FSFE Newsletter - June 2017
New European Interoperability Framework urges public administrations to use and contribute to Free Software
After a round of public consultation last year, the 'new' European Interoperability Framework (EIF) was finally published in March 2017. In alignment with our answers to the public consultation, and with the general responses from citizens and businesses that demanded more Free Software within public e-services, the revised EIF includes a recommendation to public administrations across Europe to ensure a level playing field for Free Software and demonstrate active and fair consideration of using Free Software when offering e-services.
In addition, the new EIF urges public administrations to not only use Free Software but "whenever possible contribute to the pertinent developer communities". This is a significant improvement in comparison to the previous EIF v.2, and explicit acknowledgement of Free Software being essential for ensuring better interoperablity. The down side is that similar to the communication on "ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market", the new EIF unfortunately does not sufficiently address the obstacles that so-called "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing terms create for Free Software. By basing its licensing policy of Open Standards on FRAND, the EIF unfortunately does not allow Free Software projects to participate in offering their services to public administrations.
For more background on this topic read our article "Why is FRAND bad for Free Software?"
Help us grow and make a difference in 2017 https://fsfe.org/join/nl2017-06
What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- Jonas Öberg, the FSFE's executive director, explains an upcoming project by the FSFE to facilitate automation in the software toolchain by helping to automatically identify the license in use.
- Daniel Pocock, our newly elected FSFE Fellowship Representative, is organising a meetup to build a food computer in Zurich. In his blog, Daniel explains what it is about and the project's connection to Free Software.
- Heiki Löhmus, Vice President of the FSFE, gave a workshop about using Free Software for STEM education at DORS/CLUC in Zagreb, Croatia.
- Polina Malaja, the FSFE's Legal Coordinator and Policy Analyst, participated in a panel discussion about "Towards an Internet of People: A progressive new deal for technology" at Diem25 in Berlin.
- Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE, participated in a panel discussion about how data, code, and algorithms are influencing our lives and the economy at the German Church Day in Magdeburg, Germany. There is also a video recording available.
- Erik Albers, the FSFE's Community and Communication Coordinator, gave the opening talk at the Open Tech Summit 2017 about "The Digital-o-Mat or how to set Free Software as a topic for democratic elections". The FSFE was also present with a booth.
- Maurice Verheesen, the FSFE's country coordinator Netherlands, gave a keynote about public money, public code at the Open Source event in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
- Franz Gratzer, one of the FSFE's volunteer designers, was giving a workshop about GIMP basics at the Linuxwochen Wien 2017. The FSFE group Vienna was also present with a booth.
- The FSFE-Group Munich, Germany, was present with a booth at the Munich street festival "Corso Leopold" to inform people about the FSFE and our work for Free Software.
- Matthias Kirschner gave the keynote at the openSUSE conference 2017 in Nürnberg, Germany, about Limux and what the Free Software community can learn from it. There is also a video recording available.
- Fellows from Madrid, Spain, have been at the OpenExpo with a booth to inform people about FSFE and our work for Free Software.
- Polina Malaja gave a presentation about the current status of Radio 'Lockdown' Directive during the Wireless Community Weekend in Berlin.
- Frank Karlitschek blogs about our ethical responsibility towards technology and software.
- Matthias Kirschner, Polina Malaja, and Daniel Pocock have been at the Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL) to talk about "Empowering people to control technology", "EU level and software freedom" and "Free Real-Time Communications with Free Software". The FSFE was also represented with a booth.
- The FSFE group Vienna was present with a booth at the veganmania to inform people about FSFE and our work for Free Software.
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Thanks to all the volunteers, supporters and donors who make our work possible.
Erik Albers and Polina Malaja