empowering users
to control technology

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News

News Archive for 2013

160,000 Euro short for 2014

13 December 2013

As a reader of our website, you are aware of the importance of Free Software for a free society. The FSFE has been fighting for Free Software since 2001. Since then, we have made a big difference by exercising political pressure, helping Free Software developers with legal expertise, and building public awareness for software freedom. To continue this important work, we need a total budget of 390,000 Euro for 2014. We are currently still 160,000 short of this goal. 

    When DRM comes to cars (English)

    14 November 2013

    For a long time, cars were a symbol of freedom and independence. No longer. In its Zoe electric car, car maker Renault apparently has the ability to remotely prevent the battery from charging. And that’s more chilling than it may sound.  

    Changing the world: The GNU project turns 30

    27 September 2013

    It was 30 years ago that Richard Stallman announced the GNU project. An initiative that started with a programmer's frustration over a broken printer driver has changed our society. The idea of software that everyone can use, study, share and improve has proven very powerful indeed. 

    On Software Freedom Day, support FSFE!

    20 September 2013

    We need computers we can trust. The recent news about planet-wide surveillance make clear how important computer systems are for our society. Control of these computer systems needs to be in the hands of their users.  

    FSFE joins 100+ organisations in call to restrict surveillance

    31 July 2013

    Privacy is a fundamental human right, and is central to maintaining democratic societies. FSFE joins more than 100 other organisations in demanding that states respect human rights, and bring their surveillance apparatus under democratic control. We have signed the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. These principles are an important contribution to the discussion about how to provide security in a free society. More than one year in the making, they are now more relevant than ever.  

    FSFE supporting the Open Letter to stop surveillance

    25 July 2013

    FSFE supports the Open Letter to stop surveillance. The letter calls for twelve political steps including the development and promotion of Free Software for digital self-defence. The letter was initiated by Digitale Gesellschaft and also signed by several organisations including CCC, Creative Commons Germany, the German journalist association, DigitalCourage, EFF, EDRI, Greenpeace Central/East Europe, Transparency International Germany, the German Consumer Protections, Wikimedia, and others.  

    German Parliament elections: The parties' positions on Free Software

    03 July 2013

    Today, the Free Software Foundation Europe publishes its Free Software related election questions for this fall's elections to the German parliament, which will take place on September 22. All political parties have responded to the questions, which cover issues like users' control over their electronic devices, the release of publicly funded computer programs as Free Software, and software patents.  

    FSFE compliance workshop discovers GPL violation by FANTEC, Welte wins in court

    26 June 2013

    The Regional Court of Hamburg [Landgericht Hamburg] found FANTEC GmbH guilty of violating the GNU General Public License in their media player FANTEC 3DFHDL. In the case between Harald Welte versus FANTEC GmbH the court decided that FANTEC has to pay a penalty fee plus additional costs for the lawyers, and has to give out the exact information about their chain of distribution of the FANTEC 3DFHDL Media Player. 

    EC tells public bodies to break free from lock-in

    25 June 2013

    In a Communication published today, the European Commission urges public bodies to break free from vendor lock-in in their IT systems. The Commission wants public bodies to rely on standards rather than brand names and proprietary technology when they buy software. 

    German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software

    12 June 2013

    On Friday the 7th of June the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents (see English translation by BIKT). The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents.  The only exception where patents should be allowed are computer programs which replace a mechanical or electromagnetic component. In addition the Parliament made clear that governmental actions related to patents must never interfere with the legality of distributing Free Software. 

    FSFE supporting EFF's formal objection

    31 May 2013

    As reported in the our last newsletter, W3C wants to implement usage controls on the web. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) now published a formal objection to the HTML working group draft charter. Free Software Foundation Europe fully supports EFF's objections. 

    FSFE in German Parliament Hearing about Software Patents

    23 May 2013

    In April the German Parliament (the 'Bundestag') has introduced a joint motion against software patents. It urges the German government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. After the first hearing in Parliament, Matthias Kirschner was invited for FSFE as external expert to the legal committee meeting on May 13th. FSFE published a written statement and we published the notes of our oral presentation. There will be a second meeting of a committee and afterwards on the 6th of June the Parliament will vote upon the motion. 

    International Day Against DRM: fight deliberately crippled technology

    03 May 2013

    This Friday, May 3rd 2013, FSFE is joining the 8th international "Day against DRM" campaign in the call to end Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). The fight against DRM has been gathering momentum in the past weeks. Freedom activists rallied against DRM in HTML5, stressing this technology's harmful effects on innovation and user's freedom. On today's Day Against DRM, our sister organisation the Free Software Foundation will deliver the petition signatures opposing DRM in HTML5 to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)in Boston. 

    Blog: About digital and physical restrictions on your own device

    03 May 2013

    Today, May 3rd 2013, is the international day against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). Usually, the term DRM refers to various restrictions that companies – or any other content provider – impose on digital media and data. These restrictions are there to let providers decide what you can do with your media and data and what not. This blog entry sheds light on a related issue: the loss of digital and physical control of your own device.  

    Stop DRM in HTML5 - Sign the Petition!

    25 April 2013

    Join us in calling on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its member organisations to reject the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal (EME). This proposal aims at incorporating support for Digital Restriction Management (DRM) into HTML and would therefore exclude Free Software browsers from being compatible with many web pages. 

    How to break free from Skype

    02 April 2013

    On April 8, Microsoft will discontinue its Windows Messenger service. All current users will be switched to Skype. The Free Software Foundation Europe advises former users of Windows Messenger to take this as an opportunity to embrace Open Standards such as Jabber (XMPP) instead of switching to Skype. 

    taz.die tageszeitung receives Document Freedom Germany Award

    27 March 2013

    The German newspaper taz.die tageszeitung (TAZ) receives this year's Document Freedom Day award. With this award, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) honour organisations that make exemplary use of Open Standards.  

    #ILOVEFS campaign 2013

    21 February 2013

    Every year on February 14th people celebrate love, relationship with others.. and for the third year running, the wonders of Free Software. All around the world people expressed their love during the "I love Free software" day. We would like to thank you for participating, and share some lovely quotes, dents, tweets, blog entries and articles that were done because of your dedication to Free Software. When developers will read your declarations, they will definitely find extra energy to carry on their good work.