(pre-)FOSDEM +++ ILoveFS +++ Community
From our own pre-FOSDEM event, to the exciting FOSDEM weekend, to I love Free Software day, February was full of exciting news for the FSFE. We used these occasions to present our work, as well as to offer communities around Europe the opportunity to present their own. Read about our booths and presentations, about love and upcoming events in our February Newsletter.
FSFE pre- and post-FOSDEM
Every year, at the beginning of February, FOSDEM brings together thousands of Free Software enthusiasts for one weekend in Brussels to discuss current topics and developments in the Free Software world. The FSFE used this occasion to invite key Free Software groups of Europe one day before the FOSDEM festivities to participate in our "pre-FOSDEM meeting". This was an event for everyone to network and get an overview of the activities of different Free Software groups from all over Europe.
The event was kicked off by a presentation from Marcel Kolaja, Vice President of the European Parliament, which was then followed by insights and presentations from diverse Free Software organisations from all over Europe, from Portugal to Greece. After the presentations, we concluded with a dinner and a social meeting.
During FOSDEM itself, our infobooth was in great demand and our highly motivated team put smiles on many faces. At the same time, we were present with talks about the latest issues regarding FSFE and software freedom all over the conference. Lucas Lasota presented "Regaining sovereignty over your router - Router freedom", Max Mehl showed how you can "Go REUSE to license your code - Free Software licensing made simple for everyone", Vincent Lequertier reflected on "Putting Artificial Intelligence back into people's hands - Toward an accessible, transparent and fair AI" and Matthias Kirschner talked about "The core values of software freedom" as well as his lightning talk about how "Civil society needs Free Software hackers".
We completed our presence with social evenings for our community on Saturday and Sunday night. A big thanks to everyone who participated in our events, helped at our booth and passed by for a chat.
Love is like Free Software: it multiplies when you share it. So once every year we square it up by celebrating "I love Free Software" Day around the globe on 14 February. A day full of positive, creative and lovely messages for Free Software, individual contributors and communities.
In 2020 again we have seen massive participation throughout the day in many countries and languages. This year we saw an extraordinary growth in the fediverse where Jan Weymirsch counted an increase from 194 messages in 2019 to 330 in 2020. This is an outstanding increase of 70%! Stay tuned for the upcoming full report and please accept our special thanks to every one of you who participated in #ILoveFS by sharing or receiving love.
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Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE
- The FSFE will be present with an information booth at Chemnitzer Linuxtage. If you happen to be there, meet up with Bonnie Mehring and her team who are looking forward to speak with you about FSFE and our current projects. Of course, we will also have the latest promotion material and merchandise with us.
- On 21 March, The FSFE BNL (Belgium/The Netherlands/Luxemburg) will meet and be present with a booth at the meeting of the Dutch Linux User Group (LUG) NLLGG in Utrecht. They will use the occasion to kickoff regularly organised meetings. If you are interested in Free Software and the FSFE in BNL, pass by and get to know the people from the community and our work. If you cannot make it, subscribe to the mailing list.
- Save the date: On 4 May 2020 the FSFE invites you to our event about "Digital sovereignty and modernising public aministrations" in the Kalkscheune Berlin (in German). Attendance is gratis but registration is required.
What have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- In order to defend Router Freedom, on 4 February, Lucas Lasota took part in the workshop organised by BEREC at the IRG Secretariat in Brussels about the Guidelines on the identification of the Network Termination Point (NTP). The Guidelines will enter into force in June 2020 and will have a central role in shaping the Router Freedom panorama in Europe. The FSFE took part in the public consultation to push forward the main arguments in defense of people's freedom to choose their own digital equipment.
- Apart from the many presentations at FOSDEM mentioned above, our legal experts Gabriel Ku Wei Bin and Lucas Lasota took part in the Meetup for the Next Generation Internet Initiative, for which the FSFE does consulting regarding Free Software licensing and compliance issues - as well as the promotion of the REUSE initiative. At the meetup there were many opportunities to get one-on-one contact with the various software projects involved and to develop constructive dialogues with other consortium partners.
- The FSFE is hiring: We are looking for interns and trainees experienced in legal, policy or technical fields. These persons will work 35 hours per week with our team in the FSFE's Berlin office. There will be coordination with remote staff and volunteers, and depending on the work area an opportunity to participate in events and meetings throughout Europe.
- At the Chaos Communication Congress 2019, the FSFE was one of the main organisers of the cluster about:freedom, an association of 12 civil society organisations and groups. Together with the other organisations, we focused on digital rights and network policy issues. Read our report "about:freedom - about:fsfe"
- In 2020's first episode of our monthly Software Freedom Podcast, we talk with Carmen Bianca Bakker about the REUSE project. The episode covers the very broad but sometimes complicated topic of software licensing and the problems there, which REUSE is able to solve with three simple steps.
For I Love Free Software day Tobias Platen writes in his blog about serious privacy problems of the Grindr app and why for any sensitive information he would only use copylefted Free Software. This is in line with the message that the FSF put out this year for ILoveFS day, where they called for an end to privacy breaches and to develop copylefted dating apps.
- Evaggelos Balaskas wrote up an interesting story on his blog about his first ever job in this industry as a junior software engineer and what it taught him for his career.
- For the ILoveFS-Day the FSFE local group Berlin invited Marcus Hoffmann to talk about the latest issues and solutions regarding the Free Software app repository F-Droid. Read the report by Tobias (DE).
- Alexander Sander gave a talk at DefensiveCon v02 in Berlin, Germany where he reflected the status quo of "Public Money? Public Code!" and how it can be changed.
- The local FSFE group "Nordhessen" organised a GNU/Linux install party in Witzenhausen, Deutschland.
- The Free Software community in Merano, Italy, had a meeting to discuss the REUSE project.
- Two more organisations have signed the PMPC letter: Junge Europäische Föderalisten Rheinland-Pfalz, an association to promote democratic values for young people, and the AStA der Justus Liebig Universität, the student association of the Giessen University in Germany.
Our initiative “Public Money? Public Code!” has the purpose that Software, funded by public money and used in the public administration shall be Free and Open Source Software. We have an open letter, which you can sign as an individual or as a NGO. So far we have over 26.000 people and nearly 200 NGOs supporting our goal. Next to this we have already three administrations who have signed our letter but still we would like to have more administrations supporting our cause. To achieve this we need your help: Contact your local administration and ask them to support public code
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