FSFE Newsletter - November 2012
FSFE Newsletter - November 2012
Rooting and flashing your device does not void the warranty in EU
Most of the participants in our Free Your Android
workshops are concerned whether rooting your device (e.g. an
Android phone) and replacing its operating system with something else voids
your statutory warranty as consumer. We asked our legal coordinator
Matija Šuklje and FSFE legal council Carlo Piana to analyse the problem. Their
answer is: No. "Just the fact that you modified or changed the software
of your device, is not a sufficient reason to void your statutory warranty. As
long as you have bought the device as a consumer in the European Union." Read throughout
We hope these news will encourage people to flash their devices with Free
Software. Next opportunity to attend on of our Free Your Android workshop is on
the 9th of November at FSCONS, in
Sweden, and on the 16th of November at SFSCON, in Italy.
Facts about software patents by the New York Times
The New York Times published an article entitled
"The Patent, Used as a Sword" about the patent system. Hugo Roy
it. It is about how Apple and Google were spending more on
patents than on research and development in 2011. Among other issues, it focuses on the number of lawsuits
filed each year in the US, which has tripled from 1990 to 2010, and how 70% of patent
applications are approved after the applicant altered claims.
On the same topic, Karsten Gerloff gave
a talk about "How Software Patents Are Delaying The Future", on a
discussion panel organised by the European Patent Office. "Currently, a lot of
policy on patents (as well as copyright) is made on the basis of faith and
rather dubious argument. We urgently need to move on towards evidence-based
policy making", concludes Karsten.
Something completely different
- FSFE will have a track focused
on general purpose computing at FSCONS in Gothenburg from 9th to 11th
November. Karsten Gerloff will talk about software
patents, Erik Albers about the Free Your Android campaign, Sam
Tuke will give a preview about a new campaign FSFE will launch soon, and your
editor gives a general overview about general purpose computing. In other
tracks, Otto Kekäläinen gives two talks, one about "Dirty tactics against LibreOffice
in public administration and how to overcome them" and another about
"How to fix public procurement"; and Hugo Roy will present his project "Terms of Services; Didn't Read". And there
are other interesting talks.
Woolfrey interviewed Hugo Roy, FSFE's French Team coordinator and
co-founder of the Digital Freedoms association.
He joined FSFE in 2009 as an
intern, assisting FSFE president Karsten Gerloff. In France, Hugo is also
active with April and the French Data Network.
- Last month your editor visited Benjamin Mako Hill, John
Sullivan, Richard Stallman, and the FSF office staff in Boston. There was
a lot happening at our sister organisation: They
opened nominations for the 15th Annual Free Software Awards; they crashed
the Microsoft Windows 8 launch event in New York City with a cheerful
GNU; Libby Reinish wrote about the Ada
Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate women's contributions to science and
technology; the LulzBot AO-100 3D Printer was
awarded the first "Respects Your Freedom" (RYF) certification; and
Donald Robertson published
a presentation from Jeremy Allison explaining why Samba chose the GNU
GPL version 3.
A study from Carlo Daffara concluded that Free Software is
contributing 450 billion Euro per year to Europe's economy. You are contributing to it!
- The European Commission's joinup portal is listing different
national and regional Free Software repositories.
- From our Fellowship planet aggregation:
- Thomas Løcke wrote about the GNU
MediaGoblin crowdsourcing campaign. Its goal is to improve posting,
sharing and commenting on media, with Free Software and with keeping more
control of your data. Oskar Welzl also
donated to GNU Media Goblin, as he wants to have an alternative to
Flickr and YouTube.
- Ana is
destroying some myths surrounding Free Software. She also wrote about
"Social media and the concept of 'freedom'" and her experiences
from changing keyboard layouts after setting up an encrypted hard
disk. In general she concludes "My computer is working better and I am
starting to understand software a bit better".
- Karl Beecher reports, that in 1974 Arthur
C. Clarke predicted in a video that by 2001 we will all have small
computers that can fit on a desk in our own home, and they will even be
inter-connected with other computers across the world. (While watching your
editor noticed how picky he is about fan noise.)
- Erik explained
why you should become a supporter of FSFE. Currently, we have 1233 supporters, and if
the growth continues at the same pace, we will have 5733 in a year. Thanks
also to all of you promoting the supporter, like Lionel
Wenzel, and others.
- Interested in tablets and phones? Henri looks into how to be productive with
them. Our Finnish Fellows describe how to
install the Meego offspring Mer and Nemo on ExoPC tablet (WeTab) and
Timo wrote about the Bavarian
phone OpenPhoenux GTA04 and how to
hack on it.
- Sam Tuke described how to install static website generator
webgen (which we use for pdfreaders.org), and how to install the Android
Emulator in Fedora 17, that lets you to test applications without having an
- Do you want to know why Telepathy is awesome? Read Daniele Domenichelli's blog
post. Also, and related to KDE, Torsten Grote explains
how to build Kontact on Debian Sid. In fact, KDE became 16 last month.
Congrats and thanks to all Free Software hackers in KDE! Continue being awesome.
- Our legal coordinator Matija is
learning to program Python and he
announced to work one day a week from Cyberpipe, Slovenian's biggest
Get active: Every buck, fixes a bug!
A lot of you already signed our Petition For The Removal Of
Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Institution Websites, and now
we ask you for your support to enhance this campaign.
With the example of PDF readers we raised general awareness of proprietary
software advertisements on public administration's websites since September
2010. Until today our Petition was signed by 80 organisations, 58 businesses
and 2438 individuals. We contacted 2104 public administrations, and managed to
close 552 bugs (26%). So 552 federal government departments, municipalities,
and other administrations removed the advertisement, or added additional
references to Free Software PDF readers. And we will continue fixing the
remaining bugs. Just last month
twenty Italian civil society organisations wrote a letter to the
President of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, asking the
agency to ensure that all documents published on its website can be read and
used with Free Software programs.
However, we also received a lot of feedback from the public administration
and other institutions and political entities. One big task is to improve the
PDF readers website, as it is one of our key tools in this campaign. With your
donation, we will be able to implement the planned new features for the website
until the 1st of February and after it, for its maintenance.
Please donate on the
fundraising page, which uses Ulule platform, and spread the news about
Thanks to all the Fellows and
donors who enable our work,
Matthias Kirschner - FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe
Upcoming FSFE Events
Fellowship Blog Aggregation
Free Software Discussions