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<title>FSFE Newsletter - August 2010</title>
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<body>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - August 2010</h1>
<p>The focus of this edition is Free Software in the public
sector: on a national level within the United Kingdom, in the Italian region of
Bozen, and in the Austrian city of Linz. We introduce a new definition of
mnemonic Open Standards, and invite you to participate in upcoming local Free
Software events.</p>
<p>Additionally in July <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/maelle">Maëlle Costa</a> and <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/samtuke">Sam Tuke</a> started their <a
href="/contribute/internship.html">internships</a>. Răzvan
Sandu transcribed Richard Stallman's speech from eLiberatica, Maëlle created a
<a href="/freesoftware/transcripts/rms-2009-05-22-eliberatica.html">structured
web edition</a>, and our active translator Stelios Stavroulakis translated it
into Greek. Matthias Kirschner gave the first in a new <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=625">series of radio interviews</a> occurring
on the 4th Monday of the each month for the public radio station 'Dradio
Wissen'.</p>
<p>Europe is witnessing an ever increasing number of public administrations
considering the migration to Free Software. Public administration represents the
largest purchaser of software in each EU country, and is a critically important
area of Free Software growth. Increased public sector use of free software means
more money invested in the development and deployment of Free Software, which
ultimately results in greater quality and quantity of Free Software
programs.</p>
<p>In June the Government of Malta<a
href="http://ictpolicies.gov.mt/docs/GMICT_D_0097_Open_Source_Software_v1.0.pdf"
> asked all their agencies</a> to prefer Free Software in all future purchases.
In their statement they directly referred to <a
href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html">FSF's Free Software
definition</a>.</p>
<h2>Saving money with Free Software in the UK</h2>
<p>In the UK, her Majesty’s Treasury asked 600,000 people working for the
government how more savings could be made. They got 60,000 ideas out of it,
processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of those <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=614">proposals relate to Free Software</a>.
They include annulling the government’s contract with Microsoft to
furnish government departments, and replace their products with Free Software,
including GNU/Linux and OpenOffice. Supporting arguments for the switch included
lower costs, improved security, and the opportunity to create a
"more diverse spectrum of the IT industry, instead of [just] one
corporation".</p>
<h2>Public tendering: Bozen reconsiders deal with Microsoft</h2>
<p>Progress in the public sector of Italy was also made this month, when the
regional government of Bolzano accepted FSFE's request to discuss a rethink of a
plan forged earlier this year to renew and extend their licenses from
Microsoft. On the 25th of May Italian politicians agreed to spend 2.2 million
EUR over the next three years on contracts with Microsoft Ireland, and increase
the number of licenses that they had purchased. This decision was made without
a public call for tender, making it impossible for competing suppliers to make
offers of their own.</p>
<p><a href="/news/2010/news-20100702-01.html">We asked the local government to
rethink their decision</a> and accept an offer of dialogue extended to them
by local Free Software experts at the GNU/Linux User Group Bolzano (LUGBZ). The
local government has now <a
href="http://www.osor.eu/news/it-bolzano-region-begins-discussion-on-open-source-strategy">accepted LUGBZ's offer</a>,
and the first meeting is planned for the
beginning of August. Also in attendance shall be representatives from the Free
Software Center of TIS and the Free University of Bolzano.</p>
<h2>Linz - region for Free Software</h2>
<p>In the Austrian city of Linz, Free Software is already the norm, and a new
scheme is being devised to crown it a 'Free Software Region'. Linz City
councillors recognise the social importance of Free Software, and as a result
are instigating a much wider programme of Free Software use and promotion.
Government officials have identified <a
href="http://www.netzpolitik.org/2010/linz-will-open-commons-region-werden/">7
key
characteristics</a> (German) that an area should fulfil in order to merit the
title of Free Software Region. Amongst them: general public sector support for
Free Software, regular Free Software events together with local companies and
user groups, usage of Free Software in universities, schools and other education
bodies, as well as the suggestion that public administration and organisations
should cooperate with Free Software organisations, or become members of
them.</p>
<h2>Open Standards on the political agenda in Germany</h2> <p>Beside
the progress of Free Software in the public sector, Open Standards continue to
be on the political agenda. In June, Thomas de Maiziere, German Minister of
Interior, <a
href="https://lists.fsfe.org/pipermail/press-release-de/2010q2/000158.
html">demanded Open Standards for all public IT
systems</a>, therefore supporting FSFE's long standing demands. The minister's
permanent secretary and IT Commissioner of the German government, Cornelia
Rogall-Grothe <a
href="/news/2010/news-20100705-01.html">explained his
position further in an interview</a>: "only by using Open Standards can [the
government] obtain independence from software development companies". She also
recognised that "maximal interoperability can be reached with open
IT-Standards".</p>
<h2>Now available in English: AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards</h2>
<p>While <a href="/news/2010/news-20100705-01.html">publishing our press
release</a> <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=618">Kai Eckert translated our
German AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards</a> into English. We hope it helps you
to remember a clear and meaningful definition of the term <a
href="/freesoftware/standards/def.html">Open Standard</a>. This definition requires formats
and protocols to adhere to the following rules:</p>
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<ul>
<li><strong>a</strong>pplicable (without restrictions): free from legal or
technical clauses that limit its utilisation by any party or in any business
model,</li>
<li><strong>e</strong>xisting (implementations): available in multiple
complete implementations by competing vendors, or as a complete
implementation equally available to all parties.</li>
<li><strong>i</strong>ndependent (of a single vendor): managed and further
developed independently of any single vendor in a process open to the equal
participation of competitors and third parties</li>
<li><strong>o</strong>pen (specification): subject to full public assessment
and use without constraints in a manner equally available to all parties</li>
<li><strong>u</strong>ntainted (with dependencies to closed standards):
without any components or extensions that have dependencies on formats or
protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open Standard themselves</li>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: Help at local events</h2>
<p>This month FSFE President Karsten Gerloff participated in local regional
events, including <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=376">RMLL Bordeaux</a> (France) and
Free Software events in Vitoria, San Sebastian, and Bilbao in Basque (Spain).
For organising such events we depend local volunteers. Help us to introduce Free
Software to people in your region:</p>
<ul>
<li>We have an <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipEvents">event
calendar</a> where you can add Free Software events (Thanks to Paul Boddie for
implementing this great feature!)</li> <li>Add the <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipEvents">ical calendar</a> to your own
digital calender, and get in contact with us if you can help at one of the
events.</li>
<li>Contact contact@fsfe.org if you organise an event and you need more
help at the booth or a speaker from FSFE.</li> <li>Help us to improve our <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/BoothCountdown">documentation for organising
booths</a>.</li> </ul>
<p>Regards,<br /> <a href="/about/people/kirschner/kirschner.html">Matthias
Kirschner</a>- FSFE</p>
<p>-- <br />
<a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
<a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
<a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
<a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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