Annual report of the Free Software Foundation Europe 2018
"Software freedom in Europe" is the yearly report of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). In one document, it gives you a breakdown of important things the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months. In the 2018 report, you will read about our electoral campaigns, our input on the European Union's copyright reform, and about our successful outreach in demanding publicly financed software be made publicly available under a Free Software licence. You will also get insights about the events we (co-)organised and about our community and groups that helped us with these achievements. Finally, we will display some numbers showing what resources we counted on, and giving an outlook for the next year.
Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 35C3
In the context of the 35th Chaos Communication Congress happening from December 27th to 30th in Leipzig, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly again, acting as an information booth and a meeting point for our friends and all friends of Free Software. As in previous editions, we offer attention and a stage for self-organised sessions by and for our community, and this is our call for participation.
Free Software changing Microsoft's patent strategy
In October Microsoft took a big step concerning its software patents by joining the LOT Network (LOT stands for "License on Transfer") and the Open Invention Network (OIN). This is a clear sign of progress on the long road to handing control of technology to the people, and the FSFE encourages Microsoft to take additional steps in this direction.
Digital-O-Mat: Wat vinden de partijen in Hessen van Vrije Software?
De Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) heeft voorafgaand aan de komende verkiezing voor de Landdag in Hessen met behulp van een "Digital-O-Mat" de posities van de partijen ten aanzien van Vrije Software onder de loep genomen. Opvallend zijn met name de zwaarwegende verschillen tussen de huidige coalitiepartners. Terwijl de CDU zich voor de status quo uitspreekt presenteert Bündnis 90/Die Grünen zich als ondersteuner van Vrije Software en spreekt zich expliciet uit voor het door de FSFE gepropageerde grondbeginsel "Publiek Geld, Publieke Code!" van de gelijknamige campagne uit.
"Go open today, there's no excuse not to" - interview with Timo Aarnio, GIS expert at National Land Survey Finland.
Oskari is a Free Software platform for browsing, sharing and analysing geographic information from distributed data sources. Its development is coordinated by the National Land Survey of Finland and is organised through the Oskari network with over 38 organisations from both the public and private sector. Oskari was awarded second prize in the cross-border category of the European Commission's Sharing and Reuse Awards Contest 2017 and is currently going through incubation phase to become an official Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Project. To shed light on best practices regarding Free Software developed by public funds, we have conducted an interview with Timo Aarnio, GIS Expert at the National Land Survey of Finland’s SDI Services department.
Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)
Wir suchen eine engagierte Person, die Interesse hat ihren Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei dem FSFE e.V. zu leisten. Die Bundesfreiwillige wird Vollzeit (35 Stunden wöchentlich) gemeinsam mit unserem Team in unserem Berliner Büro arbeiten.
New FSFE staff member Alexander Sander: EU public policy programme manager
The Free Software Foundation Europe is happy to welcome our newest staffer Alexander Sander. Alexander is hired as our new EU public policy programme manager and works full-time in the FSFE's Berlin office. In this position, Alexander mainly works with us on policy topics covering Free Software and Open Standards issues at the EU and member state level and helps us identify and monitor EU policy developments to alert the FSFE's network on relevant issues.
"Call to Action: Save Free Software this September"
Free Software is at risk! On the 12th of September the EU is getting ready to vote on a "Copyright Reform" package, which undermines the foundations upon which Free Software is built. The proposed Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive targets every online service that allows its users to upload and share content with each other, including code hosting platforms.
"Public Money? Public Code!": more languages, more supporters, more awareness
The "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign has received an updated set of translations, including the website, open letter and video. The Free Software Foundation Europe has also conducted interviews to ask public administrations about the benefits of public code, which are now available on our website.
FSFE is hiring: interns and trainees for legal, policy and technical areas
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.
FSFE is hiring: project manager
We are looking for a project manager to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE's Berlin office supporting FSFE projects and managing larger FSFE events. There will be coordination with remote staff and volunteers, as well as travels to other countries.
Using Free Software to build a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable digital society - interview with Francesca Bria, CTO of Barcelona.
Barcelona, the second most populous municipality of Spain, is actively working on a "smart city" agenda that is reshaping modern city's infrastucture and technologies to put citizen's needs first. Key to Barcelona's agenda is the use and promotion of Free Software and open technologies as a social good, to enable collaboration between administrations and to escape vendor lock-ins. Barcelona is also the first City Council who signed the open letter for “Public Money? Public Code!”. To shed light on Barcelona's best practice, we have conducted an interview with Francesca Bria, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer at the Barcelona City Council, to ask her about ongoing innovations and developments in Barcelona.
Technical Note: Mail Issues on June 8
On Friday morning, one of our servers had a fatal hardware crash. This affected parts of our mail infrastructure and mailing lists. Meanwhile, all services are back to normal. We would like to inform you about what happened and which problems it caused. In a nutshell: Please make sure your emails arrived and check your SMTP settings.
How Spanish administrations reuse software - an interview with Elena Muñoz Salinero about best practices.
The Technology Transfer Centre (CTT) is an initiative run by the Spanish government whose goal is to facilitate sharing and reuse of software and services among public administrations. To shed light on this best practice, we have conducted an interview with Elena Muñoz Salinero, head of CTT, to ask her about the legal, political and technological background of the CTT.
LLW2018: The FSFE brings together top legal experts to debate about cross-cutting legal and licensing issues around Free Software
Following more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in 2018: a meeting point for world-leading legal experts to debate issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This year we decided to bring the event back to its roots and emphasise the "Workshop" part in its original title: around 120 legal experts gathered for a 3-day conference in Barcelona, Spain with an unprecedented amount of parallel tracks and interactive sessions designed to dive into the most contentious topics in the legal world of Free Software.
FSFE is hiring: EU public policy programme manager
We are looking for a programme manager for our policy work. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE's Berlin office. There will be coordination with remote staff and volunteers, as well as regular travels to Brussels and other countries.
FSFE simplifies membership procedures for contributors
During last year's General Assembly the FSFE's Council was asked to prepare a constitution change to remove the so-called "Fellowship seats". This motion was adopted with 20:3 votes and zero abstentions. Today the FSFE's General Assembly approved in an extraordinary meeting the removal of the Fellowship seats. In future, access to membership of the FSFE shall be facilitated through the normal membership procedures for active FSFE contributors.
Call for Participation: FSFE Community Meeting and FSFE track at the Libre Software Meeting in Strasbourg, France
The Libre Software Meeting (LSM) is maybe the biggest community-driven Free Software meeting in France and in 2018 also serves as host of the FSFE community meeting. It takes place in Strasbourg and the FSFE will organise its own track on the first days of LSM, from 7 to 9 of July. This is your chance to be part in the FSFE's community meeting and to give a talk at the LSM 2018 at the same time. Deadline to apply for a talk is April 30 - and before you forget it, apply now!
Call for Participation: FSFE Track About "Digital Education" During the Libre Software Meeting in Strasbourg, France
From 7 to 12 July there will be the Libre Software Meeting in Strasbourg, France. The conference also known as RMLL is annualy rotating and currently the biggest Free Software event in France. This year, the main topic is "Digital Education: building captivity or new empowerment?". With the FSFE track we are looking for inspiring insights about golden cages and liberation not only in educational institutions but in our everyday lives.
#ilovefs Report 2018
On Wednesday 14th of February, our community celebrated the annual "I love Free Software Day". A day to declare love to the communities most important to you as well as saying "Thank You" to the Free Software projects surrounding us every single day. The Free Software Foundation Europe also wants to thank everyone who cheered and contributed to make this day as special as it could be.
Ask Your Candidates: Italian parties offer progress towards the use of Free Software in public entities
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) publishes the results of the Ask Your Candidates campaign that FSFE Italy did run for the Italian election. Multiple questions have been sent to the major political parties that run for office in the national elections on March 4. We received positive statements by "Movimento 5 Stelle", "Liberi e Uguali", "Partito Democratico" and "Potere al Popolo". Unfortunately, there have been no answers by "+Europa", "Forza Italia", "Fratelli d'Italia" and "Lega Nord".
FSFE Italy asks political parties about their positions on Free Software
In light of the upcoming elections in Italy on March 4th, the FSFE country team Italy sent out multiple questions to the participating parties to challenge them on their position about Free Software in public administration and education. We will publish and analyse their answers once we receive them.
European Free Software Policy Meeting 2018: more joint activities important for Free Software in Europe
Following the well-established tradition of gathering active Free Software groups before FOSDEM kicks off, the FSFE once again partnered up with OpenForum Europe for the third edition of European Free Software Policy Meeting in Brussels, the heart of European decision-making.
Join the I Love Free Software Day 2018
The Free Software Foundation Europe calls on everyone to say "thank you" to all contributors to Free Software on 14 February. Last year the annual I Love Free Software Day has been committed with offline activism to tell people outside of our filter bubble about the importance of Free Software. This Wednesday, we will go back to our roots and focus on why this day has been invented in the first place: to celebrate the Free Software community.
Organisationen und Juristen fordern: Das besondere elektronische Anwaltspostfach muss Freie Software werden
Das Vertrauen in das besondere elektronische Anwaltspostfach (beA) hat nach bekannt gewordenen Sicherheitslücken und erheblichen technischen Mängeln das Vertrauen von Juristen und Mandanten verloren. Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) übermittelt heute ihren Offenen Brief mit Empfehlungen und Forderungen an die auftraggebende Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (BRAK) zusammen mit drei weiteren bekannten zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen und 21 Juristen.
Wie das besondere elektronische Anwaltspostfach (beA) noch zu retten ist
Das besondere elektronische Anwaltspostfach sollte eigentlich seit Anfang 2018 verschlüsselte Kommunikation mit und unter Rechtsanwälten ermöglichen. Allerdings sorgen zahlreiche Sicherheitslücken dafür, dass der Dienst vorerst offline bleiben muss. Die Free Software Foundation Europe empfiehlt der auftraggebenden Bundesrechtsanwaltkammer (BRAK), durch die Veröffentlichung des Programmcodes unter einer Freie-Software- und Open-Source-Lizenz verloren gegangenes Vertrauen wiederherzustellen.
FSFE releases refreshed set of REUSE practices and a tool to help developers comply
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.
Radio Lockdown: Current Status of Your Device Freedom
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.
Equip yourself for 2018: Get FSFE's new t-shirt celebrating the 100 freedoms of Free Software!
Wear this t-shirt as an icebreaker to explain binary counting and Free Software to your friends—and look good doing it!
FSFE Yearly Report 2017
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.
Dutch government publishes large project as Free Software
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.
Welcome supporters (and goodbye smartcard)
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.
2018 internship positions as student interns
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.
Open position as office assistant
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:
32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure
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.
FSFE makes copyrights computer readable
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is proud to release its next version of our REUSE practices designed to make computers understand software copyrights and licenses.
General Assembly 2017: new members, new roles and new directions
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.
Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 34C3
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.
FSFE presents modernised Fiduciary Licensing Agreement 2.0
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.
EU Copyright Review: Tell Legislators to Save Code Share
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.
Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software
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.
FSFE in 2020: Reaffirming our identity
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.
European Copyright reform hampers Free Software development
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.
FSFE announces Software Licensing Best Practices
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.
Bundestagswahl 2017: Das sagen die Parteien zu Freier Software
Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) veröffentlicht heute, als Teil der "Koalition Freies Wissen", ihre Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum 19. Deutschen Bundestag am 24. September 2017. Zusammenfassend schneiden Grüne und Linke positiv ab. Beide Parteien scheinen die zentrale Rolle von Software zu verstehen und sprechen sich, wie auch schon zur letzten Bundestagswahl, sowohl für den Einsatz als auch für die aktive Entwicklung von Freier Software aus. Im Vergleich dazu sind die Positionen von CDU/CSU, der SPD und der FDP eher zurückhaltend und oft mit Einschränkungen verbunden.
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.
Open internship position as project assistant
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.
Now in FSFE's online shop: non-binary pink bibs suitable for any gender!
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.
Estonian presidency in the EU: the FSFE asks for truly interoperable IT services in public sector
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.
Legal and Licensing Workshop 2017: Its 10th edition "restarts" debates in Free Software licensing
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.
FSFE provides Git hosting for its supporters
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.
New European Interoperability Framework calls on public sector to contribute to Free Software
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.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is ...
… 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.
Digital-o-Mat: Campaigning for freedom in the state elections of North Rhine-Westphalia
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.
Fellowship elections 2017 with eight candidates
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.
In addition, a moderated hustings will be held on March 30, 5:30 PM UTC to 7:30 PM UTC in #fsfe at irc.freenode.net. Detailed schedule and instructions may be found at the election wiki page.
All orderly Fellows eligible to vote will also receive detailed voting instructions by e-mail in due course.
Input about Free Software for German OGP action plan published
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.
PraktikantIn für Kampagne zur Bundestagswahl gesucht
Die Free Software Foundation Europe ist ein gemeinnütziger Verein, der Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik unterstützt. Dazu helfen wir Menschen und Organisationen dabei, zu verstehen, wie Freie Software zu Freiheit, Transparenz und Selbstbestimmung in der digitalen Gesellschaft beiträgt. Unsere Arbeit und Mission wird von einigen Angestellten und vielen Freiwilligen aus ganz Europa unterstützt und ermöglicht. Für unser Büro in Berlin suchen wir aktuell eine PraktikantIn (m/w), die uns in der Vorbereitung der Bundestagswahl unterstützt. Wir sind ein gemischtes, internationales Team und diskriminieren nicht nach Geschlecht, Herkunft, Hintergrund oder sonstigen Nebensächlichkeiten.
#ilovefs Report 2017: Love and Activism
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.
Freedomvote.nl helps voters compare party positions on digital freedom in upcoming Dutch election
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.
What happened in Munich
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.
European Commission responds to the FSFE's information request for Horizon 2020
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.
Berlin sends a message for "I love Free Software" day
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.
European Free Software Policy Meeting 2017
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.
I love Free Software Day 2017
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.
Report of FSFE's assembly during the Chaos Communication Congress
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.
2017 internship positions as student interns
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 FSFE files FOI request for Horizon 2020
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.
FSFE Annual Report 2016
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 FSFE asks for more Free Software and Open Standards in Open Science
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.
Report of the first ever FSFE summit
From September 2nd to 4th, the FSFE organised its first ever summit to bring together our pan-European community and Fellows for a whole weekend and to discuss contemporary and important issues regarding software freedom. On this occasion we also held our official party to celebrate 15 years of FSFE. Read our report including some pictures of the event and find a summary with all talks that have been held with links to our video-recordings.
[Newsletter] FSFE news in December 2016
This month the FSFE newsletter comes for the first time with a call to raise our funds and progress in Russia to further Free Software on political level. Also read about our various activities or participate in our discussion about "Free Software business". As in every newsletter, you also find our out-of-the-community section with interesting news from our community and some good Free Software news from around the world.
Help us now to grow bigger and make a difference in 2017
This year, FSFE celebrated its 15th birthday. 15 years of empowering users, supporting communities and pushing for better legislation. 15 years to see that all activities, even if considered small at the time, can become big when we work together. 15 years to see that all activities, even if considered impossible at the time, can succeed when we stand together. Together, we sometimes succeeded even against the heaviest lobbying of large interest groups. 15 years to know that all of this would not have been possible without the continuous support of our community, contributing thousands of hours of their work time and backing us financially. Help us now to grow bigger and make a difference in 2017.
[Blog] There is no Free Software company - But!
Since the start of the FSFE 15 years ago, the people involved were certain that companies are a crucial part to reach our goal of software freedom. For many years we have explained to companies – IT as well as non-IT – what benefits they have from Free Software. We encourage individuals and companies to pay for Free Software, as much as we encourage companies to use Free Software in their offers. While more people demanded Free Software, we also saw more companies claiming something is Free Software or Open Source Software although it is not.
[Newsletter] FSFE news in November 2016
This month the FSFE newsletter comes with a public consultation on our Fellowship brand. Read the background and do not miss your chance to participate. Also read about the take-over of FSFE's Vice-presidency by Heiki Löhmus and the ongoing revision of the European Interoperability Framework. As in every newsletter, you also find our out-of-the-community as well as a what-we-have-done section with some good Free Software news and highlights of our press coverage.
[Blog] OpenRheinRuhr 2016 report
Last weekend, the FSFE visited Oberhausen to participate in OpenRheinRuhr, a well-known Free Software event in north-western Germany. We had a strong booth team, gave talks, and enjoyed talking to tons of like-minded people about politics, technology and other stuff. In this blog post you will learn about some highlights of the weekend and what coat hangers have to do with flat irons.
Russian Bill makes Free Software a Public Priority
Legislators have drafted a bill that will boost Free Software on multiple levels within the Russian Federation's public sector.
Heiki Lõhmus takes over FSFE vice-presidency from Alessandro Rubini
Alessandro Rubini has stepped down as Vice-president of the FSFE. Alessandro, an electronic engineer with Ph. D. in a computer science, brought invaluable insight to the internal discussions within the FSFE and has worked tirelessly to push the Free Software envelope in Italy and the rest of Europe.
Berliner Wahlversprechen umsetzen und Freie Software im Koalitionsvertrag verankern
In dieser Woche steht das Thema Netzpolitik auf dem Programm der aktuellen Koalitionsverhandlungen in Berlin. Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) fordert die Koalitionäre dabei auf, die in ihren Wahlprogrammen und bei den Wahlprüfsteinen der "Koalition Freies Wissen" gemachten Versprechungen im Koalitionsvertrag zu verankern und Berlin damit zu einem europäischen Vorreiter in Freier Software zu machen. Dazu gibt die FSFE drei konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen.
Call for sessions at the FSFE assembly during 33C3
From December 27 to 30, the FSFE will host an assembly during the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) including an information booth, self-organised sessions and a meeting point for all friends of Free Software to come together, share or simply relax. We are looking forward to organise sessions in the name of our assembly and we will book proper rooms or offer our assembly itself. Sessions can be inspiring talks, hands-on workshops, community/developer/strategy meetings or any other public, informative or collaborative activity.
Topics can be anything that is about or related to Free Software. We welcome technical sessions but we also encourage to give non-technical talks that address philosophical, economical or other aspects of/about Free Software. We also like sessions about related subjects that have a clear connection to Free Software for example privacy, data protection, sustainability and similar topics. Finally, we welcome all backgrounds – from your private project to global community projects. If you are interested, read more about our call for participation.
Open internship position as a technical intern
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 a technical intern to join our team for three months, taking part in the work to rewrite and implement a new account management system.
EU copyright proposal reinforces DRM
On 14 September the European Commission (EC) published its long-awaited proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. While we welcome the proposal to introduce a mandatory exception for 'text and data mining' (TDM) in the field of scientific research, we are concerned about the inclusion of a far-reaching "technical safeguards" clause granted to rightholders in order to limit the newly established exception.
Julia Reda, MEP: "Proprietary Software threatens Democracy"
Julia Reda ended the QtCon, a conference for the Free Software community, with a closing keynote on, among other things, Free Software in the European Public Sector.
Berliner Parteien zu Freier Software: Regierung enttäuscht, Opposition macht Hoffnung
Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) veröffentlicht heute als Teil der "Koalition Freies Wissen die Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin am 18. September 2016. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zur Forderung, öffentlich finanzierte Software als Freie Software zu veröffentlichen, sowie zu ihrer Bereitschaft, Freie Software an Bildungseinrichtungen verstärkt einzusetzen. CDU, Grüne, Linke, Piraten und SPD haben geantwortet und erklärten ihre jeweiligen Positionen dazu. Zudem wurden die Wahlprogramme der Parteien untersucht und Vergleiche zu den Positionen der Parteien von vor fünf Jahren gezogen. Dabei schneiden Grüne und Linke positiv ab, bei der CDU, den Piraten und der SPD sieht die FSFE teils erheblichen Verbesserungsbedarf.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - Zittende regeringspartijen zijn blijkbaar bang voor Vrije Software
De Free Software Foundation Europe maakt vandaag als deel van de "Coalitie Vrije Kennis de verkiezingstoetsstenen voor de verkiezingen voor het parlement van Mecklenburg-Vorpommern op 4 september 2016 bekend. De partijen konden stelling nemen ten aanzien van de eis om publiek gefinancierde software als Vrije Software openbaar te maken en ten aanzien van de bereidheid om Vrije Software versterkt in het onderwijs in te zetten. De Groenen staan positief ten opzichte van Vrije Software en doen voorstellen voor de omschakeling. De Linksen hebben de betekenis van „Vrije Software“ als zodanig erkent, hoewel concrete voorstellen voor de omschakeling ontbreken. SPD en CDU hebben daarentegen inhoudelijk veel in te halen.
The Document Foundation and the FSFE strengthen their relationship
The Free Software Foundation (FSFE) is joining the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation. At the same time, The Document Foundation is becoming an associated organisation of the FSFE.
In Memory of our Friend Elias Diem
In the afternoon of Saturday 6 August, our friend and active Fellow Elias Diem passed away. He was on his way back home from a hiking trip with a friend in the Swiss alps. He slipped and fell about 150 meters. His friend tried to rescue him, but it was too late. He died of a heavy head injury at the age of 39.
Free Software Foundation Europe Summit 2016 – Not a tech conference
Free Software advocates from all over Europe will be meeting in Berlin from the 2nd to the 4th of September at the FSFE Summit 2016. Apart from working on furthering the adoption of Free Software in Europe, we will also be celebrating the FSFE's 15th anniversary.
Compulsory Routers: what customers have to take care of now
Up until now, Internet service providers (ISPs) in Germany determined the router users had to use to connect to the Internet. The user had no say in this decision. This changes on August 1. A new law will allow users choose the device that gets installed in their homes. The FSFE wants to ensure everybody knows about their new rights and is asking users to report cases in which ISPs try to avoid the new regulation.
Registration open: Be part of the first FSFE summit from September 2nd - 4th in BCC Berlin, Germany
Imagine a European Union that builds its IT infrastructure on Free Software. Imagine European Member States that exchange information in Open Standards and share their software. Imagine municipalities and city councils that benefit from decentralized and collaborative software under free licenses. Imagine no European is any longer forced to use non-Free Software... This is what we are seeking. And although this vision feels like a long road to go, we know that we are taking major steps along it today. To help unlock our full potential on this road, FSFE offers cross-border collaboration and in 2016 its first European summit. Join us and our movement.
The Software Heritage intiative: A comprehensive archive of Free Software code
The Free Software Foundation Europe protects users, companies and institutions from technological abuse by promoting the use of Free Software. Now there is a project that protects the code used in Free Software itself and promised to preserve it for the future: Inria presents the Software Heritage initiative.
FSFE's answers to the European Commission's Public Consultation: Revision of the European Interoperability Framework
The European Commission is asking for public input with regard to its plans to renew the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). The EIF aims to promote enhanced interoperability in the EU public sector. The document, originally intended as a set of non-binding guidelines for the EU public administration, is going through its third revision since its initial adoption in 2004. The FSFE has prepared its comments for the draft of the revised guidelines.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is ...
… Mirko Boehm! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on April 29, 2016. There was just one candidate running for the Fellowship GA seat this time. The more we are happy that still 18,9% of our Fellows took their chance to support Mirko Boehm in running for the seat.
Call for Participation for the first FSFE summit
In 2016, the FSFE is celebrating 15 years of existence. What started as a small group of volunteers has grown into a European wide movement with actively supporting members in more than 20 countries. We dedicate this birthday to our community, to those who made us grow strong in the past 15 years - with the first ever FSFE summit on September 2 – 4, taking place in the Berlin Congress Center, Germany. If you like to be part of it, save the date and take part in the call for participation.
EU jeopardises its own goals in standardisation with FRAND licensing
On 19 April, the European Commission published a communication on "ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market" (hereinafter 'the Communication'). The Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy intends to digitise industries with several legislative and political initiatives, and the Communication is a part of it covering standardisation. In general, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the Communication's plausible approach for integrating Free Software and Open Standards into standardisation but expresses its concerns about the lack of understanding of necessary prerequisites to pursue that direction.
Joint Statement on the Radio Lockdown Directive
23 organisations including the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) joined up in proposing measures to EU institutions and EU member states to avoid negative implications on users' rights and Free Software imposed by the EU Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU.
Directive Radio - Lettre ouverte à Bercy et à l'Arcep
La directive relative à l'harmonisation des législations des États membres concernant la mise à disposition sur le marché d'équipements radioélectriques (ou directive radio) a été adoptée en avril 2014, avec pour objectif d'améliorer la gestion du spectre radio. Elle doit être transposée et mise en œuvre dans les États membres avant le 12 juin 2016. Quoique poursuivant des objectifs louables, elle impose des critères de conformité pour les logiciels installés sur les équipements radios et constitue une menace inédite pour l'utilisation des logiciels libres. Dangereuse pour l'innovation et les droits des utilisateurs, elle crée une formidable insécurité juridique pour les associations qui, aux quatre coins du territoire, développent des réseaux Internet citoyens sans-fil. Alors qu'il travaille à la transposition de ce texte, le gouvernement français doit d'urgence corriger le tir et garantir la liberté d'installation des logiciels libres sur les équipements radios.
FSFE's work in 2015
From teaching people to use encryption for their e-mail, to changing the direction of policy on a European level, the Free Software Foundation Europe worked hard in 2015 to empower users to control technology. With welcome help from our donors and contributors, we set out with ambitious goals for the year. We saw a lot of improvements in how we work, and we ended the year positively with a lot to look forward to in 2016. Please enjoy this story of (some!) of our work over the year, and thank you for helping us make the world a better place!
#ilovefs Report 2016
Sunday 14 February 2016 was a day to declare love for people we care for. On this day, as a yearly tradition, the Free Software community celebrates "I love Free Software" day to thank developers behind Free Software. This year, for the 6th time, FSFE asked everyone to participate and express their appreciation and gratitude to their favourite Free Software contributors.
I love Free Software Day 2016
It's time to say "thank you" on 14th of February, the "I love Free Software" Day 2016. 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 online campaign which has first been celebrated five years ago.
European Free Software Policy Meeting 2016
Traditionally, Brussels is the place to go for Free Software enthusiasts and developers at the end of January. During FOSDEM, hundreds of experts talk about their beloved project and discuss the past, present and future of Open Source. It is a great place for meeting like-minded people.
MEPs vote for more Free Software in public sector
On 19 January, the European Parliament adopted its own-initiative report "Towards a Digital Single Market" in response to the European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy. FSFE is glad to see that the Parliament took an affirmative attitude and a bolder stance towards the increased use of Free Software and its importance to digital single market.
Document Freedom Day about to move into the hands of the Digital Freedom Foundation
The Free Software Foundation Europe is delighted to hand over the organisation of the international Document Freedom Day to the Digital Freedom Foundation. Document Freedom Day is the global campaign for document liberation and awareness of Open Standards with grassroots events throughout the world. The Digital Freedom Foundation is best known to organise Software Freedom Day, the international day to celebrate Free Software.
FSFE's input on ICT standards for the Digital Single Market
FSFE provided the European Commission input on setting priorities in ICT standards and answered to the public consultation on the adoption of a Priority ICT Standards Plan which has been proposed in the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy.
FSFE needs your donation to work for Free Software in 2016
Lots of people and companies in our society benefit from Free Software. The Free Software Foundation Europe is empowering people to control technology since 2001. To make a difference in our work, we aim at 140.000€ in donations until 31 January, of which we already received 60.000€.
FSFE joins April in disagreement on Microsoft education agreement
European Parliament pushes for Free Software
On 29 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted a report (2015/2635(RSP)), which condemned mass surveillance throughout Europe. While focusing primarily on legal precedents of data protection, Parliament proposed new recommendations to improve IT security by migrating to free software, as well as adding free software as a mandatory selection criterion in public IT procurement.
Erfolg gegen Routerzwang: Gesetz für Endgerätefreiheit verabschiedet
Nach fast drei Jahren intensiver Arbeit der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) und vieler anderer Organisationen wurde am heutigen Donnerstag das Gesetz „zur Auswahl und zum Anschluss von Telekommunikationsendgeräten“ vom Deutschen Bundestag beschlossen. Die FSFE begrüßt das neue Gesetz, da es effektiv den Routerzwang für ungültig erklärt und endlich Endgerätefreiheit für Anlagen wie Modems und Router herstellt.
FSFE submits comments on the European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy
The European Commission has set a goal to make the EU's single market fit for the digital age by adopting “A Digital Single Market Strategy” which is aimed at bringing down regulatory barriers between 28 different national markets. According to the Commission, a true Digital Single Market (DSM) can be achieved by taking the following actions:
Zurich Fellows offer Laptops with Libreboot
Fellows in Zurich started "Free Computer for Free People", an initiative to offer laptops that run completely on Free Software only. This includes alternative firmware as well as free BIOS. By reusing used hardware, the Zurich Fellows also like to foster a sustainable use of hardware.
FSFE signs association joint letter for terminal device freedom
Together with 9 other civil and economic organisations the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) sent a letter to numerous members of the German Bundestag concerning the compulsory routers issue at the present Wednesday. The letter is supposed to highlight the importance of passing the bill for freedom of terminal devices in telecommunication.
Pictures from the FSF's 30th birthday are now available
Interview with FSFE Fellow Isabel Drost-Fromm
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day that aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. FSFE happily joins the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day by interviewing Isabel Drost-Fromm - long time FSFE Fellow, member of the Apache Software Foundation and co-founder of Apache Mahout as well as the Berlin Buzzwords conference. Read about Free Software migration, free search engines, Java, Berlin and her advice for your personal contributions.
FSFE convinces 1125 public administrations to remove proprietary software advertisements
After six years of activity, the PDFreaders campaign is coming to a close this month as one of our most successful campaigns.
Revisiting the Sony Rootkit fiasco 10 years later
Today the Free Software Foundation Europe looks back on the Sony rootkit fiasco from 2005. This page outlines some facts about the rootkit and how it was handled, as well as some context about what these kinds of restrictions mean for the notion of computers as general purpose machines. 31 October 2015 marks the 10 year anniversary of when the rootkit was discovered, and in preparation for this day, we ask you all to use this information and spread the word, not only about the Sony rootkit, but about the dangers of digital restrictions on users' freedoms everywhere.
[Blog] 30 years Free Software Foundation
On 4 October 1985 Harold Abelson, Robert J. Chassell, Richard M. Stallman, Garald Jay Sussman, and Leonard H. Tower, Jr. incorporated the Free Software Foundation, Inc. The application included also the GNU Emacs General Public License, the GNU Manifesto, a list of software which was already written (Bison, MIT Schema, Hack, plus a list of several Unix utility replacements)...
FSFE elects new President and Vice President
Matthias Kirschner and Alessandro Rubini are FSFE's new President and Vice President. They were elected last week in Bucharest during FSFE's General Assembly, while Reinhard Müller was re-elected as Financial Officer. They will serve FSFE in those positions for the upcoming two years.
FSFE’s evaluation of the EU Parliament copyright report
On July 6th, the European Parliament voted on a report with a number of recommendations for copyright reform. We present today our evaluation of how this could impact Free Software.
"Freedomvote": 10 questions about digital freedom for the Swiss national election
In anticipation of the Swiss national parliament elections (Nationalrat- / Ständeratswahlen) on 18 October 2015, FSFE Switzerland starts the „Freedomvote“ campaign today, in cooperation with the "Swiss Open Systems User Group“ (/ch/open). The campaign offers an online portal that lists those candidates who will run for election, and their opinion towards Internet policy, Free Software, and open data formats.
The long road from compulsory routers to freedom of choice
The router. Despite often being dusty it is one of the most important devices needed for using the internet or phones. However: Most users in Germany don’t own this device even though it is located inside their homes and they pay for it.
FSFE supports recognition for User Data Rights
FSFE supports the publication of the User Data Manifesto 2.0, which aims at defining basic rights for people to control their own data in the internet age. The manifesto is published today and also supported by GNOME, KDE, Netzpolitik.org, ownCloud, Spreed, “Terms of Service - Didn’t Read” and X-Lab.
FSFE's role in the Bacula project
In April 2015, we announced a change in the relationship between Kern Sibbald and the FSFE owing to the cancellation of the Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) between Kern and the FSFE which previously made the FSFE a fiduciary for copyrights in the Bacula software.
Interview with FSFE Fellow Neil McGovern
After some discontinuity, FSFE will start again to interview their sustaining members. This way, we like to show you who we are, where we come from and what we stand for. This month and as the first in our new series, we interviewed Neil McGovern, FSFE from the United Kingdom. Neil has been working in the Open Rights Group and was recently elected as Debian Project Leader (DPL). Read about his role as DPL, his engagement in Free Software as well as on political levels.
FSFE welcomes adoption of copyright report in EP's JURI committee
In an important step towards modernising the EU's copyright laws, the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday adopted a report on the Copyright Directive by MEP Julia Reda.
FSFE submits comments on Reda copyright report
On June 16th, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee will vote on a report with a number of groundbreaking recommendations for copyright reform.
FSFE is looking for a systems administrator and architect
Please note that this position is no longer open for applications. The Free Software Foundation Europe was founded in 2001 and has gone through a tremendous growth since then, both in the number of volunteers and staff, and also in the complexity of our technical infrastructure and the number of services we run and offer for both internal and external use. We're currently looking for a system administrator and architect that, for a limited time, can support us in our work to migrate our services to a new infrastructure.
A restriction on technological restrictions
But all of us depend on the possibility to install or replace programs that we use every day, to increase our security, privacy or convenience -- or just because we happen to like using a different program on our laptop, tablet, phone, router, television, car, or on other devices.
[Blog] Final PDFreaders advertisement squashing
We currently wrap-up the PDFreaders campaign, and we need your help to measure our success. Started in 2009 FSFE’s goal with the campaign was to get rid of advertisement for proprietary PDF readers. We focused on the websites of public administrations, and many people helped us gather contact details for over 2000 public websites which advertised non-free software. Many people helped us to contact the public administrations, governments were made aware of it and published guidelines. Until now we know that 772 of the 2110 bugs were fixed, which is a 36% success rate. But for most countries we did not check the status for several months now. That’s why we need your help now to make one final round. We are looking for volunteers who can help us checking websites in their native language, following the step-by-step guide in the blog post.
Statement on changed relations between the FSFE and Kern Sibbald
Effective the 6th of March 2015, the FLA between Kern Sibbald and FSFE has been terminated at the request of Kern Sibbald. The FSFE is committed to ensuring to the best of its ability that Bacula.org software remains Free Software, and can only regret that Kern Sibbald in this way chose to terminate the FLA.
Open Standards around the world
Document Freedom Day is the day when we talk about Open Standards around the world. In 2015, all together, we turned this day once more into a global event with 63 local event organisers in 31 countries on 4 continents. Volunteers around the world, accompanied by international organisations as well as politicians and public services joined our demand for document freedom. Read our report to see what happened during Document Freedom Day 2015.
A cautious welcome to the EC's new Free Software strategy
Oproep tot evaluatie: vragen over het Duitse Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
FSFE supports Hellwig's GPL compliance lawsuit
FSFE welcomes the action which Christoph Hellwig and the Software Freedom Conservancy are taking to bring VMware into compliance with the GNU General Public License.
Joint statement : Maximising inclusiveness and engagement through the use of Open Standards in the European Commission
Today is Document Freedom Day, the international day to celebrate and raise awareness of Open Standards. On this occasion, we would like to reflect on the importance for public institutions in general, and for the European Commission in particular, considering its leadership role, of using Open Standards in all their digital communication and services.
Worldwide more than 50 events about Open Standards
On March 25 is this year's Document Freedom Day and, depending on your time zone, it has already started. Document Freedom Day is the global campaign for document liberation by local groups throughout the world. So far more than 50 groups registered their events in over 25 countries ranging from Asia, Europe, Africa, to South and North America.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is Nicolas Dietrich
… Nicolas Dietrich! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on March 13, 2015. FSFE is proud to have had three outstanding candidates that were running for office this time. Now, Nicolas Dietrich is happy to take over the GA's Fellowship seat from former representative Heiki "Repentinus" Lõhmus.
Swiss Federal Council considers legal assurance for release of Free Software
Currently, there is uncertainty in Switzerland regarding the development and release of Free Software by public contractors. The trigger for this was the development and release of the software OpenJustitia by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The federal council now wants to examine whether the publication of Free Software by the federal administration can be explicitly allowed. The Free Software Foundation Europe demands a clarification so that publicly-financed software can unambiguously be legally released as Free Software
#ilovefs Report 2015
On Saturday, 14 February 2015, people all over the world showed Free Software contributors their appreciation. It was the fifth year the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) asked people to participate in the “I Love Free Software” day. This report shows a variety of love declarations that happened this day, including blog posts, pictures, comics, poems, and an #ilovefs Android library. The FSFE thanks everybody who motivated Free Software contributors this year, and ask everybody to mark 14 February in their calendars for next year's “I love Free Software” day.
Jonas Öberg joins FSFE as Executive Director
FSFE has recruited long-time Free Software activist Jonas Öberg to be the organisation's Executive Director. He joins the organisation's leadership team on March 1.
Call for events: Be a part of Document Freedom Day 2015
Document Freedom Day (#DFD2015) is a global campaign for document liberation, with grassroots events throughout the world taking place on March 25, 2015. Add your voice to this worldwide celebration of Open Standards, and register your DFD event for 2015!
FSFE responds to EU consultation on patents and standards
In order to push for a more enlightened policy approach to managing innovation and knowledge, FSFE has submitted a response [pdf] to an EU consultation on patents and standards. This is the latest action in FSFE's ongoing work in promoting Open Standards.
Position paper for the boost of Open Educational Resources on the basis of Free Software
Together with FSFE and other partners, the Bündnis Freie Bildung ("Free Education Alliance") today publishes its position paper about the creation and usage of Open Educational Resources (OER). Therein, the Bündnis demands a consequent publishing of all OER-material under public licences and their availability as Free Software and in Open Standard formats.
Show your love for Free Software
Every year on 14th February, the Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to think about the hard-working people in the Free Software community and to show them their appreciation individually on this "I love Free Software"-Day.
EU to fund Free Software code review
The European Parliament has approved funding for several projects related to Free Software and privacy. In the EU budget for 2015, which the European Parliament adopted on December 17, the Parliamentarians have allocated up to one million Euro for a project to audit Free Software programs in use at the Commission and the Parliament in order to identify and fix security vulnerabilities.
Happy Birthday April!
April, France's leading Free Software advocacy organisation, was founded 18 years ago today.April was set up in December 1996 by students in a Paris university as a not-for-profit group to promote Free Software in computer science research.
FSFE's work in 2014
We shape tomorrow's world by what we do today. FSFE helps people to understand how technology affects their rights and freedoms, and empowers them to determine their own path in the digital world. See what we achieved in 2014, and where we're going next!
Protect your privacy - Help GnuPG hire a second developer!
GnuPG is the world's leading privacy tool, with an estimated base of more than four million active users world-wide, and a thousand new users each day. It guards emails, files, and programs from snooping and spying on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux. This crucial program needs your help to keep going in 2015 and beyond.
Study: To ensure transparency, European Parliament must adopt Free Software, Open Standards
A study released on Friday says that the European Parliament must adopt Free Software and Open Standards in order to fulfil its transparency obligations. The authors conclude that "the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament should whenever possible make Free Software and Open Standards mandatory for all systems and data used for the work of Parliament."
Get secure with a smartcard and support FSFE’s work in 2015
Free Software Foundation Europe is a pan-European charity, established in 2001 to empower users to control technology. To enable the organisation to intensify its work with the European Commission and to let more people know about Free Software, the FSFE needs another €190,000 for its work in 2015. Next year, the FSFE will push harder than ever to weave software freedom into the fabric of our society.
[Blog] FSFE comments at European Parliament's DG ITEC conference
At a meeting in the European Parliament, FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff highlighted several ways in which the Parliament could become more transparent, and make better use of Free Software and Open Standards.
In a short intervention, he urged the Parliament to finally make its live streams accessible to Free Software users. He asked the Parliament's IT administration to enable IMAP access on its mail servers to allow Free Software users to connect through standard protocols, and warned the Parliament to avoid lock-in as it progresses towards greater digitisation.
In Switzerland, the legal basis for the government to support Free Software is still lacking
For the time being, the public development of the Free Software 'OpenJustitia' by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has ceased because of a new legal opinion. The reason for this abrupt end is apparently the legal uncertainty regarding public contractors in Switzerland. The FSFE demands that the missing legal framework be created as soon as possible so that software developed with public funding in Switzerland in the future can also be released as Free Software.
FSFE is looking for an intern for Document Freedom Day
Every year, the FSFE is organising the "Document Freedom Day", a global campaign to highlight the importance of Open Standards for our freedom of communication, interoperability and indepedence from vendor lock-in. For this campaign, FSFE's Berlin office is looking for an Intern PR / Campaigning in full time from January 1st until March 31st.
Italian consumers shouldn’t have to pay for software they don’t want – Letter to Regulators
FSFE and Italian consumer association ADUC, along with Italian group ILS, are asking regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Italy’s High Court ruled in September that computer vendors must reimburse customers for the price of unwanted non-free software that comes pre-installed on PCs and laptops. Today, FSFE, ADUC and ILS have sent a letter to the Italian competition authorities, calling on them to ensure that vendors will comply with the High Court’s decision, and respect the rights of their customers.
Munich sticks with Free Software
On Tuesday, Munich's first mayor finally reacted to an inquiry by the Green Party (in German) related to rumours regarding a possible switch back to a Windows-based desktop environment. The answer to the inquiry shows that there is no factual basis for the claims made by first mayor and second mayor. An evaluation of the IT infrastructure and -processes is underway. FSFE calls on the city council to include vendor independence as well as interoperability as factors in the investigation, since they were central reasons for Munich to switch to Free Software in the first place.
Transparenzverordnung: Bundesnetzagentur legitimiert Zwangsrouter
Die Free Software Foundation Europe sieht den aktuellen Entwurf der "Transparenzverordnung" der Bundesnetzagentur als Legitimierung einer Entmündigung von Verbrauchern.
Italy: High Court shoots down Windows tax
Italy's High Court has struck a blow to the practice of forcing non-free software on buyers of PCs and laptops. According to La Repubblica, the court ruled on Thursday that a laptop buyer was entitled to receive a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license on his computer.
Blog : 5 approximations à rectifier pour bien s’y repérer dans les licences libres
Des approximations peuvent être sources de confusion dommageable à la compréhension et à l’application des licences de logiciels libres. Cet article de blog se propose d’en résoudre cinq, présentées dans un article du JDN.
Your input wanted: How do we build a better future?
Free Software has progressed in leaps and bounds since we founded FSFE in 2001. But we still have a long way to go until we can all be in control of our computing, our data, and our digital lives.
[Blog] Report from our German speaking team meeting 2014
From 13 – 15 June 2014 FSFE had its German speaking team meeting in the Linuxhotel in Essen. The participants had some problems to travel there because of the chaos resulting from a heavy thunderstorm in the region. A lot of train lines where not functional, and the situation on the streets was also chaotic. But just because no ICE trains stop in Essen does not mean we will not continue our work for Free Software. In the end we were able to bring all volunteers to the Linuxhotel to plan further activities and discuss current issues.
EC distorts market by refusing to break free from lock-in
The European Commission has recently renewed its commitment to a proprietary desktop and secret file formats.The Commission is refusing to get serious about breaking free from vendor lock-in, and is ignoring all available alternatives. In doing so, the EU's civil service fails to practice what it preaches.
[Blog] Translations of FSF's email self-defence now available
Today our sister organisation, the FSF, published their e-mail self defence guide and their infographic in 6 new languages. It is now available in English, German, Brazilian Portuguese, French, Russian, Turkish, and Japanese. They explain the installation of the necessary programs for e-mail encryption under GNU/Linux, MacOS, and Microsoft Windows; the key generation; the web of trust; as well as the usage of those programs. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, an email account, and about half an hour. Please give us feedback, so we can include that before printing the infographics, and help us to spread them.
[Blog] Schutz vor Überwachung durch Verschlüsselung mit Freier Software
Eine charakteristische Eigenschaft digitaler Kommunikation ist ihre vermeintliche Stofflosigkeit. Diese Stofflosigkeit ist es, die auch ein prinzipiell unbegrenztes Speichern und Archivieren aller elektronischen Kommunikation ermöglicht. Das, und die Möglichkeit diese Daten massenhaft und maschinell auszuwerten und zu analysieren, verleitet Geheimdienste rund um den Globus zum abhören und speichern unser aller Kommunikation. Als Gegenmaßnahme könnte man wieder vermehrt offline kommunizieren – oder aber eine starke Verschlüsselung durch Freie Software verwenden..
FSFE: 33 Free Software Pact supporters elected to the European Parliament
The European elections have brought 33 Free Software supporters into the new European Parliament. Candidates across the political spectrum signed the Free Software Pact, promising to support Free Software and Open Standards during their time in Parliament. Out of 162 signatories, 33 were elected
[Blog] We're all Gmail users now: Privacy as an ecological issue
Even if you're not using Google's Gmail service yourself, many of your friends will. How well can we really protect our privacy when we opt out of centralised web services?
Open Letter to European Commission: Stop DRM in HTML5
On today's "Day against DRM", the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has sent an open letter to the European Commission, asking the EC to prevent Digital Restrictions Management technology from being closely integrated with the HTML5 standard.
Document Freedom Day 2014 Report Published
Open Standards were celebrated to the ends of the earth for Document Freedom Day 2014, with 51 events in 22 countries. The campaign for interoperability was enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei.
FSFE welcomes industry initiative to fund critical Free Software projects
Today the Linux Foundation announced the "Core Infrastructure Initiative" to fund and support Free Software projects that are critical to the security of Internet users. The first project to receive funding will be OpenSSL, which is used for secure data transportation by millions of websites. FSFE welcomes this initiative.
CCC and FSFE: German Federal Network Agency must improve
After multiple public hearings and political debates, the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) presented a set of proposed regulations (German) that would eliminate compulsory use of particular routers and improve the transparency of telecommunication firms for customers. Compulsory routers tie customers to a device provided by the ISP. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Chaos Computer Club (CCC), and the project leadership of IPFire and OpenWrt, as well as other experts, reviewed these regulations and gave comments to the BNetzA (German)
Open Letter to EU institutions: Time to support Open Standards
In an open letter to the European Parliament and the European Commission, Free Software Foundation Europe and Open Forum Europe are asking the European institutions to improve their support for Open Standards. The letter is directed to Giancarlo Vilella, the president of the European Parliament's DG ITEC and chair of the Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics.
Document Freedom Day delivers messages of interoperability around the world
Over the following 24 hours Open Standards will be celebrated to the ends of the earth. The Document Freedom Day campaign for interoperability is being enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei. 41 Events are taking place in 18 countries so far.
Computers in the post-Snowden era: choose before paying!
The revelations from Edward Snowden concerning massive surveillance of communications demonstrates the need for each person to be able to control their computers and phones. Yet computer and telephone manufacturers and retailers typically impose on users programs that jeopardise their privacy.
Asian Legal Network launched
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Open Invention Network (OIN), and The Linux Foundation announced today the launch of the Asian Legal Network. The Asian Legal Network was established to provide a leading forum for sharing knowledge and best practices regarding Free Software legal affairs, particularly those that relate to market participants in Asia.
OB-Wahl in München: LiMux Erfolg ausbauen, Umstellungsschmerzen abarbeiten
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlichte heute gemeinsam mit dem Förderverein für eine Freie Informationelle Infrastruktur München ihre Freie-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl der Oberbürgermeisterin bzw. des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt München am 16. März 2014. Die OB-Kandidatinnen und -Kandidaten konnten sich zu Fragen hinsichtlich Freier Software und Offener Standards in München im Allgemeinen und des LiMux-Projekts im Speziellen sowie sicherer Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten und der kommunalen Datenweitergabe äußern.
Get candidates for this years’ European elections to make a stand for Free Software
From May 22 to 25 in 2014 European citizens will vote for candidates standing for the European Parliament. This is an ideal time to engage with politicians with why Free Software matters. Help us to get the candidates across Europe to declare their support for Free Software.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is…
…Stefan "Penny" Harmuth! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on February 28. There was just one candidate running for the Fellowship GA seat this time. The more we are happy that still 20,3% of our Fellows took their chance to support Stefan Harmuth in his run for the seat.
FSFE comments on UK proposal on document formats
FSFE has submitted comments on a proposal by the UK government to use only document formats based on Open Standards in future.
#ilovefs Report 2014
On February 14th, people all around the world expressed their gratitude and appreciation not only to their partner but also to Free Software and its contributors. With our yearly #ilovefs we asked you to thank your favourite developers and projects and were overwhelmed by the resonance in blogs, social networks, and mailing lists.
Three things to do on The Day We Fight Back
This Tuesday is a day to fight back against mass surveillance, and here at FSFE we're proud to be part of the struggle.
Show your love for Free Software
On 14th February, the Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to think about the dedicated hard-working people in the Free Software community and to show them their appreciation like last year.
Italy puts Free Software first in public sector
The Italian government has made Free Software the default choice for public administrations. In a document published last Wednesday, the Italian Digital Agency issued rules saying that all government organisations in the country must consider using Free Software before buying licenses for proprietary programs.
160,000 Euro short for 2014
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.
Verpasste Chancen: Wo die Große Koalition nachbessern muss
Der finale Koalitionsvertrag, über den die SPD-Mitglieder bis zum 14. Dezember abstimmen, beschreibt sich selbst als Weichenstellung hin zu einer echten digitalen Gesellschaft. Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) kann ebenfalls Fortschritte erkennen, aber keine Meilensteine, die Deutschland zum Spitzenreiter der Digitalisierung von Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft machen würde, wie es sich die Koalitionspartner zum Ziel gesetzt haben.
When DRM comes to cars (English)
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.
Rockstar vs. Google: Software patents as a license for privateering
Rockstar, a consortium of companies formed to collect certain patents put on sale in the dissolution procedure of Nortel, has sued Google and other companies over seven of those patents.
Server-Spende: FSFE sagt Danke!
Vor kurzem haben wir einen gebrauchten Server vom österreichischen Hoster abaton in Wien gespendet bekommen. Mit der neuen Maschine wird die FSFE ihre Infrastruktur ausbauen und ausfallsicherer gestalten.
New Campaign launches: TheyDontWantYou.To
Today FSFE launches a new campaign to make young people aware of the digital restrictions that they tolerate. Microblogging and guerilla stickering form core components of this fresh strategy for engaging youth in fighting for digital freedom.
Internet-Anbieter: Routerzwang schadet Nutzern
Internet-Anbieter zwingen ihren Kunden oft Router auf, über die diese keine Kontrolle haben. Der Anbieter hält dabei die Zugangsdaten für den Internet- und Telefoniezugriff sowie verwendete Protokolle und Anschlüsse vor dem Kunden geheim.
Changing the world: The GNU project turns 30
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.
Nationalratswahl 2013: Positionen der Parteien zu Freier Software und digitaler Gesellschaft
Am 29.09.2013 finden in Österreich die Nationalratswahlen statt. Zum Ende des Wahlkampfes veröffentlicht die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Positionen der Parteien zum Thema Freie Software und digitale Gesellschaft.
FSFE backs 13 principles against surveillance
A coalition of more than 265 organisations launched a list of 13 International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance. The groups officially presented the list of principles on Friday last week during the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
On Software Freedom Day, support FSFE!
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.
Landtagswahl Hessen: SPD und CDU enttäuschen, Grüne und Piraten punkten
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht heute ihre Freie-Software-Wahlprüfsteine zur Landtagswahl in Hessen am 22. September 2013. Mit den Fragen will die FSFE sehen, inwieweit sich die Landesverbände mit den Themen auseinandergesetzt haben. Trotz wiederholter Nachfrage und Bestätigung über den Eingang unserer Fragen hat die SPD nicht auf die Fragen geantwortet (siehe Update unten). Bei FDP und Die Linke fällt eine Bewertung schwer: Sie haben die Antworten ihrer Bundesverbände 1:1 übernommen, was zwar eine generelle Zustimmung zur Bundesebene zulässt, allerdings eine Bewertung über den Kenntnisstand im Landesverband erschwert. Enttäuschend ist die Antwort der CDU:
FSFE joins 100+ organisations in call to restrict surveillance
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.
Open Letter on Freedom and Internet Voting to Estonia's National Electoral Committee
FSFE has sent an open letter to Estonia's National Electoral Committee (NEC) regarding the country's Internet voting system. We ask the NEC to release the software used in the election process as Free Software.
FSFE objects to claims of 'predatory pricing' in Free Software
In a recent antitrust submission to the European Commission, a Microsoft-led coalition falsely claimed that the distribution of Free Software free of charge hurts competition. FSFE has written a letter to the European Commission's competition authorities to refute this claim, and make it clear that Free Software is critical for an open, competitive IT market.
FSFE supporting the Open Letter to stop surveillance
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.
Open Letter on transparency to President of the European Parliament
Free Software Foundation Europe and Open Rights Group have sent an open letter [pdf] to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. Mr Schulz has recently been asked [pdf] to produce a study on transparency within the Parliament.
New Snowden leak: Storing your data at Microsoft is negligent
In an article published today, The Guardian describes how Microsoft is actively cooperating with the NSA. According to the article, Microsoft is providing the NSA with broad access to the communications of anyone using the company's services:
Blog: be Free or be insecure: crowdfunded Hemlis must choose
Today Hemlis, a proposal for a new encrypted mobile messaging app, received $125,000 in crowdfunding. It’s wonderful to see ambitious new software projects get support from the community, but how open will it be?
German Parliament elections: The parties' positions on Free Software
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
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
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.
Open Letter to Prime Minister Erdoğan
Days before the protests in Taksim Square erupted, President Erdoğan was in America. On behalf of an ambitious education investment project called FATIH, he toured Silicon Valley as the guest of America's largest technology companies, each of whom are hoping to land a contract for more than 10 million new tablet computers.
As Microsoft repeal some Xbox restrictions, more apply to other products
Faced with user protests, Microsoft has been forced to make the terms for its latest Xbox gaming console look a little less restrictive. However, the “new” terms which had caused such outrage were not in fact new at all: they were similar to most other proprietary software licences, including those covering other Microsoft software products and on-line services.
German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software
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.
Filing taxes without non-free software: Slovak company appeals fines
In a case of a Slovak company protesting against being forced to use non-free software to file taxes, a court has failed to rule on the substance of the case.
FSFE supporting EFF's formal objection
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
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.
Blog: About digital and physical restrictions on your own device
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.
International Day Against DRM: fight deliberately crippled technology
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.
Illegal procurement favouring Microsoft killed in Portuguese court
On April 27, the administrative court of Almada, Portugal, declared a 550, 000 Euro contract between Microsoft and the municipality of Almada to be illegal. The technical specifications of the competition launched by the municipality prevented any company other than Microsoft and their partners to submit a proposal.
Stop DRM in HTML5 - Sign the Petition!
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.
FSFE welcomes Ceata as associate organisation
A group of Free Software activists from Romania and Moldova has joined FSFE's program of associate organisations. Active since 2008, Ceata incorporated as a foundation in February 2013. Fundația Ceata and FSFE will work together to promote software freedom in Romania and throughout Europe.
German Parliament says: Stop Granting Software Patents
The German Parliament, the Bundestag, has introduced a joint motion against software patents. The resolution urges the German government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs.
How to break free from Skype
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
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.
Document Freedom Day from Brussels to Taiwan: Open Standards celebrated in 30 countries
In 30 countries around the world, activists are celebrating Open Standards on today's Document Freedom Day, an annual campaign to promote Open Standards. More than 50 groups are hosting events around the world, from Brussels to Nicaragua to Nepal.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is…
…Heiki "Repentinus" Ojasild! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on March 15 and it was exciting until the end. Albert Dengg who also stood for the Fellowship GA seat promised to stay around and continue his great work for FSFE in their area.
EC hits Microsoft with EUR 561 million fine over web browsers
Last week, the European Commission slapped the company with a fine of more than 500 million EUR for breaching a settlement over the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. Karsten Gerloff, the president of the FSFE, is explaining position of the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Document Freedom Day: 2013 Event registration now open
Today event registration opens for Document Freedom Day 2013, March 27th. Local teams can add details of their activities to DocumentFreedom.org, and have them marked on the global campaign map.
#ILOVEFS campaign 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.
Bundestagswahl: Was sollen Kandidatinnen und Parteien zu Freier Software gefragt werden?
Was sind die Positionen der Parteien zu Freier Software? Das will die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) dieses Jahr für die Bundestagswahl herausfinden. Wie bereits bei den letzten Landtagswahlen, wird die FSFE sogenannte Wahlprüfsteine zur Beantwortung an die Parteien schicken und diese auswerten.
FSFE asks to show your love for Free Software!
On February 14th Free Software Foundation Europe asks all Free Software users to show their appreciation for Free Software. FSFE suggests to take this day as an opportunity to say "thank you" to one of the dedicated hard-working people in the Free Software community.
Fellowship Interview with Anna Morris
Anna Morris is co-founder or FLOSSIE conference for women in Free Software, Manchester Fellowship Group Deputy Coordinator, and Co-Director of Ethical Pets Ltd. She is currently writing a book on video editing with Free Software, and volunteering with Document Freedom Day 2013 in her spare time.
45 organisations join in legal complaint to Ministry of Education
A group of 45 Free Software organisations have signed a legal complaint to Italy's Ministry of Education. FSFE, AsSoLi, Wikimedia Italia, the Free Software User Group Italia, the Associazione per l'Informazione Geografica Libera (GFoss.it), the Italian Linux Society, LibreItalia and 38 other groups warn that the country's Ministry of Education is putting Free Software at an unfair disadvantage.
FSFE 2012 Annual Report
Come and see what FSFE did in 2012! Read our annual report to find out what we achieved, how we did it, and what's ahead for 2013. We thank all of our Fellows, donors and sponsors for making our work possible! If you like what you see, please remember to sign up as a supporter, so we can keep you updated.
European Parliament adopts deeply flawed unitary patent, gives up power over innovation policy
Today, the European Parliament has adopted a proposal to create a patent with unitary effect for Europe. This decision will leave Europe with a patent system that is both deeply flawed and prone to overreach. It also ends democratic control of Europe's innovation policy. "We are disappointed that so many MEPs were prepared to throw Europe's researchers and innovators under the bus just to achieve a deal, any deal" says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "It is natural that after nearly four decades of discussions on a single patent system for Europe, most of those involved simply want the debate to end. But we would have expected more of our elected representatives."
First, do no harm: European Parliament must delay vote on unitary patent
The European Parliament is about to vote on a "unitary patent" for Europe in its plenary session on December 11. The proposal currently on the table is widely known to have serious legal and practical problems. In the light of these problems, Free Software Foundation Europe urges the Parliament's members to delay the vote until a better solution can be worked out.
7 days left for the PDF readers fundraising campaign, last chance to donate!
7 days until the fundraising is over! Once again, thanks to everyone who has donated and is helping us to reach our goal. Yet, we need a last "push": we have reached 82% so we need 188€ more. If you still have not donated, please do it!. With only a small contribution (the average donation amount is 23€) you will help us to achieve our goal.
PDFreaders recommended by government - and what else we achived
Two weeks have been gone since we launched the PDF Readers fundraising. First, we want to thank everyone who made a donation. Currently, we received 856 EUR (more than 75% of the goal). Thanks to your donation, and you informing your friends about this work, we will reach the 1100 EUR until the 4th of December.
FSFE welcomes German Government's White Paper on "Secure Boot"
Yesterday the German Ministry of the Interior published a white paper about "Trusted Computing" and "Secure Boot". The white paper says that "device owners must be in complete control of (able to manage and monitor) all the trusted computing security systems of their devices." This has been one of FSFE's key demands from the beginning. The document continues that "delegating this control to third parties requires conscious and informed consent by the device owner".
Nächste Woche Dienstag: Freiburg entscheidet über Aus von ODT
Am kommenden Dienstag entscheidet Freiburg darüber, ob sie in Zukunft statt dem Open Document Format Microsofts propritäres Format OOXML verwenden werden. Der nachfolgende offene Brief wurde soeben von der Open Source Business Alliance, der Free Software Foundation Europe dem Bundesverbands Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie, der Document Foundation und Freies Office Deutschland e.V. verschickt. Bereits im September hatten wir diesbezüglich die Bürgermeister und Mitglieder des Gemeinderats der Stadt Freiburg kontaktiert.
Finnish activist, Danish hacker share Nordic Free Software Award 2012
Finnish Free Software activist Otto Kekäläinen and Danish hacker Ole Tange are the recipients of the 2012 Nordic Free Software Award. With the Nordic Free Software award, given out for the 6th time this year, the Swedish Association for Free Software and Free Culture (FFKP, Föreningen Fri Kultur och Programvara) honours people and projects who have made important contributions to software freedom.
Flashing your device does not void your statutory warranty - FSFE Legal
One of the main concerns of Android users is related with its warranty: whether flashing their device will void the phone assurance.
Every buck fixes a bug. The FSFE PDF readers campaign website fundraising
What would you think if your government told you which brand of car to drive on public roads? The same way the public administration is required to be neutral on this, it should not decide which software you use when reading PDF documents. The state should offer choice and especially promote software that respects its citizens' freedom.
UK takes major step towards competition, innovation in software market
The UK government has released a new Open Standards policy. FSFE welcomes this document as a major step towards more competition and innovation in the UK software market
Fellowship Interview with Hugo Roy
This month we interviewed Hugo Roy, FSFE’s French Team coordinator and co-founder of the Digital Freedoms association. He joined FSFE in 2009 as an intern, assisting FSFE president Karsten Gerloff. In France, Hugo is also active with April and of French Data Network.
Moving our public administration towards trust, facts and confidence
Otto Kekäläinen, the Finnish FSFE country team coordinator, gave a talk in Berlin about the case regarding some of the major cities in Finland, which are considering using LibreOffice.
Internship opportunity at FSFE
Are you willing to do something to improve our society? Do you think that our society development relies on a fair and transparent digital sphere? Do you want to increase our society's freedom? FSFE has one internship position available, starting February 2013. We are looking for bright, motivated, innovative people who want to make a real difference towards a free information society. Apply.
Twenty-one organisations ask Italian Data Protection Authority to publish readable documents.
The Free Software Foundation Europe and twenty Italian civil society organisations wrote a letter to the President of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, asking the agency to ensure that all documents published on its website can be read and used with Free Software programs.
Free Software activists ask Italian Authority for Protection of Personal Data to publish readable documents
Free Software Foundation Europe and twenty Italian civil society organisations wrote a letter to the President of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, asking the agency to ensure that all documents published on its website can be read and used with Free Software programs.
FSFE introducing "Supporters" and two small tasks for you
It's now possible to become a public supporter of FSFE. This allows you to easily show that you care about Free Software and support the FSFE's activities.
Results: Free Software voice & video testing
Last weekend on Software Freedom Day the Manchester FSFE Fellowship group, assisted by additional participants in Britain and Germany, spent the afternoon testing Free Software alternatives to Skype.
Freiburg - hebelt geheimes Gutachten Gemeinderatsbeschluss aus?
Dieser offene Brief wurde soeben von der Open Source Business Alliance, der Free Software Foundation Europe und dem Bundesverbands Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie an die Bürgermeister und die Mitglieder des Gemeinderats der Stadt Freiburg sowie an den Leiter des Amtes für Bürgerservice und Informationsverarbeitung verschickt:
Unitary patent threatens innovation in Europe
Will lawsuits like Apple vs Samsung soon take place in Europe? The European Parliament is about to set the future course for Europe's patent system. On September 17th and 18th, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee will discuss a proposal for a EU-wide patent. From now until September 18th, FSFE will continuously provide updates and analysis on the unitary patent on our website.
Blog: How the European patent system works
Now that software patents are back on the table, it’s important to understand how the European patent system actually works. You need to know this in order to discuss the unitary patent and FSFE’s demands with the MEPs you call and ask for support. Patent policy belongs under legislative control. Our current political processes and institutions aren’t perfect, but they’re certainly better than the EPO’s secretive insider culture. Good patent policy needs transparency, accountability and participation. The current proposal for the unitary patent lacks all of these things.
Blog: Software patents in Europe: game on
Should Europe have software patents? The discussion is back in full force. After the European Parliament rejected patents on software in 2005, things went quiet for a while. Now the European Parliament is about to decide on setting up a single patent for Europe, known as the “unitary patent”. This is a chance to get rid of software patents. But if we don’t manage to achieve a real change in the current proposal, software patents will become even more entrenched in Europe. Get active, and let's get rid of software patents once and for all!
Blog: Like in the 90ies but with phones: First Free Your Android installation parties
This month some of us already started with Free Your Android installation parties. Here a report from the workshops, with some pictures of happy people who liberated their phones.
Für IFA-Besucher: Broschüre zur Digitalen Rechte-Minderung (DRM)
Würden Sie legal erworbene Filme gerne von einem Gerät auf das andere kopieren, eine Sicherungskopie ihrer DVDs machen oder ein E-Book an eine Freundin verleihen? Systeme zur Digitalen Rechte-Minderung beschränken Ihr Recht, all diese Dinge zu tun.
FSFE wants to better protect Free Software licenses from bankruptcy
When the companies or authors that license Free Software enter bankruptcy there is a risk that granted Free Software licenses will face legal challenges in some jurisdictions. FSFE is now trying to prevent this situation in Germany. The expert institution ifrOSS supported by FSFE suggests German Ministry of Justice to include a specific Free Software clause in the German Insolvency Code.
FSFE explains the importance of Free Software to the administration of Region Lazio, Italy.
Last May 23th, the Council of Region Lazio, Italy, approved a Regional Law on "Reuse of information and public data, and connected initiatives". With further regulation, methods and technical rules for reusing software will be determined. In the meantime, we proposed them a checklist of motivations by which both Institutions and the Community would be advantages by a migration to systems based on Free Software.
City of Helsinki Wants To Keep Software Costs Secret
The IT department of the city of Helsinki claimed in a report to the city board that migrating to OpenOffice would cost is over 21 million euros. On 10th of April 2012, FSFE filed a Freedom of Information request, asking the city how it had arrived at a surprisingly high cost estimates for running OpenOffice (now LibreOffice) on the city's workstations. The city of Helsinki has now denied this request and has stated that it will not release any details about the calculations.
Internship opportunities at FSFE
FSFE has two internship positions available, starting August 2012. We are looking for bright, motivated people who want to make a real difference for a free information society. Whether your background is in politics, law, computer science or other fields, we welcome your application. If you want to spend between four and twelve exciting months working at the point where technology, society and politics meet, apply now.
Record fine against Microsoft upheld by European Court of Justice
The European Court of Justice has ordered Microsoft to finally pay a record fine for using its near-monopoly position on the desktop to keep rivals out of the workgroup server market. Four years ago, the European Commission slapped the software giant with a fine of 899 million Euros for its anticompetitive behaviour. In today's ruling, the ECJ ruled that this unprecedented fine was largely justified.
Fellowship Interview with Bjarni Runar Einarsson
This month we interviewed Bjarni Runar Einarsson, the founder and lead developer of PageKite, an application which allows the publication of websites stored on personal computers and mobiles. He won the Nordic Free Software Award for his work in 2010.
FSFE to Advance Fair Public IT Procurements in Finland
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has started an initiative to advance fair public procurements in Finland. The initiative concentrates on IT related procurement notices that require brand instead of defining functionalities required by the procurer. To date FSFE has skimmed over 300 procurement notices, and of those taken into closer analysis, 14 have been found to clearly violate the Finnish procurement law. These violating notices explicitly asked for tenders of specific brands of software manufacturers or products and thus discriminate all other brands and manufacturers, effectively stopping free competition.
4 Steps to immunity from UK snooping laws
Last week's draft Communications Bill outlines how civil servants are again intent on surveilling the internet communications of innocent British citizens. Fortunately, Free Software provides several ways with which you can protect your privacy online, regardless of the measures that the Coalition may impose upon you or your telecoms providers.
June 9: Help deliver final blow to ACTA
On Saturday June 9, activists across Europe are taking to the streets to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). They demand that the European Parliament should finally reject this controversial treaty, which would greatly harm citizens' rights. The Parliament will hold a plenary vote on ACTA in July.
Analysis - "Secure Boot": Who will control your next computer?
FSFE's goal is to ensure that the owners of IT devices are always in full and sole control of them. This fundamental principle is recently being challenged by "Secure Boot". For maintaining sustained growth in the development and use of software, the broad availability of general purpose computers is crucial. Today FSFE's published an analysis on the topic.
FSFE responds to UK Open Standards Consultation
FSFE has submitted its response [pdf] to a public consultation by the UK Government, concerning a definition of Open Standards and a policy for increasing their use in the UK's public sector. If the policy is applied boldly and proactively, the UK stands to greatly gain from increased competition in the software market, with much greater opportunities for small companies. On the other hand, even minor lapses in implementation could derail the policy entirely.
FSFE responds to UK Open Standards Consultation
FSFE has submitted its response [Update: see as PDF version or HTML version] to a public consultation by the UK Government, concerning a definition of Open Standards and a policy for increasing their use in the UK's public sector. If the policy is applied boldly and proactively, the UK stands to greatly gain from increased competition in the software market, with much greater opportunities for small companies. On the other hand, even minor lapses in implementation could derail the policy entirely.
FSFE: NW UK businesses please tell Government that Open Standards matter
Is the Government one of your potential customers? Free Software may shortly be locked out of opportunities in the public sector if proposed Open Standards policy is adopted.
Democracy deserves better than electronic voting
This week 1.1 million French voters living outside of France have the opportunity to cast a vote for their eleven members of Parliament via the internet. Voting will be made through a web application which requires the use of non-free software¹, according to citizens using Free software.
Fellowship Interview with Giacomo Poderi
Giacomo Poderi has worked as a translator and editor for FSFE, as well as completing a master’s degree in Philosophy. Currently he’s working on a Ph.D in sociology, which looks at the user experience in Free Software Projects, focusing on the turn-based strategy game ‘The Battle for Wesnoth’.
State neglected web standards, company now faces EUR 5600 in fines
In Slovakia, a law introduced to reduce red tape has led to injustice. The state has mandated electronic means as a only way of fulfilling certain statutory obligations. However the dedicated web solution excludes some citizens from use as it is not interoperable and runs only on the software from one vendor. In absence of any non-electronic option, this means that state, in fact, prescribed the use of a certain product from a certain vendor. Who did not own the copy, had to buy one. Slovak textile importer deemed that state should not force him to use a certain software for his business and fulfilled its legal obligation by paper. Now the company faces EUR 5600 in fines.
Executive summary of the EURA case
Slovak textile importer EURA Slovakia, s.r.o. is facing EUR 5600 in fines because it did not buy and use the Microsoft Windows operating system for submitting electronic tax reports. Slovak tax administration gave EURA only two options: either to buy and use Microsoft Windows or face the fines. This is also how we could briefly summarize the decision of Slovak tax administration from a few weeks ago. The administration imposed several fines on a company, EURA Slovakia, which submitted its tax reports on paper, because the use of electronic form was impossible as the state's web application worked only on the Microsoft Windows operating system. The company now plans to appeal to the court and to demand that the state stops forcing businesses to use a certain product, instead of requiring that the public administration uses a multi-platform technical solution based on Open Standards that is available for everybody.
Nordrhein-Westfalen: Softwarepatente - Nein! Offene Standards - Ja!
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlichte heute ihre Freie-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalens am 13. Mai 2012. Alle hier aufgeführten Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die Umsetzung Offener Standards, den Einsatz Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung, Probleme der Herstellerabhängigkeit, Kontrolle über mobile Endgeräte, Softwarepatente und die generelle Förderung Freier Software.
Schleswig-Holstein - Positive Signale für die Entwicklung und Förderung Freier Software
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht heute ihre Freie-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Landtag Schleswig-Holsteins am 6. Mai 2012. Alle hier aufgeführten Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offene Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Web Sprint report: where social and technical come together
April 21st and 22nd's Web Sprint in Manchester has been both an opportunity to provide improvements for FSFE's web site, and a good occasion to meet (new) people, get together and have a chat.
UK Open Standards experts publish joint statement on Government consultation
At a meeting yesterday, hosted by the British Computer Society's Open Source Specialists Group, We the Undersigned called upon the Government to do the following:
Summit Meeting of experts calls upon UK Government to deliver on Open Standards
The Free Software Foundation Europe held a summit meeting on Monday of Free Software and Open Standards experts.
Fellowship Interview with Bernd Wurst
Bern Wurst is a Free Software professional, volunteering for the Freedroidz project. He describes us his engagement with Free Software, and its importance for education.
Blog: FSFE participates in UK ICT curriculum consultation
FSFE’s education team has submitted their official position on the UK Department of Education proposal to disapply the National Curriculum Programme for Information and Communication Technology.
Is vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?
A report on the City of Helsinki's pilot project for the use of OpenOffice in the public administrations leaves the public with more questions than answers. The city trialled the Free Software productivity suite on the laptops of council members for ten months in 2011. The suite enjoyed high approval rates among its users. When the pilot was finished, the City produced a report stating that the costs of migrating the entire administration to OpenOffice would be very high.
Executive summary and analysis of the Helsinki City and OpenOffice case in 2010-2011
Report of Document Freedom Day 2012
Document Freedom Day 2012 was a great success! America, Asia, Africa and Europe celebrated together Open Standards at 54 events. It is no doubt that DFD is growing and we believe that it will be even more successful next year. So what about having look at what happened around the world on 28th of March? And what has the Pope to do with Open Standards? Read our detailed report to find out.
Hacking for freedom: Web Team comes to Manchester
Manchester will be hacking for freedom this month when FSFE's Web Team sprint comes to the UK. Web team coordinators, together with a variety of international volunteers, will gather in a concerted effort to improve website features and infrastructure.
Document Freedom Award for Slovak Commission for Standardization
The Free Software Foundation Europe awarded the Slovak Commission for Standardization of the Public Administration Information Systems and its working groups with the Document Freedom Award this week. The Commission was awarded for its long standing commitment and achieved results in the field of the Open Standards. The prize was presented on the occasion of Document Freedom Day, the international day of Open Standards.
Fellows unite UK environmentalists through "Green Bridge"
Environmentalists will be joined together by Free Software on March 31st when Manchester's "Big Green Festival" and Leicester's "Green Light Festival" are bridged by Free Software for participants to share thoughts and pictures between locations in real-time.
1&1 Internet AG receives German Document Freedom Award
Karlsruhe, 28 March 2012 - 1&1, GMX and WEB.DE receive the German Document Freedom Award for the use of Open Standards. The prize is awarded by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. (FFII). 1&1 is awarded for automatically adding XMPP for all customers of their mail services. The Document Freedom Award is awarded annually on the occasion of Document Freedom Day - the international day for Open Standards. Last years winners include tagesschau.de, Deutschland Radio, and the German Foreign Office.
Document Freedom Day 2012: Activists around the world celebrate Open Standards
Free Software advocates worldwide are today celebrating information accessibility and Open Standards. 48 events in 17 countries are using demonstrations, talks and workshops to explain why Open Standards and Free Software are crucial to a free and competitive information society.
Handcuff an MP, the easy way
British politicians need your help to understand Open Standards. Donate an information pack explaining their responsibility to use Free and accessible standards, and demonstrate the threat of vendor lock-in with the included pair of handcuffs.
Article: Commandment for minimalistic formats - Being an Open Standard is not enough
With Document Freedom Day coming up on Wednesday, we're publishing an article by FSFE co-founder Bernhard Reiter. He discusses what makes a good data format, and argues that Open Standards are good, but that we need to push further still. His central question to data formats is "Can we make it simpler?"
Fellowship Interview with Guido Günther
Guido Günther is a Debian and GNOME contributor who added MIPS support to Debian, and worked for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He discusses why Free Software was a good fit for the needs of embassies and consulates, and what drew him to take on big technical challenges in Debian.
FSFE Fellow interviewed by BBC
Manchester Fellow Anna Morris was interviewed on BBC Radio this week, about women in Free Software, what Free Software is, and her involvement with FSFE.
DFD 2012 Events
This year's DFD is approaching fast, and we can already say that we will have had a good year: More than 30 events have been registered in South-America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. However, both we and you could do a lot better, and there is still time to register and organise an event. North-America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia desperately need more events. Also, while Central Europe is well covered, Europe's western, eastern, and northern parts could do with additional events. To organise an event, you can gather ideas from the highlighted events below, or take a look at our events page.
Saarland - Nur wenige deutliche Aussagen zu Freier Software
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht heute ihre Freien-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Landtag des Saarlandes am 25. März. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offenen Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Handcuffs - DFD
Do you know a certain politician who should really learn more about Open Standards? Have you tried to explain the importance of Open Standards to your boss, friends, local administration or service, but without any results? Would support from the outside world help? Definitely! Inform our Document Freedom Day (DFD) team about your situation and we will send a free, remarkable gift to your contact to help them learn more about the power of Open Standards.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is…
…Nikos Roussos! The election period for this year's Fellowship GA seat has ended on February 29 and it was exciting until the end. Albert Dengg and Gert Seidl who also stood for the Fellowship GA seat promised to stay around and continue their great work for FSFE in their area. "I'm really glad I got elected. I'll try to help FSFE's cause in every way I can" says Nikos after his election victory.
FSFE launches Campaign For A Free Android System
Smartphones have a privacy problem. This is one of the reasons why the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is launching its "Free Your Android!" campaign today.
Thank you for celebrating #ilovefs the whole day without borders
On February 14th, people around the globe were celebrating the "I love Free Software" day. To all of you, thank you very much for participating in our #ilovefs-campaign and for showing your support for Free Software on this day. We were really excited about your creativity and participiation. All these love declarations went out to the developers, users and wizards behind Free Software and their communities. While some of you dedicated their love to specific programs that you enjoy most. We are pretty sure that their developers and users have read your love declarations and that your love will motivate them to carry on their good work. Here are just a few examples and highlights of your love declarations.
Nortel/Rockstar, Google/Motorola deals create balance of terror on software patents
On Monday, the US Department of Justice approved the sale of Nortel's patent portfolio to a consortium led by Apple and Microsoft. At the same time, the DOJ and the European Commission allowed Google to buy Motorola Mobility, thus giving the search company a sizable patent portfolio.
Join the protest against ACTA
ACTA, a multi-national treaty to enforce copyright and patents, is threatening Free Software and freedom in the information society. It endangers people's access to essential medicines. The treaty creates a culture of surveillance and suspicion, and the way in which it was negotiated is a mockery of proper democratic process.
FSFE's goal for February 14th: More love reports than bug reports!
"Let's be honest: In the Free Software community, we exchange a lot of criticism. We write bug reports, tell others how they can improve the software, ask them for new features, and generally are not shy about criticising others. Sometimes we forget to say "thank you, for all your work". As in the last years, we want to change this, at least for one day. So on Tuesday the 14th of February we will celebrate the "I love Free Software" - Day , says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's #ilovefs campaign manager.
FSFE awarded Mozilla grant
Free Software Foundation Europe has been awarded a grant from Mozilla. As announced during this weekend's FOSDEM conference in Brussels, FSFE will receive EUR 25,000 to support its work for freedom in the information society.
"I love Free Software"-Tag am 14. Februar im Unperfekthaus, Essen
Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) ruft jährlich alle Unterstützer Freier Software auf, beim "I love Free Software"-Tag mitzumachen. Dazu gibt es eine Mitmach-Kampagne, zu der ihr Material und Ideen auf ilovefs.org finden könnt. Dieses Jahr wird es außerdem erstmalig eine "I love Free Software"-Veranstaltung "I love Free Software"-Veranstaltung im Unperfekthaus in der Innenstadt Essens geben.
Legal news: Photograph copyright case could have effects on software developers
Read about copyright originality in the EU, publication of Library License, European Commissions proposal to reform the old data protection rules, iPad litigations and more.
Fellows: Elect your GA representative in February
During the whole of February 2012, FSFE's Fellows will be able to elect their representative in FSFE's General Assembly. The winner of the election will help FSFE's strategic decision making body plan the future of the organisation, and will join Hugo Roy who occupies the other Fellowship seat since 2011. Both Fellowship representatives are full members of the General Assembly for a term of two years, and have all the rights and obligations of other members.
Call for Street Art Artists
On 28th of March 2012, we will be running a campaign for document liberation - Document Freedom Day 2012. On this occasion, we would like to ask you for help in promoting its underlying idea by means of your art.
Blog: Short introduction to the second Mozilla Public License (MPL 2.0)
A short post in French on the Mozilla Public License 2.0. If you want to know about it, you can read in English Luis Villa, who led the update process. Richard Fontana wrote an article (RedHat); and the FSF has lauded the compatibility with GNU licenses.)
Legal news: antitrust concerns over UEFI and Apple's iBook
Read about launch of cloud computing interoperability intitiative, US Supreme Court decision on copyright extension, plan of Spanish region to use 40.000 Linux based desktops, patent inflation and more.
Fellowship Interview with Heiki Ojasild
Save the date: "I love Free Software" - Day on 14th February
The Free Software Foundation Europe plans to celebrate Valentine's Day on 14th February as an "I love Free Software" - Day. Please help us in showing your support for Free Software by participating in our online campaign. Emails, blogs, microblogs, donations, everything is welcome! There are free banners to use for your website available, too. In addition, this year will also be an event to celebrate Free Software in the Unperfekthaus in Essen. We would love to see you there!
Free Software legal news
Read about European concerns with SOPA, dangers of Secure Boot, Nokia's move to sell 450 patents to a patent troll, summary of Free Software developments in 2011, web blocking in Germany and many more.
FSFE calls on US Senate to stop SOPA / PIPA
Together with dozens of other civil society organisations, FSFE has signed a letter to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging the Senate to stand up for human rights, defend freedom of speech and the open internet, and reject the SOPA and PIPA proposals currently before it.
Blog: Is teaching programming political?
In a reply to the BBC about proposed changes to the national curriculum, Sam Tuke explains some of the ways in which teaching Free Software programming skills in schools is important to the future of Britain.
FSFE calls for an amendment of Slovak Copyright Act
FSFE calls for an amendment that would eventually enable Free Software and Creative Commons licenses for Slovak citizens. Currently, these licenses are considered to be void due to lack of their written form and problems with formation of the contract. Slovakia is thus one of a few countries where these popular licensing tools still struggle with rigid legislative framework.
FSFE calls for nominations for the Document Freedom Award
This year for the fourth time, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) will assign the Document Freedom Award on the 28th of March 2012. With the Document Freedom Award, the FSFE and the FFII like to honor institutes or enterprises that made an outstanding contribution for the spread and the use of Open Standards. The Document Freedom Award is granted each year during the Document Freedom Day, the international day to celebrate the importance of Open Standards
Free Software legal news
Read about the release of Mozilla Publice License 2.0, new litigation of Microsoft against a computer retailer who is providing recovery CDs, UK government´s shift from Open Stadards and more.
Fellowship Interview with Paul Boddie
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
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.
Free Software legal news
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
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
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
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.
Nortel patent sale: FSFE defends Free Software, competition
Competition authorities in the US and Europe are currently investigating the sale of 6000 patents from Nortel, a bankrupt telecommunications equipment manufacturer, to a consortium of Apple, Microsoft and four other companies.
FSFE provides input to EU's 80 billion EUR R and D funding program
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.
Verdict in the case of AVM vs. Cybits confirmed the view of FSFE
In the dispute between the companies AVM and Cybits the written reasoning for the decision of the Regional Court of Berlin (PDF, German) is now available. The court confirmed FSFE's view that users of GNU GPLed software are allowed to modify and install it even if it is shipped as a part of an embedded device's firmware.
FSFE provides input to EC on 80bn EUR R and D funding program
Web Search By The People, For The People: YaCy 1.0
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
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
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
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.
Swedish activist receives Nordic Free Software Award 2011
Erik Josefsson is the winner of the Nordic Free Software Award 2011. With the award, the Swedish Foundation for Free Culture and Free Software (FFKP) honours Josefsson for his achievements as a campaigner for freedom in the information society.
Unlocking education, for growth without limits
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
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.
Song Wettbewerb zum "Ich ♥ Freie Software"-Tag
Zusammen mit Jamendo suchen wir drei Bands, die zum "Ich ♥ Freie Software"-Tag am Dienstag, 14. Februar 2012 zwischen 19 Uhr und 22 Uhr im Unperfekthaus in Essen ein Live-Konzert geben.
Fellowship Interview with Rikard Fröberg
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?
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
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.
Freie Software in den schweizer National- und Ständeratswahlen
Im Rahmen der am 23. Oktober 2011 stattfindenden National- und Ständeratswahlen in der Schweiz hat die Zürcher Fellowshipgruppe der FSFE eine Politikerbefragung zu Freie Software durchgeführt.
Berlin - Hauptstadt der Freien-Software-Parteien: Ja zu Offenen Standards. Nein zu Softwarepatenten.
Die Free Software Foundation Europe veröffentlicht heute ihre Freien-Software-Wahlprüfsteine für die Wahl zum Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin am 18. September. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offenen Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Blog: FSFE at the DIY Feminist Festival in Manchester
Pictures from the FSFE talks at the Manchester DIY Feminist Festival.
Fellowship Interview with Richard Shipman
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
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
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.
FSFE UK calls for removal of Government's software advertisements
This weekend Free Software activists will find and report web advertising for proprietary software that is being funded by the British Government. Activists will meet on Saturday at Manchester's 'MadLab' Hackerspace to hunt for new adverts and contact government departments requesting that they be removed.
Blog: What's Needed for Freedom in the "cloud"?
What constitutes a socially acceptable and sustainable approach to "Cloud Computing" and "Software as a Service"? Georg Greve examines seven categories of requirements of cloud based systems which are truly Free.
Blog: Summary of Free Software CAD
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.
Fellowship Interview with Bernhard Reiter
Bernhard Reiter, co-founder of FSFE, talks about funding Free Software development and advocacy, the need for salaried campaigners, and the evolution of FSFE from its humble origins.
FSFE welcomes new Vice President, Legal Coordinator
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.
Fellowship Interview with Guido Arnold
The Deputy Coordinator of FSFE’s Education Team provides an insight into the team's latest efforts at increasing the use of Free Software in education.
FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer
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
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
On today's World IPv6 Day, FSFE is pleased to announce that almost all of its servers are now reachable via IPv6.
FSFE in Samba case: Microsoft's defiance backfired
Luxembourg, May 25 - FSFE played a key role at a Microsoft hearing before the European Union's General Court on Tuesday, helping explain the intricacies of Free Software servers.
Fellowship Interview with Florian Effenberger
Florian discusses the past present and future of LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, and his views on the importance of Free Software marketing.
Microsoft case: FSFE in European Court of Justice hearing
Fresh action in the European Commission's antitrust proceedings against Microsoft: On May 24, the European Court of Justice conducts a hearing on Microsoft's appeal against the fine. FSFE has participated in the case for a decade and will intervene on the Commission's behalf.
Befragung zu Freier Software in Bremen: Parteien zeigen seltsames Wettbewerbsverständnis
Nach den Befragungen in anderen Bundesländern, veröffentlichte heute die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Ergebnisse ihrer Parteienumfrage zu Freier Software für die Bürgerschaftswahl in Bremen.
Contribute to list of Free Software options for UK government
We need your help to write a paper with details of recommended Free Software applications for use in the UK public sector. Please contribute your knowledge by joining us on Etherpad.
German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free Software?
In the case of the Foreign Office turning away from Free Software, the German Government is entangling itself in contradictions. The reaction of the Government to an inquiry by "Bündnis 90/Grüne" has led to more pending questions than answers.
Please use Open Standards for your newspaper's educational resources
FSFE's UK Team asks The Guardian Newspaper to adhere to Open Standards when publishing digital resources for teachers.
Open letter to British Telecom: please include freedom in your new music service
As British Telecom plans to roll out their new music subscription service to its 5.5 million broadband customers, FSFE asks them to make user freedom one of the product's key features.
FSFE provides input to EC on collective redress
On Friday, Free Software Foundation Europe asked the European Commission to create a legal avenue for citizens seeking collective redress against companies. In its contribution to a public consultation by the Commision, FSFE argues that consumers should be able to join forces in order to defend their rights against harmful business practices.
Fellowship Interview with Michiel de Jong
Michiel explains how the Unhosted project could change the face of Free Software web applications, and solve problems of privacy, scalability and affordability for all kinds of software provided as a service.
Free Software crucial to competition, regulators in Novell patent deal say
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.
Mission is possible: FSFE needs your help to make a progress in the PDFreaders campaign!
FSFE calls Free Software supporters to participate in the ongoing PDFreaders campaign and remind public institutions to remove advertisements of proprietary PDF readers from their websites.
FSFE responds to EC consultation on procurement
Free Software Foundation Europe has provided the European Commission with input on modernising the way in which public bodies buy software and related services.
Novell's patent sale: FSFE's input to competition authorities
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.
FSFE begrüßt kleine Anfrage der Grünen zur Rückmigration im Auswärtigen Amt
Berlin, 15. April. Die Free Software Foundation Europe begrüßt die kleine Anfrage der Fraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen zur Rückmigration des Auswärtigen Amts auf Microsoft Windows XP.
Cutting-edge development: the Analogue Printer
Today FSFE announced a new cutting-edge development: the Analogue Printer.
Tagesschau.de awarded for the use of Open Standards
Today the ARD internet platform Tagesschau.de will receive an award for the use of Open Standards at the "Document Freedom Day". The prize is awarded by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. (FFII) for offering the broadcasted shows also in the free video format "Ogg Theora".
City of Munich receives European Document Freedom Day Prize
At Document Freedom Day on 30 March 2011, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) awarded the German City of Munich the Document Freedom Day Prize.
Document Freedom Day celebrated around the world
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.
A bright Document Freedom Day for Britain?
As companies and communities come together to raise awareness of Open Standards for the forth consecutive Document Freedom Day, the issue of freedom from restricted digital files is more relevant in the UK than ever.
Mapping the changing landscape of Free Software in the British Public Sector
As Britain reverses its traditional role and moves to the fore of European public sector Free Software policy, FSFE explains the most important recent developments.
"Computer sind Teufelszeug" - Antworten auf Wahlprüfsteine zu Freier Software
Heute veröffentlichte die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Ergebnisse ihrer Parteienumfrage zu Freier Software für die Landtagswahlen in Baden-Württemberg und Rheinland-Pfalz. Die Parteien konnten Stellung nehmen zu Fragen über die generelle Förderung von Freier Software, dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software, Offenen Standards, dem Einsatz von Freier Software in der Bildung, Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Softwarepatenten.
Fellowship Interview with Dan Leinir
In this interview, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen from KO GmbH describes the aims of the GamingFreedom.org project, as well as what Free Software could mean for gaming in future.
FSFE welcomes ADUC's class action against Microsoft
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the initiative for users' freedom taken by the Italian Association for Users and Consumers Rights (ADUC). On January 24, ADUC filed a complaint against Microsoft demanding that the company should reimburse consumers who return unused licenses for the Microsoft Windows operating systems that are pre-installed on newly bought computers.
Landtagswahl Sachsen-Anhalt: Position der Parteien zu Freier Software
Anlässlich der Landtagswahl in Sachsen-Anhalt hat die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) die Freien-Software-Positionen der Parteien erfragt. Die bisherigen Antworten der CDU, der Grünen, der Linken und der Piraten sind nun veröffentlicht. Die Wahlprüfsteine beinhalten Fragen zur generellen Förderung von Freier Software; dem Problem der Herstellerabhängigkeit bei unfreier Software; Offenen Standards; Freie Software in der Bildung; Werbung für unfreie Software auf Webseiten der öffentlichen Verwaltung sowie zu Software-Patenten.
A decade of Freedom: FSFE turns 10
Free Software Foundation Europe is ten years old this March. FSFE was founded in 2001 as "an organization dedicated to Free Software activities in Europe" and "the official sister organization of the Free Software Foundation in the United States" in Europe.
Think tank recommends adoption of FS principles in public sector IT
The 'Institude for Government' think tank has published a 100 page report on public sector IT in the UK called "System Error: Fixing the flaws in government IT", which calls for dramatic change to government attitudes, and wider use of both Free Software and, as Glynn Moody points out, the principles behind its development.
Open Source Specialist Group blames proprietary software for stagnant industry
In a meeting called by the Home Office's lead architect, members of the British Computer Society's Open Source Specialist Group argued that some proprietary software was "viral" in the way that it had spread and stagnated within government and industry, and should be banned from government systems.
Cabinet Office presentation demanding Free Software from suppliers published
A presentation given by the Cabinet Office which outlines its expectations for greater availability and support of Free Software in the public sector is available to the public. It makes clear that the government sees great value in high quality FS, and expects to make significant savings by using it.
Election results for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat
All through the month of February, FSFE's Fellows cast their votes for one of their number to represent them in FSFE's General Assembly. The election period ended yesterday at midnight, with the following results:
Sam's blog: report from ODF Plugfest and Pirate Party UK Conference
Notes and pictures from FSFE's attendance at two important events last week.
UK: FSFE welcomes paper calling for Free Software in the NHS
Research programme publishes damning report of public health ICT, and recommends Free Software and Open Standards.
Fellowship Interview with Massimo Barbieri
Free Software activist, Creative Commons musician, and professional geologist Massimo Barbieri discusses his experiences with Free art, software, and standards.
Ilovefs : Hundreds of love declarations in about 24 hours
February 14, 01:38:27 UTC, the first identi.ca message related to FSFE’s “I ♥ Free Software” campaign airs on identi.ca. This was only the start of a tremendous love declaration to Free Software developpers and applications that went out until late at night, around 3:00 a.m.
Declare your love to Free Software!
Why not make this February 14th a very special Valentine's Day? On Valentine's Day, FSFE calls on Free Software users everywhere to show their love for Free Software. It is the perfect occasion to show our love for Free Software and the possibility to use computers in freedom.
European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice
Free Software Foundation Europe is asking the Members of the European Parliament to wait for legal advice before voting on a unitary patent for Europe. While a proposal is on the Parliament's agenda for the coming week, a legal opinion by the European Court of Justice is expected later this month.
Freedom to Read, Freedom to Write: Celebrating Document Freedom Day 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?
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.
New Country Coordinators for Italy and the UK
Giacomo Poderi and Sam Tuke are the new Country Coordinators for the Italian and British Country Teams respectively.
Fellowship Interview with Anne Østergaard
Political veteran Anne discusses new ways influence European legislation, the scale of Free Software support in developing countries, and the importance of local culture in community campaigning.
New web design launched! Guide to features
After months of work by FSFE's Web Team a new website design has been launched, bringing with it a fresh look, improved infrastructure, and new features.
FSFE concerned about Novell patent sale
Free Software Foundation Europe has written to the German competition authorities in order to share its concerns about the sale of Novell's patents to a consortium called CPTN, made up of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC.
Fellowship Interview with Alexander Kahl
Fedora maintainer Alex discusses working with Free technology at Nokia, the threat of diluting Free Software principles, and how he uses computing for emotional development.
172 public institutions removed non-free advertisement
Only one month after the letters for the PDFreaders campaign of FSFE were sent, 172 public institutions have removed advertisements for proprietary PDF readers from their websites. Particularly outstanding were the responses from Croatia, Russia and Slovenia. In Croatia almost all reported institutions deleted the advertisement. Half of those contacted in Russia and Slovenia fulfilled FSFE's request.
FSFE welcomes revised European Interoperability Framework (EIF)
The European Commission today published its long-awaited revision of the European Interoperability Framework. This document aims at promoting interoperability in the European public sector. The document is the result of a prolonged and hard-fought process. Free Software Foundation Europe accompanied this process and offered input to the European Commission at various stages.
European Commission's software contract is a rough deal for Europe [UPDATE]
The European Commission will spend EUR 189 million on proprietary software over the next six years, in direct contradiction to its own decisions and guidelines. The Commission last week announced a six-year framework contract to acquire a wide range of mostly proprietary software and related services1.
Fellowship Interview with Brian Gough
GNU Scientific hacker Brian explains why printing Free Documentation is a serious business, why he loves Emacs Org-Mode, and why adaptability is key for Free Software.
Icelandic developer receives Nordic Free Software Award
Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson, Free Software developer and community builder from Iceland, has received the Nordic Free Software Award.
End non-free advertisement: stamp out the ads!
One month, one campaign, one goal: getting rid of non-free software advertisements on public websites. In four weeks, FSFE received reports concerning 2162 European institutions who advertise non-free PDF readers. Apart from the 305 activists who participated to the search, 1500 individuals, 46 businesses and 38 organisations signed our Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Websites. Now that the hunt is over, it's time to chase up those websites which encourage visitors to jeopardise their freedom. It's time to stamp out the ads!
Fellowship Interview with Leena Simon
Interviews with FSFE fellows are back! In the first in this new series Chris Woolfrey talks to Leena Simon about dogmatism, surveillance, and why Free Software needs more geek girls.
2286 public websites advertise non-free software
During Free Software Foundation Europe's pdfreaders.org campaign, Free Software activists from 41 countries have reported 2286 public sector institutions which advertise non-free PDF readers on their websites. FSFE will now contact these institutions, trying to get as many advertisements for non-free PDF readers as possible removed before the end of the year. Progress will be documented on the list of reported institutions.
EIFv2: FSFE puts facts against BSA's fictions
FSFE yesterday sent a letter to the European Commission to support Open Standards and interoperability. In the drawn-out battle to retain at least a weak recommendation for Open Standards in the revised European Interoperability Framework, FSFE has countered a leaked letter by proprietary lobby group Business Software Alliance with its own thorough analysis of the relation between standards and patents.
Positions on Free Software and Open Standards of Vienna's political parties
With the upcoming local elections, the Vienna Fellowship group asked the political parties about Free Software and Open Standards. Eight out of fifteen parties replied to the questions about use of Free Software, adoption of Open Standards for communication (internal and external) and E-Governance.
FSFE: Stop unfair advertising - get your government to promote free PDF readers!
The Free Software Foundation Europe calls on all Europeans to seek out advertisements for proprietary PDF readers on their government's websites, and report them. In addition, FSFE has prepared a petition demanding an end to such advertising practices, and encourages the public to sign it.
EU survey on Free Software and standards: make your voice heard!
The Free Software Foundation Europe is calling on European Free Software businesses to participate in a survey of business attitudes towards the acceptability of including patents in industry standards.
German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements
Research published this week suggests that the majority of federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to implement Open Standards.
German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements
Research published by FSFE this week suggests that the majority of federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to implement Open Standards.
German Federal CIO sides with Open Standards for public sector
For Rogall-Grothe a valid technological standard must first be fully publicized, secondly be unrescritively and consistently used, and thirdly not be subjected to any legal restrictions. "The German government has clearly stated that a technical standard will only be recognised if it can be implemented by all organisations, including Free Software companies and developers", says Matthias Kirschner, German Coordinator at the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).
FSFE: Bolzano, please don't waste your money
On 25 May 2010 the regional government authority of Bolzano decided to spend 2.2 million EUR over the next three years to renew software licenses from Microsoft Ireland, and to buy additional licenses. All this was done without a public call for tender, making it impossible for competing suppliers of similar software to make offers of their own.
Fellowship Interview with David Reyes Samblas Martinez
David Reyes Samblas Martinez is the founder of Spanish Copyleft Hardware store Tuxbrain, and attended the famous Open University of Catalunya. He’s also the subject of this month’s Fellowship interview, in which he answers questions on hardware manufacturing, e-learning and Free Software politics.
FSFE: Lack of Open Standards "gaping hole" in EC's Digital Agenda
The European Commission has officially published its long-awaited Digital Agenda, outlining its policy plans for the next five years. "While it includes some important building blocks for Free Software, the omission of Open Standards rips a gaping hole in this agenda," says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Free Software Foundation Europe receives Theodor Heuss Medal
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) on Saturday received the Theodor Heuss Medal in recognition of its work for freedom in the information society. The medal is awarded once a year in Stuttgart by a non-partisan foundation named for West Germany's first president.
45. Theodor Heuss Preis : Festrede von Ludwig Theodor Heuss
FSFE founder Georg Greve awarded German Cross of Merit
Berlin 28. April 2010. Georg Greve, founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, has received the Cross of Merit on ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstkreuz am Bande). Georg received this high award from the German President for his work on Free Software and Open Standards.
Liberate your documents!
Today is Document Freedom Day 2010. For the third time, groups all over the world are celebrating open document formats and Open Standards. They are raising awareness for how a technical issue impacts our day- to-day lives.
Open Standards under threat in Europe
The European Commission is currently trying to get a new draft of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) approved by Member States. The draft gives rise to concerns that the Commission is giving up its worldwide leadership in the use of Open Standards, hurting innovation, competition and user freedom in Europe. FSFE has updated its analysis page, comparing the current draft with previous versions, as well as demands from a proprietary lobby group. Ahead of Document Freedom Day on March 31, FSFE is in conversation with EC and Member State decision makers to make them aware of the problem.
Radio stations granted awards for using Open Standards
Berlin/Vienna March 24. The Free Software Foundation Europe awarded Deutschlandradio and Radio Orange with the Document Freedom Day 2010 Prize for using Open Standards and promoting them in society. FSFE's German team together with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) will present the DFD cake displaying "rOGG on!" in Berlin and Cologne to Deutschlandradio. The Austrian DFD cake goes to the Vienna-based station Radio Orange 94.0.
Julia Klein elected as Fellowship representative in FSFE GA
FSFE's Fellows have elected their second representative to the organisation's governing body, the General Assembly. Julia Klein will join Torsten Grote in FSFE's strategic decision making body to speak for the Fellows for the next two years.
Document Freedom Day 2010 - Free your documents, save your information!
Will you be able to read your documents 20 years from now? Every day, millions of computer users like you edit text and spreadsheets, take pictures and record audio and video. What if you couldn't read your private letters anymore, or even open that album with pictures from your honeymoon? What if you couldn't exchange those files with friends, because the software used by each one of you can't talk to each other? To help you make your documents future-proof, we celebrate Document Freedom Day on March 31.
FSFE to users: Seize your freedom of choice!
FSFE welcomes the arrival of greater competition in the web browser market. From today, Microsoft has to offer Windows users in Europe the possibility to choose among different browsers. This step puts into practice the company's settlement with the European Commission from December 2009. The Free Software Foundation Europe was an active participant in the Commission's investigation.
On Valentine's Day, show your love for Free Software!
This year on Valentine's Day, FSFE calls on Free Software users everywhere to show their love for Free Software. Behind every Free Software initiative and organisation there are real, hard-working people.
Fellows: Elect your GA representative in February
During the whole of February 2010, FSFE's Fellows will be able to elect their second representative in FSFE's General Assembly. The winner of the election will help FSFE's strategic decision making body plan the future of the organisation, and will join Torsten Grote who occupies the first Fellowship seat since earlier last year. Both Fellowship representatives are full members of the General Assembly for a term of two years, and have all the rights and obligations of other members.
FSFE honoured with Theodor Heuss Medal - "trendsetting organisation"
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) receives this year's Theodor Heuss Medal for its extraordinary work for equitable participation in the information society. Since 2001 FSFE has been committed to the freedom to use, investigate, modify and redistribute software in all parts of society and politics. Theodor Heuss Foundation states: "FSFE as a forward thinking organisation contributes to the development and establishment of rules for good global governance."
Fellowship Interview with Simon Josefsson
Simon Josefsson is a Fellow and GNU hacker with a special interest in security. His contributions to the Free Software world include such ubiquitous projects as GnuTLS and libssh2, and he was recently presented with the Nordic Free Software Award. Stian Rødven Eide interviewed Simon as a part of our regular Fellowship interviews, asking him about his projects and other security matters.
FSFE: EC's browser case settlement with Microsoft
Free Software Foundation Europe congratulates the European Commission on pushing Microsoft to give users greater choice between different browsers. "The selection screen will make users aware that they can make their own choices," says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President. "We are glad that FSFE has helped the Commission to put limits to Microsoft's desktop monopoly."
FSFE: EC caves in to proprietary lobbyists on interoperability
The European Commission (EC) has given in to the demands of lobbyists for Microsoft and SAP when it revised a key document on interoperability between electronic government services. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has analysed the evolution of a new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), showing that Commission has based its work on the input of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a lobby group for proprietary software vendors, and ignored the voices of a large part of the European software industry. At the same time, remarks by the EC's Vice President about Free Software point to a worrying lack of awareness within the Commission.
Freedom Food: FSFE to cook for its donors
For this year's round of fund-raising, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has cooked up something special. The biggest donor of 2009 will share a cooking session with FSFE's President and other members of the organisation's executive team. FSFE is looking to raise 100,000 Euro during the last quarter of 2009.
FSFE to award 36 Fellowship grants over the next 12 months!
Starting in November 2009, Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) will award three people with a Fellowship grant every month for the coming year. Everybody who is actively working for Free Software but cannot afford the Fellowship contribution can apply for the grant.
FSFE in battle for European interoperability
FSFE has unleashed an advocacy push in order to prevent the European Commission from hollowing out an important European reference document on interoperability. A draft for a new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) leaked to the press last week.
Fellowship Interview with Leif-Jöran Olsson
Leif-Jöran Olsson is a language technologist and XML enthusiast with a long history in the Swedish solidarity movement. I sat down for an interview with Leif-Jöran and asked him about his background, his education and the various projects he’s been involved in.
FSFE - Solution for Oracle/Sun deal: Make MySQL independent
Oracle should agree to put MySQL in the hands of an independent non-profit guardian, proposes the Free Software Foundation Europe. The Free Software community could develop MySQL to its full potential, while Oracle would not have to worry that a competitor could take over the database project.
FSFE's banners for you to spread all over the web!
A new set of graphics that includes banners, web 2.0 buttons and micro buttons to advertise donations to FSFE e FSFE's Newsletter is awaiting for you to be grabbed and spread. Whether you manage a bullettin board, a weblog or a website feel free to copy and paste our html code into your site. Show the web that you care about Free Software and FSFE!
Windows 7 to hit consumers with known security problem
Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, is currently shipping with a potentially serious defect. Ahead of the product's global launch on Thursday, Germany's federal IT security agency (BSI) has issued a warning  about a high-risk vulnerability in the SMB2 protocol. This can be exploited over the network to shut down a computer with a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
Microsoft settlement leaves Free Software in the cold
The European Commission yesterday announced a preliminary agreement with Microsoft. The deal is supposed to settle an antitrust investigation about the company's dominant position in the web browser market. The Commission is also ready to strike a deal on interoperability. The goal is to allow rival products to work with Microsoft's applications on the desktop.
Microsoft antitrust case: FSFE offers analysis to European Commission
The European Commission is on the verge of settling two antitrust cases against Microsoft. The details of this settlement will determine how much competition there can be in Europe's software market for years to come.
Fellowship Interview with Andreas Tolf Tolfsen
Andreas Tolf Tolfsen is a web technologist, developer and aspiring musicologist - who works at Opera Software, and regularly fights for digital freedoms. I sat down for a Jabber session with Andreas, asking him about his work, his life and his music.
Free Software hits German election campaigns
The issue of Free Software has hit the run-up to the German elections. During a campaign launched by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) politicians from many parties have recognised the potential of Free Software and Open Standards for Germany. In response to questions from supporters of FSFE, they explain that Free Software equals more competition, promotes innovation and provides cost savings.
German Election: Ask your candidate about Free Software!
With the German federal elections coming up on September 27 2009, FSFE calls on all friends of freedom to ask the parties' candidates about their positions on Free Software and Open Standards. We have set up a page about the German Bundestagswahl to help you ask questions, and to collect the answers.
Thomas Jensch takes on coordination for FSFE's edu-team
Thomas Jensch, FSFE's current intern in the Zurich office, took on the role of coordinator for FSFE's edu-team. During his internship, one of Thomas' tasks is to reorganise and revive FSFE's activities related to Free Software in education. He already agreed to continue coordinating the team after the conclusion of his internship in November.
EU browser case: FSFE says details of settlement will be crucial
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) congratulates the European Commission on its firm stance in the antitrust investigation against Microsoft, which has led the company to offer a settlement. For any such settlement, getting the details right will be crucial for competition and innovation in the web browser market.
Fellowship Interview with Smári McCarthy
Smári McCarthy is a thoughtful anarchist and practical chaos technician - with a deep interest in Free Software and democracy. Currently serving as project manager for the Icelandic Innovation Center, Smári works on digital fabrication and peer-to-peer education, while spending his spare time breaking the fundamental assumptions of how we organise society. I sat down for an interesting interview with Smári, in which he explained his projects and how they can contribute towards a more sustainable world.
Introducing FSFE's new president, vice president and executive team
During its General Assembly in Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain, the members of FSFE elected new coordinators for several of the organisation's activities, including strategy, legal and executive coordination.
GA 2009: Spanish Team Meeting & Social Event
FSFE's Spanish team is proud to invite all people interested in Free Software to a team meeting in order to set the group's agenda for next months. The meeting will take place alongside FSFE's 2009 General Assembly in Residencia La Cristalera near Miraflores de la Sierra, Madrid. After the meeting there will be a Social Event with the opportunity to meet and get to know various people from FSFE's Executive Team and General Assembly who have come to Miraflores de la Sierra, Madrid, for the yearly meeting to discuss and decide upon FSFE's strategy for the coming year.
And the winner of the election for FSFE's Fellowship GA seat is…
It has been an interesting time since FSFE added a Fellowship representation to the General Assembly (GA). Torsten Grote, Jan-Hendrik Peters, Michel Roche, and Björn Schießle emerged from the candidacy period, as the first four Fellows running for the election.
FSFE seeking legal department coordinator and staff members
FSFE is seeking applicants for coordinator and staff positions in our legal department, the Freedom Task Force. The FTF coordinator and staff work in cooperation with a mixed team of volunteers and employees to support FSFE's mission.
Fellowship Interview with Timo Jyrinki
In addition to being the friendly media face of Wikipedia Finland, the team contact for Ubuntu Finland and founder of local advocacy project Vapaa Suomi (Libre Finland), Timo Jyrinki has been involved as an active developer and translator for a wide range of Free Software organisations such as FSFE, Debian, GNOME and Openmoko. He has worked on computer graphics for much of his life, with a particular interest in human-computer interaction, and spends a lot of his current time making improvements to embedded systems. Timo is also the subject of this month's Fellowship interview.
FSFE submission to European Patent Office
Patents on software provide obstacles to knowledge-based industries by making computers less secure, less reliable and by preventing competition on a basic level. Lack of competition and uncalculable legal risks raise the cost of ICT and cost jobs across the entire industry, for which the enablement through software is a major innovation driver, as highlighted in the UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2007-2008.
FSFE and the Fellowship reorganise their domains
In the past months, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) visibly improved the technological infrastructure of the Fellowship. We moved the Fellows' blogging platform to a new site, we created a Planet to aggregate the Fellows' blogs and we provided them with an improved and functional wiki.
Fellowship Interview with Myriam Schweingruber
Myriam Schweingruber is a devoted Free Software advocate with a flair for convincing people. Having worked as a translator, a school teacher and a pharmacist, Myriam is quite experienced in the art of communication, and gives a clear impression of trustworthiness. She has been especially active in the Swiss community, and helped found FSFE’s associate organisation, Whilhelm Tux, where she also served as the President. Read on for the latest instalment of our Fellowship interview series - "the smallest unit of freedom".
FSFE seeking Executive Director
It will be the responsibility of the Executive Director to coordinate FSFE's day-to-day affairs through working with a mixed team of volunteers and employees. Further responsibilities include management of the organisational assets according to the priorities set by the General Assembly and coordination of the Executive Council.
Candidates for first Fellowship seat on FSFE's General Assembly
The election process for the first Fellowship seat on FSFE's General Assembly is underway now and four people have put themselves up for election by all Fellows: Torsten Grote, Jan-Hendrik Peters, Michel Roche, and Björn Schießle.
Today is DFD ‘09, global day for document liberation
A great global community is gathering today to celebrate the second Document Freedom Day. After a successful 2008 celebration, Document Freedom Day teams all over the world are joining efforts to raise awareness for Document Freedom and Open Standards.
FSFE announces the second European Licensing and Legal Workshop for Free Software
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) today announces that the second European Licensing and Legal Workshop will be held at the Hotel Okura on the 23rd and the 24th of April 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This conference will provide a forum for discussions on supply chain management, compliance procedures, licence management, community interaction, and other legal issues related to the growth of the European Free Software market.
Free Software Foundation Europe Celebrates Eighth Birthday
For eight years now, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been working tirelessly for basic rights and freedoms in an increasingly software-driven society. The 11th of March 2009 sees another major milestone passed, with its 2^3 (eighth) birthday being celebrated by its friends, Fellows and associates.
Fellowship vote for GA seats – Call for nominations
The election for the first Fellowship seat in FSFE's General Assembly will finish on 1 June in time for the next general assembly, which is scheduled for 19-21 June in Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain.
FSFE engages in the EU browser case
Free Software Foundation Europe today announces that it will support the European Commission's antitrust investigation against Microsoft and to this effect it has formally requested to be admitted as an interested third party.
Fellowship Interview with Colin Turner
Colin Turner is a dedicated Free Software activist and Fellowship member, working as a scientist and teacher at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He has been advocating Free Software in schools and universities for many years and generously shared some of his experiences with us in this fourth instalment of our Fellowship interview series - "the smallest unit of freedom".
FSFE launches Free PDF Readers campaign
The Fellowship of the Free Software Foundation Europe is proud to announce its latest initiative: pdfreaders.org, a site providing information about PDF with links to Free Software PDF readers for all major operating systems.
FTF releases legal infrastructure guide for Free Software projects
FSFE's Freedom Task Force (FTF) is pleased to announce the release of a guide to assist with establishing legal infrastructure for Free Software projects.
Fellowship Interview with Enrico Zini
Enrico Zini is a long time Fellow of the FSFE and a prominent Debian developer. He has been involved in many different projects relating to Free Software and is deeply concerned about social issues. Read on for the fourth in our Fellowship interview series - "the smallest unit of freedom".
Web browser interoperability: FSFE welcomes EC's decision and offers support
Free Software Foundation Europe welcomes the European Commission's decision and offers its support in the coming anti-trust investigation. As stated previously in a letter to the European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, anti-competitive behaviour is unacceptable, whether it occurs as 'tying' products with dominant market segments, or in circumventing standards and fair access.
Results of the translation sprint
FSFE's new year translation sprint ended yesterday with a respectable result: the numerous volunteers created 49 new translations and updated 137 documents within 28 days.
FSFE's core team expresses its appreciation towards all the volunteers who contributed. You have helped a great deal by making information about Free Software and FSFE's activities available in local European languages.
FSFE - 2009 New Year's Resolution
Back at work? Still looking for a good New Year's Resolution? 2009 will be an important year for FSFE, not the least because the General Assembly will see the first Fellow elected into its midst by general election among all active Fellows of FSFE. The Fellowship will also continue to play a direct role in FSFE's activities.
Fellowship Interview with Johannes (Hanno) Böck
This month features the third installment of our Fellowship interviews series. Hanno Böck is a Fellowship member who concerns himself with a wide range of issues, from privacy and media activism to GNU/Linux and the environment. Stian Rødven Eide sat down for an interview session with Hanno, asking him about his work and how it all relates to Free Software.
Fellowship Interview with Johannes (Hanno) Böck
This month we interviewed Johannes Böck about CAcert, Gentoo, OpenStreetMap, privacy, security, and Free Software businesses. This is the third in our series of Fellowship interviews - "the smallest unit of freedom".
FSFE announces 4 weeks of translation sprint
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) announces a translation sprint for their web pages from 15 December 2008 to 11 January 2009. The aim of this sprint is to provide information about Free Software and FSFE's work in as many languages as possible.
FSFE adds Fellowship representation to General Assembly
Today FSFE is announcing its revised constitution, adding two Fellowship Seats to its General Assembly. This will give Fellows of FSFE a direct representation in FSFE's strategic decision making body.
FTF and gpl-violations release a guide to reporting and fixing licence violations
FSFE's Freedom Task Force (FTF) and GPL-Violations.org today released a guide to reporting and fixing licence compliance issues. This guide will help users and developers to deal with license violation reports. It explains how to make a report, what information is useful to include, and offers suggestions for how projects or businesses can deal with reports once they are received.
Analysis on balance: Standardisation and Patents
Following up on the "IPR in ICT Standardisation" Workshop two weeks ago in Brussels, FSFE president Georg Greve analysed the conflicts between patents and standards. The resulting paper is about the most harmful effects of patents on standards, the effectiveness of current remedies, and potential future remedies.
Fellowship Interview with Rolf Camps
This month Ciarán O'Riordan interviewed Rolf Camps about translating, volunteering, and awareness of Free Software in Belgium. Translations are utterly crucial for a European organisation, and it's a lot of work that doesn't get much visible credit, so Ciarán wanted to ask Rolf about motivations and what's involved. This is the second in our series of Fellowship interviews - "the smallest unit of freedom".
FSFE for Freedom Not Fear
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) supports Free Software so that every citizen can play an independent, active and responsible part in our information society. However, censorship of content, violations of the principle of 'Net Neutrality' and increasing online surveillance do not fit with these goals. FSFE is therefore appealing for participation in the world-wide day of action "Freedom Not Fear", which takes place this Saturday, the 11th October.
Happy Birthday To GNU! - The FSFE Celebrates the GNU Project's 25th Birthday!
Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the initial announcement of the GNU Project, a pioneering initiative to develop an operating system that gives all users the freedom to modify it and publish modified versions, individually or working together. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) commends the substantial achievements of GNU's first quarter-century and looks forward to furthering their shared goal of facilitating software freedoms.
FSFE to make legal consolidation tool available in 10 languages
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) announced today that it plans to make the Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) available ten languages. The selected languages are English, German, French, Italian, Swedish, Serbian, Polish, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.
25 years GNU = 25% discount for 25 days
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the GNU project FSFE will be offering a 25% discount on merchandise from the 23th September until the 17th October. Please note that this discount does not apply to shipping costs.
Printable information material about FSFE available for download
A folder with general information about FSFE and Free Software, and some leaflets with specific information about FSFE's projects and activities are now available online in HTML and PDF format. Everybody can download, print, distribute!
FSFE welcomes KDE's adoption of the Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA)
"We see the adoption of the FLA by KDE as a positive and important milestone in the maturity of the Free Software community," says Georg Greve, president of Free Software Foundation Europe. "The FLA was designed to help projects increase the legal maintainability of their software to ensure long-term protection and reliability. KDE is among the most important Free Software initiatives and it is playing a central role in bringing freedom to the desktop. This decision of the KDE project underlines its dedication to think about how to make that freedom last."
Stabilisers for freedom: Wine 1.0
"Of course, it should be in the users interest to 'ride their bicycles independently', i.e. not having to rely on training wheels. However, the training wheels keep children from falling and give freedom to both the children and their parents. Likewise Wine helped to give freedom and security to the users. It is for this we are thankful and we recognise their work."
GPL-Violations.org and FSFE's Freedom Task Force to work more closely together
"It is a clear, legal fact that distributing Free Software means people must comply with the licences. GPL-Violations.org and the FTF are now building the long-term legal infrastructure for support and compliance" comments Harald Welte. Shane Coughlan adds "I believe our new agreement will help ensure sustainability for legal infrastructure to support Free Software in Europe."
FSFE concerned about quality of standardisation process
"Technologically speaking, the state of IS29500 is depressing," says Marko Milenovic of FSFE's Serbian Team and co-chair of the Serbian technical committee on DIS29500. "In large parts it is low quality technical prose that fails to use the normative terminology mandated by ISO/IEC's guidelines. We've been told to wait for the maintenance process for MS-OOXML to become usable. That ISO would knowingly approve a dysfunctional specification is disillusioning."
26 March 2008: Today is Document Freedom Day!
Today is Document Freedom Day: Roughly 200 teams from more than 60 countries worldwide are organising local activities to raise awareness for Document Freedom and Open Standards. [...] Document Freedom is about giving you control of your information, it is about giving governments control of their public records, and it is about freedom of choice. You can give yourself that freedom today [...]
Petition calls for Open Standards in the European Parliament
At a time when the EU Commission investigates the anti-competitive behaviour of a market-dominant player, the European Parliament (EP) still imposes that same specific software choice on both the European Union's citizens and its own MEPs. OpenForum Europe, The European Software Market Association, and the Free Software Foundation Europe today launched a petition to call on the EP to use Open Standards so that all citizens can participate in the democratic process.
FSFE context briefing: Interoperability woes with MS-OOXML.
FSFE has released a context briefing on Interoperability problems caused by Microsoft's Office OpenXML format: "The proposed MS-OOXML/DIS29500 specification raises serious technical and legal concerns. This context briefing highlights three examples of how the proposed specification and its practical implementation in MS Office 2007 hinders interoperability, fosters vendor dependence and results in market distortion."
Google helps FSFE's FTF to deliver training, attend conferences and translate documents.
"The Freedom Task Force is working to foster effective legal infrastructure for Free Software in Europe. A great deal of our work is based on engaging directly with people and Google's contribution will allow us to do this more effectively," says Shane Coughlan, FTF Coordinator.
FSFE calls on Microsoft to release interoperability information without restrictions
The European Commission has fined Microsoft 899 million Euro for anti-competitive behaviour by restricting access to interoperability information. "Microsoft is the last company that actively promotes the use of software patents to restrict interoperability. This kind of behaviour has no place in an Internet society where all components should connect seamlessly regardless of their origin," says Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe.
Microsoft pledge excluding primary competitors
Yesterday's media briefing by Microsoft on its its pledge to release interoperability information for flagship products contained little actual news. Over the years Microsoft has made multiple similar pledges and they at times proved to be detrimental rather than beneficial for interoperability. Examining the terms of the Microsoft's latest action shows no major change of policy.
26 March: A global day for document liberation
The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for Document Liberation with grassroots action for promotion of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general. The DFD was initiated and is supported by a group of organisations and companies, including, but not limited to, the Free Software Foundation Europe, ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, IBM, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems, Inc. On 26 March 2008, the Document Freedom Day will provide a global rallying point for Document Liberation and Open Standards.
FSFE Context Briefing: DIS-29500 - Deprecated before use?
When ECMA submitted MS-OOXML as ECMA-376 to ISO for fast-track approval, several countries criticised overlap with the existing ISO standard ISO/IEC 26300:2006, the Open Document Format (ODF). [...] Considering that alleged preservation of idiosyncrasies is the stated reason for the entire DIS-29500 ISO process, FSFE considers it worthwhile to investigate this claim in greater depth.
FSFE announces the first European Licensing and Legal Workshop for Free Software
FSFE's Freedom Task Force today announces the first European Licensing and Legal Workshop for Free Software will be held on Friday the 11th of April in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The venue for this meeting is the InterContinental Amstel Hotel.
NLnet continues to support FSFE's Freedom Task Force
FSFE's Freedom Task Force was launched in November 2006 to help support individuals, projects and businesses with Free Software licensing. The initial phase of the FTF was possible thanks to support by the Netherlands based philantropic organisation NLnet foundation. NLnet's support allowed the FTF to provide training, consultancy and to work in partnership with gpl-violations.org to resolve licence issues in the European area. The FTF also formed networks of technical and legal experts to foster cooperation between lawyers, projects and businesses with licensing concerns. Now, after just over twelve months of continual growth, NLnet is providing a second round of financial support to this innovative legal project.
FSFE supports new antitrust investigation against Microsoft
"Microsoft should be required openly, fully and faithfully to implement free and open industry standards," is the message of a letter by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) to European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. To help achieve this goal, FSFE offered its support for a possible antitrust investigation based on the complaint of Opera Software against Microsoft. The complaint was based on anti-competitive behaviour in the web browser market.
EU antitrust case over: Samba receives interoperability information
One case is over and interoperability won. The European Court made clear that interoperability information should not be kept secret and the agreement shows that Microsoft saw no way to continue its obstruction of interoperability in this area. This establishes a standard which everyone will have to meet from now on.
Welcome to life after ICT lock-in
"Vendor lock-in has become the primary problem for IT decisions in general and Free Software adoption in particular. It distorts the market and denies Free Software solutions equal competition on the merits. The problem has been that many lock-ins are invisible, for example reliance on proprietary protocols or needing to use certain document formats. Certified Open makes that lock-in visible and allows users to measure their dependency."
FSFE, Samba: A triumph for freedom of choice and competition
"Microsoft can consider itself above the law no longer," says Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). "Through tactics that successfully derailed antitrust processes in other parts of the world, including the United States, Microsoft has managed to postpone this day for almost a decade. But thanks to the perseverance and excellent work of the European Commission, these tactics have now failed in Europe."
FSFE offers to help companies adhere to Free Software licence terms
The terms of the GNU GPL licence have been confirmed as binding once again, with a German court ruling that Skype was failing to uphold its obligations as a distributor. FSFE wants to help other vendors understand their GNU GPL obligations.
The converter hoax
FSFE Guest Commentary on Heise.de: "Conversion between Microsoft's Office OpenXML (MS-OOXML) and the vendor-independent Open Document Format (ODF) has been proposed by Microsoft and its associates as a solution to the problems caused by Microsoft's efforts to push a format into the market that conflicts with the existing Open Standard. [...] If these converters were actually able to do what they promise to do, they would be unnecessary."
Free Software personal assistance for businesses
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has always helped the community through providing pro bono advice, and through this has discovered that businesses often require additional personal assistance. For this reason, FSFE is offering businesses a chance to get individual consultancy regarding Free Software issues at its Zurich, Switzerland office.
BBC: Questions for Microsoft on open formats
Featured article by Georg Greve and Joachim Jakobs about the need for Open Standards in archival, and why using MS-OOXML risks future data loss: "Digital information could potentially be stored without loss of quality for a very long time to come. But without knowledge about the encoding, our documents will become a meaningless series of ones and zeroes to future generations, just like cave paintings are too often meaningless bits of colour on stone to us."
GNU GPLv3 Released
Version 3 of the GNU GPL has been released, after eighteen months of public consultation and discussion. Version 3 provides better internationalisation, more protection against software patents, and does a better job of ensuring that Free Software users can install modified software on their computers.
Six questions to national standardisation bodies
The following six questions relate to the application of the ECMA/MS-OOXML format to be accepted as an IEC/ISO standard. Unless a national standardisation body has conclusive answers to all of them, it should vote no in IEC/ISO and request that Microsoft incorporate its work on MS-OOXML into ISO/IEC 26300:2006 (Open Document Format).
The Microsoft message: Time to invest in Free Software
In an attempt to inspire fear, uncertainty and doubt in the hearts of the financial world, Microsoft alledged massive patent infringement by Free Software in a recent Fortune article.
European Parliament must prevent criminalisation of software vendors and users
The FSFE criticises the proposed "second Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive" (IPRED2) for sweeping criminalisation across various areas of law and loosely described areas of activity, including for 'attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting.' The proposed text criminalises these acts for infringement of many dissimilar laws including copyright, trademark, and patents.
FSFE launches list of recommended Free Software lawyers
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is committed to working with lawyers throughout Europe to maximise the legal security of Free Software and is aware that as the community matures it is important to be able to locate professional legal advice. For this reason FSFE has introduced a new policy for recommending legal experts in individual countries.
Time to give back: Fellowship Raffle 2007!
"The Free Software community is built on the principle of cooperation of many very different parts. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) works exclusively for the benefit of the entire community, including the companies that make use of Free Software," explains Georg Greve, president of FSFE. "We do this work gladly and with great enthusiasm and we always remember that to a large extent this work is made possible by those who work with us and support us, in particular the many Fellows of FSFE."
FSFE releases solution to increase legal strength of Free Software projects
Today FSFE has released the Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA) under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence (GFDL) and the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-alike (CC by-sa) licence. The FLA is a copyright assignment that allows Free Software projects to bundle their copyright in a single organisation or person. It enables projects to ensure their legal maintainability and can be used to either assign copyright to FSFE's Fiduciary Program or to assign the rights to another organisation set up by the project team itself.
The Vista message: Upgrade to GNU/Linux now!
FSFE considers this a unique opportunity: With the release of Vista, users will need to upgrade to a new operating system that will feel different and require some time to get used to its functionality. The same is true for any modern GNU/Linux distribution. It is about the same investment in effort, but it will give you control over your own data.
FSFE becomes the legal guardian of the OpenSwarm Project
The OpenSwarm Project will be protected by FSFE's Freedom Task Force (FTF). Shane Coughlan, FTF Coordinator, explains "The Freedom Task Force is here to help strengthen the legal foundation of the Free Software eco-system. The Fiduciary licence Agreement is part of this. It provides a clear way for projects to consolidate their copyright. In the case of OpenSwarm, FSFE is acting a legal guardian for the project and ensuring that the developers can focus on maturing an exciting development platform."
Transcript: Free Software and the Future of Freedom
In this talk, Richard Stallman explains why Free Software is
defined the way it is, the technical and political choices that
have gotten the Free Software movement to where it is today, and
what we have to do to prepare for what's ahead. With more than
20 years of practice, Stallman also entertains while telling the
This transription work was undertaken by FSFE due to the very positive feedback from the transcripts about GPLv3.
FSFE becomes the legal guardian of the Bacula Project
Kern Sibbald, the founder and lead developer of the Bacula network backup solution, assigned his copyright to FSFE. "I wanted to underline the commitment of the Bacula Project to Free Software," said Kern. "Bacula has always been a community project and we're just solidifying that for the long-term. I am very thankful that the FSFE is providing this service because it removes an important administrative burden from the project, which allows us to focus on the task of programming."
Launching Freedom Task Force, Co-operating with gpl-violations.org
"We have as a primary goal to help corporations to adhere to the licences from the onset, rather than to have to enforce violations later," explains Mr. Coughlan. "We encourage those responsible for compliance for their company to contact us, so we can work together to avoid licence compliance problems, rather than having to later solve problems that could have been avoided in the first place."
DRM.info: Informing about the dangers of controlling private media use
Early this morning, a group of contributing organisations and authors launched DRM.info, a collaborative information platform about the potential dangers of Digital Restriction Management (DRM) initiated by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The contributing groups come from different areas, such as digital freedom, network activism, consumer rights and libraries.
GPL Version 3, Draft #2 Published
After six months of public comment, the second public discussion draft of GPLv3 is now online - responding to public input about patents, Digital Restrictions Management, and global enforceability among other things.
Commission to Microsoft: Preventing interoperability has a price
European Commission to fine Microsoft 1.5 million Euro per day retroactively from 16. December 2005, totalling 280.5 million Euro. Should Microsoft not come into compliance until the end of July 2006, the daily fines could be doubled. These fines are a reaction to Microsofts continued lack of compliance with the European Commission decision to make interoperability information available to competitors as a necessary precondition to allow fair competition. FSFE has supported the European Commission from the start of the suit in 2001.
GPLv3 international conference details online
Marking the half-way point of the year-long public consultation process for
redrafting Free Software's cornerstone licence, the third international GPLv3
conference will host experts from Europe and from around the world.
The venue, in the heart of the city, is the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). There, during the two days of this event, there will be presentations from experts including Richard Stallman, president of FSF, Eben Moglen, chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, Georg Greve, president of FSF Europe and Harald Welte, founder of gpl-violations.org.
Europe to host 3rd International GPLv3 Conference: Barcelona, Spain, June 22nd & 23rd
The conference will take place in Barcelona, Spain, and the exact venue will be announced soon. In January, a year-long public consultation process for updating the GNU General Public License was launched. Commonly called "the GPL", this licence is used by the majority of Free Software to detail the distribution terms of the software.
FSFE welcomes KDE e.V. as new associate organisation
The KDE e.V. - a registered non-profit organisation that represents the K Desktop Environment (KDE®) in legal and financial matters - and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are proud to announce their associate status, working together for the promotion and protection of Free Software on users' desktops in Europe and worldwide.
Samba and FSFE: "Microsoft - obstacle to innovation in the digital society!"
"Businesses and public authorities have to pay prices that are kept high by Microsoft's refusal to share interoperability information with its competitors, as is common practice in the industry," explains Andrew Tridgell, president and founder of the Samba Team in his presentation on behalf of Free Software Foundation Europe in European Court today.
Microsoft: "Our software patents preclude interoperability"
Carlo Piana, Free Software Foundation Europe's lawyer on the case explains: "The interventions made perfectly clear that the Blue Bubble only existed in the lawyers' pleadings. Meanwhile, Microsoft left no doubt as to the legal nature of that Bubble: a conglomerate of 46 patents that it claims it holds on ADS, whose main effect is to prevent interoperability and, eventually, competition."
FSFE: "Microsoft locks in customers and pushes software patents to prevent competition."
"Microsoft's software locks in users and now the company is lobbying to get this lock-in effect legalised by software patents" is the basic message of a feature article Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has published on its website today.
Notebook Raffle: And The Winners Are...
The notebook raffle has taken place and two lucky Fellows from Italy and Netherlands won a HP Compaq Notebook, pre-installed with Debian GNU/Linux.
FSFE celebrates its fifth birthday
Seeing an even greater need today for strong coordinated actions to protect everyones freedom
FSFE not fooling around: Join the Fellowship and win a Free Software notebook!
FSFE's way to say thank you for the support: Like last year's PDA, donated by xtops.de the Free Software Foundation Europe will be raffling off two HP notebooks to all active Fellows on 1 April this year. For two lucky Fellows, April Fool's Day will be anything but foolish.
FSFE to Microsoft: stop complaining, and start complying!
"After several years of investigation, the original ruling in 2004, and a European Court case lasting close to two years, we now have to conclude that Microsoft never had any intention to comply with the antitrust ruling," comments Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). "We were forced to witness years of delays, stalling and playing for more time during which Microsoft has made no attempt to allow interoperability and competition with its competitors, including Free Software such as Samba."
FKF and FSFE teaming up: FKF official associate organisation of FSF Europe
The Free Knowledge Foundation / Fundación Conocimiento Libre (FKF) and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are proud to announce their new official associate status, working together for the promotion and protection of Free Software in Spain.
EU antitrust case: "Microsoft offers poisoned apple"
"It now seems clear this was just another marketing ploy: Yesterday Microsoft acted like a robber that, when asked to please put away the gun, tosses you a grenade."
FSFE files application for leave to intervene in antitrust suit against Microsoft
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) filed an application for leave to intervene in the antitrust suit against Microsoft today. Georg Greve, President of FSFE said: "The more Microsoft is able to purchase its opponents' solidarity, the more important FSFE's commitment to freedom and interoperability is." These days, FSFE meets adversaries of freedom in various venues: In Brussels, the 'Intellectual Property Rights European Enforcement Directive' (IPRED2) is being pushed by the rights-holding industry, and Microsoft has shown that it was able to rewrite the Vienna Conclusions on ICT and Creativity for the UN World Summit on Information Society (WSIS).
Early comment on new Microsoft Shared Source Licenses
"Microsoft finally seems to have made a step forward on their long march towards giving their users freedom: [...] Given previous Microsoft statements about the Copyleft approach and in particular the GNU GPL as 'viral', 'cancerous' and 'communist', seeing Microsoft now publish licenses applying the very same principles seems quite an evolution."
FSFE urges European Commission to keep defending European economic interests
"We congratulate Microsoft on effective use of their considerable financial resources: First they manage to pay off Sun, then Novell and the CCIA. Now they convinced Real Networks to serve their own head on a silver platter for just US $761 Million"
Statement of FSFE and FSF Latin America to the 2005 WIPO General Assemblies
Not continuing what was begun, or changing from a horse to a mule midstream, as the honored Indian delegate so eloquently put it, would be wasting the time and effort spent on this initiative by all sides, North and South. For this reason we strongly support the notion of letting the IIM process finish what it began.
Announcing the GPL Version 3 Development and Publicity Project (GPLv3)
Stichting NLnet donate 150,000 EUR to support GPLv3 activities
The project will bring together thousands of organisations, software developers, and software users from around the globe during 2006, in an effort to update the world's most popular Free Software licence. The GPLv3 promises to be one of the largest participatory comments and adoption efforts ever undertaken.
TuxMobil GNU/Linux Award 2005 granted
The TuxMobil GNU/Linux Award 2005 has been granted to OpenEmbedded, OpenZaurus, PI-Sync, KWlanInfo and BlueZ, in recognition of their efforts in users freedom.
WIPO IIM/3: WSIS PCT: WIPO should prevent software patents, shorten copyright
During the third Inter-Sessional, Inter-Governmental Meeting (IIM) on a Development Agenda (IIM/3), Georg Greve delivered a statement on behalf of the WSIS Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks (PCT) Working Group of Civil Society, in which the working group asked WIPO to proactively prevent software patent legislation on a global level:
No software patents in Europe, FSFE requests EPO review instrument
After years of struggle, the European Parliament finally rejected the software patent directive with 648 of 680 votes: A strong signal against patents on software logic, a sign of lost faith in the European Union and a clear request for the European Patent Office (EPO) to change its policy: the EPO must stop issuing software patents today.
Karlsruhe Memorandum against Software Patents 2005
Members of the European Parliament have been given a copy of the Karlsruhe Memorandum against Software Patents 2005. Issued by Free Software Foundation Europe, this memorandum collected more than 200 signatures at this year's GNU/LinuxTag conference in Karlsruhe. Citing scientific evidence, the text argues that software patents in Europe will hurt jobs and innovation. Among the supporters are leaders of some of Europe's biggest trade union groups.
And the Fellowship-PDA goes to...
Giovanni Angoli is the lucky winner of the Sharp SL-C1000 raffled at GNU/LinuxTag 2005 in Karlsruhe, Germany. FSFE congratulates Giovanni and thanks Werner Heuser of Xtops.DE who sponsored the PDA for Fellowship of FSFE!
Raffle of handheld computer with GNU/Linux to a lucky Fellow
Xtops.DE has sponsored a handheld computer which will be raffled on June 25 at 14:00 CEST. The winner will be chosen at random from all FSFE Fellows whose contribution has been received before that date.
Microsoft abuses the good will of Ms. Kroes at the expense of European economy
"Microsoft abuses the good will of Ms. Kroes" - "European Commission is about to enter legal house-to-house fighting!". Comment of the FSFE on the latest Microsoft proposal. "The European Court decided in December 2004 that Microsoft is to publish this information immediately. This proposal, if accepted, will effectively revert the court decision for the most serious competitor of Microsoft in this market."
Software patents -- a danger to democracy
Open letter to Mr Borrell Fontelles, President of the European Parliament. On July 6th, European Parliament will have to decide on the "Software Patents" directive. By relying on undefined terms and ineffective limits, the text that the Council has handed to the Parliament would allow patents on software standards, business methods, and website development.
GNU/LinuxTag event page now online
Europe's biggest Free Software conference, the GNU/LinuxTag in Karlsruhe, is less than three weeks ahead. The FSFE has set up a page to gather, list and publish information about its activities there.
Join the revolution: internship position at FSFE
"The FSFE is a great place to work, and I've enjoyed almost every single day. In few other companies or organisations would I have had the chance to do useful work and learn in an international context like I did here. Take this chance, if you can."
FSFE Executive Summary 2003-2005
On 7th May 2005, the general assembly of FSFE met in Vienna, Austria to review the activities of the past year and plan ahead for the next year to come. As this was the end of the second electorial period for FSFE's extended executive committee, the executive committee presented another two-year executive summary.
Software patents vs Microsoft antitrust suit: European Commission is going to undermine some of its best work
Open letter to Mr McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. "The European Commission is currently involved in a historic antitrust suit with Microsoft. [...] Unfortunately, that unique success is now in danger of becoming a meaningless victory."
FSFE welcomes FSF Latin America
After some months of discussions including FSFE president Georg Greve, a team of Free Software advocates in Latin America published their declaration of intent to join the global network of Free Software Foundations.
FSFE statement at WIPO IIM, Geneva
Statement at Inter-Sessional, Inter-Governmental Meeting (IIM), 11-13 April 2005: "We explicitly support the Friends of Development in their statement that no tool should ever be promoted for its own sake and should therefore be beyond review. [...] Essential building blocks of human creativity, such as access to knowledge and freedom to participate in society and economy should once again become the norm, not the exception. [...]"
Software patents putting International Financial Report Standards (IFRS) in danger
Open Letter to staunchly pro-software patent European Information & Communications Technology Industry Association: "We would like to inform you how software patents pose a threat to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as all the ideas used in these standards will be implemented in software and would therefore be patentable."
How to make Microsoft respect European Authorities
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Samba Team have presented terms explaining how Microsoft could be brought into compliance with the decision of the European Court of First Instance of December 2004.
FSFE to help bring Microsoft to its feet
Pushed by the FSFE, the EU antitrust case against Microsoft is gathering momentum again. "We will help the Commission to bring Microsoft to its feet and move towards re-establishing competition", Georg Greve, FSFE's president.
European Cities will suffer from software patents
Letter to Catherine Parmentier, Chief Executive Officer of EUROCITIES: "With the introduction of software patents, European cities would have to be aware of dramatically increasing costs and an increasingly difficult legal situation with high risks for the administration."
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!
"We stand up to protect our freedom to shape and participate in a digital society that respects liberty and privacy." With this slogan, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) started its fellowship program at the FOSDEM fair for Free Software last weekend in Brussels.
UN WGIG: Commented Papers Available
On 1st February 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) published a set of 20 issue papers concerning "Internet Governance." Together with its associate organisation La Fundación Vía Libre, the Free Software Foundation Europe managed to comment on the paper on "Cyber security, cybercrime", which, among other things, asked to outlaw the art of finding elegant solutions to non-obvious problems ("hacking") and the paper on "Intellectual Property Rights", which for instance asked to "balance human rights with the interests of rights-holders."
Microsoft seeking to bypass decisions of European Court
Microsoft has published an agreement which allows Free Software projects like SAMBA to use the software interface information, but bans it from publishing the software as Free Software.
TUX&GNU@school 8th edition
The column TUX&GNU@school 8th edition is now available. In this edition, Mario Fux presents GAMGI, Skolelinux and the KDE Edutainment project. In future, the column will be published in five languages (German, English, French, Swedish and Spanish).
Software patents harm banks
Once Basel II becomes widely used, a dramatic increase in software patent infringement lawsuits for this area is likely to occur on a global basis. Any bank or any of its customers for Basel II based software may become target of such legal action -- the risk is incalculable and can bring about multi-billion Euro lawsuits.
Software patents are bad for your health
Software patents are putting the wealth of the software patent lobby over the health of citizens in Europe and around the world.
A great day for SAMBA, Free Software and Europe
Bo Versterdorf, President of the European Court, has today rejected
Microsoft's appeal to delay execution of the sanctions.
"Those who value freedom and competition have received two nice christmas gifts this week. First, new EU member Poland does not allow the introduction of innovation- and job-killer software patents through the diplomatic back-door. And now the European Court decides that Microsoft should not get another four years to further harm its competitors" says Georg Greve, President of the FSFE.
How much does freedom influence your life?
The Free Software Foundation Europe believes that freedom is priceless and works hard for freedom in the digital society. Being a non-profit organisation, much work is done by volunteers, but not everything can be done that way. Working for something as priceless as freedom does have a cost. That is why we would like you to support our work.
Software patents detrimental to European power supply business
The European Union is on the way to introduce a legal basis for software patents in Europe. While you may consider this a topic outside your daily business, it is likely to become the cause of serious security problems to European power supplies.
FSFE becomes WIPO observer
In the scope of the FSFE WIPO project team, the FSFE will work with other players to change WIPO from an organisation that is solely oriented towards monopolisation of knowledge to one that is aimed at increasing the intellectual wealth of all of humankind through a more flexible, sustainable and effective tool set.
Freedom is priceless, but has a cost!
"Those who wish to see freedom of market restored should be aware that never can someone with deeper pockets divert support already given to FSFE, as it happened with the CCIA. This independence is priceless, but not without cost. The only thing that might therefore be able to stop us is lack of resources because of lack of support."
First South Tyrolean Free Software Conference
As Free Software becomes even more important in South Tyrol, the GNU/Linux User Group Bozen/Bolzano/Bulsan has developed the traditional Linux Day into the three day South Tyrolean Free Software Conference.
For the FSFE, the battle continues
Microsoft has steadily been soliciting supporters of the European Commission antitrust case to withdraw their support for the Commission by offering a series of financial settlements. The agreement with Sun Microsystems to withdraw has now been joined by financial settlements with Novell and the CCIA, in which they also agreed to withdraw from the case.
A compulsory insurance against software patents is like firefighting with petrol!
The preceding European Commission (EC) was campaigning actively for the introduction of software patents in Europe. This campaign was against the information and evidence showing that this would lead to considerable risk to the European economies.
Now accepting donations by credit card via PayPal
Supporting the work of FSFE has just become easier for those who prefer to donate by credit card and/or via the PayPal service.
Ensuring increased Intellectual Wealth
Common declaration: "We are convinced that new answers sometimes require new questions, not more careful repetition of old questions. [...] We need a World Intellectual Wealth Organisation, dedicated to the research and promotion of novel and imaginative ways to encourage the production and dissemination of knowledge." To view the list of signatories, please follow the link.
Allianz Group will suffer because of software patents
Have you ever considered offering general insurance for stock brokers against the risk of losing money? As absurd as this sounds, the European Commission is seriously considering equivalent measures at the moment.
MS vs. EU: "No settlement in sight, FSFE ready for battle"
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) casts doubts on the increasing rumors that Microsoft is willing to settle the antitrust case against the EU Commission, which is due to come to Court later this week.
Anniversary of the decision of the European Parliament about software patents
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) commemorates the anniversary of the software patents decision by the European Parliament on 24th September. "The parliament voted for a restrictive way to grant software patents in Europe. That decision was wise as it accounted for the numerous recommendations of scientists throughout the world. For this reason, we would like to encourage the parliament to maintain an attitude to this matter that is consistent with its previous decision - to withstand the pressure by certain lobbying parties." the President of FSFE Georg Greve emphasises.
FSFE: "Microsoft's bugs result in the corporation having a multiple personality" - "customers should know who they are dealing with!"
Having been plagued by permanent problems with viruses, worms and other bugs, software-giant Microsoft seems to be developing a multiple personality. "Microsoft's customers should wonder about the sanity of their business partner", remarks Joachim Jakobs, Press Speaker for the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).
FSFE mourns death of Ralf Niemand
Free Software activist Ralf Niemand, member of the Wilhelmshaven GNU/Linux User Group, contributor to the SkoleLinux project and volunteer of the Free Software Foundation Europe died of terminal illness on September 14th 2004. His death was much too early and came as a shock to all who have known him. He will be missed.
Open letter to Prime Minister Dr. Balkenende
Europe should conserve a competitive advantage and prohibit a legal basis for software patents: "During the dutch Presidency of the European Union you have the best opportunity to initiate this revision."
Introducing Wilhelm Tux, the new FSFE associate
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and Wilhelm Tux proudly declare that Wilhelm Tux, a Swiss Free Software organisation, has officially become associate organisation of the FSFE.
Donations to the FSFE in the United Kingdom
Due to substantial bank fees charged for international money
transfers, small donations or standing orders are too expensive
to be send directly to the Free Software Foundation Europe bank
account. To rectify this, FSFE in july 2004 entered into an
agreement with UK based associate organisation AFFS to collect
donations and transfer them in larger batches.
FSFE welcomes donations through the simple interface at (only bank cards from UK are accepted):
Software patents no bigger threat to Free Software than to proprietary software
In reaction to the decision by the City of Munich to re-evaluate its migration plans to Free Software, the Free Software Foundation Europe points out that software patents are equally a significant problem for both Free Software and proprietary software alike.
Open letter to IBM
Software patents will destroy the foundations of IBM's future: "So while IBM is transforming in reaction to the arms race, upon its sudden end, IBM will find itself having become a grotesquely deformed giant with a suddenly useless weapon where all its energies go into sustaining that deformation."
FSFE in front of European Court
FSFE to challenge Microsoft in its appeal against European Commission: Among general interests of Free Software, the FSFE will specifically be representing the interests of the SAMBA team, a Free Software cooperation developing the only remaining competing implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocols that permit interoperability between various operating systems and the MS Windows family.
RSS feeds of news and event announcements available
Our web team has created automatic RSS feeds for news and upcoming
events. Feeds are focus and language dependent.
The URL for the news feed is http://www.focus.fsfeurope.org/news/news.language.rss, while you find the event feed at http://www.focus.fsfeurope.org/events/events.language.rss. For example, for German speaking news and the German focus, you would choose http://www.germany.fsfeurope.org/news/news.de.rss.
For your convenience, the news and event pages contain links to the RSS feed URLs.
Open letter to Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
"Research should be able to earn its money also on the market!" - say politicians - so we, the Free Software Foundation Europe, understand when researchers use creative ways to get a better income. But even researchers should take care not to bite the hand that feeds them. This danger is real, especially with the actual software patent discussion.
FSFE issues call for donations
The projects of the FSFE are multifaceted: participation in the German government's delegation at the "World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)", consulting with the European Union during the establishment of the framework programmes, participation in AGNULA, a project to build a fully Free Software distribution for professional musicians and multimedia authors and also the maintenance and advancement of the GNU General Public License (GPL). This diversity costs a lot of money: travels round the world, production of information and marketing material, personnel cost.
Join our translators and proofreaders team!
With the growing attention the FSF Europe attracts in many countries, the
need has arised to build up a flexible, responsive, and well coordinated
Translating and proofreading texts is a precious contribution to the work of the FSF Europe and an excellent chance to spontaneously take part in the activities of the FSF Europe without long-term obligations.
AGNULA: a "vivid ecosystem" for developers and users of free multimedia software
"Creating artistic licence by Free Software technology" might have been the motto of AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution - www.agnula.info): within the scope of the EU project two GNU/Linux distributions for Debian and Red Hat were developed that are targeted specifically at professional musicians and multimedia authors.
Report and pictures from South America available
Having toured South America from May 20th, 2004 until June 10th, 2004, Georg Greve put a short summary of his activities there online along with some pictures.
Software patents: A bad day for Europe
"Europe is about to finally give up on the goal of its heads of states and governments to become the 'most competitive knowledge-based region' until 2010 and has repeatedly failed democratically. It is unfortunate that the optimism and trust placed in the German government was somewhat premature. Yesterday was not a good day for Europe and Germany!"
FSFE welcomes German government on its way towards a clear position in the discussion around software patents
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) "welcomes the commitment of the Federal Government of Germany to freedom from software patents as being of extreme importance for innovation in Europe", Georg Greve, president of FSFE, comments in a press release.
Open letter to all citizens of Europe
What happens in government, society and economy as a whole if these developments are not stopped? We bar people from being creative. We put societal development into the hands of bureaucrats bullying us for their own benefit at every turn. To use the words of the Czech President Vaclav Klaus "The EU is not about freedom and openness, but about bureaucratisation, regulation and harmonisation". If we leave this discussion to others, we may prove him right.
APRIL disassociates from FSFE
Today the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) complied with the explicit request to please remove the "Association for Promotion and Research in Libre Computing" (APRIL) from the list of associate organisations. The request was made by APRIL president and FSFE member Frederic Couchet along with his resignation from FSFE.
European action week against Software Patents (SWPAT)
The Free Software Foundation Europe and the Foundation for a Free Informational Infrastructure endorse an action week from May 10th to 14th to inform citizens, economy and politics about the harmful consequences of this initiative. In the course of this action week demonstrations and panel discussions in many European cities will take place. To inform you ex ante we have enclosed the joint position of FSFE and FFII concerning software patents (see below).
FSFE welcomes three new members from Austria
After years of successful cooperation through their membership in the "Verein zur Förderung Freier Software" (FFS), Austria's associate organisation of the FSF Europe, Georg Jakob, Karin Kosina and Reinhard Müller have now officially joined the ranks of the FSFE.
FSF defends the GNU GPL against SCO attacks
The FSFs have no doubt that the litigation between SCO against IBM and
Novell cannot affect the users of the GNU/Linux operating system.
Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University, pro-bono general counsel of FSF North America, has published a paper that will help Free Software developers and end-users understand the legal issues and business risks involved in using the Linux kernel.
Article: "On 'Intellectual Property' and Indigenous Peoples"
Article by Georg Greve:
"The system and ideology of 'intellectual property' has evolved
exclusively to cater to the needs of large Northern media
corporations. Northern societies, and in particular their artists and
authors, have massive problems with that system themselves.
It is precisely for this system that the digital divide and current power inequalities are as large as they are."
Debriefing: World Summit on the Information Society
(Geneva) From December 10th until 12th, 2003 the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, adopting on United Nations level a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action towards a global information society.
WSIS: Free Software, Free Society
(Geneva) During the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS),
the Civil Society Patents, Copyright, Trademarks (PCT) Working Group
is holding a workshop "Free Software, Free Society" with a group of
top speakers, including Richard Stallman and Lawrence Lessig.
The workshop will take place December 10th, 2003 from 17:00-20:00 in the Palexpo building in Geneva, Switzerland.
Free Software prominently represented at the UN- Conference
From July 15th to 18th, a preparative conference towards the World
Summit on the Information Society will be held in Paris, at which the
future and destination of the information- and science- society shall
be discussed as requested by the UN- General Assembly.
As a nominee from the coordinating circle of the German Civil Society for the WSIS, Georg Greve, president of the FSF Europe will take part in the meeting as a member of the German governmental delegation.
FSF Europe concludes two successful first years.
(Milano) Last weekend, the Free Software Foundation Europe held its 2003 general assembly in Milano, Italy. After two years of operation, it was time to draw a first summary and also hold elections.
Report: Two year executive summary
The 2003 general assembly of the FSF Europe in Milano, Italy on June 21st 2003 seems like a good opportunity to briefly recap some of the activities during the first two operational years of the FSF Europe.
Article: Free Software in Europe
The Spring 2003 issue of the Public Service Review - European Union with a foreword by Romano Prodi is featuring an article by Georg C. F. Greve, president of the FSF Europe. The article explains some of the major benefits Free Software has to offer and how they can be built upon.
Larry Lessig receives FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software
Press-release of the Free Software Foundation: "Brussels, Belgium - Saturday, February 8, 2003 - The Free Software Foundation (FSF) bestowed today its fifth annual FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software. FSF President and founder, Richard Stallman, presented the award to Professor Lawrence Lessig for promoting understanding of the political dimension of free software, including the idea that 'code is law'. Lessig has also promoted ideas similar to free software in other related fields."
Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA) V1.0 released
Press-release of the FSF Europe: "The Free Software Foundation Europe is proud to announce the first publicly available version of its Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA); an agreement that will help securing the legal stability of Free Software by allowing the FSF Europe to act as the fiduciary for Free Software authors and projects."
FSF Europe calls for participation
Press-release of the FSF Europe: "The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) invites all companies, organisations and research institutes interested in Free Software projects funded by the European Commission to join their effort."
FFII Associated with FSF Europe
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is now an official associate organisation of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The FFII is the first associate organisation of the FSF Europe based in Germany.
Two Expressions of Interest (EoI) from FSF Europe
In response to a call from the European Commission, the FSF Europe submitted an expression of interest for each of the instruments of the sixth framework programme (FP6).
FSF Europe completes successful first year
On May 26th 2002, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) finishes its second general assembly, completing the first year of activities. Members from Sweden, Italy, Germany and France drew a summary of last years activities, analyzed the current situation of Free Software and exchanged plans and visions for the upcoming year.
Recommendation by the FSF Europe and supporting parties
The FSF Europe and supporting parties has submitted a recommendation for the 6th European Community Framework Programme: "Free Software is a concept that has fundamentally changed the way some parts of the IT sector are working towards a more stable, lasting and sustainable approach with higher dynamics and increased efficiency. It is obvious that the first region to adopt and support this principle on a larger scale can profit enormously and get a head-start in the information age."
Invitation to European Copyright Directive Alert miniconference
On Monday 29 April 2002, at 6pm in London, we invite you to join the European Copyright Directive Alert miniconference. Organised by the Campaign for Digital Rights it will explain the dangers of the EUCD. Unless it is stopped before December 2002, it will become legal in each European country.
FSF Europe present at first LiLit meeting
On Friday 26 April 2002, the Free Software Foundation Europe will be present at the first LiLiT meeting in Liège, Belgium. During this evening (night ?-) session, we will focus on the best means to explain the ethical value of Free Software. A global view of the on going actions will hopefully allow everyone to figure out how to promote and defend the Free Software ideals.
FSF Europe at the Free and Open Source Software Developers Meeting
Between the 16th and 17th of February, 2002, the Free and Open Source Software Developers Meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium. Among the visitors will be Richard M. Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation and Georg C. F. Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe. The FSF Europe welcomes all members of the press who wish to meet the members and volunteers of the foundation.
ANSOL becomes associated organisation of the FSF Europe
"This collaboration is a very important step for the Portuguese and European free software community. Problems faced by the free software community in Portugal are similar to those faced in other European countries; by joining forces with FSFE we can solve this problems more efficiently" said Jaime Villate, founding member of ANSOL.
"Freedom, Quality and Fraternity" OLinux interview iwth Georg C. F. Greve
"[...] Keep on spreading the word. What we do today will influence the future of mankind for the next 200 years to come - we have to make sure that people understand the issues of Free Software and the importance of freedom. [...] Freedom counts! "
FSF Europe appoints new Vice President
Jonas Oberg was appointed new Vice President of the FSF Europe: "The future of Free Software depends a lot on what we do today. I plan to work to preserve the ability to use and develop Free Software in all of its forms, for example by helping to extend the efforts already underway against software patents and helping the media, government and companies understand the underlying issues of Free Software."
We Speak about Free Software
Launch of the "We speak about Free Software" campaign: There are compelling reasons to think and speak about Free Software and its philosophy. It is rather common knowledge this applies to society as a whole, but it has not yet been widely understood that it benefits companies, as well. Therefore the FSF Europe launches this campaign on behalf and with support of several Free Software companies.
FSF Europe receives charitable status in Germany
FSF Europe e.V. (the central association) receives confirmation of its charitable status in Germany by the authorities.
Georg Greve talks about "Copyright in the internet age"
Slides (in German) available at http://gnuhh.org/work/presentations/IFA-2001/.
Richard Stallman inaugurates Free Software Foundation-India
FSF Europe in German magazine
The FSF Europe is mentioned in the German magazine FOCUS issue 29/2001, page 106 in a story about the GNU/LinuxTag.
FSF Europe at LinuxTag and Libre Software Meeting
The FSF Europe will be present at the LinuxTag and Libre Software Meeting for the first time. Please see the press release for additional information.
FSF Europe general assembly is over
The FSF Europe general assembly is over. See the press release and photos by Olivier Berger and photos by Peter Gerwinski.
Free Software Foundation Europe finishes founding process
First general assembly of the Free Software Foundation Europe