FSFE Newsletter - March 2011
Revolution failed: Facebook not available in Egypt
"On 27th January facebook was shut down in Egypt. For the moment this stopped the protests. Media assumes that this is due to the influence of Mubarak's granddaughter who is Mark Zuckerberg's girl-friend." Of course this is not true. But with software which is controlled by one company, something like this can happen. What if the owner of the social network would have been an Egypt company? Would this company have been able to resist state pressure?
For a long time dedicated people have been working on decentralised Free Software solutions, to make sure there is no vulnerable single point of control. We as citiziens should be in control of our tools, and as most of those tools today are comprised of software we do need decentralised software. That's why FSFE organised a related track at FSCONS, and our staff as well as dedicated volunteers like Torsten Grote gather information, give talks or interviews.
Karsten Gerloff gave a talk on "Power Software Freedom" (there is a good summary by Brian Gough) at FOSDEM this month, and one of the event's keynotes "Why Political Liberty Depends on Software Freedom More Than Ever" by Eben Moglen targetted this topic as well, especially the so-called "Freedom Box" which started to receive good media coverage in turn, and will hopefully push this topic even further.
Lawyered! - FSFE's legal workshop
More than 75 lawyers, for 2 days, in 1 room -- and all of this organised by the FSFE. What is it about? We do this to ensure that the best possible legal knowledge about Free Software is shared between everyone, no matter whether individuals, businesses or initiatives.
As part of this, FSFE facilitates an annual event called European Legal Network Conference to allow legal experts to discuss the future of Free Software law and governance. This has become the world's premier event for debating, discussing and sharing knowledge around Free Software legal affairs.
This year it will be held at the NH Barbizon Palace, Amsterdam, between the 7th and 8th of April, and will feature speakers like Carlo Piana from FSFE, Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical, Eben Moglen from SFLC, and Harald Welte from gpl-violations.org.
Something completely different
- Leaked documents highlight Germany's Foreign Office move back to non-free software: This move is intransparent, and the more we find out the more questions we have. See
- Foreign Office: Will it switch off the Free Software beacon?
- Leaked Documents: Change of strategy in the Foreign Office against recommodations.
- "One study after the other". Interview from the German Newspaper TAZ with your editor
- Without Free Software in the Foreign Office - Dradio interview with Bernhard Reiter.
- "Love love love": The Beatles sing about it, we wanted to have some for Free Software activists at Valentine's Day. As last year we run a campaign animating people to show their love for Free Software. See Maëlle's blog post for this years summary and mark February 14th for 2012.
- Fellowship Interview with Italy's PDFreaders heart: While your editor can inform more people about our our pdfreaders campaign like in a FOSDEM talk this campaign would not be such successfull without many dedicated volunteers. This month Fellowship interview is with Massimo Barbieri, IT manager at the Earth Science Department, of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, leader of the band The Radiostars, and "Mr PDFreader" in Italy.
- What happens with your code "when you’re no longer coding. When your uplink is permanently disconnected. When you’re dead." Armijn Hemmel wrote an article why the Fiduciary Licence Agreement is an important tool].
- New editions of Matija Suklje's "Free Software and law related links" are available for 29.1.-4.2.2011, 5.2.-11.2.2011, and 12.2.-18.2.2011.
- At GoOpen 2011 the 22-23rd of March in Oslo, Norway, the Swedish FSFE team is helping to organise a special FSCONS track. The track takes some inspiration from previous FSCONS conferences in Sweden and introduces speakers on Free Software and Free Society.
Get active - Activities for Document Freedom
Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation. March 30th will be a day of grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general. This is how you can help:
- Join and help a team!
- Blog about it, and link to our campaign!
- Donate money to DFD!
- Sponsor the campaign!
- Put a banner on your website with our Artwork"
- Use !dfd group on Identi.ca and #dfd2011 tag on Identi.ca and Twitter