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<title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2010</title>
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<h1>FSFE Newsletter - November 2010</h1>
<p>This edition explains how we counter the lobby work of
proprietary organisations at the European level, what we do at the United
Nations level to inform more people about the dangers of software patents, what
we are doing to get rid of non-free software advertisement on public websites,
and what you can do to make a change.</p>
<p>Beside that the Document Foundation was formed to take care of the
development of Libre Office. More and more organisations raise awareness about
government spendings on non-free software, like the <a
href="http://www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.ch/2010/10/beschwerde-ans-bundesgericht/">parlamentarian
group Digital Sustainability in Switzerland</a> and our associated
organisation <a href="http://ansol.org">ANSOL</a> in <a
href="http://listas.ansol.org/pipermail/ansol-imprensa/2010-September/000085.html">Portugal</a>
(Portuguese). The Austrian Fellows asked the political parties in Vienna about
their <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/vienna/Wahl2010">stance on Free
Software related issues</a>, the Fellowship interviews started again with a
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=119">new interview with
Leena Simon</a>, Karsten gave a talk about "Power and Freedom" at Tedx <a
href="https://download.fsfe.org/torrents/TEDxEutropolis-Karsten_Gerloff-Power_and_Freedom.ogv.torrent">which
was recorded</a> (bittorent), and I (Matthias) informed the listeners of
Dradio Wissen about <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=679">Free Software
licenses</a> (German).</p>
<h2>Facts against BSA's fictions on Open Standards</h2>
<!-- @translators: https://fsfe.org/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-analysis.html and
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translations. -->
<p>Open Standards are always a hot topic in Brussels. Where Open Standards go,
Free Software can easily follow. That's why <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=408"> we're pushing for Open
Standards</a> in the rules and recommendations that the European Commission
makes for public bodies across Europe. For example we document the changes of
EU's new interoperability recommendations ( <a href="/freesoftware/standards/eifv2.html">
European Interoperability Framework</a>), we
<a href="/freesoftware/standards/ps.html"> publish analysis</a>, and with <a
href="http://www.documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> we raise
awareness for the topic in a wider public.</p>
<p>But not everyone out there likes Open Standards. The Business Software Alliance
(BSA), a lobby group for proprietary software, is pressuring the European
Commission to remove the last traces of support for Open Standards from the
latest version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF).</p>
<p>We obtained a <a href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-ec.pdf">copy of a letter</a>
sent to the Commission by the BSA. We <a
href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-analysis.html">analysed their arguments</a> and
explained why their claims are false, and why Open Standards are key to
interoperability and competition in the European software market. In short we
dealt with the following points:</p>
<ul>
<li>Restriction-free patent licensing opens up participation and promotes
innovation</li>
<li>The example standards cited by the BSA are irrelevant to the software field</li>
<li>(F)RAND licensing in software standards is unfair and discriminatory</li>
<li>The BSA's letter to the Commission isn't supported by its own membership, much less by the software industry as a whole</li>
<li>(F)RAND is incompatible with the most widely used Free Software licenses</li>
<li>Restriction-free specifications will promote standardisation, competition and
interoperability</li>
</ul>
<p>We sent a <a href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-eif-letter-fsfe-response.pdf">letter</a>
with those arguments to the European Commission to support Open Standards and
interoperability, and <a href="/news/2010/news-20101016-01.html">informed the
press about it</a>. Although this topic is quite complex, several media
outlets picked it up. You might especially be interested in an article by Glyn
Moody about <a
href="http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2010/10/a-final-few-words-on-frand-licensing/index.htm">"A
(Final) Few Words on FRAND Licensing"</a>.</p>
<h2>WIPO - Fighting software patents at WIPO</h2>
<p>But why wait until we have to deal with topics at the European level? We
always try to fix them at the root, so we work in some committees of the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). From October 11-15, WIPO's Standing
Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) had its 15th session. We participate
there because the committee discusses questions related to patents and
standards.</p>
<p>Our main goals in the committee are to convince WIPO member states and WIPO
staff that software should not be patentable, explain to them the relation
between standards and patents from the perspective of Free Software, and make
them understand how rules must be shaped so that their countries can get the
most out of Free Software.</p>
<p>In our most important statement <a
href="/activities/wipo/statement-20101013.html">"Statement on the relation
between standards and patents at WIPO SCP/15"</a> we explain why software
standards must be implementable in any software or business model, including
those based on Free Software. We argued that when patents are included in
software standards, they need to be licensed in a manner that does not restrict
their implementation in any way. Besides the absence of any other restriction,
that means royalty-free licensing to any party implementing the standard.</p>
<h2>PDFreaders: 2162 public websites advertise non-free software</h2>
<!-- @translators@ this is the same text like
https://fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101102-01.en.html the only change is that
it says "we" instead of "FSFE". -->
<p>One month, one campaign, one goal: getting rid of non-free software
advertisements on public websites. In four weeks, we received reports
concerning <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/buglist.html">2162 European
institutions who advertise non free PDFreaders</a>. Apart from the 305
activists who participated to the search, 1500 individuals, 46 businesses and
38 organisations signed our <a
href="/activities/pdfreaders/petition.html">Petition For The Removal Of
Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Websites</a>. Now that the hunt
is over, it's time to chase up those websites which encourage visitors to
jeopardise their freedom. It's time to stamp out the ads!</p>
<p>Highly motivated volunteers searched the internet for public websites that
advertise for non-free software and reported <a
href="/activities/pdfreaders/buglist.html">2162 institutions</a>. Some of
them, like Massimo Barbieri and Lucas Bickel individually reported more than
350! Alessandro Albini, Rainer Schmitz, and Павел Харитонов (Pavel Kharitonov)
also made a remarkable contribution in reporting around 50 institutions
each.</p>
<p>But we will not stop with a list of institutions. In the coming weeks, we
will <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/letter.html">send letters to the
institutions</a> to draw their attention to their unfair advertising. In the
name of the signatories of the <a
href="/activities/pdfreaders/petition.html">petition</a>, we will ask the
institutions to either remove any recommendation for non-free software from
their website, or give a choice of several programs.</p>
<h2>Get active: stamp out the ads!</h2>
<!-- @translators@ this is the same text like
https://fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101102-01.en.html the only change is that
it says "we" instead of "FSFE". -->
<p>Wherever you are, whatever time you have, you can contribute to the removal
of non-free software adverts on public website. The amazing work of the ads
hunters and <a href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">
our translators</a> has laid a firm foundation for the next phase. Now it is
up to you to enable us to get things done. You can make a difference! Help us
to <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/letter.html"> translate the letter into
missing languages</a> or <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate"> donate to the PDF
readers campaign fund</a> to help cover the 1600 EUR for postage and the
extra costs of administration to deliver the messages throughout Europe. Help
us stamp out the ads!</p>
<p>Hope to see you at <a href="http://www.fscons.org">FSCONS</a>,<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 />
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<a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
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<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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