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<title>Our Work</title>
<body class="overview">
<h1 class="heading">Our Work</h1>
<div id="introduction">
The Free Software Foundation Europe helps individuals and
organisations understand how Free Software contributes to
freedom, transparency and self-determination. We enhance
users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption,
encourage people to use and develop Free Software and provide
resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software
in Europe.
The three pillars of our activities:<br />
<a href="#awareness">Public Awareness</a> - <a href="#policy">Policy Advocacy</a> - <a href="#legal">Legal Support</a>
Imagine a world where pupils learn about the philosophy of Free
Software and no one is forced to use non-free software. A world
where public bodies develop Free Software for the public and
decision-makers understand the long-term societal achievements by
building public infrastructures on Free Software.
Even if these goals still seem a long way off, we are already
taking great steps forward today. Democratic societies are
dynamic societies. Regularly, we see changes of public demands,
policies and legal frameworks happening. Many of these changes
create opportunities and chances to act upon and to help the
public moving towards a free society. To ensure that the FSFE is
able to make the best out of these opportunities, <strong>we
concentrate our daily work on three main pillars: public
awareness, policy advocacy and legal support</strong>.
This page is for you to read about the rationales behind our
work. If you are interested in concrete projects and are looking more
deeply for details, you will find them on our <a
href="/activities/activities.html">activities overview</a>. Or
look at our <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">contribute
page</a> if you would like to get more deeply involved.
<h2 id="awareness">Public Awareness</h2>
Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives.<strong>
It is important that people and organisations know about software
freedom and its benefits for our society so they can join our
cause</strong>. The more people who understand Free Software, the
stronger our voice becomes and the more we will accomplish for
software freedom. That is why a main focus of the FSFE's work
revolves around informing the public.
Our website explains <a
href="/freesoftware/freesoftware.html">the basics of Free
Software</a> and spreads <a href="/news/news.html">up-to-date
news</a> about our work and the Free Software ecosystem. We also
share this news on our social media channels for everyone to
<a href="/press/press.html">follow</a> and publish a
monthly <a href="/news/newsletter.html">Newsletter</a> with a
summary of all news of the last 4 weeks. For those who prefer the spoken word, we
publish a bi-monthly <a href="/news/podcast.html">podcast</a> in
addition to discussing Free-Software-related topics in-depth with
experts from our community.
Also important in our public awareness activities are
<strong>public campaigns</strong>. Many of these campaigns are
designed around a special topic regarding Free Software or to
help people to align with a certain demand covering our work for
Free Software. But we also have timeless campaigns on the general
well-being of Free Software, for example our <a
href="/campaigns/ilovefs/">“I love Free Software” day</a>
campaign, a campaign to remind all of us to say thank you to all
the Free Software out there, at least once a year. You can find
many more of our awareness campaigns on our <a
href="/activities/awareness.html">activities overview</a>.
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/fd82835a6592f3d05b1e5a183cbce7c0.png" alt=""/>
<figcaption>From top left to bottom right: Lucas Lasota speaking
at the FSFE Community Meeting 2019 (CC-BY 2.0 NOI Techpark);
Bonnie Mehring and Erik Albers interviewed at the 36C3; Hanno
Boeck speaks at 34C3; FSFE village team at SHA Camp.</figcaption>
We regularly create and organise <a
href="/events/events.html">information booths</a> in many
European countries. These are set up by our community members. You can spot
those booths at different events, from local street festivals to
international gatherings. Together with <strong>talks and
workshops</strong> given by volunteers and staffers, such
information booths spread the word of software freedom
face-to-face. Many of our public talks are recorded and we
publish them for everyone to see on our video channels.
If you would like to <strong>get active</strong> yourself, we offer you
high quality <a href="/contribute/spreadtheword.html">information
material</a> to help with your personal public awareness
activities. You can order the material for no cost inside Europe.
Also we have high quality <a href="/order/order.html">merchandise
material</a> for you to wear and show your support for Free
<a class="learn-more" href="/activities/awareness.html">All Awareness activities</a>
<h2 id="policy">Policy Advocacy</h2>
Political decisions and directions have big impact on Free
Software, its ecosystems and its communities. The FSFE has
long-time experience in working with policy-makers and public
bodies in Europe, from local administrations to high-level
decision makers. We are always aiming at enhancing the rights of Free
Software users and developers and abolishing barriers to Free
Software adoption.
Professional representation of interests means being in the right
place at the right time with the right approach. Politics is a
day-to-day business but decisions take time - sometimes it takes
years to come to a compromise. It needs a lot of explaining,
networking, back and forth, adaptation to situations, finding
majorities or in two words: <strong>professional
lobbying</strong>. The FSFE undertakes this task for the benefit
of software freedom and putting people in control of technology.
We are in regular contact with relevant stakeholders, analyse
decision making processes in different legal environments and
based on this choose the best strategies to be successful with
our demands.
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/ca6b658d055b8828eaa33bfdd138fc7f.jpg" alt=""/>
Within our policy advocacy, the FSFE takes part in consultations,
parliamentarian hearings and public discussions. We are reaching
out to decision makers with concrete proposals and propose
policies in favor of user's freedom. One key to success is the
backing of our community for whom we offer participatory
activities to get involved in political processes or to campaign
and advocate together with us for a Europe relying on Free
Software. One example of such a campaign is our <a
href="https://publiccode.eu/">“Public Money? Public Code!”</a>
campaign, a timeless campaign targeting decision makers to change
public funding practices: We want legislation requiring that
publicly financed software developed for the public sector be
made publicly available under a Free Software licence. We offer
material and expertise and ask our community to help spread the
word. Also we report about our activities on our website and
social media channels, provide in-depth analysis on different
topics and issues and help others to understand what we are doing
and why.
The FSFE is available as an independent expert for other
communities, partners and interested bodies to explain the
advantages and political needs of Free Software. Often we are
partnering with like-minded organisations to back our demands by
setting up ad-hoc alliances or campaigning together with friends.
Throughout the year, the FSFE offers forums to discuss current
activities and developments regarding software freedom in order
for everyone interested to have a strong voice together in
debates and to be successful in lobbying for Free Software.
To further deepen existing alliances and to facilitate the
creation of new ones, as well as to publicly offer our expertise,
we also host <strong>our own policy events</strong>. For example
we regularly invite Free Software groups around Europe to come
together and exchange knowledge about the current state of Free
Software in Europe and to create resilient networks. Or we invite
decision makers to our own events and discuss important aspects
of software freedom and help them to understand the impact of
reusing software.
Often campaigns are designed to help people to align with a
certain demand covering our work for Free Software.
<a class="learn-more" href="/activities/policy.html">All Policy activities</a>
<h2 id="legal">Legal Support</h2>
Free licenses and their proper application can be complex but are
indispensable for Free Software. At the Free Software Foundation
Europe, we <a href="/freesoftware/legal/legal.html">educate
people on these legal issues</a> and help developers, companies
and political entities to develop, use and reuse Free Software in
a manner that is compliant with existing legal frameworks.
The FSFE maintains <a href="/activities/ftf/ln.html">the world's
largest network</a> on legal issues related to Free Software.
Participants come from a variety of legal backgrounds, including
practicing lawyers, corporate in-house counsel and software
engineers with legal skills. The provision of a <strong>neutral
discussion platform</strong> enables the analysis and development
of strategies and solutions for concrete legal questions. By
sharing knowledge among Network members, the Legal Network
contributes to growing legal expertise regarding Free Software.
Once a year, the FSFE hosts a Free Software Legal and Licensing
Workshop, which gives world-leading legal experts the opportunity
to personally discuss issues and best practices related to Free
Software licensing.
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/medium/4e10c5f7d344f929a494f8fc4c0ba27f.jpg" alt=""/>
<figcaption>Polina Malaja, FSFE GA Member, speaking at the Legal
and Licensing Workshop 2018</figcaption>
To encourage accuracy and the adoption of best practices in Free
Software licensing, the FSFE's legal experts help with concrete
<strong>licensing consultancy</strong>. We provide guidance for
Free Software projects, both on an individual level and
on a larger scale with initiatives from organisations that
include the European Commission. Our aim is to ensure that
everyone who works with developing Free Software understands the
best practices for communicating components, licenses and
copyrights associated with software packages, in order for them
to comply with all legal necessities fulfilling software freedom.
The FSFE's legal work with licensing is also supported greatly by
<a href="https://reuse.software/">REUSE</a>, an initiative
started by the FSFE to provide a set of recommendations that
make licensing Free Software projects easier for developers. The
REUSE recommendations make it easy for developers to declare the
licenses under which their Free Software works are released and
also to enable computers to easily understand how these software
projects are licensed. REUSE is an initiative to promote a
software ecosystem where Free Software can be easily shared and
reused in a legally sound manner.
<a class="learn-more" href="/activities/legal.html">All Legal activities</a>