News Archive for 2010
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Only one month after the letters for the PDFreaders campaign of FSFE were sent, 172 public institutions have removed advertisements for proprietary PDF readers from their websites. Particularly outstanding were the responses from Croatia, Russia and Slovenia. In Croatia almost all reported institutions deleted the advertisement. Half of those contacted in Russia and Slovenia fulfilled FSFE's request.
The European Commission today published its long-awaited revision of the European Interoperability Framework. This document aims at promoting interoperability in the European public sector. The document is the result of a prolonged and hard-fought process. Free Software Foundation Europe accompanied this process and offered input to the European Commission at various stages.
The European Commission will spend EUR 189 million on proprietary software over the next six years, in direct contradiction to its own decisions and guidelines. The Commission last week announced a six-year framework contract to acquire a wide range of mostly proprietary software and related services1.
One month, one campaign, one goal: getting rid of non-free software advertisements on public websites. In four weeks, FSFE received reports concerning 2162 European institutions who advertise non-free PDF readers. Apart from the 305 activists who participated to the search, 1500 individuals, 46 businesses and 38 organisations signed our Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Websites. Now that the hunt is over, it's time to chase up those websites which encourage visitors to jeopardise their freedom. It's time to stamp out the ads!
During Free Software Foundation Europe's pdfreaders.org campaign, Free Software activists from 41 countries have reported 2286 public sector institutions which advertise non-free PDF readers on their websites. FSFE will now contact these institutions, trying to get as many advertisements for non-free PDF readers as possible removed before the end of the year. Progress will be documented on the list of reported institutions.
FSFE yesterday sent a letter to the European Commission to support Open Standards and interoperability. In the drawn-out battle to retain at least a weak recommendation for Open Standards in the revised European Interoperability Framework, FSFE has countered a leaked letter by proprietary lobby group Business Software Alliance with its own thorough analysis of the relation between standards and patents.
With the upcoming local elections, the Vienna Fellowship group asked the political parties about Free Software and Open Standards. Eight out of fifteen parties replied to the questions about use of Free Software, adoption of Open Standards for communication (internal and external) and E-Governance.
The Free Software Foundation Europe calls on all Europeans to seek out advertisements for proprietary PDF readers on their government's websites, and report them. In addition, FSFE has prepared a petition demanding an end to such advertising practices, and encourages the public to sign it.
The Free Software Foundation Europe is calling on European Free Software businesses to participate in a survey of business attitudes towards the acceptability of including patents in industry standards.
Research published this week suggests that the majority of federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to implement Open Standards.
Research published by FSFE this week suggests that the majority of federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to implement Open Standards.
Minister of state Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, IT Commissioner of the German government, said in an interview with the newspaper C't (C't 2010 Heft 15, S. 150-51) that "only by using Open Standards can [the government] obtain independence from software development companies". He also recognised that "maximal interoperability can be reached with open IT-Standards".
Dear Minister Roberto Bizzo,
On 25 May 2010 the regional government authority of Bolzano decided to spend 2.2 million EUR over the next three years to renew software licenses from Microsoft Ireland, and to buy additional licenses. All this was done without a public call for tender, making it impossible for competing suppliers of similar software to make offers of their own.
David Reyes Samblas Martinez is the founder of Spanish Copyleft Hardware store Tuxbrain, and attended the famous Open University of Catalunya. He’s also the subject of this month’s Fellowship interview, in which he answers questions on hardware manufacturing, e-learning and Free Software politics.
The European Commission has officially published its long-awaited Digital Agenda, outlining its policy plans for the next five years. "While it includes some important building blocks for Free Software, the omission of Open Standards rips a gaping hole in this agenda," says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) on Saturday received the Theodor Heuss Medal in recognition of its work for freedom in the information society. The medal is awarded once a year in Stuttgart by a non-partisan foundation named for West Germany's first president.
Berlin 28. April 2010. Georg Greve, founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, has received the Cross of Merit on ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz am Bande). Georg received this high award from the German President for his work on Free Software and Open Standards.
Today is Document Freedom Day 2010. For the third time, groups all over the world are celebrating open document formats and Open Standards. They are raising awareness for how a technical issue impacts our day- to-day lives.
The European Commission is currently trying to get a new draft of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) approved by Member States. The draft gives rise to concerns that the Commission is giving up its worldwide leadership in the use of Open Standards, hurting innovation, competition and user freedom in Europe. FSFE has updated its analysis page, comparing the current draft with previous versions, as well as demands from a proprietary lobby group. Ahead of Document Freedom Day on March 31, FSFE is in conversation with EC and Member State decision makers to make them aware of the problem.
Berlin/Vienna March 24. The Free Software Foundation Europe awarded Deutschlandradio and Radio Orange with the Document Freedom Day 2010 Prize for using Open Standards and promoting them in society. FSFE's German team together with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) will present the DFD cake displaying "rOGG on!" in Berlin and Cologne to Deutschlandradio. The Austrian DFD cake goes to the Vienna-based station Radio Orange 94.0.
FSFE's Fellows have elected their second representative to the organisation's governing body, the General Assembly. Julia Klein will join Torsten Grote in FSFE's strategic decision making body to speak for the Fellows for the next two years.
Will you be able to read your documents 20 years from now? Every day, millions of computer users like you edit text and spreadsheets, take pictures and record audio and video. What if you couldn't read your private letters anymore, or even open that album with pictures from your honeymoon? What if you couldn't exchange those files with friends, because the software used by each one of you can't talk to each other? To help you make your documents future-proof, we celebrate Document Freedom Day on March 31.
FSFE welcomes the arrival of greater competition in the web browser market. From today, Microsoft has to offer Windows users in Europe the possibility to choose among different browsers. This step puts into practice the company's settlement with the European Commission from December 2009. The Free Software Foundation Europe was an active participant in the Commission's investigation.
This year on Valentine's Day, FSFE calls on Free Software users everywhere to show their love for Free Software. Behind every Free Software initiative and organisation there are real, hard-working people.
During the whole of February 2010, FSFE's Fellows will be able to elect their second representative in FSFE's General Assembly. The winner of the election will help FSFE's strategic decision making body plan the future of the organisation, and will join Torsten Grote who occupies the first Fellowship seat since earlier last year. Both Fellowship representatives are full members of the General Assembly for a term of two years, and have all the rights and obligations of other members.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) receives this year's Theodor Heuss Medal for its extraordinary work for equitable participation in the information society. Since 2001 FSFE has been committed to the freedom to use, investigate, modify and redistribute software in all parts of society and politics. Theodor Heuss Foundation states: "FSFE as a forward thinking organisation contributes to the development and establishment of rules for good global governance."