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Weak EU Digital Rights +++ Checkmate! +++ 5 reasons why


In this issue we note the shift of the EU Digital Rights Declaration to an unclear, ambiguous text. Free Software chess engine wins its legal battle. Your contribution can help software freedom. YH4F registration. The Greek team meets after a long time.

Three illustrations. A dark official building, a community gathering, a chess board.

EU Declaration of Digital Rights falls short of its ambitions

Member states, the European Parliament and the Commission have reached a consensus on the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles. The Declaration aims to serve as a reference point for the digital transformation of Europe. Instead, it descends into murky waters, causing ambiguity. The wording is unclear and the declaration overlooks existing good proposals.

The Declaration is said to be built upon previous initiatives such as the Berlin and Tallinn declarations. These frameworks already referred to Free Software concerning digital sovereignty and interoperability, required more use of Free Software, and strengthened the requirement for its use. It is striking that concerning interoperability, Free Software is not explicitly mentioned in the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles.

Copyleft protects Free Software from becoming proprietary. Free Software chess engine Stockfish filed a lawsuit when ChessBase distributed parts of Stockfish work under a proprietary license, violating GPL-3.0 obligations. Checkmate! Stockfish was victorious. ChessBase must comply fully with GPL-3, hire a Free Software Compliance Officer, and list their Free Software elements online, before they can distribute the Stockfish software or make it publicly available again.

Chess board with a white horse pawn in between a black horse and a black tower.

5 reasons why your contribution matters

Your support and contribution for the promotion of Free Software are important for securing our continuous work, ensuring our independence, strengthening our democratic society, promoting and implementing concrete steps towards software freedom, and making it easier to use and develop Free Software.

YH4F registrations end in 2022

Registration for Youth Hacking 4 Freedom ends on 31st December. The coding contest welcomes 14-18 year old Europeans who wants to hack a Free Software project of their choice and win cash prizes. As some of the winners from the last edition stated, participating was a lot of fun and a great opportunity. Check our video with the winners presenting their projects in Brussels. Share this opportunity among your friends and community! Moreover, you can send it to schools, teachers, and young people in your region.

Boy with black hoodie that writes 'Hacking for Freedom' says: Do you love coding? Join the YH4F competition until Dec 31.

Past events

Series of booths with people behind them, person with orange T-shirt looks at the camera.
Vincent Lequertier at a booth in Campus du Libre event. November 2022, Lyon, France.
Conference room. Projected presentation with REUSE logo, banners with GNU Health logo, woman presenting.
Lina Ceballos presents REUSE in the GNU Health Conference. November 2022, Las Palmas, Spain.

FSFE groups

Our groups welcome everyone who is interested in Free Software to join, and abide to the Code of Conduct. Here is what they are up to.

Germany: A festive meeting marked the end of the year at the FSFE local Berlin group. Nikolai from "cosum" joined as speaker. cosum (from CO-llaborative con-SUM-ption) is a lending platform that allows people to share things like tools, gardening equipment, or gazebos. With this, the group wants to promote more social-ecological consumption models. With cosum, a public lending store can be founded, but also private-to-private lending between friends and lending in communities, e.g. in the house or neighborhood, are possible. Borrowing saves resources, money, and space. Hamburg has monthly meetings in-person.

Greece: After a long time without meetings, next Thursday 15 December the FSFE Greece country team gathers in a first introductory meeting. The topics to be discussed include Mastodon and its current developments, Greek instances, recommendations for content in the Greek language, and usage tips. Nikos Roussos, developer at libreops, will talk about Libretooth. Fani Partsafyllidou, FSFE Project Manager, will share updates about Free Software in Europe. Just drop by!

Netherlands: During their last meeting the team discussed a Gitea governance conflict. The Fair Digital Education coalition, in which the FSFE participates through the country team Netherlands, became an Internet Society chapter. The group also debated a worrying phenomenon in the Netherlands, where citizens form WhatsApp groups with policing purposes. There is a question if a standalone Belgium group can be formed. The next meeting is on 21 December.

Switzerland: Basel: In their previous meeting, the FSFE local group Basel discussed the dependency of schools upon proprietary software. The experiences of the members were similar; schools have a simplistic approach to software. The best way is to correct this is to demonstrate the benefits of Free Software in a playful and visual way. The group compared Tor, VPN, and Freifunk as privacy options. A member from the Zurich group encouraged the Basel group to adopt a project based strategy. Zurich: The FSFE local group Zurich has launched the FediGov campaign and has created a leaflet for the campaign ‘Learn like a pro’.

Women: In the last online meeting Fani presented the Upcycling Android open letter to the group. Then, the team talked about joining the decentralized and independent alternative events of 37c3. In the previous meeting the group discussed radio technology, an example of a privacy-focused voice assistant, and colour printing.

Get active

We need your backing to gain the right to install any software on any device. Sign our open letter and share it with your own message. Explain to your network what this right means for you.

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