FSFE Newsletter April 2018
More than 11.000 signatures handed over to the EU legislators asking to change dangerous copyright reform proposal
On March 19, the Free Software Foundation Europe together with OpenMedia, jointly delivered a petition signed by more than 11.000 individuals, who ask European politicians to save internet from the irreversible dangerous impact of the ongoing copyright reform, and in particular Article 13, which imposes preventive blocking of online code repositories. These signatures were addressed to the EU co-legislators: the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and received by MEP Julia Reda, the shadow rapporteur in the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) which drives the main parliamentary effort in the current copyright reform.
All signatures have been collected jointly by our Save Code Share campaign that highlights the threats that current EU copyright reform imposes on Free Software, and Save the Link that highlights how current proposals aim at censoring online links.
Although it seems to be difficult to finally achieve a complete deletion of Article 13, we have seen some positive developments in the position of JURI when it comes to revising the initially proposed text by the European Commission. The proposed compromise amendments say, among other things, that code sharing services will be excluded from an obligation to install arbitrary upload filters and monitor its users' activities. However, in the current text, this only applies for code sharing services which act for "non-commercial" purposes. Such references to "non-commercial" services still leave plenty of room for legal uncertainty when it comes to liability of online code hosting services. In conclusion, Article 13 continues to be a threat to Free Software that is not in any definition connected to being "non-commercial".
Together with Open Forum Europe and other allies we keep on working hard to ensure that legislators understand the differences and needs of Free Software in Europe. If you like to support our work, sign our letter, tell other people about it or help us with your financial support.
What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- Our system hackers set up Discourse as a new volunteer-run service provided by the FSFE. It is still in a beta phase and currently serves as a test case for specific topics. Over time we will evaluate whether it fits in the FSFE’s communication setup and community. We would like to invite you to become part of this new service, help us improving it and enjoy the discussions: community.fsfe.org
- Isabel Drost-Fromm published her own nomination statement to the Apache Software Foundation board to help bring more transparency to people outside the foundation.
- Jens Lechtenbörger explains how he uses meta-data files and emacs-reveal to automatically display proper licensing and attribution information in his presentations.
- Daniel Kulesz compares different ROMs for Android phones regarding questions of freedoms included, security, support and more aspects.
- The FSFE team Italy was present at "Merge-it" with a session about our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and the current state of its implementation in Italy and EU.
- The System Hackers held a meeting during Easter, to talk about how to improve its internal workflow and the digital services provided by the FSFE. The team was able to set new policies regarding services maintenance, add more documentation, define the steps needed to comply with the GDPR, and agreed on long-term goals.
The FSFE's community meeting 2018 will be part of the Libre Software Meeting (LSM, also known as RMLL) in Strasbourg and vice versa. LSM is maybe the biggest community-driven Free Software meeting in France and therefore offers an exciting environment for the FSFE community to meet up itself as well as to connect with the broader Free Software community. On this occasion, the FSFE will also organise an own track on the first days of LSM, on 7/8/9 of July. The call for participation is running until April 30. Do not miss it. This is your chance to combine taking part in the FSFE's community meeting and to give a talk at the LSM 2018 at the same time.
So, before you forget it, apply now!
One of our topics will be "Digital Education" - a topic that ranges from school education via code literacy to the understanding of ethical concepts behind information technology. But you are free to propose other topics. Generally, we look forward for inspiring talks and workshops covering golden cages and user's liberation - in educational environments as well as in our everyday lives.
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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!
Erik Albers and Polina Malaja