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FSFE Newsletter - November 2016


Public consultation on our Fellowship

Since 2005, the FSFE has maintained two distinct brands: the FSFE and our Fellowship. While this made sense initially, we've grown increasingly uncomfortable with the way this created a separation between the Fellows and the FSFE as two separate entities, despite the fact that we're all working together! Accordingly, we've reduced our activities promoting the "Fellowship" as something distinct from the FSFE, and now talk more about "FSFE Groups" rather than "Fellowship Groups", for our local groups.

We now need to come to a decision on how to develop these brands in the future. Based on an initial discussion between our coordinators and in our core team, we've developed a proposal which you will find below: it essentially means that we would deprecate the Fellowship, and bring everything under the umbrella of the FSFE. As an important part of our community, your feedback is valuable to us. For this public consultation, we would be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter by the 30th of November 2016, after which we will provide a summary of the feedback received on which we will base our decision.

Any changes that stem from this proposal, in its current form or in the way we will shape it based on the feedback provided, will be put into practice during 2017. You can provide your feedback to contact@fsfe.org.

Please note that in the proposal below we use a term "Supporter" as a new alternative to "Fellow". We would very much like to hear your thoughts on this too. Other options suggested include "Patron", "Supporter", "Contributor", "Donor", and possibly other names you may think of too. There is also the option to keep the name "Fellow" as a term, and only deprecate "Fellowship".


The "Fellowship" and "Fellow" names are deprecated. Activities done in local groups or which were otherwise named in conjunction with the brand "Fellowship" shall be brought under the name of the "FSFE": an FSFE event, an FSFE local group, and so on.

Our "Community" is anyone who identifies as being a part of the FSFE, be that by supporting and encouraging our activities, contributing financially, or participating in the work. We want everyone to be a part of our community, regardless of their level of engagement.

Anyone who contributes financially with the intent of contributing regularly is a "Supporter" of the FSFE. The Council may set a minimum threshold for a regular contribution to account for transaction costs. Financially, our Supporters provide the solid foundation on which the FSFE stands: their regular financial contributions give stability to the organisation. We call our one-time contributors "Donors".

We encourage everyone who wants to be part of our activities to join one of our teams: either a topical team (as a translator, webmaster, or similar) or a geographical team (the Berlin team, the Nordic team, and so on). By joining one of our teams they become a "Team Member" of that team (system-hackers team member, translation team member).

EIF v.3 – citizens demand more Free Software, while businesses seek to promote true Open Standards

The European Commission (EC) has finally published the summary of the contributions received for its public consultation on the revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), a set of guidelines for public administrations to deliver their e-government services. The FSFE has previously submitted its comments and recommendations on the proposed draft. According to the results of the public consulation, the majority of respondents amongst citizens asked for more Free Software and Open Standards when revising the EIF, whilst respondents amongst businesses and private organisations asked the EC to "promote the use of (true) open standards and support of standards in new technologies". We hope the EC will follow the wishes of EU citizens and implement these recommendations in the revised EIF.

From the community

What else have we done?

Take action!

Please read the proposal for the Fellowship brand above and send your comments or thoughts to contact@fsfe.org.

Good Free Software News

The public procurement authority of the French state renewed its two contracts for free software support services provided for ministries and other governmental agencies. Both contracts were awarded to the French free software services provider Linagora and were originally initiated in 2012. More good news from France and the city of Nantes, where the switch to LibreOffice last April has lowered the IT costs by EUR 1.6 million and will keep saving the public administration EUR 260 000 per year.

The FSFE in the Press

Help us to improve our newsletter

Do you think we have missed some news, or you'd like specific news to appear in the next newsletter? You have been reading about the FSFE in the press and would like to share this with us? For this and any other feedback, please share it by writing to newsletter@fsfe.org

Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work,

your editors Erik Albers, Olga Gkotsopoulou, Jonas Öberg and Polina Malaja, FSFE