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.
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-licensed chess engine wins legal case against proprietary counterpart
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.
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.
- On 2 December Alexander Sander, FSFE Senior Policy Consultant, spoke at a workshop hosted by the European Commission. The topic was ‘Open standards and industrial use for Open Source: Leveraging the sustainability of Open Source projects and increasing competition and interoperability between different steps in value-chains’.
- On 26 November Vincent Lequertier gave a talk 'For an inclusive and ethical artificial intelligence' in the event Campus du Libre in Lyon, France. Also, the FSFE had a booth at the event.
- On 21 November we flashed phones in Dessau and on 24 November in Frankfurt, Germany. We flashed phone devices the FSFE provided, and also others that people brought.
- On 17 November Lina Ceballos, REUSE's coordinator, gave a talk about REUSE in the GNU Health Conference (GHCon). Right after, Lina gave the GNUHealth project the well-deserved REUSE compliance award for its Hospital Management System component. GNUHealth is an outstanding Free Software project that contributes to make a change in various countries in the global South.
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.
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.
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Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou