Since 2001 the FSFE has been enhancing users' rights by abolishing barriers for software freedom. For 20 years we have been helping individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

For the next two decades we need your help. We want everyone to be able to control their technology. Free Software and its freedoms to use, study, share, and improve are the key to that goal.

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FSFE20 +++ IloveFS +++ Job vacancy

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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.

A lot of action during the very first General Assembly of the FSFE on 6 May in 2001. Picture CC-BY-SA 4.0 Peter Gerwinski.

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.

Portrait of Georg Greve, founder president of FSFE

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


Job vacancy

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.

5 persons in front of a screen

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.

Light bulb drawn on a pinboard, representing an idea, next to fsfe and ilovefs-logo

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

From the planet

"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 newsletter@fsfe.org. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution.

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


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