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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE - Two year executive summary, period 2007-2009 -- 20 June 2009</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Two year executive summary</h1>
  8. <p class="tagline">period 2007-2009</p>
  9. <p class="tagline">Report for the 2009 General Assembly</p>
  10. <p>Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain, 20. June 2009</p>
  11. <p>
  12. The 2009 general assembly marks the end of FSFEs third major
  13. transformation process, which began at the 2007 assembly in Brussels.
  14. This transformation included changes to
  15. <a href="/about/legal/constitution.html">FSFE's constitution</a>, which
  16. were discussed during the general assembly in 2007, prepared by the
  17. Extended Executive Committee for the 2008 assembly in Zürich and
  18. ultimately adopted during an extraordinary assembly in October that year.
  19. The two most important changes made were the introduction of an executive
  20. director position, and the addition of
  21. <a href="">Fellowship</a> representation to
  22. FSFE's general assembly.
  23. </p>
  24. <p>
  25. With the hiring of <a href="/about/holz/holz.html">Christian Holz</a> as
  26. executive director and the election of Torsten Grote as the first
  27. Fellowship representative into FSFE's general assembly the mandate given
  28. to the Executive Council by FSFE's 2007 assembly has been fulfilled and
  29. the organisation has now reached maturity.
  30. </p>
  31. <p>
  32. Meanwhile FSFE's work intensified in a variety of areas, and the
  33. <a href="/about/funds/funds.html">organisation's budget</a> reached
  34. <a href="/about/funds/2008.html">380K EUR in 2008</a>, continuing the upward
  35. trend of the past eight years. This report will summarise some of the
  36. important milestones that were achieved over the past two years.
  37. </p>
  38. <h2>European Union: Microsoft Antitrust Decision &amp; New Investigation</h2>
  39. <p>
  40. The <a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/ms-vs-eu.html">work</a> that began for
  41. FSFE in 2001 with the
  42. <a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/application-1.0.pdf">initial application</a>
  43. to provide Free Software perspective and expertise to the antitrust
  44. investigation of the European Commission against Microsoft, that
  45. continued through the
  46. <a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/monti-samba-submission.pdf">joint submission with the Samba team</a>
  47. in 2004 and joint work during the European Court of First Instance (CFI)
  48. case in 2005, 2006 and 2007 finally came to a conclusion with a
  49. <a href="">triumphant victory for interoperability</a>
  50. in September 2007.
  51. </p>
  52. <p>
  53. As the
  54. <a href="">resulting discussion highlighted</a>,
  55. FSFE had broken new ground as the first Free Software organisation to
  56. actively get involved in antitrust activity, and this case demonstrated
  57. that it was possible to protect Free Software interests against monopoly
  58. abuse. The current increase in antitrust action against abusive practices
  59. brought forward by various groups, e.g.
  60. <a href="">in Switzerland</a>,
  61. is an encouraging sign.
  62. </p>
  63. <p>
  64. Meanwhile FSFE continued its activity in this area through
  65. <a href="/news/2009/news-20090227-01.html">support of the antitrust complaints</a>
  66. brought forward by the <a href="">European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS)</a>,
  67. and Opera. ECIS published a noteworthy summary paper on
  68. <a href="">Microsoft's history of anticompetitive behaviour and consumer harm</a>
  69. that demonstrates why this work is so highly necessary. Only by being
  70. present can FSFE ensure that the solutions found will not exclude Free
  71. Software, e.g. by accepting RAND practices that are also common in
  72. standardisation and a major obstacle for Free Software, as explained in
  73. FSFE's
  74. <a href="/activities/os/ps.html">Analysis on Balance: Standardisation and Patents</a>.
  75. </p>
  76. <h2>Open Standards</h2>
  77. <p>
  78. Helping develop a
  79. <a href="">common understanding</a> of
  80. <a href="/activities/os/os.html">Open Standards</a> and promoting their adoption
  81. has in fact permeated the work of FSFE in various ways. This includes the
  82. EU-funded SELF project which terminated in 2008 and for which FSFE
  83. developed the
  84. <a href="/campaigns/self/SELF-LegalPolicy-0.9_1.pdf">SELF Legal Policy</a>
  85. and provides <a href="/activities/ftf/fiduciary.html">fiduciary services</a>.
  86. It spans FSFE's work at the United Nations, such as the
  87. <a href="/activities/policy/igf/igf.html">Internet Governance Forum (IGF)</a> and the
  88. <a href="/activities/wipo/wipo.html">World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)</a>,
  89. and the work with the European Commission, most importantly discussions
  90. around the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) and the European
  91. Software Strategy. But three issues stood out during the past two
  92. years.
  93. </p>
  94. <p>
  95. The most visible issue was most likely the debate around the Microsoft
  96. OfficeOpenXML (OOXML) format, for which Microsoft had contracted ECMA's
  97. services to push it through ISO before anyone would catch on to the
  98. issues. FSFE
  99. <a href="">took the lead</a>
  100. in alerting the Free Software community to the dangers that MS-OOXML
  101. presented. FSFE's staff and volunteers actively participated directly in
  102. the process through national standardisation bodies, e.g. Switzerland,
  103. Serbia and Italy, as well as indirectly through
  104. <a href="/documents/msooxml-questions.html">various publications</a>
  105. on MS-OOXML to support the work of the diverse global community that
  106. stood together in defence of the Open Document Format (ODF). The debate
  107. culminated February 2008 around the MS-OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting
  108. (BRM), where FSFE's
  109. <a href="/activities/ftf/ftf.html">Freedom Task Force</a> Coordinator
  110. <a href="/about/coughlan/coughlan.html">Shane Coughlan</a> coordinated
  111. the activities to highlight the
  112. <a href="/documents/msooxml-interoperability.html">many critical flaws</a>
  113. in the MS-OOXML format.
  114. </p>
  115. <p>
  116. But FSFE did not focus its attention on defensive work alone. Thanks to
  117. the work done by FSFE's
  118. Serbian team, most notably Ivan
  119. Jelic, but also Marko Milenovic and others, 26 March 2008 saw the first
  120. global day for document liberation, the
  121. <a href="">Document Freedom Day (DFD)</a>.
  122. Similar in design and complementary to the Software Freedom Day (SFD),
  123. the DFD is a day to bring together groups with a common interest in Open
  124. Standards, to help create awareness for the importance of Open Standards.
  125. While FSFE has provided initiative, logistical and coordinative support
  126. to DFD, it does not seek to control it. The DFD is owned by the many
  127. entities and people around the world that made it their own and declared
  128. their support, including, but not limited to,
  129. <a href="">ANSOL</a>,
  130. <a href="">Ars Aperta</a>,
  131. <a href="">COSS</a>,
  132. <a href="">Esoma</a>,
  133. <a href="">Estándares Abiertos</a>,
  134. <a href="">FFII</a>,
  135. <a href="">Free Knowledge Foundation</a>,
  136. <a href="">Free Software Foundation</a>,
  137. <a href="">Free Software Foundation Latin America</a>,
  138. <a href="">Google</a>,
  139. <a href="">IBM</a>,
  140. <a href="">NLnet</a>,
  141. <a href="">ODF Alliance</a>,
  142. <a href="">Open Forum Europe</a>,
  143. <a href="">Open Source Initiative (OSI)</a>,
  144. <a href="">Opentia</a>,
  145. <a href="">OSL</a>,
  146. <a href="">iMatix</a>,
  147. <a href="">Red Hat</a>,
  148. <a href="">Sun</a>,
  149. <a href="">The Open Learning Centre</a>,
  150. <a href=""></a> and
  151. <a href="">Funambol.</a>
  152. </p>
  153. <p>
  154. And last but not least there is the
  155. <a href="">PDF readers campaign</a>. Unlike the
  156. other activities, this initiative did not begin with FSFE's staff or
  157. coordinative team, it originates with the personal initiative of some of
  158. FSFE's Fellows, which came up with the initial idea and coordinated the
  159. project from the first idea to the public launch and maintenance. The
  160. role of FSFE's staff was limited to providing some input, resources,
  161. support and encouragement. So
  162. <a href=""></a> provides an excellent
  163. example of how FSFE's structure and culture facilitates grass-roots
  164. activity up to a global scale as well as the targeted and centrally
  165. coordinated activities in other areas, such as the United Nations.
  166. </p>
  167. <h2>United Nations</h2>
  168. <p>
  169. Besides participation in the 2007
  170. <a href="/activities/policy/igf/igf.html">Internet Governance Forum (IGF)</a> in
  171. Brazil, FSFE's work at the United Nations has increasingly focussed on
  172. the
  173. <a href="/activities/wipo/wipo.html">World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)</a>,
  174. which is currently undergoing reform based on the
  175. <a href="">Development Agenda (DA)</a>
  176. that WIPO's Member States adopted during its 2007 General Assemblies. In
  177. combination with a new Director General,
  178. <a href="">Mr Francis Gurry</a>,
  179. and the
  180. <a href="">WIPO Strategic Realignment Program</a>,
  181. WIPO is increasingly openly discussing issues such as standardisation,
  182. the limits of the patent system. Having been part of the group that was
  183. pushing for the Development Agenda over several years, FSFE now focussed
  184. on the issue of patents in standards, e.g.
  185. <a href="">during SCP/13</a>, and is
  186. pushing for WIPO to
  187. <a href="">become more focussed on Innovation Policy</a>
  188. evaluation under consideration of all possible options.
  189. </p>
  190. <h2>Freedom Task Force</h2>
  191. <p>
  192. From its good start in November 2006, the
  193. <a href="/activities/ftf/ftf.html">Freedom Task Force</a> continued to be a
  194. major success story throughout the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Under the
  195. able guidance of
  196. <a href="/about/coughlan/coughlan.html">Shane Coughlan</a>, the European
  197. Legal Network of the Freedom Task Force grew to more than 190
  198. participants across 27 countries and four continents, including a broad
  199. spectrum of interests engaging in Free Software. The FTF's European Legal
  200. Network appears to be the largest legal support structure for Free
  201. Software in the world with a wide variety of activities, such as special
  202. interest group and well attended legal workshops with global attendance
  203. in 2008 and 2009. There is also an increasing amount of publications
  204. coming out of the
  205. <a href="/activities/ftf/activities.html">FTF network</a>.
  206. </p>
  207. <p>
  208. In addition to the increased networking of the Free Software legal field,
  209. the FTF has continued to provide Free Software training to executives and
  210. developers in several countries, and helped companies such as
  211. <a href="">Bacula Systems</a> define their
  212. value proposition on top of the
  213. <a href="/activities/ftf/fiduciary.html">FSFE fiduciary programme</a>.
  214. </p>
  215. <p>
  216. Through its cooperation with
  217. <a href=""></a>, the FTF has
  218. also continued to help resolve licence violations, but its primary focus
  219. is on the prevention of licence violations through education and
  220. constructive dialogue with companies to help them define internal
  221. processes to make use of Free Software while keeping the legal and
  222. community reputation record clean.</p>
  223. <h2>STACS</h2>
  224. <p>
  225. As part of the EU-funded
  226. <a href="/campaigns/stacs/stacs.html">Science, Technology, and Civil Society (STACS)</a>
  227. project, FSFE coordinated two workshops to introduce Civil Society
  228. organisations to the concepts of Free Software and to provide them with a
  229. practical view on how Free Software can enable their daily work. The
  230. workshops were held in <a href="/campaigns/stacs/london.html">London</a>
  231. and <a href="/campaigns/stacs/belgrade.html">Belgrade</a> in late 2007
  232. under the guidance of FSFE vice president
  233. <a href="/about/oberg/oberg.html">Jonas Öberg.</a>
  234. </p>
  235. <h2>Fellowship</h2>
  236. <p>
  237. From its inception in February 2005 the Fellowship has continuously grown
  238. in importance and activity into one of the most important activities for
  239. FSFE. The Fellowship contributions are seminal to guarantee the financial
  240. independence of FSFE and provide an important part of FSFE's budget with
  241. the advantage that the distribution over many Fellows makes this source
  242. of income very predictable and secure the independence to the
  243. organisation.
  244. </p>
  245. <p>
  246. The Fellows actively participate in FSFE's activities in several ways,
  247. primarily focussed on local activities during a wide variety of
  248. initiatives, such as Document Freedom Day and the Software Freedom Day in
  249. Berlin, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Cologne, and other places. The highly
  250. successful <a href=""></a> campaign
  251. to provide information about Free Software PDF readers, which grew out of
  252. the Fellowship into an official FSFE project. The web site has meanwhile
  253. been translated into 17 languages. Fellowship groups were also able to
  254. participate in various events and exhibitions, like the Linuxweeks in
  255. Austria or the Linuxtag in Berlin. Most FSFE booths are run to a high
  256. degree by Fellows.
  257. </p>
  258. <p>
  259. Along with the aforementioned Fellowship election and representative in
  260. the General Assembly, the Fellowship also continues to provide one of the
  261. regular paths into FSFE's executive teams on national and international
  262. level. Past examples for this were provided by FTF Coordinator Shane
  263. Coughlan, more recent examples are FSFE Executive Coordinator Christian
  264. Holz or FSFE's very active Austrian team, which grew out of the
  265. Fellowship entirely.
  266. </p>
  267. <h2>Other Activities</h2>
  268. <p>
  269. FSFE continued to participate actively through booths, volunteers,
  270. support and speaking in a large number of events and engagements across
  271. Europe and beyond. It has hosted several events, supported others, such
  272. as the Trophees du Libre in France or eLiberatica in Romania, and has
  273. established a constant presence in the various regular and irregular Free
  274. Software events in most European countries.
  275. </p>
  276. <p>
  277. Outreach activities also include translations into 27 languages, which
  278. are only possible due to a very motivated and energetic
  279. <a href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">translation team</a>,
  280. which typically provides fast and high quality translation in very short
  281. time. The monthly <a href="/news/newsletter.html">FSFE newsletter</a>,
  282. which has meanwhile switched into the capable hands of Giacomo Poderi of
  283. the Italian team, provides a good and regular opportunity for people to
  284. stay up to date on the ongoing activities.
  285. </p>
  286. <p>
  287. Alongside the many
  288. <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">daily activities</a> for which FSFE
  289. enjoys the privilege of support by a large number of dedicated, capable
  290. volunteers, FSFE has been active in a wide variety of fields.
  291. </p>
  292. <p>
  293. For all these fields, FSFE's contribution is typically characterised by
  294. high efficiency and an above average return on investment towards
  295. achievement of the goals of the association. The future challenge will be
  296. to further professionalise the organisation while maintaining that
  297. volunteer involvement that has allowed FSFE to be so successful in the
  298. past years.
  299. </p>
  300. </body>
  301. </html>