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Till Jaeger +++ Youth Hacking 4 Freedom +++ SFScon 2021


In our October Newsletter read about Till Jaeger, who knows first-hand what it takes to enforce Free Software licenses. Find out about the contest we just launched: Youth Hacking 4 Freedom. Learn about the donations by a high school yearbook team. Follow our latest activities and write down the dates of the upcoming SFScon.

New podcast: How can we prevent violations against Free Software licenses?

Till Jaeger shared his insight on how can we enforce Free Software licenses. In a podcast hosted by Matthias Kirschner he recalled the beginning of this effort in 2004. This was the first time when a violation of the GNU General Public Licence (GNU GPL) led to a court case and a settlement. The person behind this initiative was Harald Welte who afterwards created a project to rectify GPL violations.

Till Jaeger
Till Jaeger has been working alongside Harald Welte in enforcing the GNU GPL in court cases in Germany.

17 years after the first court case we now have many more tools to prevent violations against Free Software licenses. Compliance information is clearer, and workshops such as the ones offered by the FSFE Legal Network are available. Still, Till suggests further simplification of licences, interoperability, and licence compatibility. Finally, Till thanks everyone doing GNU/Linux distributions for their crucial work.

Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding contest for teenagers

Software development is a powerful, and often self-taught, skill; people who started programming in a young age deserve encouragement. To this end, we are organising a coding competition for teenagers around Europe, Youth Hacking 4 Freedom. From 1 November 2021 to 31 March 2022, you can code any type of software you want, as long as it is Free Software. The winners will be awarded cash prizes (2 x 4096€, 2 x 2048€, 2 x 1024€) and a trip to Brussels. The evaluation phase will be carried out by Free Software experts.

poster of girl in a hackerspace

Are you between 14-18 and have already started programming? Join us! Just make sure you register until Sunday, 31 October 2021. Our FAQs might help. We are dedicated to offering an inclusive environment in the YH4F, and we encourage people of all genders to join! We will make sure everyone will enjoy the process and will leave this competition with a smile. Spread the word!

Hittfeld high school shows its support to Free Software projects and the FSFE

The 2021 yearbook of a high school was successfully completed using Free Software, and the editorial team donated all profits from the sale to Free Software projects and the FSFE. This is the story of Hittfeld high school in Seevetal, in the German state of Lower Saxony.

School Yearbook
This yearbook was created using Free Software like LibreOffice, GNOME-Desktop, Ubuntu, Nextcloud, gThumb, darktable, PDF Arranger, LimeSurvey, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, MailMerge, Jitsi Meet, OpenStreet, Inkscape, and GIMP.

The editorial team mentions that it is beneficial for the school to avoid paying expensive subscriptions to proprietary programs. We deeply thank the pupils and everyone involved in the donation decision. This kind gesture is a nice reminder that we should support those who provide us great tools without restricting our freedom. We encourage everyone to support Free Software projects, just as the Hittfeld high school did.

This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come

Sustainability track at South Tyrol Free Software Conference

The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFScon, is one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software. Save the date! SFScon 2021 is coming up on Friday 12 November and Saturday 13 November 2021.

This year the FSFE will participate in the conference by organising a Sustainability track with five 20-minute talks:

The FSFE will also support three additional talks. 'REUSE: Gold standard for Free Software licensing' part of the Legal track, by Max Mehl; 'Protecting Router Freedom' part of the IoT & Cybersecurity track, by Lucas Lasota; 'Public Money? Public Code! During Corona: What role did Free Software play during the crisis' part of the Public Administration & GIS track, by Alexander Sander. We are looking forward to see our readers at the SFScon!

What we have done

During the final week before the German federal election we reached out to politicians asking their stance on Free Software, in line with our electoral activities. Alexander Sander, FSFE Policy Consultant, and Karl Krüger from our associated organisation OSB Alliance conducted 5 interviews (DE) with representatives of German political parties from 20 to 24 September. From CDU we spoke with Nadine Schön, MdB, CDU Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. We interviewed three members of the Digital Agenda Committee: Elvan Korkmaz-Emre from SPD, Manuel Höferlin from FDP, and Anke Domscheit-Berg from Die Linke. From the Greens, we spoke with Margit Stumpp, MdB, member of the Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs. The 5 videos are available in German. Also we released our vision for the upcoming decades and concrete demands for the next government and analyzed the election programs of the parties.

New bag

For our 20th anniversary, we now present a new bag! Blue and double-faced, it comes with two slogans, the newest: 'FSFE since 2001', to remember when it all started and our evergreen: 'There is no cloud, just other people's computers'. A sustainable solution for a shopping bag. Get it from the FSFE web shop.

bag in front of a tree

Share the YH4F opportunity with teenagers in your community

Would you like to help us spread the message, and help young hackers spot the opportunity to join YH4F? Then please contact teenagers you know, former schools, hacker spaces, youth facilities, or mailing lists. Share with them our call for registration through a post on your website, a mention in your Newsletter, or a social media post. Also, you can freely use the illustrations in our media kit, as well as our Press Release. Both are available in English and translations.

Your contribution is valuable to make sure that young people will take part — and hopefully connect more with the software freedom movement.

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'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