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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2010-11-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - November 2010</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - November 2010</h1>
  9. <p>This edition explains how we counter the lobby work of
  10. proprietary organisations at the European level, what we do at the United
  11. Nations level to inform more people about the dangers of software patents, what
  12. we are doing to get rid of non-free software advertisement on public websites,
  13. and what you can do to make a change.</p>
  14. <p>Beside that the Document Foundation was formed to take care of the
  15. development of Libre Office. More and more organisations raise awareness about
  16. government spendings on non-free software, like the <a
  17. href="http://www.digitale-nachhaltigkeit.ch/2010/10/beschwerde-ans-bundesgericht/">parlamentarian
  18. group Digital Sustainability in Switzerland</a> and our associated
  19. organisation <a href="http://ansol.org">ANSOL</a> in <a
  20. href="http://listas.ansol.org/pipermail/ansol-imprensa/2010-September/000085.html">Portugal</a>
  21. (Portuguese). The Austrian Fellows asked the political parties in Vienna about
  22. their <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/vienna/Wahl2010">stance on Free
  23. Software related issues</a>, the Fellowship interviews started again with a
  24. <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=119">new interview with
  25. Leena Simon</a>, Karsten gave a talk about "Power and Freedom" at Tedx <a
  26. href="https://download.fsfe.org/torrents/TEDxEutropolis-Karsten_Gerloff-Power_and_Freedom.ogv.torrent">which
  27. was recorded</a> (bittorent), and I (Matthias) informed the listeners of
  28. Dradio Wissen about <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=679">Free Software
  29. licenses</a> (German).</p>
  30. <h2>Facts against BSA's fictions on Open Standards</h2>
  31. <!-- @translators: https://fsfe.org/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-analysis.html and
  32. https://fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101016-01.en.html might help with
  33. translations. -->
  34. <p>Open Standards are always a hot topic in Brussels. Where Open Standards go,
  35. Free Software can easily follow. That's why <a
  36. href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=408"> we're pushing for Open
  37. Standards</a> in the rules and recommendations that the European Commission
  38. makes for public bodies across Europe. For example we document the changes of
  39. EU's new interoperability recommendations ( <a href="/freesoftware/standards/eifv2.html">
  40. European Interoperability Framework</a>), we
  41. <a href="/freesoftware/standards/ps.html"> publish analysis</a>, and with <a
  42. href="http://www.documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> we raise
  43. awareness for the topic in a wider public.</p>
  44. <p>But not everyone out there likes Open Standards. The Business Software Alliance
  45. (BSA), a lobby group for proprietary software, is pressuring the European
  46. Commission to remove the last traces of support for Open Standards from the
  47. latest version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF).</p>
  48. <p>We obtained a <a href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-ec.pdf">copy of a letter</a>
  49. sent to the Commission by the BSA. We <a
  50. href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-letter-analysis.html">analysed their arguments</a> and
  51. explained why their claims are false, and why Open Standards are key to
  52. interoperability and competition in the European software market. In short we
  53. dealt with the following points:</p>
  54. <ul>
  55. <li>Restriction-free patent licensing opens up participation and promotes
  56. innovation</li>
  57. <li>The example standards cited by the BSA are irrelevant to the software field</li>
  58. <li>(F)RAND licensing in software standards is unfair and discriminatory</li>
  59. <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>
  60. <li>(F)RAND is incompatible with the most widely used Free Software licenses</li>
  61. <li>Restriction-free specifications will promote standardisation, competition and
  62. interoperability</li>
  63. </ul>
  64. <p>We sent a <a href="/freesoftware/standards/bsa-eif-letter-fsfe-response.pdf">letter</a>
  65. with those arguments to the European Commission to support Open Standards and
  66. interoperability, and <a href="/news/2010/news-20101016-01.html">informed the
  67. press about it</a>. Although this topic is quite complex, several media
  68. outlets picked it up. You might especially be interested in an article by Glyn
  69. Moody about <a
  70. href="http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2010/10/a-final-few-words-on-frand-licensing/index.htm">"A
  71. (Final) Few Words on FRAND Licensing"</a>.</p>
  72. <h2>WIPO - Fighting software patents at WIPO</h2>
  73. <p>But why wait until we have to deal with topics at the European level? We
  74. always try to fix them at the root, so we work in some committees of the World
  75. Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). From October 11-15, WIPO's Standing
  76. Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) had its 15th session. We participate
  77. there because the committee discusses questions related to patents and
  78. standards.</p>
  79. <p>Our main goals in the committee are to convince WIPO member states and WIPO
  80. staff that software should not be patentable, explain to them the relation
  81. between standards and patents from the perspective of Free Software, and make
  82. them understand how rules must be shaped so that their countries can get the
  83. most out of Free Software.</p>
  84. <p>In our most important statement <a
  85. href="/activities/wipo/statement-20101013.html">"Statement on the relation
  86. between standards and patents at WIPO SCP/15"</a> we explain why software
  87. standards must be implementable in any software or business model, including
  88. those based on Free Software. We argued that when patents are included in
  89. software standards, they need to be licensed in a manner that does not restrict
  90. their implementation in any way. Besides the absence of any other restriction,
  91. that means royalty-free licensing to any party implementing the standard.</p>
  92. <h2>PDFreaders: 2162 public websites advertise non-free software</h2>
  93. <!-- @translators@ this is the same text like
  94. https://fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101102-01.en.html the only change is that
  95. it says "we" instead of "FSFE". -->
  96. <p>One month, one campaign, one goal: getting rid of non-free software
  97. advertisements on public websites. In four weeks, we received reports
  98. concerning <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/buglist.html">2162 European
  99. institutions who advertise non free PDFreaders</a>. Apart from the 305
  100. activists who participated to the search, 1500 individuals, 46 businesses and
  101. 38 organisations signed our <a
  102. href="/activities/pdfreaders/petition.html">Petition For The Removal Of
  103. Proprietary Software Advertising On Public Websites</a>. Now that the hunt
  104. is over, it's time to chase up those websites which encourage visitors to
  105. jeopardise their freedom. It's time to stamp out the ads!</p>
  106. <p>Highly motivated volunteers searched the internet for public websites that
  107. advertise for non-free software and reported <a
  108. href="/activities/pdfreaders/buglist.html">2162 institutions</a>. Some of
  109. them, like Massimo Barbieri and Lucas Bickel individually reported more than
  110. 350! Alessandro Albini, Rainer Schmitz, and Павел Харитонов (Pavel Kharitonov)
  111. also made a remarkable contribution in reporting around 50 institutions
  112. each.</p>
  113. <p>But we will not stop with a list of institutions. In the coming weeks, we
  114. will <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/letter.html">send letters to the
  115. institutions</a> to draw their attention to their unfair advertising. In the
  116. name of the signatories of the <a
  117. href="/activities/pdfreaders/petition.html">petition</a>, we will ask the
  118. institutions to either remove any recommendation for non-free software from
  119. their website, or give a choice of several programs.</p>
  120. <h2>Get active: stamp out the ads!</h2>
  121. <!-- @translators@ this is the same text like
  122. https://fsfe.org/news/2010/news-20101102-01.en.html the only change is that
  123. it says "we" instead of "FSFE". -->
  124. <p>Wherever you are, whatever time you have, you can contribute to the removal
  125. of non-free software adverts on public website. The amazing work of the ads
  126. hunters and <a href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">
  127. our translators</a> has laid a firm foundation for the next phase. Now it is
  128. up to you to enable us to get things done. You can make a difference! Help us
  129. to <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/letter.html"> translate the letter into
  130. missing languages</a> or <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate"> donate to the PDF
  131. readers campaign fund</a> to help cover the 1600 EUR for postage and the
  132. extra costs of administration to deliver the messages throughout Europe. Help
  133. us stamp out the ads!</p>
  134. <p>Hope to see you at <a href="http://www.fscons.org">FSCONS</a>,<br /> <a
  135. href="/about/people/kirschner/kirschner.html">Matthias Kirschner</a>- FSFE</p>
  136. <p>-- <br />
  137. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  138. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  139. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  140. <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  141. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  142. </body>
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  149. <tag key="pdfreaders"/>
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