Benigànim signs Open Letter +++ Interview with city of Bühl +++ New Podcast
From hackathons to apps to public administrations: Read about the recent successes in Europe regarding Free Software in our July Newsletter. Also find videos from multiple online events where the FSFE was represented and read about our diverse community activities.
When many people do many small things together
We just sent out a big thank you to all the people who supported us over the years and who are supporting us now. With their help we have been able to build trust and grow expertise in the last decade and to cope with troubling times introduced with the global spread of the corona virus and its dramatic effects. With your help we even have been able to raise attention that we need global solutions to tackle global problems. And we have been heard.
Members from our community convinced public hackathons to publish their results under free licenses. International and national political fora continue to demand that contact tracing apps have to be Free Software. Many national authorities are complying with these demands. Also in the last months, administrations in Hamburg, the Netherlands and Spain committed to use and focus more on Free Software. These are the positive developments we have seen in the last months - despite the crisis - and these are the fruits of our long-term commitment and your long-term support.
It's now time to share this good news. Let people know that Free Software matters even, or especially, in such difficult times introduced to us by the coronavirus. Use the chance yourself to order our professional promotion material, to talk with your friends, neighbours, employers or anyone else about the benefits of Free Software.
Written on the leftovers of the Berlin Wall is an African saying: "Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world." This is exactly what we have been doing since 2001 and we encourage you to join us today!
¿Dinero público? ¡Código Público!
"¿Dinero público? ¡Código Público!" - this is the Spanish translation of "Public Money? Public Code!" and a demand that circulates on and on. After the city of Barcelona and the Parliament of Asturias, the Municipality of Benigànim is now the third administration in Spain who signed our open letter demanding public code.
This provides good motivation for our new Spanish team, which is currently finding form with the aim to influence even more administrations to sign the open letter but also for more than 28.600 individuals who signed our call as well.
The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive, please consider donating a part of your conference budget to Free Software organisations, including the FSFE.
What have we done? Inside and outside the FSFE
- The Municipality of Benigànim in Spain signed our open letter "Public Money? Public Code!"
- Peter Bittner used the Swiss holiday time to offer "Software development for girls and boys, with Free Software and Linux" and to share the FSFE's educational material.
- In our sixth Software Freedom Podcast we invited Miriam Ballhausen to talk with us about copyright enforcement. Miriam is a German lawyer who specialises in Free Software copyright questions. Together we cover the basics about Free Software licensing and discuss how Free Software copyright can be enforced, what the steps to enforce it are, and why it is often enforced in Germany. We also explore how the REUSE project could help with being in compliance with Free Software licenses.
- The town of Bühl, in the south-west of Germany, started a video conference platform, called “Palim! Palim!” based on the Free Software “Jitsi Meet”, to ease the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown for their citizens. After a striking success, the FSFE conducted an interview with Eduard Itrich, the digitisation officer from the town of Bühl.
- Unlike many other European countries, Denmark keeps the source code of their Coronavirus tracing app a secret. This goes directly against the most recent recommendations from the WHO as well as the EU eHealth network. We hope that they reconsider and publish the code under a free license as soon as possible.
- Our Public Policy Manager, Alexander Sander, was invited to "forum digital: Alles Open - oder was?" in Berlin, Germany (video). On stage, Alexander discussed the idea of Open-X and examples such as Free Software, open standards and interfaces.
- Lucas Lasota, FSFE's Deputy Legal Coordinator, gave a talk at the online-version of OpenExpo Europe (video). Lucas explained how Free Software is essential for the future of the Internet. In particular how REUSE can help everybody to have copyright and licensing information properly displayed.
- At the online version of OW2Con, FSFE's volunteer Vincent Lequertier talked about the upcoming Challenges in Artificial Intelligence Research and Development with regard to Free Software (video).
- Also at the online version of OW2Con, our Legal Coordinator, Gabriel Ku Wei Bin, presented our work with the European Commission's Next Generation Internet Initiative (video).
- Björn Schießle, FSFE's Germany Coordinator, gave a webinar about Free Software at the HDM Stuttgart, Germany.
- Iain R. Learmonth reports how he tracks GPS traces for OpenStreetMap using a handheld radio and converts the data afterwards.
Tell people about our recent successes and the good developments we have seen regarding Free Software in the last months. Show other people that Free Software is not a niche phenomenon but at the core of our global and future development, and that more and more administrations, institutions and people understand the benefits of Free Software and demand its usage. If you need some help and inspiration, order our professional promotion material.
With deep mourning we have received knowledge of the death of Andreas Hilboll. The mathematician became one of our first supporting members in 2006. Andreas regularly told us about his activities or gave us suggestions for improvement; for example we implemented his suggestion to switch to fair-trade-products in our online shop and have relied on these products wherever possible since then.
We will miss Andreas as a person who supported our goal to empower people to control technology with all his heart and we will continue to work towards these goals, which were important to Andreas for over 14 years.
Our condolences go out to his family and relatives, his friends and the people he worked with to spread software freedom.
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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 native languages.