In just three years, our REUSE initiative has successfully changed licensing practices of at least over five hundred projects. From its adoption by NGI0 projects to a Corona Warn App to KDE, 2020 marks another successful year of this campaign. We used the chance to speak with Andreas Cord-Landwehr about REUSE adoption in the KDE community.
News Archive for 2020
The FSFE empowers users to control technology with its diverse activities and concrete engagement for software freedom. Follow us and make sure to receive regular updates and deeper insights on our various channels.
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In 2019, the FSFE's local group Zurich has launched the "Learn like the pros" campaign. Goal of the campaign is to present solutions for the use of Free Software in education. Recently, the campaign was awarded the DINACon Award. On this behalf we interviewed the coordinators Ralf Hersel and Gian-Maria Daffré.
International development cooperation is increasingly digitised. Free Software thus is becoming a fundamental technology to reach the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. Together with experts in the field, the FSFE summarises these interrelations in an article and demands publicly funded software to be published as Free Software.
A handful of Free Software developers today achieved what official bodies have been missing for months: They have made available the German Corona Warn App for tracing Covid-19 risk contacts in a version that is completely free of dependencies on Google and available in F-Droid, the Free Software app store.
It is no secret that the FSFE's activities are only possible with the priceless help of our contributors and supporters around Europe. In return we support local engagement with our expertise, information material, networks or even financially. To help formalize this process, we run our second call for FSFE community projects.
What is the best way to alert people about catastrophes? Germany went with proprietary apps which caused the recent warning day ("Warntag") to become an official failure. We analysed the situation and found more robust solutions that respect user rights.
"Software Freedom in Europe" is the yearly report of the Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. (FSFE). In one document, it gives you a breakdown of important things the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months.
On Wednesday the EU Commission published its new Open Source Strategy. We are pleased that the Commission recognises the benefits of Free Software and the four freedoms to use, study, share, and improve, but the Commission lacks concrete targets and indicators to implement the strategy. Without these, we worry that the strategy will end up accomplishing too little!
The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFSCon, is one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software. In recent years we have been represented with talks, workshops and our information booth. Last year we also organised our Community Event in the context of SFSCon, so that we could meet not only our community but also many interested people and report about our work.
The FSFE's sister organisation, the FSF, celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary this week. Thirty-five years of working for software freedom and inspiring many people and organisations to take a stand for user freedoms deserve big congratulations. Watch and read the congratulatory speech by FSFE President Matthias Kirschner.
We are looking for a working student to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 10 hours per week in the Berlin office (home office possible at a later stage) and will support the FSFE's technical infrastructure by working closely together with our system administrators.
The increased use of Free Software is a central component for more digital sovereignty. Together with a strong alliance of administrations, politics, business and civil society, we call for the development of a code repository with Free Software for the public sector.
It is no secret that the FSFE's activities are only possible with the priceless help of our contributors and supporters around Europe. In return we support local engagement with our expertise, information material, networks or even financially. To help formalize this process, we run our first call for FSFE community projects.
We are looking for an office assistant to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 15-35 hours per week with our team in the Berlin office and will support the FSFE's Berlin office operations.
In order to contribute to the European Commission public consultation regarding the update of the "Intellectual Property (IP)" regulatory system, the FSFE has published a first feedback. Based on its world-wide experience with Free Software, the FSFE calls for a more inclusive and decentralized regulatory system that allows sustainable knowledge sharing and intangible wealth.
100 days ago, the new Green-Red coalition in Munich adopted the principle of 'Public Money? Public Code!' to guide their procurement of software. Now, we take a look at the first activities undertaken for the use of Free Software.
The spread of Covid-19 brought dramatic and drastic changes for us and our societies, and this shed light on the global need for global solutions like Free Software. Here is a short summary of the recent successes towards software freedom in Europe we achieved together with your help and despite the crisis.
The town of Bühl, Germany, has started the successful Free Software based video conference platform “Palim! Palim!”. To find out more about the relations between Bühl and Free Software we conducted an interview with Eduard Itrich, the digitisation officer from the town of Bühl.
Like many other European countries, Denmark also tries to track Sars-CoV-2 infections with a mobile phone tracing app. However, against advice by health organisations and despite positive examples by other countries, the app is proprietary, so not being released under a Free Software (also called Open Source) license.
In Hamburg, the SPD and the Greens are stating in their coalition agreement to focus more on Free Software during their future term. The FSFE welcomes this step and will critically monitor its implementation.
Etalab maintains two lists of Free Software. One is about the Free Software recommended for the public sector (called SILL) while the other one links to Free Software repositories created by the public sector. To find out more about the two lists we conducted an interview with Bastien Guerry from Etalab.
From 21 June a new set of rules will guide the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. The internalisation of the rules by the 27 EU member states will face challenges with negative consequences for Router Freedom. The FSFE contributed to several improvements of the guidelines and will monitor compliance with them.
In order to contribute to the EU Commission assessment of the Market Definition Notice, the FSFE has taken part in the public consultation to call for more attention to smaller stakeholders and civil society in topics of EU competition law.
The new coalition agreement in Munich commits to the principle of "Public Money? Public Code!". The FSFE welcomes this decision by the new government and will closely monitor the progress of the implementation.
NGI Pointer is an initiative from the European Commission designed to provide funding and expertise to Free Software projects that can improve the internet as a platform. The FSFE has joined its Advisory Board to provide assistance to these participating projects. The first call for applications to join NGI Pointer is now open until 1 June 2020.
In an open letter to the Parliament, the Dutch minister for internal affairs Raymond Knops commits to a "Free Software by default" policy and underlines its benefits for society. Current market regulations shall be reworded to allow publishing Free Software by the government.
The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive, please consider to donate a part of your conference budget to Free Software organisations, including the FSFE.
Currently we see a lot of hackathons to find tools that help tackle the crisis of pandemic COVID-19. More and more governments and administrations are hosting or funding such hackathons. To make sure that the results of these hackathons can be used globally and adapted locally - that the software can be used, studied, shared and improved everywhere - the FSFE asks to publish the outcomes under a Free Software licence.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 virus outbreak many employees - voluntarily or mandatory - are working remotely now. Many organisations who have not been used to remote work so far now face a number of difficulties adapting to the situation. To avoid potential lock-ins, some FSFE supporters collectively wrote about the good reasons to use Free Software for remote work and collected a detailed list of practical solutions in our wiki.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) demands that the use of tracking technologies that aim at breaking the chains of disease infection may only be promoted on a voluntary basis, fundamental rights must be respected and the software must be published under a Free Software licence.
Cheering on doctors and nurses, sewing face-masks, donating gloves and disinfectant gel, building respirators, running errands for elderly neighbours. Everybody wants to contribute to alleviate the dramatic situations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among all the serious diseases and deaths it causes, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its accompanying COVID-19 disease also keep the FSFE and the whole Free Software community in suspense. For our community and other charitable organisations we would share our experiences and lessons learnt from the Corona crisis.
We are looking for an executive assistant to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 25-35 hours per week with our team in the Berlin office and will be in charge of the FSFE's Berlin office operations. Due to the current situation and the difficulty to onboard the the new person, the application period is enlarged as written below.
Expert Brochure to Modernise Public Digital Infrastructure with Public Code - Translated Versions Online
What is Free Software? How does it contribute to digital sovereignty, security and transparency of state digital infrastructure? Which steps can public administrations take? These and more questions are answered in our publication "Public Money Public Code – Modernising Public Infrastructure with Free Software". After the successful release of the English version of our brochure we translated it into three more languages: German, Czech and Brazilian Portuguese.
Consider this hypothetical scenario: you moved to a new apartment. Apart from all the stress of packing, transporting, and unpacking all your stuff at your new home, you also had to deal with getting utilities connected. The electric company turned out to be difficult to deal with: they said you had to change your TV set, toaster, refrigerator and most of your lamps.
While you are reading this, someone somewhere is improving the code of a Free Software you use for yourself. Free Software has long been part of the daily use of billion of users, still the people behind the respective projects often remain invisible. Together we want to change that. On 14 February is the "I love Free Software Day", a day to show your love and celebrate your favourite Free Software and its contributors. Join us!
We are looking for interns and trainees experienced in legal, policy or technical fields. The persons will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE's Berlin office. There will be coordination with remote staff and volunteers, and depending on the work area opportunity to participate in events and meetings throughout Europe.
At the end of December, FSFE was in Leipzig at the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. As in previous years, we were present at the congress with lots of information material, talks and workshops. FSFE was one of the main organisers of the cluster about:freedom, an association of 12 civil society organisations and groups. Together with the other organisations, we focused on digital rights and network policy issues.