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FSFE Supporters write about Free Software for remote working

  • 03 April 2020

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 virus outbreak many employees - voluntarily or mandatory - are working remotely now. Many organisations who have not been used to remote working so far now face a number of difficulties adapting to the situation. To avoid potential lock-ins, some FSFE supporters collectively wrote about the good reasons to use Free Software for remote working and collected a detailed list of practical solutions in our wiki. 

Any Corona tracking app must be used voluntarily and be Free Software

  • 02 April 2020

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) demands that the use of tracking technologies that aim at breaking the chains of disease infection may only be promoted on a voluntary basis, fundamental rights must be respected and the software must be published under a Free Software licence. 

Freeware, Free Software and the Corona Virus Crisis – Choose your tools wisely!

  • 30 March 2020

Cheering on doctors and nurses, sewing face-masks, donating gloves and disinfectant gel, building respirators, running errands for elderly neighbours. Everybody wants to contribute to alleviate the dramatic situations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FSFE in times of Corona: How a virus affects us

  • 27 March 2020

Among all the serious diseases and deaths it causes, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its accompanying COVID-19 disease also keep the FSFE and the whole Free Software community in suspense. For our community and other charitable organisations we would share our experiences and lessons learnt from the Corona crisis. 

The FSFE is looking for an executive assistant

  • 11 March 2020

We are looking for an executive assistant to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 25-35 hours per week with our team in the Berlin office and will be in charge of the FSFE's Berlin office operations. 

Expert Brochure to Modernise Public Digital Infrastructure with Public Code - Translated Versions Online

  • 10 March 2020

What is Free Software? How does it contribute to digital sovereignty, security and transparency of state digital infrastructure? Which steps can public administrations take? These and more questions are answered in our publication "Public Money Public Code – Modernising Public Infrastructure with Free Software". After the successful release of the English version of our brochure we translated it into three more languages: German, Czech and Brazilian Portuguese.  

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - the Barriers to Router Freedom in Germany

Consider this hypothetical scenario: you moved to a new apartment. Apart from all the stress of packing, transporting, and unpacking all your stuff at your new home, you also had to deal with getting utilities connected. The electric company turned out to be difficult to deal with: they said you had to change your TV set, toaster, refrigerator and most of your lamps. 

Security scandal around WhatsApp shows the need for decentralised messengers and digital sovereignty

  • 28 February 2020

The recent security scandal around WhatsApp and access to the content of private groups shows that there is an urgent need for action with regard to secure communication. 

(pre-)FOSDEM +++ ILoveFS +++ Community

From our own pre-FOSDEM event, to the exciting FOSDEM weekend, to I love Free Software day, February was full of exciting news for the FSFE. We used these occasions to present our work, as well as to offer communities around Europe the opportunity to present their own. Read about our booths and presentations, about love and upcoming events in our February Newsletter. 

I Love Free Software - and you?

  • 12 February 2020

While you are reading this, someone somewhere is improving the code of a Free Software you use for yourself. Free Software has long been part of the daily use of billion of users, still the people behind the respective projects often remain invisible. Together we want to change that. On 14 February is the "I love Free Software Day", a day to show your love and celebrate your favourite Free Software and its contributors. Join us! 

FSFE is hiring: interns and trainees for legal, policy and technical areas

  • 29 January 2020

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. 

Report from the 36c3, about:freedom - about:fsfe

  • 22 January 2020
  • Bonnie Mehring

At the end of December, FSFE was in Leipzig at the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. As in previous years, we were present at the congress with lots of information material, talks and workshops. FSFE was one of the main organisers of the cluster about:freedom, an association of 12 civil society organisations and groups. Together with the other organisations, we focused on digital rights and network policy issues. 

Cory Doctorow +++ (pre-) FOSDEM +++ 36C3

2020 is not just a new year, it is the dawn of a new decade. With more and more automated systems run by software, a political representation of freedom is more needed than ever. Read in our January Newsletter about why Cory Doctorow supports the FSFE financially and why you should do so too. Read about our upcoming FOSDEM activities including our pre-FOSDEM meeting and reflections on our presence at the Chaos Communication Congress. Also we have a new Software Freedom Podcast with Harald Welte and reports from our community. 

Software Freedom Podcast #4 about REUSE with Carmen Bianca Bakker

  • 21 January 2020

In the monthly Software Freedom Podcast we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Carmen Bianca Bakker about the REUSE project. By this we are covering the very broad topic of software licensing and the problems there, which REUSE is able to solve with three simple steps.  

Software Freedom Podcast #3 about Free Software in the mobile phone communication with Harald Welte

  • 20 December 2019

Once a month, we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this third episode, our guest is Harald Welte, Free Software programmer and activist. Harald discusses with us his current projects regarding mobile phone communication and the general status of Free Software in this area.  

CDU wants public code +++ Community Meeting +++ 36C3

The last Newsletter of the year ends with exciting news for software freedom: the biggest conservative party in Europe, the German CDU, endorsed the principle that software developed with public money should be under a Free Software License. We further invite you to to read about the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months and to dig into Florian Snow's report of our Annual Community Meeting 2019. Also you find an outlook on our participation at the biggest hacking related conference in Europe, the 36C3 and a call for your support and help to continue our mission towards empowering users to control technology. 

Report from the 2019 FSFE Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy

This year's FSFE Community Meeting took place from Friday 15 November to Saturday 16 November 2019 as part of SFSCon - an annual Free Software event in the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol, Italy. As in previous editions, embedding our community meeting in another event gave us the opportunity to meet different parts of our own community as well as to connect with people from other communities. 

The last 12 months in the light of software freedom

In the last 12 months, we have achieved a lot with the help of our volunteers, through their donations and hard work. Thanks to their support, we were able to successfully continue our PMPC campaign, simplify licensing practices through our REUSE initiative, and stand up for router freedom in Europe. We will be back in 2020 with even more vigour towards our work. Please help us with a donation so that we can continue our successful commitment to Free Software. 

FSFE Newsletter - November 2019

  • 27 November 2019
  • Galia Mancheva

This month, we present our Portuguese friends from ANSOL and their success story on solving the problems DRM creates in their country and gives tips on how you can take similar actions in your country. Episode 2 of the FSFE's Software Freedom Podcast is out and we dedicate it to the KDE Community and the transformations and updates they are currently undertaking. You can discover upcoming events and interesting stories with visuals from the events where our community promoted Free Software across Europe. We offer a sneak peak into this year's FSFE Annual Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy before the official report. In the Get Active section, we ask for your help with the new "Public Money? Public Code!" initiative. We need more municipalities and public sector bodies to embrace the principles and become part of the signatories. 

FSFE welcomes CDU decision to make Free Software mandatory

  • 25 November 2019

The Free Software Foundation Europe welcomes the conservantive CDU's party convention resolution on the use of Free Software. At its 32nd party conference this weekend, the CDU ("Christian Democratic Party") resolved to join FSFE in demanding that software developed with public money should be publicly available as Free Software. This decision aligns with our "Public Money, Public Code!" campaign, which is supported by over 170 organisations and 26,000 individuals. 

Input for the BEREC's guidelines on Router Freedom in Europe

Router Freedom is the right of customers of any Internet Service Provider (ISP) to choose and use a private modem and router instead of a router that the ISP forces them to use. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) drafted guidelines for national agencies how to deal with Router Freedom in their countries. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) provided mixed feedback to an ongoing public consulation.  

How we fixed DRM in Portugal (and so can you)

  • 13 November 2019
  • Paula Simões,
  • Marcos Marado

After 15 years of trying to solve the DRM problem, the Portuguese Association for Free Software ANSOL and the Association for Free Education AEL finally managed to get what they sought: a fix to the DRM situation in Portugal. 

Get Active: “Public Money? Public Code!” in the Kassel city parliament

  • 12 November 2019
  • Bonnie Mehring

Our EU-wide campaign "Public Money? Public Code!" has made it to the city parliament in Kassel (Germany). The parliamentary group, consisting of FDP, Freie Wähler (Free Voters) and Pirates, has proposed a motion "Public Money - Public Code as a Principle in Software Procurement". The motion calls on the magistrate to follow the principle of "Public Money, Public Code" when purchasing new software and to focus increasingly on Free Software as well as Open Standards.  

Software Freedom Podcast #2 about KDE with Lydia Pintscher

  • 12 November 2019

We are back with the second episode of our Software Freedom Podcast! Once a month, we talk with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In this episode, we talk with Lydia Pintscher from KDE about the development of the KDE community, the different KDE projects and the issues they will be tackling over the next two years.  

Call for sessions "about:freedom" during 36C3

In the context of the 36th Chaos Communication Congress happening from December 27th to 30th in Leipzig, the FSFE is happy to host an assembly again inside the cluster "about:freedom". We offer attention and a stage for self-organised sessions by and for our community and friends, and this is our call for participation. 

FSFE Newsletter - October 2019

  • 30 October 2019

This month, we focus our attention on digital restrictions and the International Day against them. To this end, we launched our first episode of the monthly Software Freedom Podcast, this time starring Cory Doctorow talking about DRM. We have published our yearly report, summing up our activities of the past 12 months and shining light on the community we build our success on. As usual, you will also discover upcoming events with the FSFE, including our Annual Community meeting, as well as recordings and information from events we participated in. 

Router Freedom: regaining sovereignty over your digital equipment

The right of choosing your own modem and router is a basic precondition for a neutral, safe and healthy digital environment. If you cannot control your router, it is not free and your digital freedom is likely to be compromised. For years, the FSFE has been successfully fighting for Router Freedom in Germany. Now the debate has reached the European level with Internet Service Providers imposing their specific routers to customers. The FSFE has prepared an activity package for people and organisations interested in advocating for their freedom of choice. 

Annual report of the Free Software Foundation Europe 2019

  • 22 October 2019

"Software Freedom in Europe" is the yearly report of the Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. (FSFE). In one document, it gives you a breakdown of important things the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months. Among many other interesting stories, in the 2019 report you will read about our ongoing work for router freedom in Europe, about the first Parliament in Europe who joins our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign, about our new version of REUSE tools to help Free Software developers with easy license compliance and about much more of our multi-faceted policy work - all together aiming at a world in which users are in control of technology! 

The FSFE re-elects president, vice president, and financial officer

  • 14 October 2019

At this year's General Assembly, which took place in Essen, Germany, on 12 October, the members of the FSFE re-elected Matthias Kirschner as the president, Heiki Lõhmus as the vice president, and Patrick Ohnewein as the financial officer for another two-year term.  

Today is the Day Against DRM

  • 12 October 2019

Join us and the Free Software Foundation in the fight against DRM! Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is any technology that is built into an electronic product or service with the aim of limiting its use. It is designed to prevent customers from using digital technology in ways that do not correspond to the business agenda of a content provider or device manufacturer.  

Software Freedom Podcast #1 on Day Against DRM with Cory Doctorow

  • 12 October 2019

We have a Podcast! Starting with this episode, we will talk once a month with people who have inspiring ideas about software freedom. In our first episode of our Software Freedom Podcast, we address the issue of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) together with Cory Doctorow, a British-Canadian writer, political activist, and co-editor of the blog boingboing.net. Cory Doctorow is a prominent supporter of software freedom and a less restrictive copyright law. His books are published under Creative Commons licenses.  

Freedomvote sheds light on Swiss candidates for national elections

Freedomvote.ch is back. The Swiss Freedomvote campaign aims to give voters guidance about the candidates who are running for election. As in its previous edition from 2015, it offers candidates the opportunity to present their positioning on different digital topics, including Free Software. More than 160 candidates are already participating and prove that digital topics are becoming more and more important - for voters just as for candidates.  

Open Letter “Free and Open Source EU Policy Recommendations”

At the end of September together with Open Forum Europe we organised a meeting in Brussels to bring together Free Software experts from around Europe. Goal of the meeting was to discuss Free Software and its driving role in the digital transformation in Europe, and in particular how the European institutions can further facilitate these developments.  

Be part of this year's FSFE community meeting

  • 30 September 2019
  • Bonnie Mehring

In less than 2 months this year's FSFE community meeting will take place between 15 and 17 November at the SFScon in Bolzano, Italy. There will be inspiring talks, both from within the FSFE community as well as from the SFScon accompanied with a lot of social gatherings. No matter if you are a longtime volunteer or you have never heard about us before - everyone who is interested in the FSFE is welcome to join.  

FSFE Newsletter - September 2019

  • 27 September 2019

In this month's newsletter, we focus our attention on the impact of Free Software on competition, in a piece written by our guest expert, Prof. Dr. Simon Schlauri. We also take the chance to announce the awesome progress we have made in the REUSE project towards making copyright and licensing easier for developers. Further down, you can discover upcoming events and information about the FSFE Annual Community meeting, as well as see some photos and video recordings from events where our community promoted Free Software across Europe. We also make some recommendations for articles you may find useful. 

Richard Stallman resigns as president of the Free Software Foundation

  • 17 September 2019

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

    • 07 August 2019
    • Carmen Bianca Bakker,

    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

    • 06 August 2019
    • 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

    • 24 July 2019
    • Galia Mancheva

    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)

    • 01 July 2019

    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

    • 27 June 2019
    • Galia Mancheva

    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

    • 20 May 2019

    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.

    • 15 May 2019

    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

    • 15 May 2019

    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

    • 24 April 2019
    • Galia Mancheva

    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

    • 29 March 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]

    • 26 March 2019

    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

    • 20 March 2019
    • Galia Mancheva

    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

    • 14 February 2019
    • Galia Mancheva

    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

    • 05 February 2019

    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!"

    • 24 January 2019

    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

    • 09 January 2019

    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.