FSFE Newsletter September 2018
Limited exclusion for Free Software in the Copyright Directive
On September 12, the European Parliament rejected the mandate to fast-track the controversial legislation intended to reform online copyright. After its previous rejection in July, they voted again on this package – and this time it was adopted. However, with amendment 143 and 150 of the current copyright reform proposal, we now have at least a limited exclusion for “open source software developing platforms (..) within the meaning of this Directive”. (consolidated document)
This exception is partially a result of our SaveCodeShare Campaign. Nearly 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. Please continue to support this campaign as the debate is not over yet.
In the next step, the European Parliament and the Council are starting the Trialogue, moderated by the European Commission. This debate will most likely continue until the beginning of next year. We will closely follow this process and will continue to raise our voice for Free Software. If you like to support our work, join us as a supporter.
"Go open today, there's no excuse not to"
Within our Public Money? Public Code! campaign, we run a series of interviews that highlight good examples and use-cases as best practices. This time we conducted an interview with Timo Aarnio, GIS Expert at the National Land Survey of Finland and product owner for Oskari software. Oskari is an award-winning Free Software platform for browsing, sharing and analysing geographic information from distributed data sources. Read about its background, its development practices and a network with over 38 organisations from both the public and private sector.
What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- The FSFE is now official partner with the German "Bundesfreiwilligendienst", a successor of the former alternative civilian service. A paid volunteer can now work full time in our office and learn about Free Software and our community. We have an open call running for this position. Be our first "Bufdi" or spread the message to people who might be interested.
- Until two years ago, the FSFE had successfully defended the user's right of free choice against compulsory routers introduced by Internet service providers in Germany. Recent numbers seem to acknowledge the importance of our activites, as they suggest (DE) that the number of users who exercise their right of free choice have doubled since the law passed in 2016. Due to Tobias Platen's findings however, users now have a “freedom of choice” but they do not have full “software freedom”, because many embedded devices still use proprietary software.
- The FSFE is happy to welcome Alexander Sander as our new EU public policy programme manager.
- OMEMO is an XMPP extension protocol, which specifies end-to-end encryption for XMPP clients and it is currently the de-facto standard for XMPP encryption. In his blog, Vanitas Vitae discusses its current problems and the foreseeable future of this protocol.
- Paul Boddie argues how Free Software advocates could improve understanding the significance of their message by augmenting the four software freedoms with some freedoms or statements of their own.
- Isabel Drost-Fromm posts a detailed summary of the keynote by Lorena Jaume-Palasi given at FrOSCon about the intersection of ethics and technology: "Blessed by the algorithm - the computer says no!".
- At the 25th anniversary of Debian, Bits from the Basement writes about Freedom, Aretha Franklin and Debian's birthday.
- Diderik van Wingerden estimates and calculates how much Free Software projects would profit if people would donate 25% of the price of its equivalent proprietary alternative.
- Torsten Grote explains reproducible build processes, and why they matter for Briar.
- Max Mehl, FSFE Program Manager, and Albert Dengg, FSFE System Administrator, participated in BalCCon with a talk about "Public Money? Public Code!" and a "Free Your Android" workshop.
- FSFE had a booth at NLLGG Software Freedom Day 2018 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and at FrOSCon in St. Augustin, Germany,
Open positions at FSFE
We currently have open positions for an internship as well as for a "Bundesfreiwilligendienst". Read about internships, previous interns and currently open positions on our internships page
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