From hackathons to apps to public administrations: Read about the recent successes in Europe regarding Free Software in our July Newsletter. Also find videos from multiple online events where the FSFE was represented and read about our diverse community activities.
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.
We invited Miriam Ballhausen to talk with us about copyright enforcement. She is a German lawyer who focuses on software, data protection, copyright law and specifically Free Software copyright. This is the sixth regular episode of the Software Freedom Podcast for which we invite experts from our community.
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 our June Newsletter read among other things about the FSFE's achievements regarding Router Freedom in Europe, about a new coalition agreement in Hamburg that puts a focus on Free Software and about the European Parliament demanding "Public Money? Public Code!". As always, also read about our diverse community activities.
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.
Read about our demand to publish the results of publicly financed hackathons as Free Software, about a new coalition-agreement in Munich that aligns with our principles of "Public Money? Public Code!" and what happened inside the FSFE and our community. You will also read about the results of our web-sprint, about our regular podcast and an extraordinary one.
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.
For our Software Freedom Podcast we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this special episode, we talk with Dr. Luis Falcón and Dr. Axel Braun about the Free health and hospital information system GNU Health.
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.
For our Software Freedom Podcast we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Professor Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons, about regulation of society, offline as well as online, about the different means of regulation, and shed light on regulations through code.
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.
With the spreading of COVID-19 we are facing a global pandemic that requires a lot of coordinated efforts and asks for new global solutions. Our extraordinary newsletter concentrates on software freedom for global solutions, on Free Software solutions for remote connections and on how the FSFE handles the whole situation. As usual, we highlight our community activities and give tips on what you can do to edutain yourself while staying home. Enjoy the read, stay healthy, and protect freedom.
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.
From our own pre-FOSDEM event, to the exciting FOSDEM weekend, to I love Free Software day, February was full of exciting news for the FSFE. We used these occasions to present our work, as well as to offer communities around Europe the opportunity to present their own. Read about our booths and presentations, about love and upcoming events in our February Newsletter.
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.
2020 is not just a new year, it is the dawn of a new decade. With more and more automated systems run by software, a political representation of freedom is more needed than ever. Read in our January Newsletter about why Cory Doctorow supports the FSFE financially and why you should do so too. Read about our upcoming FOSDEM activities including our pre-FOSDEM meeting and reflections on our presence at the Chaos Communication Congress. Also we have a new Software Freedom Podcast with Harald Welte and reports from our community.
In the monthly Software Freedom Podcast we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Carmen Bianca Bakker about the REUSE project. By this we are covering the very broad topic of software licensing and the problems there, which REUSE is able to solve with three simple steps.
Once a month, we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this third episode, our guest is Harald Welte, Free Software programmer and activist. Harald discusses with us his current projects regarding mobile phone communication and the general status of Free Software in this area.
The last Newsletter of the year ends with exciting news for software freedom: the biggest conservative party in Europe, the German CDU, endorsed the principle that software developed with public money should be under a Free Software License. We further invite you to to read about the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months and to dig into Florian Snow's report of our Annual Community Meeting 2019. Also you find an outlook on our participation at the biggest hacking related conference in Europe, the 36C3 and a call for your support and help to continue our mission towards empowering users to control technology.
This year's FSFE Community Meeting took place from Friday 15 November to Saturday 16 November 2019 as part of SFSCon - an annual Free Software event in the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol, Italy. As in previous editions, embedding our community meeting in another event gave us the opportunity to meet different parts of our own community as well as to connect with people from other communities.
In the last 12 months, we have achieved a lot with the help of our volunteers, through their donations and hard work. Thanks to their support, we were able to successfully continue our PMPC campaign, simplify licensing practices through our REUSE initiative, and stand up for router freedom in Europe. We will be back in 2020 with even more vigour towards our work. Please help us with a donation so that we can continue our successful commitment to Free Software.
This month, we present our Portuguese friends from ANSOL and their success story on solving the problems DRM creates in their country and gives tips on how you can take similar actions in your country. Episode 2 of the FSFE's Software Freedom Podcast is out and we dedicate it to the KDE Community and the transformations and updates they are currently undertaking. You can discover upcoming events and interesting stories with visuals from the events where our community promoted Free Software across Europe. We offer a sneak peak into this year's FSFE Annual Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy before the official report. In the Get Active section, we ask for your help with the new "Public Money? Public Code!" initiative. We need more municipalities and public sector bodies to embrace the principles and become part of the signatories.
The Free Software Foundation Europe welcomes the conservantive CDU's party convention resolution on the use of Free Software. At its 32nd party conference this weekend, the CDU ("Christian Democratic Party") resolved to join FSFE in demanding that software developed with public money should be publicly available as Free Software. This decision aligns with our "Public Money, Public Code!" campaign, which is supported by over 170 organisations and 26,000 individuals.
Router Freedom is the right of customers of any Internet Service Provider (ISP) to choose and use a private modem and router instead of a router that the ISP forces them to use. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) drafted guidelines for national agencies how to deal with Router Freedom in their countries. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) provided mixed feedback to an ongoing public consulation.
After 15 years of trying to solve the DRM problem, the Portuguese Association for Free Software ANSOL and the Association for Free Education AEL finally managed to get what they sought: a fix to the DRM situation in Portugal.
Our EU-wide campaign "Public Money? Public Code!" has made it to the city parliament in Kassel (Germany). The parliamentary group, consisting of FDP, Freie Wähler (Free Voters) and Pirates, has proposed a motion "Public Money - Public Code as a Principle in Software Procurement". The motion calls on the magistrate to follow the principle of "Public Money, Public Code" when purchasing new software and to focus increasingly on Free Software as well as Open Standards.
We are back with the second episode of our Software Freedom Podcast! Once a month, we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Lydia Pintscher from KDE about the development of the KDE community, the different KDE projects and the issues they will be tackling over the next two years.
In the context of the 36th Chaos Communication Congress happening from December 27th to 30th in Leipzig, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly again inside the cluster "about:freedom". We offer attention and a stage for self-organised sessions by and for our community and friends, and this is our call for participation.
This month, we focus our attention on digital restrictions and the International Day against them. To this end, we launched our first episode of the monthly Software Freedom Podcast, this time starring Cory Doctorow talking about DRM. We have published our yearly report, summing up our activities of the past 12 months and shining light on the community we build our success on. As usual, you will also discover upcoming events with the FSFE, including our Annual Community meeting, as well as recordings and information from events we participated in.
The right of choosing your own modem and router is a basic precondition for a neutral, safe and healthy digital environment. If you cannot control your router, it is not free and your digital freedom is likely to be compromised. For years, the FSFE has been successfully fighting for Router Freedom in Germany. Now the debate has reached the European level with Internet Service Providers imposing their specific routers to customers. The FSFE has prepared an activity package for people and organisations interested in advocating for their freedom of choice.
"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. Among many other interesting stories, in the 2019 report you will read about our ongoing work for router freedom in Europe, about the first Parliament in Europe who joins our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign, about our new version of REUSE tools to help Free Software developers with easy license compliance and about much more of our multi-faceted policy work - all together aiming at a world in which users are in control of technology!
At this year's General Assembly, which took place in Essen, Germany, on 12 October, the members of the FSFE re-elected Matthias Kirschner as the president, Heiki Lõhmus as the vice president, and Patrick Ohnewein as the financial officer for another two-year term.
Join us and the Free Software Foundation in the fight against DRM! Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is any technology that is built into an electronic product or service with the aim of limiting its use. It is designed to prevent customers from using digital technology in ways that do not correspond to the business agenda of a content provider or device manufacturer.
We have a Podcast! Starting with this episode, we will talk once a month with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In our first episode of our Software Freedom Podcast, we address the issue of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) together with Cory Doctorow, a British-Canadian writer, political activist, and co-editor of the blog boingboing.net. Cory Doctorow is a prominent supporter of software freedom and a less restrictive copyright law. His books are published under Creative Commons licenses.
Freedomvote.ch is back. The Swiss Freedomvote campaign aims to give voters guidance about the candidates who are running for election. As in its previous edition from 2015, it offers candidates the opportunity to present their positioning on different digital topics, including Free Software. More than 160 candidates are already participating and prove that digital topics are becoming more and more important - for voters just as for candidates.
At the end of September together with Open Forum Europe we organised a meeting in Brussels to bring together Free Software experts from around Europe. Goal of the meeting was to discuss Free Software and its driving role in the digital transformation in Europe, and in particular how the European institutions can further facilitate these developments.
In less than 2 months this year's FSFE community meeting will take place between 15 and 17 November at the SFScon in Bolzano, Italy. There will be inspiring talks, both from within the FSFE community as well as from the SFScon accompanied with a lot of social gatherings. No matter if you are a longtime volunteer or you have never heard about us before - everyone who is interested in the FSFE is welcome to join.
In this month's newsletter, we focus our attention on the impact of Free Software on competition, in a piece written by our guest expert, Prof. Dr. Simon Schlauri. We also take the chance to announce the awesome progress we have made in the REUSE project towards making copyright and licensing easier for developers. Further down, you can discover upcoming events and information about the FSFE Annual Community meeting, as well as see some photos and video recordings from events where our community promoted Free Software across Europe. We also make some recommendations for articles you may find useful.
On 16 September, one of our independent sister organisations, the US-based Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced the resignation of Richard M. Stallman as its president. While we recognise Stallman's role in founding the Free Software movement, we welcome the decision.
Since 2014, a European Directive has the effect of hindering users to load software on their radio devices, devices such as mobile phones, laptops and routers. While the European Commission recently closed a feedback period, where citizens shared their thoughts about the impact of the Directive, the FSFE worries that such feedback could very well go unheeded. Learn more about the feedback received, and what lies ahead.
REUSE helps developers to declare copyright and licensing of their projects. Today, the REUSE project released version 3.0 of their specification. The new edition is accompanied by a helper tool and makes adopting the best practices easier than ever.
Do public administrations distort the market through the release of Free Software? An article by Prof. Dr. Simon Schlauri about the legal and economic arguments resulting from this question and originally written for our Public Money? Public Code - policy brochure.
In this month's newsletter, we pay special attention to our new Testimonials page and the freshly prepared summary of the FSFE's annual Legal Licensing Workshop that took place in Barcelona. Further down, you can discover the upcoming events we are participating in and hosting, as well as see some visual details about how and where we managed to promote and extend the use of Free Software around Europe.
This month's newsletter highlights the Google/Huawei case and the greater picture it reveals to us. In the Get Active section we call for your proactivity in promoting the use of Free Software. Additionally, you can find out what happened at our Web-a-thon in Frankfurt am Main and view some media of the actions we have taken for promoting and increasing the awareness of Free Software to the wider audience, as well as see what's planned for the near future, where you can take part in.
Google denies the Chinese IT giant Huawei access to Google's proprietary components of the Android mobile operating system which threatens IT security. This highlights the importance Free Software has for technology users, public bodies, and businesses. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) presents three essential lessons from this case.
This newsletter edition gives special attention to the upcoming EU Elections. We are telling the story of the Spanish Pica Pica Hacklab who successfully used our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign to influence the Parliament of Asturias. Pica Pica's story takes us to the upcoming EU Elections that will bring in new MEPs into the European Parliament and so we provide advice and tips on how you can get active in promoting Free Software to them. As always, you will also read about the events the FSFE is going to be part of this month, as well as a retrospective of what has happened in the past month.
More than two years ago, Munich abandoned their strategy of developing an independent IT infrastructure built with Free Software and the free operating system GNU/Linux and went back to depending on proprietary software. We followed this process closely and like to give an update today about what has happened since then in Munich and in Europe in general. Did we manage to gain more independence and control over our IT or did dependencies on monopolies increase over the past two years?
Yesterday, political satirist Christine Prayon was awarded the 10,000 Euro Dieter Hildebrandt Prize of the City of Munich for demanding political or decidedly socio-critical political satire. Prayon is donating the prize money to the Free Software Foundation Europe.
How the Parliament of Asturias decided to sign the open letter demanding "Public Money? Public Code!" - an interview with Iyán Méndez Veiga
"The Parliament of Asturias commits itself to the international "Public Money, Public Code" campaign" - this is a quote from the first demand in a recent proposal brought by the Parliament of Asturias to its government. It is also the happy end of continuous lobbying efforts from Oviedo's local hackerspace "Pica Pica Hacklab", using the FSFE's campaign material mixed with their self-developed brand of social hacking. Meanwhile, the Parliament of Asturias backed up its words with deeds and officially signed the open letter of our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign - being the very first Parliament to do so. To shed light on this successful story and inspire local groups around the world, we conducted an interview with Iyán Méndez Veiga, member of Pica Pica Hacklab.
This month's newsletter highlights the presence of the FSFE's campaign"Public Money? Public Code!" in German media and its growing popularity across Europe. You can find a short reminder of the news around the newly voted Copyright Directive, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Get Active section this month we remind you of the new open call the Next Generation Internet project we are part of has launched. Additionally you can find out about new events we are attending and the Web-a-thon we organise in Frankfurt am Main.
On Wednesday 14th of February, we acknowledge and celebrate the annual "I love Free Software Day". It is the day to express your love for Free Software and gratitude for your favourite pieces of Free Software. The Free Software Foundation Europe would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated and helped making this day a special one for everyone involved.
The European Parliament adopted the controversial Copyright Directive by 348 votes in favour, 274 votes against and 36 abstentions. Today's vote marks the end of years of debate in the European Union. Heated discussions about the introduction of upload filters ended up in protests of hundreds of thousands of people in the streets all across Europe. In a last minute action back in September 2018, the European Parliament adopted an amendment and pushed it through the trilogue to at least protect Free Software developing platforms.
This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.
Today, the FSFE celebrates International Women's Day, a global day calling for women's rights and gender parity. As in many other communities, women in Free Software communities face gender discrimination on a daily basis. To help improve their environment and raise awareness, the FSFE wants to use today's occasion to share our ongoing efforts to improve gender balance and ensure gender equality.
Today, as with every year on February 14th, people around the globe are celebrating "I love Free Software" Day by expressing their love and thanks to all the people working behind each Free Software project. Follow the love with the hashtag #IloveFS today and add your own love dedication to the stream!
This month's Newsletter is introducing our new expert policy brochure "Public Money? Public Code" and reflecting the importance of source code availability for trust and security in critical IT-infrastructure. As always the Newsletter gives an overview about the talks given and the booths set-up by our community as well as a short summary of what we have done - this month including FOSDEM, 35C3, FOSS4SMEs and the Next Generation Internet. As a "get active" item, this month we encourage you to participate in our IloveFS-campaign.
The discussion of the Huawei security concerns showcases a general trust issue when it comes to critical infrastructure. A first step to solve this problem is to publish the code under a Free and Open Source Software licence and take measures to facilitate its independently-verifiable distribution.
Why should governments develop Free Software? Where is Free Software already generating benefits in the public sector? What are Free Software business models? Answers to these questions and practical guidelines are given in the new expert policy brochure published today by the Free Software Foundation Europe. Produced with decision-takers in mind, the brochure will be a helpful source of information for candidates and parties running for the European Parliament election. Downloads and prints are available under a Creative Commons license.
We are looking for a Fundraising Manager to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the Berlin office, being in charge of the FSFE's individual and corporate fundraising.