News

News Archive for 2011

Fellowship Interview with Paul Boddie

23 December 2011

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

20 December 2011

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

13 December 2011

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

13 December 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.  

Free Software legal news

08 December 2011

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

    06 December 2011

    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.  

    Web Search By The People, For The People: YaCy 1.0

    28 November 2011

    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

      23 November 2011

      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

      22 November 2011

      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

      17 November 2011

      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.  

      Unlocking education, for growth without limits

      07 November 2011

      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

      07 November 2011

      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. 

      Fellowship Interview with Rikard Fröberg

      23 October 2011

      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?

      28 September 2011

      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

        22 September 2011

        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.  

        Fellowship Interview with Richard Shipman

        23 August 2011

        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

        14 August 2011

        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

        14 August 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.  

        Blog: Summary of Free Software CAD

        28 July 2011

        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.  

          FSFE welcomes new Vice President, Legal Coordinator

          18 July 2011

          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.  

            FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer

            22 June 2011

            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

            20 June 2011

            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

            08 June 2011

            On today's World IPv6 Day, FSFE is pleased to announce that almost all of its servers are now reachable via IPv6. 

              Free Software crucial to competition, regulators in Novell patent deal say

              20 April 2011

              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. 

              Novell's patent sale: FSFE's input to competition authorities

              12 April 2011

              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.  

                Document Freedom Day celebrated around the world

                30 March 2011

                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.  

                Freedom to Read, Freedom to Write: Celebrating Document Freedom Day 2011

                02 February 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?

                02 February 2011

                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.