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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2010-06-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - June 2010</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - June 2010</h1>
  9. <p>May was quite busy, for the first time we
  10. participated in a big church event to inform visitors about Free
  11. Software. We analysed the European Commission's Digital Agenda, and
  12. there was news about free video formats.</p>
  13. <p>But why are we working on all those things? Because it is important
  14. for society. Today software is everywhere, in our desktops, laptops, and
  15. mobile phones as well as in cars, trains, TVs, fridges - any complex
  16. device you care to name. Software is not just a tool like a car; it is
  17. everywhere and will become even more important in future.</p>
  18. <p>Control over software means power. Whoever controls the software
  19. decides what you can and what you cannot do with it. In democracies we
  20. separate and distribute power amongst a lot of different people. The
  21. control of software as such a powerful tool of our society has to be
  22. distributed as well. If more and more parts of our life are controlled
  23. by software, the software needs to be Free Software.</p>
  24. <p>This month we received the Theodor Heuss medal for exactly this work
  25. for society. The Theodor Heuss Foundation which awarded the medal is a
  26. non-partisan foundation which carries the name of Germany's first
  27. president. The foundation seeks "to bring attention to something, which
  28. has to be done and shaped in our democracy, without being finished"
  29. (Carl Friedrich v. Weizsäcker, 1965). The Theodor Heuss prize is given
  30. annually to persons of high standing and organisations which are
  31. groundbreaking in this respect.</p>
  32. <p>This award gives Free Software supporters recognition outside the
  33. usual software scene. It shows that a well-known political foundation
  34. agrees that Free Software is good for our society and that FSFE is doing
  35. a good job. This is a door-opener to reach a broader audience in
  36. feature, especially politicians. At the ceremony and the day before at
  37. the workshop Bernhard Reiter, Björn Schießle, Georg Greve, Karsten
  38. Gerloff, other Fellows and I myself had good discussions with a lot of
  39. political interested persons with different backgrounds (see <a
  40. href="/news/2010/news-20100126-01.html">[1]</a> <a
  41. href="/news/2010/news-20100510-01.html">[2]</a> <a
  42. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=350">[3]</a>).</p>
  43. <p><strong>Enlarging the audience</strong> Speaking about a broader
  44. audience, for the first first time we participated at the ecumenical
  45. church day in Munich, Germany. While we have given talks at church
  46. events before to explain the values of Free Software, it was the
  47. completely new experience for us to participate in an event of this
  48. size, with 130,000 visitors. Thomas Jensch organised a shared booth with
  49. KDE e.V. to explain the participants why they as Christians should care
  50. about Free Software (see <a
  51. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gladhorn/2010/05/18/going-where-no-gearheads-have-gone-before/">
  52. [4]</a>).</p>
  53. <p><strong>Open Standards and politics</strong> Open Standards are
  54. important to ease the migration path to Free Software. This month the
  55. European Commission published the Digital Agenda. It is good that the
  56. Commission plans to give standards a greater role in the public
  57. procurement of software, and to get dominant software vendors to license
  58. their interoperability information, opening up the software market for
  59. Free Software vendors. However the EC avoids all references to Open
  60. Standards as well as Free Software, although the Member States set those
  61. goals for the Commission in the Granada and Malmö declarations. Instead,
  62. the Commission points to the European Interoperability Framework. This
  63. is a document which is currently being systematically hollowed out, as
  64. shown by FSFE's analysis <a href="/activities/os/eifv2.html">[5]</a>. We
  65. outlined that the EC needs to adopt a strict definition of Open
  66. Standards, along the lines of the first European Interoperability
  67. Framework (EIF), and that the Commission needs to focus on Open
  68. Standards for its public sector IT strategy to enable the full potential
  69. of Free Software for European innovation (see <a
  70. href="/news/2010/news-20100519-01.html">[6]</a>).</p>
  71. <p><strong>Free Video Formats</strong> Good news about open video
  72. formats. In March both our sister organisation the FSF and our
  73. associated organisation FFII asked Google to free the video codec vp8
  74. and use it on YouTube. This month Google announced they will do so. From
  75. now on users will be able use Free Software to play and encode the new
  76. WebM format. "WebM is based on the Matroska container format --
  77. replacing Ogg -- and the VP8 video codec which replaces Theora.
  78. Crucially, the Vorbis audio codec is part of the new WebM
  79. specification." (see <a
  80. href="http://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-foundation-statement-on-webm-and-vp8">[7]</a>
  81. and <a
  82. href="http://press.ffii.org/Press%20releases/FFII%20welcomes%20Google%27s%20move%20to%20open%20VP8%20video%20format">[8]</a>).</p>
  83. <p>The other good news, since a few days the German ARD news program
  84. tagessschau is available in Ogg Theora. After the public radio station
  85. Dradio is broadcasting its program in OGG vorbis you can now watch the
  86. tagesschau with Free Software <a
  87. href="http://www.tagesschau.de/tagesschau24/">[9]</a> and do not have
  88. to install proprietary software like the Adobe's flash player (see <a
  89. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=581">[10]</a>).</p>
  90. <p><strong>Get Active</strong> We depend on the help of many volunteers
  91. to evaluate current topics. If you want to help Free Software in Europe
  92. please subscribe to our public mailing lists <a
  93. href="/contact/community.html">[11]</a> and participate in the
  94. discussion sharing your knowledge with others. You have dived into a
  95. topic like free video formats, found an interesting article about Free
  96. Software, you think we missed an important point in a discussion, or you
  97. want to give us feedback on the newsletter? Get active and share this
  98. information with other Free Software supporters on
  99. discussion@lists.fsfe.org.</p>
  100. <p>Regards,<br /> <a href="/about/people/kirschner/kirschner.html">Matthias Kirschner</a>- FSFE</p>
  101. <p>-- <br />
  102. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  103. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  104. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  105. <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  106. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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