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FSFE Newsletter - May 2015

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A secret Free Software action plan by the European Commission

The European Commission has published a new version of its strategy for the internal use of Free Software. The FSFE provided input to the Commission during the update phase and while the strategy is broadly similar to the previous version, there are some improvements.

Unlike previous versions, this time the strategy is accompanied by an action plan aimed at putting it into practice. However, the action plan is not public, so it is not possible to assess the Commission's progress towards its own goals. We would welcome it, if the Commission would soon publish its action plan.

Interpretation of law restricting Free Software in Switzerland

FSFE's goal is that software which is developed with tax money has to be released as Free Software. By doing so the public administration would strengthen and stimulate a fair IT market.

In Switzerland, there is currently uncertainty regarding the development and release of Free Software by public contractors. The trigger for this was the development and release of the software “OpenJusticia” by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The federal council now wants to examine whether the publication of Free Software by the federal administration can be allowed explicitly. The FSFE demands a clarification, so that publicly-financed software can be legally and unambiguously released as Free Software.

Worldwide 63 events about Open Standards

This year again volunteers around the world, accompanied by international organisations as well as politicians and public services joined our demand for document freedom. The global Document Freedom Day had 63 local events in 31 countries on 4 continents. Read our 2015 report to learn about political activities, new cartoons and illustrations, and have a look at pictures from the events including tasty DFD cakes.

Something completely different

Get active: Check the remaining advertisement for non-free software

We currently wrap-up the PDFreaders campaign, and we need your help to measure our success.

Started in 2009 FSFE’s goal with the campaign was to get rid of advertisement for proprietary PDF readers. We focused on the websites of public administrations, and many people helped us gather contact details for over 2000 public websites which advertised non-free software. Many people helped us to contact the public administrations, governments were made aware of it and published guidelines. Until now we know that 772 of the 2110 bugs were fixed, which is a 36% success rate.

But for most countries we did not check the status for several months now. That is why we need your help to make one final round. We are looking for volunteers who can help us by checking websites in their native language, following the step-by-step guide at the end of your editor's blog post.

Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE