20 Years FSFE +++ Finland achieving Router Freedom +++ microFSFE
In our July Newsletter, we invite our community to join the celebrations of 20 Years FSFE, we applaud Finland for securing Router Freedom, and we look into Free Software activities for children. We are getting ready for German elections and invite you to help us support Free Software demands for public administration during the election campaign.
FSFE: 20 years of empowering people to control technology
Long before the first smartphone was introduced, it was evident to the FSFE's founders that it is the people who should be in control of technology and not vice versa. In 2001, Free Software experts around Europe created the Free Software Foundation Europe.
20 years is a long time in computing history and although technology is ever-changing, our values have been consistent. The core of our work is, in a nutshell: educating people on the nature of Free Software, highlighting its political implications, and simplifying its legal preconditions. Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE since 2015, explains this in his own words in a short video.
Our work throughout the years would not have been possible without the help of our European community. Whether you have translated our news, used your voice to share our message, helped us financially, or participated in one of our public events, you have helped our cause to take a step further.
Would you like to share your thoughts about your time with the FSFE? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Also we would love to see pictures from your activities in the past and share them with the community. Or, if you are feeling creative, you can send us a birthday video, just as the science-fiction author Cory Doctorow did. Do not miss watching it and finding out more on how to share your memories on our birthday page.
Router Freedom achieved in Finland, as the most fair and efficient practice
Finland recognises Router Freedom as a digital right, setting an example for the EU. Net neutrality is ensured by EU Regulation. Net neutrality means that users have the right to use terminal equipment of their choice, such as a phone or modem. For Finland, this is clear. Traficom, the national agency dealing with transportation, communications, and networks, has a noteworthy stance on the issue, protecting the rights of end-users.
We interviewed Klaus Nieminen, Chief Specialist of Traficom. In his view, Router Freedom benefits end-users, fosters competition in the telecommunications terminal equipment markets, and complies with the Open Internet Regulation 2015/2120 of the EU. He shares that there is no technological necessity to justify limiting end-users' rights to choose their own equipment. Traficom arrived at this conclusion after an objective assessment. Finally, he explains that in Finland Router Freedom also applies to new technologies such as 5G.
Listen to our Podcast
This is the first time since the launch of the Software Freedom Podcast that a FSFE staff member gives an interview in our podcast series. Max Mehl, FSFE Programme Manager, has been with the FSFE since 2011 and has worked on numerous campaigns. With this episode Bonnie Mehring and Max Mehl provide a nice and easy entrance to the very complex world of software licensing.
This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come.
Early programmers deserve a spotlight too. From kids to teenagers, the FSFE welcomes early programmers and all beginners in its community.
Teaching Free Software to children
In Kreuzlingen, a city in northern Switzerland, five children had the chance to participate in a 4-day course on Free Software development. The course was free of charge, and it was offered thanks to the creativity and pedagogical skills of FSFE supporter Peter Bittner. The kids had no prior experience using Linux, so the course started with booting GNU/LINUX from a USB stick, and quickly advanced to working in the terminal using Bash commands and coding Python.
'We need our kids to know what school doesn't teach them' says Peter in his blog about this course. 'Pupils are being taught "products" of the technology giants ("Safari", "Word", "Excel", "PowerPoint") instead of information technology concepts (web browser, text processor, spreadsheet, presentations)'.
According to scientists, early "nerdiness" can lead to a
10% increase in happiness later in life ; )
So do not miss to starting early and get one of our fork T-shirts. They are available for ages 5 to 12, as well as in a bib for babies!
This autumn, the FSFE will launch a new activity for teenagers. Our goal is to share the values of Free Software with young developers. So if you are a young person experimenting with software development, or if you know one, stay tuned.
- On Wednesday August 4th, we are organising an online workshop (DE) to prepare the promotion of our 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign during the last weeks until the German elections. We need your support to spread our message. If you would like to be involved in this process, please register and join our workshop for in-person discussions.
What we have done:
- On June 23rd, Max Mehl, Programme Manager at the FSFE, presented REUSE in the “Leveraging Open Source Responsibly” session at OW2con’21. In his presentation, he explained how REUSE makes it easier for developers to declare the licensing and copyright situation for their code. The presentation is available on Peertube. This session is part of a long-term effort by OW2 to promote best practices and good citizenship in open source governance.
- On July 6th and 7th, Bonnie Mehring and Alexander Sander presented our German federal election campaign to the local groups of Nordhessen and Frankfurt. If you are interested in participating in such a workshop check our upcoming event.
- On July 22nd, Bonnie Mehring presented our 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign in the FSFE women monthly meeting. Also, they discussed what the plans are with respect to the upcoming election campaign of the federal parliament in Germany 2021. The FSFE women group is open to all women who are interested in Free Software and technology; meetings take place online.
- On July 24th, translators met online to get to know each other and learn valuable tools for their work, such as the webpreview tool, the translation wiki, and Git. The meeting was hosted by Bonnie Mehring, coordinator of the FSFE translator group team, and Luca Bonissi, who has created the webpreview tool.
- Alexander Sander, our Policy Consultant, contributed to a report on the use of Free Software in local administrations which was released by the German association for municipal government. The association, 'Kommunale Gemeinschaftsstelle für Verwaltungsmanagement (KGSt)', published the report [DE] titled 'Open Source in Kommunen – Ein Baustein für mehr Digitale Souveränität.'
Legal and Licensing Workshop 2021
On July 14th, the Online Legal and Licensing Workshop 2021 was completed. The FSFE's Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) has been held annually for the FSFE's Legal Network since 2008, and serves as a conference for legal experts in the field of Free Software to debate issues and share best practices surrounding Free Software licenses. Instead of a one-time conference, this year LLW offered online presentations, discussion panels, and workshops continuously from March to July.
We are very happy to have put up an online edition of the LLW, and we are also looking forward to organizing next year's edition of the LLW, to be held hopefully in person, to continue building a robust Free Software legal community.
Get active for the Federal election in Germany
On 26 September, a new Bundestag will be elected in Germany. We are engaged around the election and want to ensure with our activities that "Public Money? Public Code!" plays an important role for the next government. Therefore we want to make sure that our "Public Money? Public Code!" demands will be included in the coalition agreement of Germany's next government. To achieve this we need your help and support. We created an activity package [DE] for you and will also present it during a workshop on 4 August 2021. If you want to participate, register now.
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're 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, Fani Partsafyllidou
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.