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<title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2014</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter – November 2014</h1>
<h2>Munich: facts harder than fiction</h2>
<p>The city of Munich runs Free Software on more than 15.000 workplace
computers <a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/106341">and has saved over
11.000.000€ in return</a>. During the migration to Free Software, they
consolidated their heterogeneous IT in 51 places with 1000 IT employees and 22
IT departments. Despite these challenges <a
href="http://www.computerwoche.de/a/wohin-steuert-linux-in-muenchen,3043464,2">most
users are happy with the migration and say they do not want to switch back</a>
(in German). And all of this happened in the front-yard of Microsoft's German
headquarters.</p>
<p>If you do not like the success of Free Software in Munich, what could you
do? You could play on emotions and spread rumours that the Munich IT people are
not taking the demands of regular users nor the executive into account. Of
course, you have to stay vague, hoping to bring out a few of those voices that
are always unhappy - but this is an easy way of discrediting the progress
already made. This is what happened in the last months in Munich with remarks
by the new mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD, Social Democrats) and his vice Josef
Schmid (CSU, Christian Democrats). Some commentators have speculated about a
connection to the fact that Microsoft is now moving its headquarter from
Unterschleissheim to Munich, and <a
href="http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2013-11/reiter-muenchen-spd/komplettansicht">Reiter
claiming that he helped with this deal</a> (in German). As Microsoft was the <a
href="http://www.merkur-online.de/lokales/muenchen-lk-nord/unterschleissheim-umzug-nach-muenchen-microsoft-prueft-neue-standorte-2766978.html">biggest
tax payer in Unterschleissheim</a> (in German), Munich will financially benefit
by this move.</p>
<p>But they seem to have underestimated the success of Free Software in Munich.
<a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/munich-city-council-shields-limux-against-mayor">IT
experts from their own political parties raised their voice to correct them</a>
and <a href="/news/2014/news-20141016-01.html">others have uncovered their
misleading statements</a>. Thus, the comments by the mayors represent only
individual opinions. Munich's political support for GNU/Linux is strong, and
the money the city saves and will continue to save by using GNU/Linux,
LibreOffice/OpenOffice, and the Desktop from KDE counts profoundly. If Free
Software can even survive a smear campaign by the mayors it shows that it is
there to stay. Dear Free Software community: <em>be proud and spread the
word!</em> But do not rest, the next attack will be more subtle.</p>
<h2>EU wide Open Standards policy</h2>
<p>But the answer to the inquiry includes another crucial point: the problem
with document formats. The Munich IT managers noted that, at the beginning of
their migration, the German federal states and the federal government
highlighted the importance of Free Software and Open Standards, but afterwards
never consequently went this path.</p>
<p>In Germany, the lack of a clear Open Standard Policy is a major blocker for
public administrations to use Free Software. In recent years, other European
Countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden have done more to
promote Free Software and Open Standards.</p>
<p>On the European level, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/prasident-des-deutschen-stadtetags-an-europaische-kommission-mehr-fur-freie-software-einsetzen/">the
former Munich mayor asked the European Commission to implement two measures to
enable participation with Free Software in EU projects</a>: First to have all
document templates which are available in Microsoft Office formats, also in
Open Document Text (ODT) format. Second that all presenter notebooks in the EU
institutions also have a program installed which can handle Open Document Presentation
(ODP) files. This was in 2011 and the European bodies have neglected
implementing Open Standard policies for a long time.</p>
<h2>Open Standard compliance checks</h2>
<p>When institutions decide on Open Standards policies, this is just the first
step. It is important to check this decision and to remind them about it. In
2010 as a Document Freedom Day activity our Fellows in Cologne and Bonn <a
href="/news/2010/news-20100803-01.html">checked the German
federal administrations after a decision that they have to be able to receive,
edit, and send back ODF</a>. The FSFE found out that only 2 of 87 departments
are conforming to federal open document regulations. This highlights the
importance of being persistent and monitoring the implementation of such
policies. Check out this month's “Get active” item with a specific suggestion
how you can help with that within a few minutes.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>We are currently looking for interns again, <a
href="/news/2014/news-20141017-01.html">especially in
preparation of Document Freedom Day</a> but we also have <a
href="/about/jobs/internship.html">general internship
positions open from early January</a>. When Max Mehl saw the news item
he published a <a
href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2014/my-internship-at-fsfe/">summary about his
internship with FSFE</a>.</li>
<li><a href="/news/2014/news-20141017-02.html">Together with
the Italian consumer association ADUC, and the Italian group ILS, we asked</a>
regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay
for software they do not want or need.</li>
<li>Local activities: Our Vienna group had their most active and successful
Autumn ever. Franz documented how they participated in the three big events <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2014/10/23/three-autumn-events-2014/">Software
Freedom Day, the biggest German speaking animal rights conference, and the Game
City fair 2013</a>. Christian Kalkhoff from our Munich group gave a
presentation about the groups activities at the GNU Hackers Meeting 2014. The
<a
href="http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/ghm2014/2014-08--kalkhoff--fsfe--ghm.webm">video
is now online</a>. If you want to help with the organisation of the LibreOffice
conference 2015, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2014/10/22/announcing-the-libreoffice-conference-for-2015-in-aarhus-denmark/">Carsten
Agger is still looking for assistance, as our Aarhus group will help at the
event</a>.</li>
<li>Spoiler alert: The last edition of the education news <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2014/10/free-software-in-education-news-%E2%80%93-september/">also
mentions the focus of the upcoming Document Freedom Day 2015</a>.</li>
<li>Public administrations: The German town of <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/105069">Gummersbach announced that this
summer it has completed its switch to GNU/Linux PCs</a>, <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/104519">England's Healthwatch switches
to Free Software CiviCRM</a>, and a Free Software solution developed for the
government of South Tyrol (Italy) to automatically test government websites and
services is now <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/tyrol-government-shares-test-tool-industry">also
being used to probe sites of the region's tourism sector</a>.</li>
<li>Our sister organisation invites Free Software enthusiasts to the <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/registration-opens-for-libreplanet-2015">libre
planet conference 2015</a> in the US. Furthermore the <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/news/the-free-software-foundation-opens-nominations-for-the-17th-annual-free-software-awards">nomination
for the 17th annual Free Software Awards is open</a>, and you can send your
nominations before Sunday 16 November.</li>
<li><a href="http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/33455.html">Matthew Garret wrote a
blog post on why he joined FSF's board</a>. But some of the comments he
received are really offensive, and your editor hopes that Matthew can just
ignore them. Related to this, your editor recommends you reading the article <a
href="http://lwn.net/Articles/615192/">“On the sickness of our community”</a>
by Jonathan Corbet. As always, if you have comments about it <a
href="/contact/community.html">send them to our discussion
lists</a>.</li>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
<ul>
<li>Computers are entering the fashion field from multiple directions.
Current FSFE intern <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/puster/2014/10/14/meshcon-2014/">Michele Marrali
wrote about MeshCon 2014, a conference that connects fashion designer and
technology experts</a>.</li>
<li>André Ockers reports that <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/ao/2014/10/28/dutch-public-broadcaster-moves-away-from-open-standards/">the
Dutch public broadcaster NOS moves away from open standards</a></li>
<li>Matija Šuklje <a
href="http://matija.suklje.name/my-very-first-commit-to-kde">made his first
commit to KDE and writes about FSFE's Fiduciary Licence Agreement</a></li>
<li>Daniel Pocock reports positive results from Outreach Program for Women</li>
<li>Hugo Roy explains how he <a
href="http://hroy.eu/posts/owncloud-encryption-defpub/">wrote a new defensive
publication for ownCloud's file syncing encryption</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: Fix my document - ODF in EU bodies</h2>
<p>The EU institutions still have a lot to do to remove barriers for Free
Software users. Together with Open Forum Europe (OFE) your editor had a meeting
with the IT responsible of the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament
about that. We discussed <a
href="/news/2014/news-20140326-02.html">our letter on video
format</a> and the campaign “FixMyDocuments.eu”. This campaign was started by
OFE to help EU institutions to implement <a
href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/oss_tech/pdf/2011-07-25_ares.pdf">their
decision to support Open Document Formats</a> FSFE's volunteers already
translated the website in more languages, but now it is time for all of you to
act.</p>
<p>We would like you to <em>find EU institutions who offer non-free
formats</em> on their website, without also publishing those documents in ODT,
and then <em><a href="http://fixmydocuments.eu/?page_id=9">submit
them</a></em>.</p>
<p>Furthermore OFE encourages and will support anyone who wants to use the
platform to cover other administrations.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></p>
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<original content="2014-11-04" />
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