cost.  

Join our translators and proofreaders team!

29 June 2004

With the growing attention the FSF Europe attracts in many countries, the need has arised to build up a flexible, responsive, and well coordinated translator team.
Translating and proofreading texts is a precious contribution to the work of the FSF Europe and an excellent chance to spontaneously take part in the activities of the FSF Europe without long-term obligations.  

AGNULA: a "vivid ecosystem" for developers and users of free multimedia software

21 June 2004

"Creating artistic licence by Free Software technology" might have been the motto of AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution - within the scope of the EU project two GNU/Linux distributions for Debian and Red Hat were developed that are targeted specifically at professional musicians and multimedia authors.  

Software patents: A bad day for Europe

19 May 2004

"Europe is about to finally give up on the goal of its heads of states and governments to become the 'most competitive knowledge-based region' until 2010 and has repeatedly failed democratically. It is unfortunate that the optimism and trust placed in the German government was somewhat premature. Yesterday was not a good day for Europe and Germany!"  

Open letter to all citizens of Europe

10 May 2004

What happens in government, society and economy as a whole if these developments are not stopped? We bar people from being creative. We put societal development into the hands of bureaucrats bullying us for their own benefit at every turn. To use the words of the Czech President Vaclav Klaus "The EU is not about freedom and openness, but about bureaucratisation, regulation and harmonisation". If we leave this discussion to others, we may prove him right.  

APRIL disassociates from FSFE

10 May 2004

Today the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) complied with the explicit request to please remove the "Association for Promotion and Research in Libre Computing" (APRIL) from the list of associate organisations. The request was made by APRIL president and FSFE member Frederic Couchet along with his resignation from FSFE.  

European action week against Software Patents (SWPAT)

04 May 2004

The Free Software Foundation Europe and the Foundation for a Free Informational Infrastructure endorse an action week from May 10th to 14th to inform citizens, economy and politics about the harmful consequences of this initiative. In the course of this action week demonstrations and panel discussions in many European cities will take place. To inform you ex ante we have enclosed the joint position of FSFE and FFII concerning software patents (see below).  

Article: "Electronic ID card: a broken promise?"

15 April 2004

An article by Alessandro Rubini explains how the implementation of the new Italian electronic ID card breaks the Italian Government's promises to bring the public administration closer to citizens using information technology.  

FSFE welcomes three new members from Austria

24 March 2004

After years of successful cooperation through their membership in the "Verein zur Förderung Freier Software" (FFS), Austria's associate organisation of the FSF Europe, Georg Jakob, Karin Kosina and Reinhard Müller have now officially joined the ranks of the FSFE.  

IPRED: A Hushed Up Directive

05 March 2004

The EU parliament in Strasbourg is about to debate the "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive" (IPRED), which further restricts European law on copyright, patents and other unspecified "intellectual property rights." The directive's rapporteur is French MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of the head of Vivendi Universal, a group of media and telecommunications companies.  

FSF defends the GNU GPL against SCO attacks

18 February 2004

The FSFs have no doubt that the litigation between SCO against IBM and Novell cannot affect the users of the GNU/Linux operating system.
Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University, pro-bono general counsel of FSF North America, has published a paper that will help Free Software developers and end-users understand the legal issues and business risks involved in using the Linux kernel.  

Article: "On 'Intellectual Property' and Indigenous Peoples"

09 February 2004

Article by Georg Greve: "The system and ideology of 'intellectual property' has evolved exclusively to cater to the needs of large Northern media corporations. Northern societies, and in particular their artists and authors, have massive problems with that system themselves.
It is precisely for this system that the digital divide and current power inequalities are as large as they are."