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The right to install Free Software +++ 60 books to libraries +++ Berlin workshop

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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!

Children's book illustration depicting interconnected electronic home appliances in 7 homes.
Illustration from a page of Ada & Zangemann

'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

Four people communicating in video call
A picture from our FOSDEM digital booth in 2021.

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

Two people flashing phones
Come to the first Upcycling Android workshop in Berlin!

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