FSFE Newsletter - July 2016
EIF v. 3: the EU hampers its own goal to promote better interoperability with harmful licensing terms
The FSFE provided the European Commission with our input in regard to the ongoing revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). The EIF aims to promote enhanced interoperability in the EU public sector, and is currently going through its third revision since 2004. Whilst the draft version gives preference to Open Standards in delivering public services, it also promotes harmful FRAND (so-called "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory") licensing terms for standards. In practice, these are highly anti-competitive and unfit not only for Free Software but for the whole software sector in general. In addition, the draft also ignores the proven relationship between interoperability and Free Software: many national frameworks explicitly require their national services to be based on Free Software. We asked the European Commission to address these and other shortcomings and ensure interoperability in an efficient way.
FSFE summit - Registration open and how to attend
From September 2nd to 4th we will be holding the first ever FSFE summit. This is the main event to bring together FSFE members and supporters from all over Europe. In the last weeks our amazing team behind the FSFE summit invested their online time, coffee breaks and even their daydreams to offer you an event that is worthy of your visit and worthy of being the official celebration of 15 years of FSFE. The event is pan-European, organised for the community, includes old stagers and newcomers, and takes place in the heart of Berlin. Every day there is a new theme, built on talks about technology, freedom and society. And last but not least, there will be social events in the evening that give the opportunity to meet up, share ideas and plan new activities.
Registration for the first FSFE summit is now officially open. Additionally, on the very same page you find valuable information about the questions you might have about attendance. Better be quick as tickets will be "sold out" soon!
Please be aware that our summit team is still working hard to shape an inspiring and balanced community program for you and it will be finally announced in the next weeks.
From the community
Given the latest news about implemented encryption in popular chat applications, Hannes Hauswedell discusses the important aspects of privacy in communication, and gives some examples of current applications and ongoing projects that respect privacy on different levels. Beyond encryption, says Hannes, our privacy is in need of Free Software, device integrity and federated networks. Framasoft has translated this blogpost into French.
Björn Schießle blogs about the History and Future of Cloud Federation where he explains the concept of server-to-server sharing in Owncloud/Nextcloud and its development to a "federated cloud ID", which looks similar to an email address. Like email, "federated cloud" refers to a user on a specific server.
GA member Torsten Grote writes about the ongoing proprietarisation of Android and how this effectively cripples other versions of Android and makes them increasingly useless. Torsten also argues that even crippled Android versions are still an important fundament for communities to increase the people's freedom.
Daniel Pocock writes about WebRTC and communications projects as part of Google Summer of Code, under the umbrella of the Debian Project. His overview includes WebRTC plugins for popular CMS and web frameworks, truly peer-to-peer alternatives, and the GNU/Linux Desktop Telepathy framework.
Erik Albers writes how EU ministers recently missed the chance to set Free Software as an integral part of their Open Access strategy and why there is no Open Science without the use of open standards and Free Software.
Björn Schießle writes about Freedom for whom where he shares his thoughts about the harm which the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) causes to Free Software communities and how businesses and communities can benefit from developing complete Free Software solutions.
What else have we done?
Erik Albers, head of the Team summit, blogged on several occasions this month to share the ongoing process of organising the first ever FSFE summit. He shared insights about the PR/Logo, the summit committee and the registration and the team behind it.
FSFE supported the creation of the Software Heritage initiative, an archive of Free Software code. It collects programs, applications and snippets of code distributed under free licenses from a wide variety of active and defunct sources with the aim of protecting code from sinking into oblivion.
We once had the idea of creating national chapters of the FSFE, but it turned out to be unnecessary. Matthias Kirschner now states that the FSFE Chapter Germany e.V. has been officially dissolved.
The FSFE sent its concerns to the Vice President of the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, the Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Günther Oettinger, and Margrethe Vestager in regard to harmful FRAND licensing terms in the EU's standardisation plans.
We joined the initiative "transparent civil society" that is now reflected in a new section in our About Page. Our Transparency Commitment lists all information necessary to be part of the initiative.
FSFE's vice president, Alessandro Rubini, helped to organise the Italian Free Software Conference Confsl 2016 and represented FSFE in a dedicated session.
FSFE group Munich represented the FSFE with a booth at the first Corso Leopold 2016 (DE).
The "FreieSoftwareOG" represented the FSFE with a booth in Offenburg (DE).
Also, help us to spread the word in your favorite mailing list, your blog, your social media channels or share the news with your neighbours.
Good Free Software News
April updates us on their campaign regarding the French Digital Republic Bill wherein the French parliament has given priority to Free Software. Whilst general legal framework in France is only taking baby steps in promotion of Free Software, by the end of 2018, almost 70% of all workstations in the French town of Fontaine will run GNU/Linux. Bulgaria, on the other hand has currently become the leading example in Free Software policies by adopting a law that requires all software written for the government to be Free Software and to be developed as such in a public repository. Andalusia is keeping up with the trend and has announced that funding two of the region's key Free Software projects, GECOS and Guadalinux will continue. Colleges in Europe are creating courses to train students to help companies choose and use Free Software cloud services.
your editors Cellini, Polina and Erik, FSFE