The REUSE Initiative has received an updated set of practices that simplify the process of declaring copyright and licence information. To help facilitate developers with updating their projects, the FSFE has also published a tool that verifies whether a project is compliant.
News Archive for 2017
For more than two years the Free Software Foundation Europe has worked on the issue of Radio Lockdown introduced by a European directive which may hinder users to load software on their radio devices like mobile phones, laptops and routers. We have informed the public and talked to decision makers to fix critical points of the directive. There is still much to do to protect freedom and IT security in our radio devices. Read about the latest proceedings and the next steps.
The yearly report of the Free Software Foundation Europe gives you a breakdown in one document of important things we have done and achieved during the last 12 months. Read on to find out about our activities, the campaigns we have run, the events we have visited or organised, the groups we have helped, and what resources we counted on to do it.
The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations released the source code and documentation of Basisregistratie Personen (BRP), a 100M€ IT system that registers information about inhabitants within the Netherlands. This comes as a great success for Public Code, and the FSFE applauds the Dutch government's shift to Free Software.
EU Copyright review: The FSFE joins more than 80 organisations asking the EU member states to reject harmful Article 13
A new copyright proposal is currently discussed by the EU co-legislators. Part of this proposal is Article 13 which can hamper our ability to collaborate with each other online as it imposes new monitoring obligations and installation of arbitrary upload filters on every code hosting and sharing provider. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) today raises its voice to save code sharing and joins 80 other organisations in an open letter towards the EU Council.
Earlier this year, after a public consultation, we took the decision to change the name of our supporter program, the Fellowship of the FSFE, and talk about our supporters by their true name: Supporters. This is an exciting change for us, as it brings our Supporters much closer to the organisation, by making them an integral part of the FSFE. Today, with the change almost complete, we're also taking the opportunity to say goodbye to the Fellowship Smartcard, which has been a part of FSFE life for more than ten years.
FSFE is a charity dedicated to empowering users to control technology. We are working to build freedom in digital society. We operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for students who can join our team in Berlin for three months or more as a mandatory part of their studies or before graduation.
FSFE is a charity dedicated to keeping the power over technology in your hands. We are working to build freedom in a digital society and operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for an assistance supporting the office manager with for instance:
On 6 October, 32 European Ministers in charge of eGovernment policy signed the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment that calls for more collaboration, interoperable solutions, and sharing of good practices throughout public administrations and across borders. Amongst other things, the EU ministers recognised the need to make more use of Free Software solutions and Open Standards when (re)building governmental digital systems with EU funds.
The members of the Free Software Foundation Europe held their General Assembly on October 15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The annual meeting is held to discuss strategies for the upcoming year and set the course for the overall direction of the organisation. Amongst other things an overall Code of Conduct for the FSFE was adopted, Patrick Ohnewein was elected as the new Financial Officer, and six new members joined the association.
From December 27 to 30, the 34th Chaos Communication Congress will be held in Leipzig. As in recent years, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly that includes an information booth and a meeting point for all Free Software enthusiasts and our friends to come together. We offer a stage and look for interesting self-organised sessions for our community. This is the corresponding call for participation.
The FSFE and ContributorAgreements.org proudly present the revised and updated Fiduciary Licence Agreement 2.0 (FLA-2.0) - a next-generation contributor agreement that makes sure the contributed software always remains Free Software.
The FSFE, together with Open Forum Europe, asks the EU policymakers to Save Code Share in the current on-going EU Copyright review. Today we ask you to support our newest campaign Save Code Share by signing an Open Letter addressed to the EU policymakers.In this letter we request EU legislators to preserve the ability to collaboratively build software online in current EU Copyright Directive proposal.
Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licences.
Our world is constantly changing, as are people's thoughts and perceptions. Since its founding in 2001, individuals engaged in the FSFE, from coordinators and volunteers to full-time employees, have come to develop their understanding of what FSFE is and what our shared values are. Sometimes the views expressed by individuals have been similar to one another, sometimes they have diverged.
The FSFE and Open Forum Europe teamed up for an initiative to show the implications of the proposed EU copyright reform for the Free Software development ecosystem: Save Code Share. As part of this initiative, today we release our White Paper which highlights the ways in which the proposed Article 13 could unintentionally harm the communities and the businesses built around Free Software.
The FSFE launches today its best practises in licensing for Free and Open Source Software project. Targeted at developers and companies, these best practices show you how to make it clear to others what license your software is being distributed under, in a way which both computers and humans can understand.
Digital-O-Mat: Compare your views on Internet policies with the parties for the German federal election 2017
Although digital issues are becoming increasingly important, general election coverage often miss them out. That is why the "Koalition Freies Wissen" ("Free Knowledge Coalition") created the "Digital-O-Mat", an online tool for voter information for the German federal election of 2017. The FSFE asked the participating parties about their positions on Free Software. CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP avoid clear statements and thus confirm the status quo, the Greens and the Left in contrast present themselves as supporters of Free Software.
FSFE is a charity dedicated to keeping the power over technology in your hands. We are working to build freedom in a digital society and operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for an intern to join our remote team for three to six months, working with us on a project which seek to prepare the organisation for the next 15 years of work.
Check out our brand-new merchandise item for little Free Software supporters in our online shop: 100% organic and fair trade bibs. The slogan "I am a fork" is stitched onto the bib so that it will remain on the bib even after many wash cycles.
The FSFE submitted its comments for the upcoming Tallinn Declaration for e-government drafted by the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU. Therein the FSFE asks the current Estonian presidency to promote greater inclusion of Free Software in delivering truly inclusive, trustworthy and interoperable digital services to all citizens and businesses across the EU. The Tallinn Declaration will be signed by EU ministers in October 2017, expressing member states' joint vision for e-government and political commitment to follow the goals set. The proposal for Tallinn declaration is open for public comments until 14 July. The FSFE is asking organisations, companies, and individuals to let EU ministers know how Free Software is important for transparent and accountable e-government.
In April, the FSFE organised its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW): a meeting point for legal experts from all over the world to discuss issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the LLW which was celebrated with the record number of participants: 120 top legal experts and technologists came all the way down to Barcelona (Spain) to spend 3 full days discussing legal challenges around Free Software.
Sharing one's knowledge is a core principle in the Free Software society, collaboration is another. From today, the FSFE provides its supporters and registered volunteers a platform to create and manage Git repositories with a comfortable user interface: git.fsfe.org.
The revised "new" European Interoperability Framework (EIF), adopted by the European Commission on 23 March 2017, gives specific guidance on how to set up interoperable digital public services, and offers public administrations concrete recommendations on how to improve interoperability of their e-services.
… Daniel Pocock! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on April 24, 2017. FSFE is proud to have such an interested and active community to have had seven outstanding candidates who were running for office this time. Now, Daniel Pocock is happy to take over the GA's Fellowship seat from former representative Nicolas Dietrich.
North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's most populated state which is having its next general elections on May 14, 2017. For this election, a "coalition of Free knowledge" developed for the first time a "Digital-o-Mat". The "Digital-o-Mat" is a tool to help those voters who are concerned about digital rights and freedoms, to decide about which party to vote for. Therefor, eight questions guide any user to choose his own preferences on important topics about the digital society - like questions about the use of Free Software, Open Data or Open Educational Resources. After filling them out, a user will see which party matches best with his own preferences and he can additionally browse detailed explanations on the party's positions.
According to our constitution, two seats in the General Assembly are reserved for elected representatives of our Fellows. They serve two-year terms and one seat is up for re-election every year. The current representatives are Nicolas Dietrich and Mirko Boehm; Nicolas's term is coming to an end and his seat will be up for re-election this April.
The election period runs from April 10 to April 24, 2017, with eight candidates eligible for election. The list of candidates, along with their manifestos and background, can be found at the election wiki page.
Today the civil society "working group OGP (Open Government Partnership) Germany" (Arbeitskreis OGP Deutschland) published its input for a German OGP action plan. The goal of the Open Government actions is to increase transparency, citizen friendlyness, reporting, and effectiveness of governments and administrations. The input, which was already handed over to the German Government on 20 March, consists of 30 Open Government topics, including a section about Free Software.
On Tuesday 14th of February, the "I Love Free Software" day was celebrated for its eighth consecutive year, in what can now be called a tradition. This day has become a special day for people all around the world to declare their love and affection not only to their partner but also to the whole Free Software community.
Today FSFE Netherlands, NLnet, ISPConnect, and Open Source & Overheid launch Freedomvote.nl to help inform voters in the upcoming Dutch general election, which is held on 15 March 2017. Freedomvote.nl provides guidance to voters on the topic of digital freedom, based on eight questions.
On 15 February 2017, the city council of Munich, Germany convened to discuss the future of their LiMux project. In its public session, the plenary voted to have the city administration develop a strategy to unify client-side IT architecture, building atop a yet-to-be-developed "Windows-Basis-Client". A translation of the complete decision is included further down.
The European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation responds to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about the use, development and release of software under Horizon 2020 - submitted by the FSFE on January 9, 2017.
In celebration of the "I love Free Software" day on February 14, the Berlin Reichtag has been illuminated with the message "Give Free Software A Chance" last weekend. On numerous buildings and symbolic places in Berlin other messages have been projected. "Build Free Software - Not Walls" could have been read on the Berlin Wall, and the Federal Ministry of Finances has been decorated by the slogan "Public Money, Public Code". Thereby, activists draw attention to the importance of larger appreciation of Free Software.
Building on the experience from last year's successful pre-FOSDEM meeting, the Free Software Foundation Europe and OpenForum Europe recently continued the tradition of bringing together active Free Software groups a day before the FOSDEM event, in order to discuss public policy related actions at both the EU and the national levels. This year, the meeting focused on encouraging exchanges of views between individual citizens and decision-makers, by providing practical first-hand information on topics relating to Free Software in public policy.
It's time to say "thank you" on 14th of February, the "I love Free Software" Day 2017. The Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to use the traditional day of love to think of the hardworking people contributing to the Free Software we all depend on. As every year there are many ways for people to participate in this campaign.
The Chaos Communication Congress is Germany’s biggest annual meetup of hackers and political activists. This year has been the 33rd edition ("33C3") and FSFE has been present with an assembly, a booth and 21 sessions about Free Software. Read a visual report of our activities along some pictures by Erik Albers.
FSFE is a charity dedicated to empowering users to control technology. We are working to build freedom in digital society. We operate in a lively environment with volunteers from many countries. We are looking for students who can join our team in Berlin for three months as a mandatory part of their studies or before graduation.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) files Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the European Commission (EC) Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, asking for information related to the use, development and release of software under Horizon 2020, the biggest EU research funding programme.
It has been a busy year for the FSFE. Upholding the principles of Free Software and protecting citizens' from being exploited are ongoing challenges we tackled from a variety of angles. We (and by "we", we mean the staff and volunteers at the FSFE) pored over hundreds of pages of policies and legislations, looking for loopholes through which Free Software could be attacked.
The Free Software Foundation Europe calls for Free Software and Open Standards to be considered as a vital part of Open Science for all publicly-funded research in Europe. You can help us by sharing our position paper. Read more about the position paper and how you can promote Free Software in science.