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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2005-05-07">
<title>Two year executive summary</title>
<h1>Two year executive summary - Report for the 2005 general assembly</h1>
<p>Four years after its official start in March 10th, 2001 and the
finalisation of its founding process in April 24th, 2001, the general
assembly on 7 May 2005 in Vienna, Austria marks the end of another
electorial period for the Free Software Foundation Europe Extended
Executive Committee.</p>
<p>The organisation itself has seen two busy years and has grown in size,
activities and impact. Instead of trying to achieve or claim
completeness, this report will briefly summarize some of FSFE's
milestones of the past two years.</p>
<h3>European Union: Microsoft Antitrust Investigation</h3>
<p>Following up on the work it began during its first two years, FSFE in
cooperation with the Samba Team were delivering crucial expertise in
the antitrust investigation of the European Union against Microsoft
for extending its desktop monopoly into the server market. After
Microsoft filed suit at the European Court of First Instance against
the fine and obligations to make available its protocol
specifications, FSFE entered [<a href="#1" name="anch_1">1</a>] the court case as third party, also
representing the Samba Team. Together, FSFE and Samba, represented in
court by Carlo Piana of FSFE's Italian team, were able to help
convince [<a href="#2" name="anch_2">2</a>] the court to not suspend the EU decision. More
information available online. [<a href="#3" name="anch_3">3</a>]</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_1" name="1">1</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_2" name="2">2</a>] <a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/intervention-20040930.html"></a>
[<a href="#anch_3" name="3">3</a>] <a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/"></a>
<h3>UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)</h3>
<p>The first phase of the United Nations World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) took place December 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland. [<a href="#4" name="anch_4">4</a>]
FSFE participated in the complete series of conferences leading up to
this event from the intersessional meeting in Paris to the last
PrepComs in Geneva. FSFE's president, Georg Greve, participated in the
German governmental delegation on behalf of the German Civil Society
coordination circle, co-coordinated the Patents, Copyrights and
Trademarks (PCT) Working Group [<a href="#5" name="anch_5">5</a>] and helped establish and coordinate
the European Caucus of Civil Society. [<a href="#6" name="anch_6">6</a>]</p>
<p>During the summit itself, FSFE organised the "Free Software, Free
Society" side event where Richard Stallman, Lawrence Lessig and others
talked about the issues of freedom in a digital society. Working with
other Civil Society and governmental representatives, Free Software
Foundation Europe was able get some significant changes into the final
documents. [<a href="#8" name="anch_8">8</a>]</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_4" name="4">4</a>] <a href="/activities/wsis/wsis.html"></a>
[<a href="#anch_5" name="5">5</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_6" name="6">6</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_7" name="7">7</a>] <a href="/activities/wsis/event-03-12-10.html"></a>
[<a href="#anch_8" name="8">8</a>] <a href="/activities/wsis/debriefing-geneva.html"></a>
<h3>Towards a "World Intellectual Wealth Organisation"</h3>
<p>After speaking at a course of WIPO and the University of Torino held
at the International Training Center (ITC) of the International Labor
Organisation (ILO) in Torino, Italy, FSFE decided to become observer
of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). [<a href="#9" name="anch_9">9</a>] WIPO is
one of the 16 specialised UN organisations and it is administrating 23
international treates dealing with different aspects of limited
monopolies on knowledge. As such, it has a central position in the
global governance and power structure in relation to Copyrights,
Patents and Trademarks, in particular.</p>
<p>Together with other groups, organisations and governments, FSFE is
working towards turning WIPO into an organisation oriented at
increasing the intellectual wealth of all of humankind. [<a href="#10" name="anch_10">10</a>]</p>
<p>A very important step in this direction was taken at the
Inter-sessional, Inter-governmental Meeting (IIM) for the
establishment of a development agenda for WIPO and the Permanent
Committee on Cooperation for Development related to Intellectual
Property (PCIPD) at which FSFE had its first official appearances
within WIPO. [<a href="#11][12" name="anch_11][12">11][12</a>]</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_9" name="9">9</a>] <a href="/activities/wipo/"></a>
[<a href="#anch_10" name="10">10</a>] <a href="/activities/wipo/wiwo.html"></a>
[<a href="#anch_11" name="11">11</a>] <a href="/activities/wipo/statement-20050413.html"></a>
[<a href="#anch_12" name="12">12</a>] <a href="/activities/wipo/statement-20050415.html"></a>
<h3>Press Work</h3>
<p>One of the most seminal tasks for Free Software is creating awareness
and informing people about issues of digital freedom. While Free
Software is becoming increasingly important in the IT industry, many
people do not yet understand it. Outside of the IT industry, most
people will not even have heard of it.</p>
<p>Changing this requires getting the issues and topics covered in
mainstream media in a language that the readers, viewers and listeners
can relate to. For that reason, <a href="/about/jakobs/">Joachim Jakobs</a> took responsibility of
the media relations for FSFE in 2004, allowing for a much higher
presence of software freedom in the "traditional" media.</p>
<p>Some media in which FSFE was covered within the past years are: ARD,
Bloomberg, Computerzeitung, DIE ZEIT, Deutschlandfunk, FAZ, Financial
Times Deutschland, Financial Times, FR, Handelsblatt, International
Herald Tribune, Le Figaro, Mediemagasinet(Sveriges Television), ORF
m@trix, ORF Mittagsjournal, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wall Street Journal,
arte tv.</p>
<h3>International Free Software Cooperation</h3>
<p>FSFE did not only increase its activities towards the part of the
world that had never heard of Free Software before, it also increased
and strengthened its activities inside the Free Software community.</p>
<p>In particular, FSFE's president Georg Greve served as interim board
member for the X.Org [<a href="#13" name="anch_13">13</a>] foundation during its establishment, trying
to help in organisationally, legally and politically. He also worked
with the group of people planning and coordinating the establishment
of Free Software Foundation Latin America [<a href="#14" name="anch_14">14</a>] to help strengthen the
global FSF Network.</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_13" name="13">13</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_14" name="14">14</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
<h3>Associates &amp; Participants</h3>
<p>This of course only became possible because FSFE itself grew
considerably during the past two years. Besides Joachim Jakobs, who is
handling media relations on a full-time basis, FSFE took on <a href="/about/maffulli/">Stefano
Maffulli</a>, FSFE's Italian Coordinator, on a part-time basis. A recent
addition to the team was <a href="/about/oriordan/">Ciaran O'Riordan</a>, who is currently working
full-time for FSFE in Brussels on European Union issues, such as
<a href="/activities/swpat" target="_blank">software patents</a>.</p>
<p>Another important addition were the interns: Matthias Kirschner, who
was with the FSFE for eight months, and Karsten Gerloff, who is
currently in his third month working for FSFE. Both participated fully
in the activities of FSFE: While Matthias Kirschner was deeply
involved in the inception, planning and implementation of the
Fellowship, [<a href="#15" name="anch_15">15</a>] Karsten Gerloff largely set up the Hamburg Office of
FSFE and participated in the WIPO conferences, which he helped
document and make accessible in his blog. [<a href="#16" name="anch_16">16</a>]</p>
<p>Also, the network of associate organisations [<a href="#17" name="anch_17">17</a>] has grown again
within the past two years to</p>
<pre class="indent">
AFFS, UK [<a href="#18" name="anch_18">18</a>]
ANSOL, Portugal [<a href="#19" name="anch_19">19</a>]
ASSOLI, Italy [<a href="#20" name="anch_20">20</a>]
FFII, Germany [<a href="#21" name="anch_21">21</a>]
FFIS, Germany [<a href="#22" name="anch_22">22</a>]
FFS, Austria [<a href="#23" name="anch_23">23</a>]
FSIJ, Japan [<a href="#24" name="anch_24">24</a>]
Fundacion Via Libre, Argentina [<a href="#25" name="anch_25">25</a>]
IFSO, Ireland [<a href="#26" name="anch_26">26</a>]
OFSET, France [<a href="#27" name="anch_27">27</a>]
Vrijschrift, Netherlands [<a href="#28" name="anch_28">28</a>]
Wilhelmtux, Switzerland [<a href="#29" name="anch_29">29</a>]
<p>of which IFSO was the latest addition. These associate organisations
often play a critical role in the establishment and coordination of
the national teams of FSFE.</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_15" name="15">15</a>] <a href=""></a>
[<a href="#anch_16" name="16">16</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_17" name="17">17</a>] <a href="/associates/"></a>
[<a href="#anch_18" name="18">18</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_19" name="19">19</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_20" name="20">20</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_21" name="21">21</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_22" name="22">22</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_23" name="23">23</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_24" name="24">24</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_25" name="25">25</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_26" name="26">26</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_27" name="27">27</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_28" name="28">28</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_29" name="29">29</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
<p>After several months of preparation, the FSFE finally released its
Fellowship [<a href="#30" name="anch_30">30</a>] campaign in late February 2005. The Fellowship is a
community for digital freedom -- it is a way of raising your flag to
show that you care about these issues and the easiest way of
contributing to the ongoing work of FSFE both politically and
financially to protect your freedom.</p>
<p>All Fellows of FSFE get a login on the Fellowship portal, which is
slowly evolving into a platform of communication, coordination and
<p>Each Fellow also gets a personalised OpenPGP SmartCard with the
possibility to have the keys signed by the Free Software Foundation
Europe. This gives all Fellows a state of the art crypto token that
allows Fellows to protect their own privacy and data as well as spread
general awareness for these issues.</p>
<p>Thanks to the success of the Fellowship, FSFE was able have Ciaran
O'Riordan working full time in Brussels and further increase its
activities -- sign up and protect your freedom! [<a href="#31" name="anch_31">31</a>]</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_30" name="30">30</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
[<a href="#anch_31" name="31">31</a>] <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
<h3>Ongoing activities</h3>
<p>There were numerous other activities FSFE has been working on during
the past couple of years, from teaching at World Bank courses to
working with local activists in various activities. In order to allow
people to better follow the many things that are often happening in
parallel, FSFE also established a monthly newsletter, which is the
easiest way of remaining informed about FSFE's activities. [<a href="#32" name="anch_32">32</a>]</p>
<pre class="indent">
[<a href="#anch_32" name="32">32</a>] <a href="/news/newsletter.html"></a>
<p>Being an educational effort as well as a political organisation, one
of the permanent tasks for all people in FSFE is being present at
trade shows and conferences, create and distribute information
material, talk to people in various places and fora to inform them
about Free Software and issues of freedom in the digital age.</p>
<p>These are some of the places and events where FSFE did this work</p>
<pre class="indent">
ALANTEJO Party 2004, Evora, Portugal
Banco Central do Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil
BerLINux, Berlin, Germany
Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey
Chamber of Commerce, Vienna, Austria
CONISLI, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Computerworld Conference, Zurich, Switzerland
DRM and alternatives, Berlin, Germany
European Social Forum (ESF), London, UK
FOSDEM, Brussels, Belgium
Florence World Vision, Forence, Italy
Free Software Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Free Software Seminar, Västerås, Sweden
Free Software Summer Event, Caceres, Spain
Free Software Workshop, Damascus, Syria
Free Software in a Free Society, Sarajevo, Bosnia
GNU/Linux Day in Bozen,
GNU/Linux Infoday, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
GNU/Linux World Expo, Milan, Italy
GNU/LinuxTag, Karlsruhe, Germany
Handelsblatt Conference, Berlin, Germany
Instituto Bruno Leoni, Milan, Italy
KDE Community World Summit, Ludwigsburg, Germany
KIPA Free Software Conference, Seoul, South Korea
LOTS Event, Berne, Switzerland
LiMux Project Inauguration, Munich, Germany
Linux World Expo &amp; Conference Birmingham, UK
Linux World Expo, Frankfurt, Germany
LinuxForum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Linuxwochen, Eisenstadt, Austria
Linuxwochen, Linz, Austria
Linuxwochen, Wien, Austria
Ministry of Communication, Brasilia, Brazil
National Congress, Montevideo, Uruguay
National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Nordic University Computer Club Conference, Uppsala, Sweden
Red Hat World Tour, Munich, Germany
Senate of Buenos Aires, La Plata, Argentina
South Tyrol Free Software Conference, Bozen, Italy
Summit of Italian Free Software Organizations, Avellino, Italy
UN World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, Switzerland
UNCTAD expert meeting on Free Software, Geneva, Switzerland
USUARIA conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Universita Bocconi, Milano, Italy
University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina
University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
University of Torino &amp; UN WIPO, ITC-ILO, Torino, Italy
WIPO IIM, Geneva, Switzerland
WIPO PCIPD, Geneva, Switzerland
Week of Digital Freedom, Rome, Italy
Week of freedom road tour, Italy
Wizards of OS, Berlin, Germany
World Bank course at ITC-ILO, Torino, Italy
World Social Forum (WSF), Porto Alegre, Brazil
<p>FSFE is now growing out of the startup phase and find itself involved
in many activities that are going to require attention for some time
in the future -- like software patents, the case of Microsoft against
the European Commission or the United Nations activities, such as a
<a href="/activities/wipo/" target="_blank">reform of WIPO</a>.</p>
<p>Having grown up now in many aspects, FSFE will need to consolidate its
activities to make sure they will be sustainable for the next decade
to come. At the same time, FSFE will need to increase its activities
throughout Europe on the national and European Union level.</p>
<p>Finding a balance between these two and finding more people who are
willing to do and/or support this work will be a necessity in order to
make this happen.</p>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="annual-report">Annual report</tag>