News Archive for 2004
A great day for SAMBA, Free Software and Europe
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?
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
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
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!
"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
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
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.
A compulsory insurance against software patents is like firefighting with petrol!
The preceding European Commission (EC) was campaigning actively for the introduction of software patents in Europe. This campaign was against the information and evidence showing that this would lead to considerable risk to the European economies.
Now accepting donations by credit card via PayPal
Supporting the work of FSFE has just become easier for those who prefer to donate by credit card and/or via the PayPal service.
Ensuring increased Intellectual Wealth
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
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.
MS vs. EU: "No settlement in sight, FSFE ready for battle"
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) casts doubts on the increasing rumors that Microsoft is willing to settle the antitrust case against the EU Commission, which is due to come to Court later this week.
Anniversary of the decision of the European Parliament about software patents
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: "Microsoft's bugs result in the corporation having a multiple personality" - "customers should know who they are dealing with!"
Having been plagued by permanent problems with viruses, worms and other bugs, software-giant Microsoft seems to be developing a multiple personality. "Microsoft's customers should wonder about the sanity of their business partner", remarks Joachim Jakobs, Press Speaker for the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).
FSFE mourns death of Ralf Niemand
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
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
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
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):
Software patents no bigger threat to Free Software than to proprietary software
In reaction to the decision by the City of Munich to re-evaluate its migration plans to Free Software, the Free Software Foundation Europe points out that software patents are equally a significant problem for both Free Software and proprietary software alike.
Open letter to IBM
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."
FSFE in front of European Court
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
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 http://www.focus.fsfeurope.org/news/news.language.rss, while you find the event feed at http://www.focus.fsfeurope.org/events/events.language.rss. For example, for German speaking news and the German focus, you would choose http://www.germany.fsfeurope.org/news/news.de.rss.
For your convenience, the news and event pages contain links to the RSS feed URLs.
Open letter to Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
"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
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!
With the growing attention the FSF Europe attracts in many countries, the
need has arised to build up a flexible, responsive, and well coordinated
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
"Creating artistic licence by Free Software technology" might have been the motto of AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution - www.agnula.info): 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.
Report and pictures from South America available
Having toured South America from May 20th, 2004 until June 10th, 2004, Georg Greve put a short summary of his activities there online along with some pictures.
Software patents: A bad day for Europe
"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!"
FSFE welcomes German government on its way towards a clear position in the discussion around software patents
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) "welcomes the commitment of the Federal Government of Germany to freedom from software patents as being of extreme importance for innovation in Europe", Georg Greve, president of FSFE, comments in a press release.
Open letter to all citizens of Europe
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
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)
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).
FSFE welcomes three new members from Austria
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.
FSF defends the GNU GPL against SCO attacks
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"
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."