FSFE Newsletter October 2019
This month, we focus our attention on digital restrictions and the International Day against them. To this end, we launched our first episode of the monthly Software Freedom Podcast, this time starring Cory Doctorow talking about DRM. We have published our yearly report, summing up our activities of the past 12 months and shining light on the community we build our success on. As usual, you will also discover upcoming events with the FSFE, including our Annual Community meeting, as well as recordings and information from events we participated in.
Software Freedom Podcast: 100% DRM-free
On October 12, on the International Day Against DRM, we launched our first Episode of the FSFE's new Software Freedom Podcast starring Cory Doctorow - author and activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and extended usage of Creative Commons licenses. Doctorow's long time advocacy makes him an interesting person to address different issues included in Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). We discuss the differences between books and e-books with DRM and see how DRM changes our entire experience of reading and how that reverberates into our relationship with books and readings. Further, we dive into the economic and security aspects related to DRM and regulations of the so called Internet of Things. Listen or download our first podcast absolutely DRM-free and explore with us some burning issues on digital restrictions and freedoms. Also be aware that starting with this episode, we will broadcast a monthly Software Freedom Podcast series in which we invite diverse people to speak with inspirational ideas related to software freedom.
In addition, we used the International Day Against DRM again to explain the dangers of DRM in relation to Free Software: While Free Software is software that puts users in control of their own devices, DRM in contrast is technology that puts the user under the control of a third party. These two goals are fundamentally incompatible. DRM contradicts the FSFE's mission to empower people to control technology.
Software Freedom in Europe 2019
"Software Freedom in Europe" is our yearly report that gives you a breakdown of the important things the FSFE has done and achieved during the last 12 months. You will read about our ongoing work for router freedom in Europe, about the first Parliament in Europe to join our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign, about our new version of REUSE tools to help Free Software developers with easy license compliance and about much more of our multi-faceted policy work - all together aiming to create a world in which users are in control of technology!
Besides our policy work and projects, we also shine light on our community and its members; because it is only through working together that the FSFE is able to form a movement across Europe to build a society based on users' and software freedom. To this end we also report about the events that we organised and participated in, from policy meetings to our web-a-thons.
Enjoy the read and discover your personal favourite of the FSFE's activities in 2019!
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Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE
As with every month, we are trying to spread the word and help individuals and organisations understand what Free Software is and how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. If you are interested in seeing us in action and joining our cause, keep in mind the following dates and locations in the coming weeks:
- Between November 8 and 11, the FSFE programme manager Erik Albers will attend the digital rights dedicated event Freedom Not Fear where he will lead a workshop on European campaigns regarding digital sustainablity.
- Between November 15 and 16 the FSFE Community Meeting will unite forces with the South Tyrol Free Software Conference (SFScon) in Bolzano, Italy. The FSFE will have its own track and you are kindly invited to join the expert and community talks, as well as the social activities. You can find detailed information about the agenda and logistics on our wiki page
What have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
Since the last newsletter we have been active in promoting the Free Software cause, by helping individuals and organisations have a better understanding of what Free Software is and encouraging them to develop and implement it in their lives. We want to share with you the events, that we have photos, videos or other recordings of below:
- On October 3, the FSFE Rhein-Main Local Group participated at the MouseOpener Day "Maustüröffner-Tag" happening all over Germany. At this annual event, local organizations and companies open their doors to give kids insights into a broad range of topics. In Frankfurt, the FSFE local group Rhein-Main supported the local Linux user group with organizing the event and giving kids the opportunity to explore computers using Free Software. About 20 young "hackers" joined the event and got to know LibreOffice, LeoCAD and Scratch. To not forget their parents, there was an info corner to explain Free Software to them.
- On October 4, the FSFE Policy Manager Alexander Sander was at the "Open Source Lisbon" conference where he spoke about our "Public Money? Public Code" campaign and also was part of the discussion panel on Free and Open Source Software as a business model.
- On October 6, the FSFE Local Group in Vienna, hosted an information booth at the annual Animal Welfare Run. The booth enjoyed a great share of attention, since it was a rather unexpected participation and runners and their friends and families were curious to find out more about Free Software. You can read more details about the event and the booth on the blog of FSFE supporters Vienna.
- Just in time for the elections, the Swiss Freedomvote campaign was back again this year - an initiative run and maintained with the support by the Local FSFE Group in Zurich. The aim of the campaign is to give voters guidance about the candidates who are running for election.
- The FSFE's General Assembly took place between October 11th and 13th in Essen. One part of the meeting was the re-election of the FSFE's president Matthias Kirschner, vice-president Heiki Löhmus and financial officer Patrick Ohnewein for another 2 years-term by its members.
- Our initative “Public Money? Public Code!” attracted the attention of the City Council of Kassel, Germany. They will discuss it as the guiding principle for any new software purchases. The proposal will be discussed on November 27 by the Municipality's Financial Committee, and final decisions on implementation are expected to be made on December 9. To help implementing “Public Money? Public Code!” in the city of Kassel , we kindly ask you to send an e-mail to the members of the local Parliament and ask them to support this proposal. Their contact details can be found on Kassel's municipality page under the "City Council fractions" section. If a member does not have a clear contact details, you can call the Parliament and ask for it.
Beginning this month we broadcast our monthly Software Freedom Podcast. Make sure you do not miss any by subscribing with your podcast player.
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If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to us. As always, the address is email@example.com. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
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