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FSFE Newsletter - January 2010

In January, FSFE was awarded the Theodor Heuss Medal as a "trendsetting organisation". This recognition for the hard work of the past years was a good start into the new year.

FSFE participated in a WIPO meeting on patents and standards, moved forward with the restructuring of the website, identified two Fellowship candidates for the Fellowship seat in FSFE's General Assembly, and much more.

Read further January Newsletter

Giacomo Poderi

Table of Contents

  1. Fellowship elections, introducing the candidates: Julia Klein and Björn Schießle
  2. Ongoing website restructuring
  3. Standards and patents at WIPO, Geneva, Switzerland, 25-29 Jan
  4. Fellowship Jabber meeting: "What does it mean to be a candidate for the GA seat?", 06 Jan
  5. December Fellowship grants
  6. In the spotlight
  7. FSFE honoured with Theodor Heuss Medal - "trendsetting organisation"
  8. It happened in the past
  9. First draft of GPLv3 presented
  10. Upcoming events
  11. Election for Fellowship GA seat
  12. FOSDEM, Brussels, Belgium, 06-07 Feb

Fellowship elections, introducing the candidates: Julia Klein and Björn Schießle

Julia Klein and Björn Schießle are the two candidates who will run for the election of the second available seat as Fellowship representative at FSFE's GA. Both have been Fellows for a few years now. Julia often participates in Fellowship events and helps in setting up FSFE's booths in Germany. Björn is active in the German translation team, takes part in the Baden-Würtemberg

Fellowship events and has a been part of FSFE's German team for several years. More information on the voting period are available at

Ongoing website restructuring

Last month we announced the beginning of the major restructuring of FSFE's website. The work is not finished yet, but as it is possible to notice by browsing fsfe.org, our webmasters team did an excellent job in only a few weeks. The visible changes are only the top of the iceberg. Many hours of work were spent on the improvement of the underlying structure of the website. You can help the webmasters team by joining them or simply by pointing out problems concerning the website.

Standards and patents at WIPO, Geneva, Switzerland, 25-29 Jan

Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's president, and Hugo Roy, FSFE's intern, participated in the meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents. From FSFE's perspective, the two most important points on the agenda were the relation between standards and patents, and limitations to patentability. In this regard, FSFE made a statement which highlights the relevance of transparent processes when discussing patent regulations and gives support to the idea of creating a working program for the discussion of limitations and exceptions of patentability, and their effectiveness in addressing development concerns. FSFE's statement is available at:

Fellowship Jabber meeting: "What does it mean to be a candidate for the GA seat?", 06 Jan

On 06 January, the Fellows met on our jabber server to hear about Torsten Grote's experience as representative for the Fellowship at FSFE's General Assembly (GA). Torsten clarified doubts that other Fellows had concerning this role, and encouraged them to run as candidates for the other available seat. The election will take place during February.

December Fellowship grants

As it happened for the application period of November, we received many interesting grant applications and deciding amongst these wasn't easy at all. However, the grants for December have been awarded to Alex Bihlmaier and Christoph Fritz, both from Germany, and Stelios Stavroulakis from Greece. They impressed us with their enthusiasm for Free Software projects and the many valuable contributions they have made so far. We welcome them to the Fellowship!

In the spotlight

FSFE honoured with Theodor Heuss Medal - "trendsetting organisation"

FSFE will receive this year's Theodor Heuss Medal for its extraordinary work for equitable participation in the information society. Since 2001 FSFE has promoted the freedom to use, investigate, modify and redistribute software in all parts of society and politics. Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's president, and Matthias Kirschner, German team coordinator, emphasised on the valuable efforts done by Georg Greve, Bernhard Reiter and Werner Koch, who founded FSFE, and by all volunteers who supported us during these years. It was them who made this success possible!

The non-partisan Theodor Heuss Foundation seeks "to bring attention to something that needs to be done in our democracy". Regarding FSFE's medal, the Foundation states: "FSFE, as a forward thinking organisation, contributes to the development and establishment of rules for good global governance." The award ceremony will take place on May 8 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Relevant links:

It happened in the past

First draft of GPLv3 presented

In January 2006 at MIT in Boston, USA, the first draft of the GPLv3 was presented and discussed. Georg Greve and other FSFE representatives participated at the first international conference on the GPLv3. An event that marked an important milestone towards the new version of the world's most successful Free Software license.

Upcoming events

Election for Fellowship GA seat

During the whole month of February, the election for the second Fellowship seat in FSFE's GA will take place. All Fellows will be asked to vote for the candidates and to decide who, between Julia and Björn, will join Torsten in representing the Fellowship in FSFE's highest decision making body.

FOSDEM, Brussels, Belgium, 06-07 Feb

As usual, FSFE will participate at FOSDEM with a lively and well-staffed booth. This European event organized by the community, for the community is the place where Free Software developers meet, and an event that you should not miss. Drop by the FSFE booth near the entrance and say hello! FOSDEM takes place at ULB Campus Solbosh, 50 Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Admission gratis.

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