News Archive for 2011
Fellowship Interview with Paul Boddie
Paul Boddie is a developer in the bioinformatics domain. In this interview, he explains his conception of Free Software, which has a lot to do with sustainable computing and with the ability to use, maintain and develop solutions indefinitely.
Free Software legal news
Read about ground-breaking decision of the Court of Justice of EU, AG's opinion in awaited European interoperability ruling, two software patent cases and much more.
Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software
City officials in Helsinki, Finland, are overwhelmingly satisfied after trying out the Free Software office suite OpenOffice.org on their laptops. 75% of 600 officials have been using OpenOffice.org exclusively since February, as part of a pilot project where the city installed the program on 22,500 workstations.
Read about our work in 2011
This was an exciting year for Free Software, and for FSFE. We fought against software patents and the way they restrict Free Software and competition. We helped to defend the GPL against those who would take away our freedom to study and modify the software on our computers, and worked on many other important issues.
Nortel patent sale: FSFE defends Free Software, competition
Competition authorities in the US and Europe are currently investigating the sale of 6000 patents from Nortel, a bankrupt telecommunications equipment manufacturer, to a consortium of Apple, Microsoft and four other companies.
Free Software legal news
Read about ground-breaking decision of the Court of Justice of EU, abuse of copyright against an Android developer, AG's opinion in awaited European interoperability ruling and much more.
FSFE provides input to EU's 80 billion EUR R and D funding program
The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals for its next framework program. Called Horizon 2020, this program will provide 80 billion EUR for research and development projects from 2014 to 2020. Prior to finalisation of the proposal, FSFE had provided input to the Commission in order to make the program accessible for Free Software research and projects. Our input also aims at making the results of publicly funded research available as widely as possible.
Verdict in the case of AVM vs. Cybits confirmed the view of FSFE
In the dispute between the companies AVM and Cybits the written reasoning for the decision of the Regional Court of Berlin (PDF, German) is now available. The court confirmed FSFE's view that users of GNU GPLed software are allowed to modify and install it even if it is shipped as a part of an embedded device's firmware.
FSFE provides input to EC on 80bn EUR R and D funding program
Web Search By The People, For The People: YaCy 1.0
The YaCy project is releasing version 1.0 of its peer-to-peer Free Software search engine. The software takes a radically new approach to search. YaCy does not use a central server. Instead, its search results come from a network of currently over 600 independent peers. In such a distributed network, no single entity decides what gets listed, or in which order results appear.
Fellowship Interview with Mirko Boehm
Mirko Boehm currently works as a researcher at the Technical University of Berlin, focusing on the subject of Free Software and copyright and patents. For a long time he has been involved with KDE. In our November Internship Interview he talks about interactions between Free Software communities and “corporate” world, and the role of Free Software at universities and in education.
7 civil society groups ask for transparency on ACTA
The controversial ACTA treaty will be discussed tomorrow in the a closed meeting of the European Parliament's committee on international trade (INTA). Together with six other civil society organisations, FSFE has urged the Parliament to make the committee session public, so that European citizens can form their own opinions on ACTA.
Free Software Legal News
The patent litigation between Microsoft and Barnes & Nobles is taking a new turn, with the revelation of Microsoft's patent strategies against Android: FUD, invalid patents, etc. according to Barnes & Nobles. Also, new questions arise on exact scope of the copyrightability of software, with the litigation between Oracle and Google, again on Android, exploring new issues on linking, user-space and APIs specifications.
Swedish activist receives Nordic Free Software Award 2011
Erik Josefsson is the winner of the Nordic Free Software Award 2011. With the award, the Swedish Foundation for Free Culture and Free Software (FFKP) honours Josefsson for his achievements as a campaigner for freedom in the information society.
Unlocking education, for growth without limits
The Dutch government wants to tie the country's schools to a single software vendor for years to come. Dutch students using Free Software or devices without Silverlight-support will find themselves locked out of schools' online systems due to the use of proprietary technology and closed standards. Marja Bijsterveldt, the secretary of education, recently said that she is unwilling to enforce the Dutch government's own Open Standards policy on educational institutions. Instead, the government will accept long-term vendor lock-in of educational institutions.
Court rejects AVM´s claims opposing third party modifications of GPL software
On November 8th the Regional Court of Berlin [Landgericht Berlin] issued its decision in the previously reported case AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH (AVM) v. Cybits AG (Cybits). In this case, AVM was essentially trying to stop Cybits from modifying GNU GPL licensed Free Software inside of their AVM Fritz!Box products. Yesterday, the court dismissed this principal claim. Thus, it also confirmed that users of embedded devices with pre-installed Free Software have the legal freedom to make, install, run and distribute modifications to this Free Software. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and gpl-violations.org, both welcome this decision.
Song Wettbewerb zum "Ich ♥ Freie Software"-Tag
Zusammen mit Jamendo suchen wir drei Bands, die zum "Ich ♥ Freie Software"-Tag am Dienstag, 14. Februar 2012 zwischen 19 Uhr und 22 Uhr im Unperfekthaus in Essen ein Live-Konzert geben.
Fellowship Interview with Rikard Fröberg
Rikard Fröberg works at the The Society for Free Culture and Software, and contributes this year to the FSCONS organisation for the third time. In the October Internship Interview he considers the importance of having an active and engaged community of users, which, thanks to events like FSCONS, have the opportunity of direct interaction.
Blog: Facebook updates - time to switch to a decentralised social network?
Last week Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Next Big Thing (TM) for Facebook: OpenGraph. Facebook intends to act as its own private Internet, but fortunately there are lots of projects out there that will do the same things that Facebook does, and much more.
Fellowship Interview with Stefan Kangas
Stefan Kangas is the President of the recently started Fripost, the Free Email Association, which proposes itself to deliver a free and reliable Email service. This service, which is running since February, represents an alternative to proprietary Email providing services, which may limit user's freedom and privacy.
Freie Software in den schweizer National- und Ständeratswahlen
Im Rahmen der am 23. Oktober 2011 stattfindenden National- und Ständeratswahlen in der Schweiz hat die Zürcher Fellowshipgruppe der FSFE eine Politikerbefragung zu Freie Software durchgeführt.
Berlin - Hauptstadt der Freien-Software-Parteien: Ja zu Offenen Standards. Nein zu Softwarepatenten.
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht heute ihre Freien-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin am 18. September. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offenen Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Blog: FSFE at the DIY Feminist Festival in Manchester
Pictures from the FSFE talks at the Manchester DIY Feminist Festival.
Fellowship Interview with Richard Shipman
Richard Shipman, Teaching Fellow at the Computer Science department of Aberystwyth University, talks about the importance of promoting Free Software alongside alternatives at school level, and what role the computer sciences can play in relating the messages of Free Software to other institutions and disciplines.
Blog: UK PDF Readers Sprint
On Saturday 13th August Free Software activists came to FSFE’s PDF Readers Sprint in Manchester and found 59 previously unreported adverts for proprietary PDF readers, all of them on UK Council websites.
Blog: FSFE at OggCamp 2011
OggCamp 2011 attracted 200-300 people, and the FSFE booth was successfully run by myself and Chris Woolfrey. We talked to approximately 60 people, handed out approximately 120 leaflets, received one donation, and sold five t-shirts. FSFE was generally well received and I felt that the booth was a great success.
FSFE UK calls for removal of Government's software advertisements
This weekend Free Software activists will find and report web advertising for proprietary software that is being funded by the British Government. Activists will meet on Saturday at Manchester's 'MadLab' Hackerspace to hunt for new adverts and contact government departments requesting that they be removed.
Blog: What's Needed for Freedom in the "cloud"?
What constitutes a socially acceptable and sustainable approach to "Cloud Computing" and "Software as a Service"? Georg Greve examines seven categories of requirements of cloud based systems which are truly Free.
Blog: Summary of Free Software CAD
Computer Aided Design software is critically important to a variety of industries and professions. It's also notorious for being poorly catered for by Free Software applications. Here's a brief summary of the current situation.
Fellowship Interview with Bernhard Reiter
Bernhard Reiter, co-founder of FSFE, talks about funding Free Software development and advocacy, the need for salaried campaigners, and the evolution of FSFE from its humble origins.
FSFE welcomes new Vice President, Legal Coordinator
At FSFE's General Assembly which took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on June 11, FSFE's members elected Henrik Sandklef as the organisation's Vice President. A computer scientist and GNU Hacker from Gothenburg, Sweden, Henrik has been active with FSFE since 2005. He takes over from Fernanda Weiden, who held the volunteer position for the past two years.
Fellowship Interview with Guido Arnold
The Deputy Coordinator of FSFE’s Education Team provides an insight into the team's latest efforts at increasing the use of Free Software in education.
FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer
Yesterday in Berlin a court hearing took place in a case that could set a crucial precedent for the embedded industry (see also "AVM violating license of the Linux kernel"). In the lawsuit between AVM and Cybits, AVM maintained that others should not be allowed to modify Free Software on computers bought from AVM, such as the widely used Fritz!Box. At the heart of the debate is the Linux kernel, distributed under the GNU GPL which guarantees exactly this freedom to users. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and gpl-violations.org today published a detailed report about the hearing.
AVM violating license of the Linux kernel
Berlin, 20th June - Tomorrow on June 21st a legal case will be heard before the District Court of Berlin which may have enormous consequences for the way that software is developed and distributed. The adversaries in the case are the manufacturer and distributor of DSL routers AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH (AVM), and Cybits AG (Cybits) which produces children's web-filtering software. Both companies use the Linux kernel, which is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GNU GPL); a Free Software license permitting everyone to use, study, share, and improve works which use it.
FSFE celebrates World IPv6 Day
On today's World IPv6 Day, FSFE is pleased to announce that almost all of its servers are now reachable via IPv6.
FSFE in Samba case: Microsoft's defiance backfired
Luxembourg, May 25 - FSFE played a key role at a Microsoft hearing before the European Union's General Court on Tuesday, helping explain the intricacies of Free Software servers.
Microsoft case: FSFE in European Court of Justice hearing
Fresh action in the European Commission's antitrust proceedings against Microsoft: On May 24, the European Court of Justice conducts a hearing on Microsoft's appeal against the fine. FSFE has participated in the case for a decade and will intervene on the Commission's behalf.
Fellowship Interview with Florian Effenberger
Florian discusses the past present and future of LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, and his views on the importance of Free Software marketing.
Befragung zu Freier Software in Bremen: Parteien zeigen seltsames Wettbewerbsverständnis
Nach den Befragungen in anderen Bundesländern, veröffentlichte heute die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Ergebnisse ihrer Parteienumfrage zu Freier Software für die Bürgerschaftswahl in Bremen.
Contribute to list of Free Software options for UK government
We need your help to write a paper with details of recommended Free Software applications for use in the UK public sector. Please contribute your knowledge by joining us on Etherpad.
German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free Software?
In the case of the Foreign Office turning away from Free Software, the German Government is entangling itself in contradictions. The reaction of the Government to an inquiry by "Bündnis 90/Grüne" has led to more pending questions than answers.
Please use Open Standards for your newspaper's educational resources
FSFE's UK Team asks The Guardian Newspaper to adhere to Open Standards when publishing digital resources for teachers.
FSFE provides input to EC on collective redress
On Friday, Free Software Foundation Europe asked the European Commission to create a legal avenue for citizens seeking collective redress against companies. In its contribution to a public consultation by the Commision, FSFE argues that consumers should be able to join forces in order to defend their rights against harmful business practices.
Open letter to British Telecom: please include freedom in your new music service
As British Telecom plans to roll out their new music subscription service to its 5.5 million broadband customers, FSFE asks them to make user freedom one of the product's key features.
Fellowship Interview with Michiel de Jong
Michiel explains how the Unhosted project could change the face of Free Software web applications, and solve problems of privacy, scalability and affordability for all kinds of software provided as a service.
Free Software crucial to competition, regulators in Novell patent deal say
Competition authorities in Germany and the United States today highlighted the fundamental role that Free Software plays for competition in the software market. After several months of discussions, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the German Federal Competition Office (FCO) have allowed a consortium of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC to acquire 882 patents from Novell only subject to conditions clearly intended to prevent their use against Free Software players.
Mission is possible: FSFE needs your help to make a progress in the PDFreaders campaign!
FSFE calls Free Software supporters to participate in the ongoing PDFreaders campaign and remind public institutions to remove advertisements of proprietary PDF readers from their websites.
FSFE responds to EC consultation on procurement
Free Software Foundation Europe has provided the European Commission with input on modernising the way in which public bodies buy software and related services.
Novell's patent sale: FSFE's input to competition authorities
On April 6, FSFE provided the German competition authorities with its views on the sale of Novell's patents to CPTN, a joint venture of Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle. According to the German authorities, the terms of the sale have been slightly modified since we registered our concerns with them on December 22, 2010. Despite these modifications, the transfer of a substantial number of patents to firms with a history of using them against Free Software remains a worrying prospect. Both documents are available on our overview page for the case.
FSFE begrüßt kleine Anfrage der Grünen zur Rückmigration im Auswärtigen Amt
Berlin, 15. April. Die Free Software Foundation Europe begrüßt die kleine Anfrage der Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen zur Rückmigration des Auswärtigen Amts auf Microsoft Windows XP.
Cutting-edge development: the Analogue Printer
Today FSFE announced a new cutting-edge development: the Analogue Printer.
Tagesschau.de awarded for the use of Open Standards
Today the ARD internet platform Tagesschau.de will receive an award for the use of Open Standards at the "Document Freedom Day". The prize is awarded by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. (FFII) for offering the broadcasted shows also in the free video format "Ogg Theora".
City of Munich receives European Document Freedom Day Prize
At Document Freedom Day on 30 March 2011, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) awarded the German City of Munich the Document Freedom Day Prize.
Document Freedom Day celebrated around the world
Today, activists in 37 cities around the world are raising awareness for Open Standards and open document formats. In workshops, talks and other events, they are explaining why Open Standards and Free Software are crucial to a free and competitive information society.
A bright Document Freedom Day for Britain?
As companies and communities come together to raise awareness of Open Standards for the forth consecutive Document Freedom Day, the issue of freedom from restricted digital files is more relevant in the UK than ever.
Mapping the changing landscape of Free Software in the British Public Sector
As Britain reverses its traditional role and moves to the fore of European public sector Free Software policy, FSFE explains the most important recent developments.
"Computer sind Teufelszeug" - Antworten auf Wahlprüfsteine zu Freier Software
Heute veröffentlichte die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Ergebnisse ihrer Parteienumfrage zu Freier Software für die Landtagswahlen in Baden-Württemberg und Rheinland-Pfalz. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offenen Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Fellowship Interview with Dan Leinir
In this interview, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen from KO GmbH describes the aims of the GamingFreedom.org project, as well as what Free Software could mean for gaming in future.
FSFE welcomes ADUC's class action against Microsoft
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the initiative for users' freedom taken by the Italian Association for Users and Consumers Rights (ADUC). On January 24, ADUC filed a complaint against Microsoft demanding that the company should reimburse consumers who return unused licenses for the Microsoft Windows operating systems that are pre-installed on newly bought computers.
Landtagswahl Sachsen-Anhalt: Position der Parteien zu Freier Software
Anlässlich der Landtagswahl in Sachsen-Anhalt hat die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Freien-Software-Positionen der Parteien erfragt. Die bisherigen Antworten der CDU, der Grünen, der Linken und der Piraten sind nun veröffentlicht. Die Wahlprüfsteine beinhalten Fragen zur generellen Förderung von Freier Software; dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software; Offenen Standards; Freie Software in der Bildung; Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Software-Patenten.
A decade of Freedom: FSFE turns 10
Free Software Foundation Europe is ten years old this March. FSFE was founded in 2001 as "an organization dedicated to Free Software activities in Europe" and "the official sister organization of the Free Software Foundation in the United States" in Europe.
Election results for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat
All through the month of February, FSFE's Fellows cast their votes for one of their number to represent them in FSFE's General Assembly. The election period ended yesterday at midnight, with the following results:
Think tank recommends adoption of FS principles in public sector IT
The 'Institude for Government' think tank has published a 100 page report on public sector IT in the UK called "System Error: Fixing the flaws in government IT", which calls for dramatic change to government attitudes, and wider use of both Free Software and, as Glynn Moody points out, the principles behind its development.
Open Source Specialist Group blames proprietary software for stagnant industry
In a meeting called by the Home Office's lead architect, members of the British Computer Society's Open Source Specialist Group argued that some proprietary software was "viral" in the way that it had spread and stagnated within government and industry, and should be banned from government systems.
Cabinet Office presentation demanding Free Software from suppliers published
A presentation given by the Cabinet Office which outlines its expectations for greater availability and support of Free Software in the public sector is available to the public. It makes clear that the government sees great value in high quality FS, and expects to make significant savings by using it.
Sam's blog: report from ODF Plugfest and Pirate Party UK Conference
Notes and pictures from FSFE's attendance at two important events last week.
UK: FSFE welcomes paper calling for Free Software in the NHS
Research programme publishes damning report of public health ICT, and recommends Free Software and Open Standards.
Fellowship Interview with Massimo Barbieri
Free Software activist, Creative Commons musician, and professional geologist Massimo Barbieri discusses his experiences with Free art, software, and standards.
Ilovefs : Hundreds of love declarations in about 24 hours
February 14, 01:38:27 UTC, the first identi.ca message related to FSFE’s “I ♥ Free Software” campaign airs on identi.ca. This was only the start of a tremendous love declaration to Free Software developpers and applications that went out until late at night, around 3:00 a.m.
Declare your love to Free Software!
Why not make this February 14th a very special Valentine's Day? On Valentine's Day, FSFE calls on Free Software users everywhere to show their love for Free Software. It is the perfect occasion to show our love for Free Software and the possibility to use computers in freedom.
European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice
Free Software Foundation Europe is asking the Members of the European Parliament to wait for legal advice before voting on a unitary patent for Europe. While a proposal is on the Parliament's agenda for the coming week, a legal opinion by the European Court of Justice is expected later this month.
Freedom to Read, Freedom to Write: Celebrating Document Freedom Day 2011
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) invites individuals, community groups and institutions to celebrate the Document Freedom Day (DFD) on March 30th. DFD is a global day to celebrate Open Standards and open document formats and its importance. Open Standards ensure the freedom to access your data, and the freedom to build Free Software to write and read data in specific formats.
Foreign Office: Will it switch off the Free Software beacon?
The process might have slipped away quietly. But now it is in the spotlight, thanks to a request from the SPD parliamentary group: The Foreign Office (AA), once a "beacon project" for the use of Free Software in the federal ministries, will return to proprietary software. The Linux-Verband (LIVE) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) regret this development.
New Country Coordinators for Italy and the UK
Giacomo Poderi and Sam Tuke are the new Country Coordinators for the Italian and British Country Teams respectively.
Fellowship Interview with Anne Østergaard
Political veteran Anne discusses new ways influence European legislation, the scale of Free Software support in developing countries, and the importance of local culture in community campaigning.
New web design launched! Guide to features
After months of work by FSFE's Web Team a new website design has been launched, bringing with it a fresh look, improved infrastructure, and new features.
FSFE concerned about Novell patent sale
Free Software Foundation Europe has written to the German competition authorities in order to share its concerns about the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium called CPTN, made up of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC.