FSFE Newsletter July 2018
Save Code Share
On July 5, The European Parliament rejected the mandate to fast-track the controversial legislation intended to reform online copyright. 318 MEPs voted against the draft law amended by the Legal Affairs (JURI) committee, compared to 278 in favor. The legislation now opens up for a new round of amendments, before being sent for a second vote in September.
This rejection by a majority of MEPs can be seen as the success of creative and massive protest by citizens and civil rights organisations. The FSFE, together with Open Forum Europe, explained how the proposed EU Copyright review can substantially threaten Free Software development by forcing online code sharing repositories to use filters that monitor and preemptively take down any content that could potentially infringe copyright, including entire code repositories. Instead of that, we ask the European Union to Save Code Share.
More than 13.000 individuals have already signed our open letter asking to preserve the ability to share and build software online, and lots of Free Software supporters raised their voice. It was a success to see that, in the JURI report Free Software code sharing platforms were listed as an exempted service. While JURI proposed to spare Free Software code sharing platforms from the new filtering obligations, the changes committee tried to introduce for the remaining online environment remain dangerous for the rest of the Internet ecosystem.
In September, MEPs will once again vote in plenary to either 1) confirm the mandate as proposed by the committee, 2) amend it, or 3) reject it entirely. That includes the possibility that an exemption for Free Software code hosting platforms will not be in future versions of the draft law.
Hence, together with OFE, we at FSFE will continue to raise our voice and to explain the lawmakers about harmful implications of the current copyright reform for Free Software.
The FSFE's Community Meeting 2018
This year, we had the pleasure to align with hackstub, the organisation behind the Libre Software Meeting 2018 (also known as RMLL), to organise a policy track for FSFE and to run our annual community meeting at the same conference.
This turned out to be a very good chance for cooperation, and all participants benefited from a well-equipped and well-organised convention. We received a lot of positive feedback and look forward to catch up on the many good ideas and activities proposed in our sessions. Herewith a big thank you to hackstub and to everyone who participated!
What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- It is summertime in Europe and there is less activity, because people have vacations. Our community planet is more silent these days and there are just a few events and conferences happening throughout Europe. Nevertheless, the FSFE's CARE team met with an extended round of community members for a full day, to get training on the proper implementation of our code of conduct.
- Francesca Bria, CTO of Barcelona, is reshaping the modern city's infrastucture and technologies to put citizen's needs first. We have conducted an interview with her about how to use Free Software to build a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable digital society.
- Free Software is about sharing knowledge and sources and that's what Hook did this month by blogging a review of some Vahdam’s Masala Chai teas.
- OW2 published a video with Max Mehl, who gave a keynote about "Public Money? Public Code!" and the modernisation of public digital infrastructure at OW2con'18.
Current EU copyright reform is on summer break but will be re-opened in September. The initially proposed Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive targets every online service that allows its users to upload and share content with each other, including code hosting platforms. Help us to prevent such an implementation and to Save Code Share by signing our open letter and ask others to do so as well.
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The FSFE wishes everyone nice summertime and will be back with the Newsletter in September.