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Informačný bulletin

FSFE Newsletter - June 2009

June has definitely been a thrilling month. Besides our ongoing activities with Fellowship meetings, participations to events such as the LinuxTag in Berlin, most of our energy and attention were directed at the General Assembly (GA) held in Miraflores de la Sierra.

This has been an important event for our organisation since, for the first time, it included a representative of the Fellowship; it presented our new Spanish team and gave the chance for community building during the social event, but more importantly, it put in place our new Executive Team!

Read on to get to know them!

Giacomo Poderi

Table of Contents

  1. FSFE participates at "LinuxTag 2009", Berlin, 24-27 June
  2. Social event and presentation of Spanish team, Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain, 20 June
  3. The account from the first Fellowship representative at the GA
  4. Two year Executive Summary (2007-2009)
  5. Fellowship meeting in Berlin, 11 June
  6. It's time for the community to take charge of its brand
  7. In the spotlight
  8. The new Executive Team appointed at FSFE's General Assembly 2009
  9. It happened in the past
  10. Introducing the translators team
  11. Upcoming events
  12. FSFE booth at RMLL Nantes, France, 07-11 July
  13. Fellowship Meeting in Berlin, 09 July

FSFE participates at "LinuxTag 2009", Berlin, 24-27 June

We participated with a booth at the "LinuxTag", in Berlin, as in the years before. The event took place at Berlin's Expo Center from 24-27 June, and attracted about 10,000 visitors interested in Free Software at all kind of levels, 135 exhibitors and about 300 speakers. This year, our booth was coordinated by Lena Simon and Matthias Kirschner with the valuable help of 12 volunteers, who manned it over the four days event. This year our booth included some novelties such as brand new pdfreaders.org leaflets, an introductory comic strip to the Fellowship and the alpha version of a booth game named "GNUstav the GNU". Read more about it on Matthias' and Torsten's blog posts:

Social event and presentation of Spanish team, Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain, 20 June

On Saturday 20 June, after a public presentation of our Spanish team, all General Assembly (GA) members, Fellows and friends were invited to the "compile your own"-Cocktail-Party. Roughly 30 people adapted the four basic principles of Free Software to the art of cocktail mixing. The raw materials were deployed at La Cristalera and the party people were provided with the source code of various cocktails. This social event was a valuable chance for community building and strengthen of personal ties amongst colleagues and friends.

The account from the first Fellowship representative at the GA

Torsten Grote is the first Fellow elected to represent the Fellowship at FSFE's GA. In Miraflores de la Sierra, he had the chance to participate in high level decision-making process within the organisation. He has already reported with an e-mail to all Fellows, his views on the experience. Torsten said, "I was surprised how much influence I had on the decisions that were made". He continues "My concerns and proposals were not treated differently from the ones of any other member. This way I had considerable influence on all the decisions made and was able to check if the executive team does and will do its job properly." Torsten will keep his blog up to date to include more coverage on the GA. Don't miss it!

Two year Executive Summary (2007-2009)

In preparation of the General Assembly (GA) of this year, Georg Greve, former FSFE's President, drafted the biennial executive summary on the work of the organisation, which is now available on-line. The document summarises the cornerstone activities in various areas such as the Microsoft Antitrust Case, open standards, the United Nations and the legal work of the Freedom Task Force. The Executive Summary is a good resource to understand the current changes and further directions of our organisation.

Fellowship meeting in Berlin, 11 June

The Fellowship group of Berlin met on 11 June in the Newthinking Store at Tucholskystraße 48. At the meeting, Sabine Stengel from Cartogis gave a talk about OpenStreetMap, which was followed by an inspiring discussion. The preparation for the LinuxTag was another main topic of the evening. Torsten answered Fellows' questions about his new role as representative at the GA. About 25 Fellows and interested guests participated in the two hours official meeting, and also joined for a more informal social gathering at the pub.

It's time for the community to take charge of its brand

As the terms "Free Software" and "Open Source" are becoming more and more mainstream we are seeing many companies that want to 'jump on the bandwagon', branding anything they produce as Free or Open Source Software. However, it often happens that the mixed models they want to sell are far from what we would call Free Software. Georg published a concise post with the title "It's time for the community to take charge of its brand", which focuses on current corporate practices of mixing models and depriving the community of their meaning and understanding of Free Software.

In the spotlight

The new Executive Team appointed at FSFE's General Assembly 2009

Our yearly GA meeting was held in Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain, on 19-21 June. It brought about a lot of changes. Torsten in the role of first Fellowship's representative was there, our Spanish team, who hosted and organised the meeting, was formally presented and, most exciting, the new Executive Team was deliberated upon and formally set it up.

Karsten Gerloff, Fernanda Weiden, Christian Holz, Adrian de Groot, Matthias Kirschner and Reinhard Müller are the people who will lead FSFE for the coming years. They are, respectively, our new President, Vice-President, Executive Director, FTF coordinator, Fellowship coordinator and Financial Officer. Georg Greve, who founded the organisation together with others and chaired it during the past eight years says about the new team: "There is no doubt in my mind that these extraordinary people are a dream team to ensure both continuity and change towards a better, larger, and more successful FSFE."

The new Executive Team is well aware of the capabilities of the organisation and will work to strengthen it even further. Karsten, FSFE's new President, says: "Georg Greve and his team have done splendid work over the past eight years, building FSFE out of nothing into an organisation that is highly respected and trusted as an expert group on Free Software, and as a reliable partner in policy making and negotiations." Fernanda, FSFE's Vice-President, continues: "The people in this organisation have a deep understanding not only of technology itself, but also of its social and political aspects. Together, we can continue to develop cutting-edge thinking on how we as a society handle knowledge, and how we can best make the most of technology."

More information about the new team and how to contact them can be found here:

Relevant links:

It happened in the past

Introducing the translators team

The international reach of our organisation demands that our information and documents are available in as many languages as possible. Five years ago we decided to give space for a flexible, responsive, and well coordinated translator team to grow. The decision has paid off extremely well. As of today, most of the content on https://fsfe.org is available in 27 languages. Thanks to our volunteers for their excellent job!

Upcoming events

FSFE booth at RMLL Nantes, France, 07-11 July

The 10th RMLL, "Rencontre Mondial de Logiciel Libre" (LSM, Libre Software Meeting) is taking place at Nantes. Rainer Kersten will organise a FSFE booth there. RMLL is the most important Free Software event in France and some 5000 visitors are expected.

Whoever would like to come and help is highly welcome. To coordinate, please contact:

Fellowship Meeting in Berlin, 09 July

The local Berlin Fellowship group will meet on 9 July at 7.30 pm at the Newthinking Store, in Tucholskystraße 48. This time there will be a discussion with representatives from political party youth organisations about Free Software. As always, guests are welcome to join.

You can find a list of all FSFE newsletters on


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