The right to install Free Software +++ 60 books to libraries +++ Berlin workshop
In our March Newsletter, we share some much needed good news: people donated 60 children's books about software freedom to public libraries. The FSFE calls for the right to install Free Software. The first Upcycling Android workshop is happening in Berlin. The local group in Aarhus, Denmark, meets after a long time.
We call for the right to install and uninstall any operating system on any device
Installing and uninstalling software as we wish on any device is a right that comes with an extra benefit: we can fix our devices and keep using them longer, avoiding the environmental impact of a new device. So what is keeping us from fixing existing devices by installing Free Software? Unfortunately, legal and technical barriers are often intentionally imposed on users so that they cannot change the operating system on their devices. 2022 offers a unique opportunity to improve the situation in Europe. The EU is about to redraft its ecodesign criteria of products with the Sustainable Products Initiative, the Circular Electronics Initiative, the Right to Repair, and other directives.
This is our chance to claim the right to install any operating system on any device. The FSFE started to advise the European Commission as early as possible on this. But a positive outcome is far from certain; counter-lobbying is there. If the role of software freedom is not considered as essential to the longevity and re-usability of our devices, the throw-away culture will continue. We will advocate for the necessary changes in the upcoming legislation. Manufacturers must not be allowed to create artificial restrictions preventing users from installing Free Software operating systems.
Help us push for the universal right to install Free Software. Become a supporter.
60 books for software freedom donated to libraries
After the publication of Ada & Zangemann we asked our German speaking community to bring copies of the book to public libraries for children who cannot afford it or have not heard of it. The response was overwhelming. The book entered the shelves of numerous libraries across Germany and Austria including the cities of Cologne, Rosenheim, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Vienna, and Lustenau. Thank you for helping raise awareness of software freedom!
'Ada & Zangemann' received a very good rating by the organisation reviewing new publications for public libraries in Germany and Austria. According to the ekz information service "the story is attractively illustrated by S. Brandstätter, [...] didactically well structured and very suitable as a basis for discussion, e.g. in primary school." Learn more about the book in a dedicated new podcast episode. Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE, is the guest on the series Open source couch [DE]. Also, an author reading took place in the yearly Winter Congress, an event organised by the Digital Society.
What we have done
On 20 February, the FSFE Women group had its monthly online meeting.
On 16 February the FSFE country team Netherlands had its monthly online meeting.
On 14 February, people around the world celebrated the “I Love Free Software Day” by thanking all the people who contribute to software freedom. Numerous Free Software organisations, and, among others, DINUM, a part of the French public administration, spread the thank you message. The gaming event in the afternoon was a ton of fun. Thanks for joining!
On 5 February, we participated at the most prominent annual conference for Free Software, FOSDEM. We raised awareness on wider issues that impact our movement in the Legal and Policy Devroom, co-hosted by the FSFE and the Software Freedom Conservancy. We summed up the experience in an article. Enjoy the videos from the talks and stay in touch via Matrix until the next FOSDEM.
The road to technological sustainability - a word from the Planet:
"The ever-increasing demands of things like Web browsers means that systems become obsolete and are replaced with newer, faster systems to do exactly the same things in any qualitative sense. This wastefulness, burdening individuals with needless expenditure and burdening the environment with even more consumption, must stop." Paul Boddie wrote an opinion article on FSFE Planet about the requirements to achieve technological sustainability, including hardware that can easily be supported by Free Software, a public infrastructure we collectively control through our representatives, and better-paid Free Software developers.
"We need a combination of genuinely open standards facilitating Free Software and accessible public and private services, with users able to adopt and retain open and long-lasting hardware", Paul concludes. You can follow the thoughts of the FSFE community in the blog aggregator Planet.
Save the date
Date TBA. The FSFE local group Aarhus, Denmark is planning to meet in March after a long time! Anyone who is interested in Free Software is welcome to join. For more information you can contact Carsten Agger (agger [at] fsfe [dot] org).
On Saturday, 12 March 17:00 CET, an author reading of Ada & Zangemann will take place in German. Meet the author of the book and President of the FSFE, Matthias Kirschner, and ask any questions you might have. The event is part of the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage. You can join the event at no cost. No registration is needed. The reading will take place online.
On Tuesday 15 March 14:00 – 15:30 CET, Erik Albers, FSFE Programme Manager and sustainability expert, will participate in 'Sustainable software for phones that last', a webinar organised by Fairphone. A panel of experts will discuss why the longevity of phones continues to decline. Erik Albers explains why the universal right to install Free Software operating systems on any device will help us to live in a more sustainable digital society. The tickets are free of charge.
On Saturday 19 March, 11:00 - 17:00 CET, together with the FSFE Local Group Berlin, we are organizing our first Upcycling Android workshop in Berlin. This workshop is primarily about bringing tech enthusiasts and sustainability enthusiasts together and exchanging views on technology and sustainability while flashing phones with Free Software operating systems. In addition to the actual phone flashing, there will also be a short keynote speech on longevity and sustainability on Android and other devices. The venue is the Holodeck of Netzpolitik.org at Schönhauser Allee 6/7. Are you coming?
On Wednesday 30 March 14:00 - 14:45 CET, Erik Albers will give a talk in the Digital Social Summit on politics and software surrounding phones. Using phones as an example, Erik will explain how software design impacts the sustainability of hardware and infrastructure. The session is in German, translated in real time in sign language. It will be livestreamed.
Vincent Lequertier and Erik Da Silva, FSFE Deputy Coordinators of France, are participating in a workshop on data protection and Free Software. The French Data Protection Authority organises this workshop in the context of the Open Government initiative.
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Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou