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YH4F kickoff +++ UpA Open Letter +++ Router freedom in Belgium

Last month YH4F 2024 kicked off, the German Parliament received the Upcycling Android Open Letter, we discovered that the ambitious plan of the Interoperable Europe Act turned out to be watered down, we celebrated Belgium’s commitment to router freedom, and much more interesting news was out.

collage of different pictures of this month

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Youth Hacking 4 Freedom kicks off!

After two successful editions, Youth Hacking 4 Freedom, the Free Software Foundation Europe’s coding competition for young Europeans, opens registration for the third round. YH4F 2024 kicks off on 7 December with an opening event. More than €10,000, in cash, will be awarded to the six winners of the 2024 edition.

Help us spread the word and involve the Free Software hackers of future generations! Find out more on the YH4F website.

German Parliament receives Upcycling Android Open Letter

Signed by more than 3000 individuals and by 147 organisations, the Open Letter to European Union legislators was presented by a delegation from the FSFE on 14 November to the Chair of the Digital Affairs Committee at the German Bundestag.

Discover more about what Upcycling Android is about, and the open letter demands!

“So many devices end up on the scrapyard after just two or three years. But the devices are still in good condition and could be made to last with new software. We could bring them back to life, especially with Free Software. It would be a real sustainability effect if we had the right to install any software on any device. That’s why this initiative is absolutely worth supporting.”

— Tabea Rößner, Chair of the Digital Affairs Committee, when receiving the open letter

Interoperable Europe Act: an ambition that turned out to be watered down

Some weeks ago, European decision makers met to agree on the final text of the Interoperable Europe Act (IEA). There is wording that worries the FSFE related to giving priority to Free Software when implementing interoperable solutions and confusing criteria to do so. Overall, what could have been a very ambitious initiative turned out to be another regulation with ambiguous and problematic wording.

In particular, the critical wording refers to different passages in (Art4(5a)). Moreover, the chance for other stakeholders to be part of the governance structure, specifically on the Board, has been removed from the final text. It is currently only up to the Chair to decide if an expert can join the Board as an observer. Read our news item to have a deeper understanding of the FSFE’s concerns.

Belgium commits to Router Freedom

The Belgian telecom regulator BIPT formally introduced Router Freedom nationwide, applying this right to all network types, including fiber (FTTx).

The FSFE celebrates this milestone, especially because of the critical role played by the community. We want to strongly thank the FSFE Benelux team, who proactively monitored and supported communication with the regulator, and also our partners in Italy, who helped us provide prompt responses when the regulator required further input regarding the certification procedures for router interoperability in Italy.

Take action! Support our “Public Money? Public Code!” initiative

Together with 226 organisations and more than 36,000 individuals, we are calling on European politicians to enshrine the principle of “Public Money? Public Code!” across Europe.

We have important months ahead to get closer to this goal: in June, EU citizens will elect a new European Parliament with many new members. We need to reach out to them, as they could have a positive impact on software freedom in the coming years.

It is your support that enables us to continue our daily work for Free Software in Europe. We know that times are tough for many of you, but with a donation you can ensure that we keep advocating for software freedom across Europe with a clear goal: wherever public money is spent on software, the code must be public too! And do not forget to share the PMPC Open Letter!

And even more!

Thanks to the invaluable contribution of our great volunteers, the video “What is Free Software” is now in Esperanto! We will be working to have it translated into more languages! Remember to share this video – in any of the available languages – among your friends and relatives! Help us grow a better and broader understanding of the critical role played by Free Software in our society.

Enjoy reading Ada & Zangemann in French!

“Ada and Zangemann – A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream” is now available in French, too! The French translation joins the English, German, and Italian editions. The books make for a wonderful Christmas gift, for children and adults alike.

On the dedicated page, you can buy the book, read the reviews, and see the letters addressed to Zangemann!

Quote of the Month

“Free Software is an important basis for DLR’s software development efforts. […] Free Software helps us to rapidly try out new things because we do not have to develop them from scratch. Besides these more efficiency-related aspects, publishing Free Software in the research domain helps to exchange knowledge inside a research community and between different research communities. In this way, Free Software can be a driver for innovation in research.”

— Tobias Schlauch – Software engineer at DLR (German Aerospace Center)

Contribute to our Newsletter

We would love to hear from you. If you have any thoughts, pictures, or news to share, please send them to us at newsletter@fsfe.org. You can also support us, contribute to our work, and join our community. We would like to thank our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible, with a special mention to our translators who make it possible for you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.

Your editors,
Ana and Tommi