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