FSFE Newsletter - April 2011
A decade of Freedom: FSFE turned 10
One room with a bed, a desk, and a sofa. That was the situation when your editor started working as an intern for FSFE in Georg Greve's one room appartment in Hamburg in 2004. FSFE started with its operations in March 2001 as the first sister organisation of the FSF in the US. We have come a long way since then. First of all, our interns don't get Georg's mandatory cooking lessons any more, instead they now have their own desks and do not have to work from the sofa any more. Second, we now have the Fellowship which leads to a growth of volunteers and activities:
- In the UK, Sam Tuke is currently busy setting up a punchy team. They are giving talks, organising events, and documenting the developments in the future role of Free Software in the British public sector.
- Our Italian team is currently supporting ADUC to get rid of the Windows Tax. ADUC is an Italian association for users/consumers' rights who recently filed a class action request against Microsoft Italy's refusal of reimbursing unused OEM licences for its operating system. Carlo Piana is helping ADUC's lawyers and Giacomo Poderi with the Italian team will help to raise awareness on this issue.
- In Switzerland you have a confusing landscape of different Free Software organisations, which have problems with coordination. It was nearly impossible to find out what is going on in the next weeks, or to find a date for an activity which does not interfere with another group. That's why the Zurich Fellowship group has now set up an event calendar on freie-termine.ch to improve this situation.
- Our Swedish team was actively publishing videos from FSCONS. Last year in November, we hosted our own track at FSCONS around different topics of decentralised (social) networks and free network services. Now the videos of the talks are finally online.
- This year there are at least 8 Federal State elections in Germany. The German team already received replies from the parties in Sachsen-Anhalt, Rheinland-Pfalz, and Baden-Würrtemberg on questions like general support of Free Software, problems of vendor lock-in, Open Standards, non-free PDF readers advertisements on public websites, the use of Free Software in education, and software patents. The same will be done for the remaining elections.
Worldwide celebration of Open Standards
Open Standards are a common language, publicly documented, that computer programs can speak. They are central to interoperability and freedom of choice in technology. Open Standards allow Free Software developers to create programs that can interoperate with other solutions, so users can migrate away from proprietary solutions.
Many of you followed our call to participate in this year's Document Freedom Day: in Brazil, the Federal Data Processing Company - Serpro - hold events in 10 cities. In the European Parliament, experts discussed Open Standards as a means to guarantee access to cultural works in the long term. Other groups participated in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom. Selected FSFE activities include:
- The City Munich was awarded with the European Document Freedom Day prize for its LiMux project.
- Tagesschau.de awarded for the use of Open Standards: The prize was awarded in Berlin and Hamburg by the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and us for offering the broadcast shows also in the free video format "Ogg Theora". As you can see on the pictures (DE) the cake was amazing (also available in French)
- "A bright Document Freedom Day for Britain?" about Open Standards in Britain.
Something completely different
- Redhat made $909 million with Free Software and Nokia is spreading FUD?: After Mirko Böhm wrote an interesting analysis on the current Nokia move, your editor commented on Nokia's announcement about selling the proprietary Qt business to Digia. This also led to interesting discussions on our public mailing lists about the meaning of "commercial".
- Our freshly elected Fellowship representative Hugo Roy wrote about IPRED (FR).
- Fellowship Interview with Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen. Dan describes the aims of these exciting gaming projects, and discusses what Free Software could mean for gaming in future.
- New Legal News available for 19.02.-25.02., 26.02.-04.03., 05.03.-13.03., 14.03.-20.03., 21.03.-28.03.
- 2010 Free Software Awards go to: Rob Savoye and the TOR project. Savoye is a long-time free software hacker, who has worked on GNU and other free software for over 20 years. TOR is enabling people around the world to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity.
- The FSF welcomed Debian's "Squeeze" release. Debian GNU/Linux also received a prize at the Cebit, where Karsten Gerloff held the laudatio.
Get Active - Translations for free PDF readers
During our pdfreaders campaign we received the feedback that it is difficult to use some free PDF readers, as the download pages, or the actual software is not translated. Since then our intern Nicoulas Jean is in contact with several free PDF reader developers. Take a look at our list of PDF readers and how to help them with translation, and take action:
- Help translating your favorite PDF reader and ask others to do so.
- Find out how to help with translations of the missing readers and add this information it to the website.