FSFE Newsletter March 2019
This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.
European Commission Next Generation Internet Initiative
The European Commission launched an initiative called "The Next Generation Internet" and the FSFE is part of its NGI0 consortium. The Initiative's purpose is to create technologies for a better internet where the individual user's best interests are the top priority. In other words, internet technologies that respect human rights and important values like privacy, openness, transparency, cooperation, and protection of data. To help achieve these objectives, the Initiative runs two branch projects, led by the NLnet Foundation, in order to award grants to applicant technologies that attest to those ideals. The FSFE's role is to provide Free Software licensing recommendations and consultation in these projects:
- NGI0 PET deals with technologies that enhance privacy and trust on the Internet. It awards grants to applicants that can provide people with new instruments to keep their data on the Internet confidential, while still being able to act freely and independently online.
- NGI0 Discovery, deals with technologies that enhance the ability to search for information on the Internet. The project confers grants to applicants that can help strengthen how we search for and discover content on the internet in such a way that supports important social values, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and transparency. The best suited solutions would ensure that searching for information is less centralised with as few intermediaries as possible.
All granted technologies will be based on and be made available as Free and Open Source Software.
The NGI0 consortium acts as a sort of advisory body for successful applicants and assists them with their technologies in specific areas, such as security and accessibility. In this context, the FSFE facilitates their software licensing, advising them on how to properly apply best licensing practices, and making sure their technologies are licensed and compliant.
Calls for applications for both projects are renewed every 2 months. They are currently in the midst of their 2nd call, the deadline of which is 1 April 2019. The first call, which ended in February, resulted in over a hundred submissions from countries not only from Europe, but also from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. If you are interested in getting funding to develop your relevant technology, you can apply here.
Copyright and Article 13 - What happened and what's next
Despite uncertainties and controversies along the way, the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive seems to be reaching the end of the road. There are many steps to finalise a legal text in the EU, but now the EU Member States and the European Parliament have reached an agreement on a consolidated text. The next step is for the Directive to be voted in the plenary session at the end of March/in early April. As reported, the original proposal could have regulated the platforms software developers use, cooling incentives to innovate and making software more fragile in Europe. It was in response to this that the OpenForum Europe and the FSFE started the SaveCodeshare.eu campaign. Together we wrote letters, petitions, and held meetings and events in Brussels and in EU member states.
Article 13 now excludes “open source software development and sharing platforms” from its scope (see article 2(5)) in the provisional agreement. This one unintended consequence has at least been avoided. From a wider perspective, no matter how the vote turns out, we were able to raise awareness and understanding of what drives software development in Europe today among many policymakers. We explained how the software ecosystem operates, the pervasive use of Free and Open Source software licenses, and the commercial nature of Free and Open Source Software.
Join our community of freedom fighters: https://my.fsfe.org/support
Inside and Outside the FSFE
- The four universal freedoms of Free Software offer fertile soil for emancipating technologies without restrictions towards gender or any other backgrounds. However, women have traditionally been and still are under-represented in those bodies and communities shaping these technologies. It is time to change that. On March 8, the International Women's Day, we used the occasion to share the FSFE's ongoing efforts to improve gender balance and ensure gender equality.
- As a way to help ensure that in the FSFE everyone can, at all times, feel at ease to participate without fearing any form of attack, reprisal or harassment, we adopted a Code of Conduct and installed a CARE team. To further support the aims of the CARE Team, we welcome Gabriel Ku Wei Bin as a new member.
- On February 23rd Alexander Sander, FSFE's policy analyst, spoke about our Public Money - Public Code campaign at the "Winter Kongress Digitale Gesellschaft" in Zurich, Switzerland ( watch the video ). At the same event, Marcus Moeller, the FSFE's Coordinator for Switzerland, and Michel Ketterle presented the next version of Freedomvote. Freedomvote is a campaign and a Free Software that enables local groups to run political and electoral campaigns by themselves. FSFE local groups have already been using it to run campaigns in the Netherlands in 2017 and in Switzerland in 2015
- Katharina Nocun, Internet activist and FSFE Freelancer, together with Basanta E. P. Thapa from Fraunhofer Fokus presented the ongoing Public Money - Public Code campaign and our new expert policy brochure, and used this occasion to talk about ways public procurement can be modernised. The presentation took place on March 5th at c-base in Berlin, hosted by the Netzpolitischen Abend - (Watch the video)
- From March 16th to 17th, FSFE's booth and staff could be spotted at the Chemnitzer Linuxtage in Chemnitz, Germany. Erik Albers, FSFE's Programme Manager, gave a workshop about F-Droid, G-Droid, and the most useful Free Software apps to help people use more Free Software on their mobile phones.
- Another place you could inform yourself about the FSFE and have a chat with our supporters was at the the Dutch Linux Usergroup NLLGG on March 16th, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
- FSFE supporter André Klöpfel was interviewed (DE) by Deutschlandfunk Marktplatz about how to install a Linux Distro for beginners.
- This month we had local FSFE supporter meetings in Madrid, Hamburg, Frankfurt (Main), Berlin and Bonn.
- Protect freedom on radio devices: raise your voice today! - Alert on an upcoming threat from a new EU regulation. In this entry Max explains in greater detail how a single article in the EU Radio Equipment Directive has the capacity to make installing a custom piece of software on most radio devices (like WiFi routers, smartphones and embedded devices) impossible. Read his blog to find out how you can contribute to the better development of events.
- Public Money? Public Code! campaign in EDRi's Newsletter EDRigram: "Publicly funded software has to result in public code." Read their opinion on our initiative.
Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE
- Pablo González, FSFE's local Coordinator Madrid, will be present with an info-booth from March 26th to 28th at the Taller de Periodismo de Datos in Medialab Prado in Madrid, Spain. Pass by to get to know local Madrid supporters and the FSFE.
We have a cool tool for announcing events and promoting them on our website and social channels. If you would like us to include your event in our next newsletter and website, feel welcome to try out the event submission tool.
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Thanks to our community, all the volunteers, supporters and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.
Join our community of freedom fighters: https://my.fsfe.org/support