FSFE20 +++ IloveFS +++ Job vacancy
In our February Newsletter, we interview our founding president Georg Greve as part of our publication series to celebrate 20 Years FSFE, we reflect on I love Free Software Day and our FOSDEM participation, we advertise our new job vacancy and as usual we report on our diverse community activities.
20 Years FSFE: Interview with Georg Greve, FSFE's founding president
In 2021 the Free Software Foundation Europe turns 20. This means two decades of empowering users to control technology. This is a moment in time that we want to use to look back on the road we have come, to reflect on the milestones we have passed, the successes we have achieved, the stories we have written and the moments that brought us together that we will always joyfully remember. In 2021 we want to give momentum to the FSFE and even more to our pan-European community, a community that has and always will form the base that our movement relies on.
We believe that 20 Years FSFE is primarily meant to be a celebration to everyone who has accompanied us in the past or still does. Thank you for your place in the structure of the FSFE today and for setting the foundation for the next decades of software freedom to come.
One of the activities we plan in order to celebrate our community is to shed light on some of the individuals who played an important role in the FSFE's history so far. In our first publication in our #FSFE20 series, we looked back where everything got started and conducted an interview with the FSFE's first president, Georg C. F. Greve .
It was Georg Greve who in April 2001 handed all necessary documents to the notary in Hamburg, Germany, to officially register the association "Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.". After that, Georg Greve became the first President of the newly founded FSFE and led the organisation in a full-time capacity until June 2009. On 18 December 2009 Georg Greve was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for those years and his achievements in Free Software and Open Standards.
Enjoy our interview and read about the first years of FSFE, and how "Those early days had existential threats almost every week, and more than once it seemed we had bit off more than we could chew."
I love Free Software Day 2021
As every year on 14 February, the Free Software community around the world celebrated the "I love Free Software Day". We use this special day to say thank you to all the Free Software friends who support, develop, campaign, translate and work for Free Software.
Since most of us have been experiencing physical distancing for many months, this year we thought of a brand new activity for the #IloveFS day where everyone was invited to show their face and to unite virtually. For this we created a picture template (sources) for everybody to use to create a share-pic saying why they love Free Software.
What can we say? We are still overwhelmed by the huge participation and support we received around the globe. Collectively we have been able to show what an important part Free Software plays in our lives and to thank the people behind it for creating Free Software. During the day #IloveFS and #FreeSoftware have been by far the trendiest topics in the top ten most used hashtags in the Fediverse. Expect more details, numbers and pictures in the upcoming report. So long, stay tuned.
This year we also created a special Software Freedom Podcast episode for I love Free Software Day. Bonnie Mehring and Matthias Kirschner discuss the background of the I love Free Software Day and Bonnie goes on to speak with Free Software developers, advocates, activists and contributors about what makes this day so important.
This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come
We are looking for a project manager with a communications background to support us in our running and upcoming projects, including our upcoming digital sustainability campaign. The person will work full-time, either in our Berlin office or remotely. The closing date for applications is Sunday, 14 March 2021.
Call to apply for FSFE support for your local project
We are currently running our third call for FSFE community projects. We happily support you with the financial help you need. Participating is as simple as filling out a short online form until 18 April 2021.
In the past we have for example supported our Swiss country team for their podcast equipment and the printing of stickers for gnulinux.ch. We agreed to pay the rent for rooms for freedom box installation parties, granted the hardware costs to create an LED promotion board for FSFE booths and we supported an update of the brochure "toolbox Free Software" about Free Software in education. If you need financial support for a FSFE community project, don't hesitate to apply.
What have we done? Inside and outside the FSFE
The FSFE was present with a booth at FOSDEM, the biggest annual Free Software event in Europe. While FOSDEM normally takes place in Brussels, this year it was happening online and the organisers did an amazing job in running a conference with more than 30.000 attendees on Matrix. In the official program, Max Mehl gave a talk about the "Best practices for declaring copyright and licenses" and Lucas Lasota about "Net Neutrality and Free Software: The Case of Router Freedom in Europe". The FSFE was also present with a digital booth.
Apart from the digital booth, for the first time the FSFE co-organised the Legal and Policy Issues Devroom at FOSDEM. And we continued our traditional pre-FOSDEM meeting the day before FOSDEM, this year with a keynote by Cory Doctorow. Soon there will be a detailed report about our FOSDEM participation, including videos from the Legal and Policy Issues Devroom. So long, stay tuned.
- The FSFE’s Deputy Legal Coordinator, Lucas Lasota, published an article about "Net Neutrality And Free Choice Of Routers And Modems In Europe" in JIPITEC, a renowned legal journal.
- The FSFE's Deputy French Coordinator Vincent Lequertier updated the fair loss Python library, a library used to work around fairness issues in artificial intelligence by minimizing discrimination during model training. This upgrade contains new features and bugfixes. See the release notes and the updated documentation for details!
- On I love Free Software Day, the local group Berlin held an online celebration where everyone participating had a five minute chance to present her or his favorite piece of Free Software.
- Also on I love Free Software Day, Wikidata users Ainali and Abbe98 were live editing on Wikidata and discussing their thought process of what they are doing and why they do it. Thanks to #IloveFS Day, in this episode they looked at Free Software already described in Wikidata and how you can add more to Wikidata.
- On 17 February the FSFE country team Netherlands held their monthly online get-together.
- The FSFE's country team Netherlands started to prepare for the court case on the Debat Direct App - You can help to ensure that the trial is broadcast live on the internet.
- Alexander Sander gave a talk on "Public Money? Public Code!" for the Young European Federalists in Germany.
- Matthias Kirschner participated in a panel discussion about opportunities, hurdles with and incentives for Free Software in the public administration (Video, News Article). The panel was part of the event "digital state online", focusing on topics like digital administration, digital society and digital sovereignty.
From the planet
- Carsten Agger used the occasion of I love Free Software Day to write down his history from the first contact with Free Software in his student days to later in his life creating a local FSFE group and in 2019 even joining the FSFE's General Assembly.
- On the I love Free Software Day, Matthias Kirschner thanked Shelter contributors. Shelter is an app that you can use to create a second profile on your phone to isolate certain apps. For example apps you only use for work or apps to which you only want to give limited access to the data on your phone.
- Carmen Bianca Bakker wrote a reflection on the four freedoms and the "Destination status quo"
"Show your support" (aka "Get active")
If you are a supporter of the FSFE we would be happy if you use our lovely supporter buttons to show your support for the FSFE and that you care about Free Software. No matter if you embed it on your homepage, integrate it in your social media account or print it out and stick it on your mug: Show your support for FSFE and connect with other people who do the same.
Contribute to our newsletter
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
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Thanks to our community and 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.
Your editor, Erik Albers