FSFE Newsletter - October 2017
Tell the EU to Save Code Share in the current EU Copyright debate!
The EU is currently revising its copyright rules in its proposal for the EU Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, so that they may be more suitable for the modern digital age. Instead of recognising the realities of how different content is being shared online, the current EU Copyright Directive proposal, and in particular its Article 13 targeted at online hosting providers, threatens our ability to access public code repositories and share code online.
The new rules enshrined in Article 13 intend to introduce new obligations for code hosting platforms in order to prevent any possible copyright infringement: if they do not implement these, the platforms will end up being directly liable for their users' activity. Article 13 thus imposes the use of costly upload filters in order to identify allegedly infringing code. The problem with such a requirement is that there are no known automated filters that can accurately identify whether the code is shared adequately and without breaching a respective Free Software licence. In addition, Article 13 imposes a far-reaching monitoring obligation on code hosting platforms to actively search for infringing activity by their users. Article 13 treats every user of code hosting platforms as a potential copyright infringer whose content, including entire code repositories, may be taken down, or barred from upload to the platform, at any time. If code is so easily "unpublished", all other software built on top of it will be hampered.
What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- The success of our Public Money? Public Code! campaign so far has been overwhelming. At the time of writing, more than 13.000 individuals have signed the open letter and the campaign has been backed by the support of more than 80 organisations. The campaign has gained attention from huge press coverage; many prominent people, developers, artists, CEOs and politicians have joined our demand that whenever software is financed by public money it should be public code. If you have not done so already, join us now and sign the open letter.
- Jonas Öberg, the FSFE Executive Director, blogged about updates and templates to the FSFE's REUSE campaign. In his blog post he presents three different Git repositories, each of which is REUSE compliant, and which demonstrate different parts of recommended REUSE practices.
- Kristi Progri, project assistant for the FSFE, blogged about our ongoing identity process and how to become part of the involved interview process.
- Polina Malaja, our policy analyst and legal coordinator, gave a talk at CopyCamp in Warsaw, Poland, about the implications of the current EU Copyright Directive proposal for the collaborative software environment, and our campaign Save Code Share.
- Carmen Bakker and Erik Da Silva, current interns at the FSFE, gave a talk during Copycamp in Warsaw about our Public Money Public Code campaign. Find a short report and a video on Carmen's blog.
- Erik Albers, program manager and community coordinator of the FSFE, gave a talk about Free Software campaigning in the forefront of elections at the Kieler Linuxtage, Germany.
- On Software Freedom Day, Polina Malaja gave a talk about Public Money Public Code in the c-base, Berlin.
- During the Digitale Woche Kiel, Erik Albers gave a talk about Public Money Public Code and how it helps with the current coalition agreement in Schleswig-Holstein.
Do not miss it! Upcoming events with the FSFE
We are preparing the first-of-its-kind FSFE community meeting. It will take place on November 25 & 26 in Berlin. We therefore invite all active community members, and those who would like to become active again, to come together and collaborate. Seats are limited due to physical restrictions. If you would like to participate read all details on the dedicated wiki-page.
Tell the Members of the European Parliament and the EU Council to secure collaborative software development online, and in particular the sharing of Free Software, by signing the Open Letter, both as an individual and/or an organisation at Save Code Share! Please spread the word about the negative implications of the current EU Copyright Directive proposal within your networks #savecodeshare. Tell EU policy makers that there is no place for upload filters when it comes to sharing code as Free Software!
Contribute to our newsletter
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to us. As always, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
Your editors, Polina Malaja and Erik Albers