November: another month full of activities and work to do for FSFE. Among other things we launched the Fellowship grant project, fought for Open Standards in the European public sector, had an excellent time at the FSCONS in Sweden, and participated in WIPO to ensure that Free Software principles are respected. To keep FSFE strong and independent, we have launched our year-end fund raising campaign: Cooking for Freedom.
Thanks to the consistent support by FSFE and other organisations, the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Development Agenda is finally on the way to implementation. Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President, participated to the event in Geneva to help WIPO make use of Free Software and Open Standards. In the meeting, WIPO's member states discussed the mechanisms for monitoring the progress of WIPO's Development Agenda in practice.
On November 18, more than 25 Fellows joined a chat session to follow Thomas Jensch's introduction to the FSFE's Education project. Thomas talked about the general scope of the project and about specific challenges to be met before bringing to full active status the project, such as gathering information on the different European education systems, and developing good strategies for being effective also at the level of Universities. Afterwords, the Fellows asked questions and provided interesting feedbacks to Thomas.
The Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS) which took place in Lindholmen, Göteborg, Sweden was a great success. FSFE's Swedish Team co-organised the event, and FSFE got a very friendly reception in an engaging atmosphere of Free Software, hackers and technology people. Martin Gollowitzer, deputy Fellowship coordinator, organised a OpenPGP Card Workshop, Matthias Kirschner, Fellowship coordinator, and Andreas Tolf Tolfsen moderated a workshop on the restructuring of our website. Hannes Hauswedell presented a talk about PDFreaders.org. Finally, Adrian de Groot and Karsten Gerloff held two sessions respectively about the Freedom Task Force and FSFE's work for the public sector.
This year, Nordic Free Software Award presented during FSCONS reflected the globalisation of the internet and the critical importance of network services for all software users. The award went to two excellent hackers: Simon Josefson and Daniel Stenberg. Simon is a member of the Fellowship and was rewarded for his long-lasting and excellent work on the network security packages GNUTLS and GNU Sishi of the GNU Project. Daniel's contributions to curl, libcurl and many other packages were considered crucial to the Free Software community.
Early this month, FSFE commented on a worrisome leaked draft of the European Interoperability Framework v2 (EIF). The current EIF serves as a cornerstones for interoperability in Europe. The draft for the second version is a clear step backwards. FSFE worked hard to prevent this document to be adopted by putting pressure on EU members states and by tracking the 'evolution' of the EIF v2 draft. We also published a press release explaining why the current version is unacceptable for Free Software and for the European IT sector.
This month FSFE launched an important initiative to award outstanding Free Software activists with Fellowship grants that will cover the Fellowship contribution for one year. Three grants each month will be assigned during the next 12 months. Everybody who is actively working for Free Software but cannot afford the Fellowship contribution can apply for the grant.
FSFE has been working for the Free Software community in Europe and beyond since 2001. Donations have always been crucial to sustain our work. They allow us to remain independent of any company or government, in order to do what is best for Free Software.
In November we published a call for donations, so that the new year will find us ready to take on the many and demanding challenges of 2010. Karsten Gerloff published a letter explaining the reasons to donate to FSFE.
This year, there is a special reward for the biggest donor of 2009. That person will share a cooking session with two people from FSFE's executive team. Software and cooking are both about creativity and freedom, and we are looking forward to an afternoon or evening of inspired discussions.
If you believe in our work or you benefited from it, if you believe in Free Software principles and you want them to be defended: invest in freedom!
After many preparations, in November 2006 we finally launched the Freedom Task Force (FTF). The project required sound planning and lot of efforts before it could be announced. In short time, thanks to Shane Coughlan's excellent work as the project's coordinator, the FTF became a key knowledge centre in Europe for Free Software licensing issues.
Adriaan de Groot, FTF Coordinator, will hold a speech entitled "Use the Source -- but what is it?" at the European "Open Source" and Free Software Law Event (EOLE) on 9 December in Brussels.
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