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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<html newsdate="2012-01-04" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - January 2012</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - January 2012</h1>
<h2>Preventing 6000 mines against Free Software?</h2>
<p>Competition authorities are investigating the sale of 6000 patents from
Nortel, a bankrupt telecommunications equipment manufacturer, to a consortium
of Apple, Microsoft and four other companies.</p>
<p>FSFE considers it a serious risk to competition in the mobile technology
space, and Free Software as a whole, if those companies acquire these patents.
Soon after the sale, we approached EU and US competition authorities, and in
September submitted a <a href="/activities/swpat/nortel.html">summary of our concerns</a>.</p>
<h2>80 billion EUR for R&amp;D: What will we get?</h2>
<p>The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals for its next
framework program, called Horizon 2020. This program will provide 80 billion
EUR for research and development projects from 2014 to 2020. Prior to
finalisation of the proposal, <a href="/news/2011/news-20111128-02.html">FSFE had
provided input</a> to the Commission in order to make the program accessible
for Free Software research and projects. FSFE will continue to engage with the
European institutions in order to support the development of Horizon 2020 in
the interest of Europe's citizens.</p>
<h2>Free Software makes German Parliament more secure</h2>
<p>On the request of some members of parliament, the <a
German Bundestag's IT-department now supports GnuPG</a>, so members of
the parliament have the option to set this up and receive encrypted and signed e-mails. The
president of the German City Council and Munich's main mayor <!-- DE: Präsident
des deutschen Städtetags und Münchens Oberbürgermeister --> Ude <a
href="">wrote to the EU-Commissioner Neelie
Kroes</a> that she should support Open Standards and Free Software.</p>
<p>Those are nice examples where politicians understand the advantages of Free
Software and also act upon this knowledge. We want more politicians with this
knowledge. One concrete activity is our <a
href="/activities/elections/askyourcandidates/askyourcandidates.html">"ask your
candidates campaign"</a>, where we <a
href="/activities/elections/askyourcandidates/example-questions.xhtml">send out
questions</a> to the political parties before elections, and then evaluate the
answers. This year we did so for elections in Vienna/Austria, Switzerland, and
5 federal state elections in Germany.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>In the dispute between the companies AVM and Cybits the written reasoning
of the decision of the Regional Court of Berlin <a
href="/news/2011/news-20111201-02.html">is now available</a>. The court
confirmed FSFE's view that users of GNU GPLed software are allowed to modify
and install it even if it is shipped as a part of an embedded device's
<li>City officials in Helsinki, Finland, <a
href="/news/2011/news-20111213-01.html">are overwhelmingly satisfied
after trying out the Free Software office suite</a> on their
laptops. 75% of 600 officials have been using exclusively since
February, as part of a pilot project where the city installed the program on
22,500 workstations.</li>
<li><a href="">In this
month Fellowship interview</a> Chris talked with Paul Boddie, who has been
working with Python since 1995, and from 2006 to 2010 was involved in
organising the annual EuroPython conference, administering various
conference-related tools and developing the conference website.</li>
<li>An important decision of the Court of Justice of EU, AG's opinion in
awaited European interoperability ruling, two software patent cases and much
more is to be found in our <a href="/news/2011/news-20111220-01.html">legal
<li>We are preparing for Document Freedom Day 2012. The <a
href="">website was updated</a>, on <a
mailing list we are discussing new ideas</a>, and you are welcome to
<li>From the <a href="">Fellowship planet
<li>So what might Digital Sustainability be? Read Georg Greve's <a
href=""> explanation about it</a>.</li>
<li>Want to see a quadrocopter and other pictures from the Chaos
Communication Camp? Take a look at <a
blog article</a>.</li>
<li>What do nerds drink? Michael Stehmann answers this question in his <a
href="">article about the
"Chaosvillage" in Düsseldorf</a>.</li>
<li>Patrik from our Swedish team writes about <a
filtering and counting</a>.</li>
<li>Our translator Heiki Ojasild thinks about the question <a
to translate and what not to translate?</a></li>
<h2>Get active: Support us by becoming a Fellow of FSFE!</h2>
<p>Not everybody understands Free Software, and not everybody likes that
FSFE works hard on <a href="/donate/letter-2011.html">promoting Free
Software</a> to enlarge the freedom in our society. If you understand that Free
Software is important in order to cope with the upcoming challenges for free society,
please support us financially by <strong><a
href="">becoming a Fellow of
<p>Since December it is possible to donate your contribution
<strong>yearly</strong> or <strong>monthly</strong> by <strong>credit
card</strong>, <strong>direct debit</strong>, and other means. Every small
donation helps us to continue to be an independent and critical voice for Free
Software advocacy for another year.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="">Fellows</a> and
<a href="donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/">FSFE</a></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="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
<a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
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