Richard Stallman resigns as president of the Free Software Foundation
On 16 September, one of our independent sister organisations, the US-based Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced the resignation of Richard M. Stallman as its president. While we recognise Stallman's role in founding the Free Software movement, we welcome the decision.
Radio Lockdown: Criticism of Controversial Directive Unlikely to Sway European Commission
Since 2014, a European Directive has the effect of hindering users to load software on their radio devices, devices such as mobile phones, laptops and routers. While the European Commission recently closed a feedback period, where citizens shared their thoughts about the impact of the Directive, the FSFE worries that such feedback could very well go unheeded. Learn more about the feedback received, and what lies ahead.
REUSE makes copyright and licensing easier than ever
REUSE helps developers to declare copyright and licensing of their projects. Today, the REUSE project released version 3.0 of their specification. The new edition is accompanied by a helper tool and makes adopting the best practices easier than ever.
The Impact of Free Software on competition by Prof. Dr. Simon Schlauri
Do public administrations distort the market through the release of Free Software? An article by Prof. Dr. Simon Schlauri about the legal and economic arguments resulting from this question and originally written for our Public Money? Public Code - policy brochure.
FSFE Newsletter - July 2019
In this month's newsletter, we pay special attention to our new Testimonials page and the freshly prepared summary of the FSFE's annual Legal Licensing Workshop that took place in Barcelona. Further down, you can discover the upcoming events we are participating in and hosting, as well as see some visual details about how and where we managed to promote and extend the use of Free Software around Europe.
Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)
Du bist zwischen 16 und 24 Jahre alt und möchtest Dich im gesellschaftlichen Engagement ausprobieren bevor es mit Ausbildung oder Uni weitergeht? Außerdem beherrschst Du Englisch fließend in Wort und Schrift, verfügst über gute Deutschkenntnisse und hast Interesse an Technik? Dann bist Du bei der FSFE goldrichtig!
FSFE Newsletter - June 2019
This month's newsletter highlights the Google/Huawei case and the greater picture it reveals to us. In the Get Active section we call for your proactivity in promoting the use of Free Software. Additionally, you can find out what happened at our Web-a-thon in Frankfurt am Main and view some media of the actions we have taken for promoting and increasing the awareness of Free Software to the wider audience, as well as see what's planned for the near future, where you can take part in.
Three conclusions to draw from Google denying Huawei access to software
Google denies the Chinese IT giant Huawei access to Google's proprietary components of the Android mobile operating system which threatens IT security. This highlights the importance Free Software has for technology users, public bodies, and businesses. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) presents three essential lessons from this case.
FSFE Newsletter - May 2019
This newsletter edition gives special attention to the upcoming EU Elections. We are telling the story of the Spanish Pica Pica Hacklab who successfully used our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign to influence the Parliament of Asturias. Pica Pica's story takes us to the upcoming EU Elections that will bring in new MEPs into the European Parliament and so we provide advice and tips on how you can get active in promoting Free Software to them. As always, you will also read about the events the FSFE is going to be part of this month, as well as a retrospective of what has happened in the past month.
Public Money, Public Code: Munich one step back - others two steps forward.
More than two years ago, Munich abandoned their strategy of developing an independent IT infrastructure built with Free Software and the free operating system GNU/Linux and went back to depending on proprietary software. We followed this process closely and like to give an update today about what has happened since then in Munich and in Europe in general. Did we manage to gain more independence and control over our IT or did dependencies on monopolies increase over the past two years?
Free Software in Munich - FSFE thanks cabaret artist Christine Prayon
Yesterday, political satirist Christine Prayon was awarded the 10,000 Euro Dieter Hildebrandt Prize of the City of Munich for demanding political or decidedly socio-critical political satire. Prayon is donating the prize money to the Free Software Foundation Europe.
How the Parliament of Asturias decided to sign the open letter demanding "Public Money? Public Code!" - an interview with Iyán Méndez Veiga
"The Parliament of Asturias commits itself to the international "Public Money, Public Code" campaign" - this is a quote from the first demand in a recent proposal brought by the Parliament of Asturias to its government. It is also the happy end of continuous lobbying efforts from Oviedo's local hackerspace "Pica Pica Hacklab", using the FSFE's campaign material mixed with their self-developed brand of social hacking. Meanwhile, the Parliament of Asturias backed up its words with deeds and officially signed the open letter of our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign - being the very first Parliament to do so. To shed light on this successful story and inspire local groups around the world, we conducted an interview with Iyán Méndez Veiga, member of Pica Pica Hacklab.
FSFE Newsletter - April 2019
This month's newsletter highlights the presence of the FSFE's campaign"Public Money? Public Code!" in German media and its growing popularity across Europe. You can find a short reminder of the news around the newly voted Copyright Directive, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Get Active section this month we remind you of the new open call the Next Generation Internet project we are part of has launched. Additionally you can find out about new events we are attending and the Web-a-thon we organise in Frankfurt am Main.
#ilovefs Day report 2019
On Wednesday 14th of February, we acknowledge and celebrate the annual "I love Free Software Day". It is the day to express your love for Free Software and gratitude for your favourite pieces of Free Software. The Free Software Foundation Europe would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated and helped making this day a special one for everyone involved.
Copyright Directive – EU safeguards Free Software at the last minute [Updated]
The European Parliament adopted the controversial Copyright Directive by 348 votes in favour, 274 votes against and 36 abstentions. Today's vote marks the end of years of debate in the European Union. Heated discussions about the introduction of upload filters ended up in protests of hundreds of thousands of people in the streets all across Europe. In a last minute action back in September 2018, the European Parliament adopted an amendment and pushed it through the trilogue to at least protect Free Software developing platforms.
FSFE Newsletter - March 2019
This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.
International Women's Day: No freedom without diversity and gender equality
Today, the FSFE celebrates International Women's Day, a global day calling for women's rights and gender parity. As in many other communities, women in Free Software communities face gender discrimination on a daily basis. To help improve their environment and raise awareness, the FSFE wants to use today's occasion to share our ongoing efforts to improve gender balance and ensure gender equality.
Join the I Love Free Software Day 2019
Today, as with every year on February 14th, people around the globe are celebrating "I love Free Software" Day by expressing their love and thanks to all the people working behind each Free Software project. Follow the love with the hashtag #IloveFS today and add your own love dedication to the stream!
FSFE Newsletter - February 2019
This month's Newsletter is introducing our new expert policy brochure "Public Money? Public Code" and reflecting the importance of source code availability for trust and security in critical IT-infrastructure. As always the Newsletter gives an overview about the talks given and the booths set-up by our community as well as a short summary of what we have done - this month including FOSDEM, 35C3, FOSS4SMEs and the Next Generation Internet. As a "get active" item, this month we encourage you to participate in our IloveFS-campaign.
Huawei case demonstrates importance of Free Software for security
The discussion of the Huawei security concerns showcases a general trust issue when it comes to critical infrastructure. A first step to solve this problem is to publish the code under a Free and Open Source Software licence and take measures to facilitate its independently-verifiable distribution.
FSFE publishes expert brochure about “Public Money? Public Code!"
Why should governments develop Free Software? Where is Free Software already generating benefits in the public sector? What are Free Software business models? Answers to these questions and practical guidelines are given in the new expert policy brochure published today by the Free Software Foundation Europe. Produced with decision-takers in mind, the brochure will be a helpful source of information for candidates and parties running for the European Parliament election. Downloads and prints are available under a Creative Commons license.
FSFE is hiring: Fundraising Manager
We are looking for a Fundraising Manager to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 35 hours per week with our team in the Berlin office, being in charge of the FSFE's individual and corporate fundraising.
FSFE Newsletter - December 2018
The second half of 2018 was full of interesting developments for the Free Software community and its environment. In our December newsletter, we would like to shed light on three major developments that have the potential for long-lasting changes to the Free Software world and what these changes mean for the FSFE's work in 2019 and beyond.
The FSFE needs you to continue spreading software freedom in Europe!
Since 2001 the Free Software Foundation Europe empowers software users to exert control over the technology that is so deeply involved in every aspect of our lives today. As a non-profit organisation, our work is backed by the continuous and generous contributions of our supporters. From public campaigns to policy monitoring, from removing legal barriers to helping organisations in understanding how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination, our supporters have helped to finance our work.
FSFE Newsletter - November 2018
For 17 years, the FSFE has been empowering people to have control over their technology, and we get better at it every year. To help you understand how we work and what we do, we have just published "Software freedom in Europe", the yearly report about the FSFE and our activities.
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.
FSFE Newsletter - October 2018
Historically, Microsoft has used software patents to slow down Free Software adoption in businesses and public administration, by claiming patent infringement of important Free Software components and taking billions of dollars from Free Software re-distributors. In recent years, however, Microsoft approached themselves more and more with the Free Software community. In October, this led to Microsoft's next big step to join the LOT Network and the Open Invention Network (OIN), two organisations that aim to solve problems created by software patents towards the GNU/Linux systems.
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.
FSFE Newsletter - September 2018
On September 12, the European Parliament rejected the mandate to fast-track the controversial legislation intended to reform online copyright. After its previous rejection in July, they voted again on this package – and this time it was adopted. However, with amendment 143 and 150 of the current copyright reform proposal, we now have at least a limited exclusion for “open source software developing platforms (..) within the meaning of this Directive”. (consolidated document)
"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 Newsletter - July 2018
On July 5, The European Parliament rejected the mandate to fast-track the controversial legislation intended to reform online copyright. 318 MEPs voted against the draft law amended by the Legal Affairs (JURI) committee, compared to 278 in favor. The legislation now opens up for a new round of amendments, before being sent for a second vote in September.
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.
FSFE Newsletter - June 2018
From July 7 to 9, the FSFE will run its annual community meeting in conjunction with the Libre Software Meeting in Strasbourg, France. On the weekend of July 7 + 8, we are very excited to run a track, set up with speakers of our community and friends to cover several burning topics regarding Free Software. Our track covers business topics like marketing for Free Software and funding Free Software projects as well as policy topics from tinkering in Brussels to success factors for Free Software implementations in public services as well as contemporary important issues regarding diversity in Free Software, software freedom in the cloud, and many more. You can find an overview of our topics on the dedicated wiki page.
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.
FSFE Newsletter - May 2018
Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal experts to debate over issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This year we decided to bring the event back to its roots and to emphasise the "Workshop" part in its original title. Our 3-day conference attracted around 120 legal experts and came 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 Newsletter - April 2018
On March 19, the Free Software Foundation Europe together with OpenMedia, jointly delivered a petition signed by more than 11.000 individuals, who ask European politicians to save internet from the irreversible dangerous impact of the ongoing copyright reform, and in particular Article 13, which imposes preventive blocking of online code repositories. These signatures were addressed to the EU co-legislators: the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and received by MEP Julia Reda, the shadow rapporteur in the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) which drives the main parliamentary effort in the current copyright reform.
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.
FSFE Newsletter - March 2018
With the FSFE's Public Money? Public Code! campaign not only do we demand that code paid for by the people should be available to the people. We also highlight good examples of public code so other decision makers can learn from it. One very good example is Article 68 and Article 69 of the "Codice Amministrazione Digitale", an Italian law requiring public administrations inside Italy to prefer internally made solutions and Free Software solutions over proprietary ones. In addition, these administrations have the duty to share the source code and documentation of any software developed with public money. These laws put Italy at the forefront of European legislation in favour of public code.
#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 Newsletter - February 2018
"Funds that come from the citizens have to be invested in systems that can be reused and open to a local ecosystem" says Francesca Bria, Commissioner of Digital Technology and Innovation of Barcelona. She is the driving force behind the City's Digital Transformation Plan, which - among other things - aims to establish the use of Free Software and open data in the city's administration.
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.
For older news items, please see our news archives.