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<html newsdate="2012-05-04" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - May 2012</title>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - May 2012</h1>
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<h2>54 DFD events and FSFE handcuffed EU Commissioner</h2>
<p>As you can read and see in <a
href="">this years
report</a>, Document Freedom Day 2012 was celebrated with 54 events in 23
countries and in 19 world languages. It was the biggest DFD in history with
over 26 talks, over 6 awards for Open Standards, lots of other events and the
press coverage counted almost one hundred articles. FSFE coordinated
between all the different events, awarded several organisation, and in Germany
mailed over 370 and called over 170 politicians about <a
Standards</a>. Several of these politicians, from a range of political
parties, <a href="">did activities
for DFD</a>. FSFE also send out <a
href="">100 information
packages including handcuffs</a> to suggested people including several
politicians, CEOs, and the Pope. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes used our
handcuffs in a public speech, which resulted in a <a
href="">lot of
additional press coverage</a> including the front page of the Guardian
Online. FSFE is eager to hear more reports of what recipients of the
package did with the handcuffs.</p>
<h2>May 4th: Day against DRM. Is it their "good right" to restrict us?</h2>
<p>Last week your editor <a href="">gave an
interview about Digital Restriction Management (DRM)</a> (German). It was
about the questions of what DRM is, why companies introduce DRM, why you have to
treat your customer as an enemy to make DRM work, and which other possibilities
exist. When discussing Free Software, DRM, Antifeatures and other topics you might
often hear from intelligent critical people that it is "the good right" of
producers to control their products. Why do so many people think so? Would they
also accept those restrictions in "the analogue world"? Is it the good right of a
publisher to prohibit that you can read a book out loud, lend it friends, or sell
it? Several times your editor abused books: last week he used three of them to
fix his broken sofa. Would it be acceptable that the publisher or the author
can forbid such use cases? Do more people accept such restrictions with
software and data, and if so, why? Has the industry with the term "Digital
Rights Management" successfully implied that they have this right, and a lot of
people accept this?</p>
<p>The 4th of May is the <a href="">Day against DRM</a>.
While DRM has largely been defeated in music, it is a growing problem in the
area of ebooks. So it is good news that due to pressure from their readers, <a
will drop DRM from ebooks</a>. Discuss the topic with your friends or
colleagues, e.g. send them Richard Stallman's short story <a
href="">"The Right to
Read"</a>, and tell us your experience on <a
href="/contact/community.html">our public discussion lists</a> or send it <a
href="/about/people/kirschner/kirschner.html">directly to your editor</a>.</p>
<h2>Free Software topic in the French Presidential elections</h2>
<p>French President <a href="">Nicolas Sarkozy said that 15 percent</a> of the State's IT
budget is spent on Free Software programming, support, and maintenance. In
future this budget will increase by 30 percent per year. He said this policy is
"strategic for the development of the French IT sector". His challenger François
Hollande even said this policy has to be intensified.</p>
<p>Besides that, the French Free Software advocacy group April <a
all of the candidates in the French presidential elections</a> about their
positions on Free Software, <a href="/activities/swpat/swapt.html">software
patents</a>, <a href="">DRM</a> and more.</p>
<p>It is important to raise awareness for Free Software with your politicians,
and sending them questions is a good start. FSFE is gathering all such effort
in our <a
href="/activities/elections/askyourcandidates/askyourcandidates.html">"Ask Your
Candidate" campaign</a>. FSFE would like to thank <a
href="">April</a> for their good work in France, and
encourages other Free Software supporters in Europe to get in contact with
their politicians. If you have questions how to start such activities in
your country, region, or municipality, please get in contact with us. By next month
you will also have the political parties' replies to the questions from FSFE
for two federal state elections in Germany.</p>
<h2>Vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?</h2>
<p>A report on the City of Helsinki's pilot project for the use of OpenOffice
in the public administrations leaves the public with more questions than
answers. The city trialled the Free Software productivity suite on the laptops
of council members for ten months in 2011. The suite enjoyed high approval
rates among its users. When the pilot was finished, the City produced a report
stating that the costs of migrating the entire administration to OpenOffice
would be very high. Read more about it in the <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120412-02.html">press release</a> and if you are
interested in details of the City of Helsinki's OpenOffice pilot project, and
in lessons that may be drawn from this project, we have published <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120412-02.html">an analysis of the report</a>.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>"Replace 'ICT' with 'Sex'": 42 minutes before the deadline <a
href="/freesoftware/education/education.html">our education team</a> submitted
<a href="">FSFE's position for a
consultation on ICT education</a> to the UK Department of Education.
Besides other points we highlighted the importance of "ICT education", instead
of "ICT training".</li>
<li>Fellowship Interview: Operating Free Software based servers and
workstations in a pro-privacy web hosting and IT service company, advocating
Free Software since 2001, volunteering for the Freedroidz project, and more: this
months's <a
href="">interview is
Bernd Wurst</a>.</li>
<li>The <a
municipality Grygov uses Free Software</a> for nearly everything in their
public administration.</li>
<li>On the 31st of March, FSFE's UK Fellows have set up a link between the Green
Light (Manchester) and Chorlton's Big Green (Leicester) festivals. There was a
Free Software talk and booth at both events, and a live link-up which brought
environmentalists together via Free Software.</li>
<li>Our <a href="/news/2012/news-20120402-01.html">web team met in Manchester
for a web sprint</a>. A variety of international volunteers worked together
to improve website features and infrastructure. Interested in fixing bugs, or
implementing new functionality to improve our information about Free
Software in web work? <a href="/contribute/web/web.html">Join our web
<li>Computerworld UK published a <a
good article on software patents</a>.</li>
<li>A selection from the <a href="">Fellowship blog
<li>Affiliate Userscripts to support FSFE: If you already spend money on
Amazon or libri, you can <a
href="">install a userscript</a>
developed by Hannes Hauswedell and 5% of the money you spend there goes to
FSFE to the struggle for Software Freedom! The userscripts <a
href="">are tested for Chromium,
Firefox, and Iceweasel</a>.</li>
<li>Distributed Free Software: Thomas Jensch wrote an article on <a
href="">how to setup OwnCloud on
Hiawatha</a>, and Sam Tuke also looked into <a href="">setting up a local web development
<li>Different experiences than Wikipedia: Hannes Hauswedell from the <a
href="">PDFreaders</a> team is currently living in
China, and <a
about his technical experiences with the Chinese firewall</a>.</li>
<li>After his hard disk died Patrik Willard wrote about <a
href="">git and rsync</a> and
Isabel Drost also dedicated a <a
article to git</a>. </li>
<h2>Get Active: FRAND is FRAUD - Participate in UK consultation</h2>
<p>Busy times in the UK. Besides the consultation on education (see above) the
UK government is holding another one until the 4th of June about what sort of patent
licenses an <a
href="/project/os/def.html">Open Standard</a> should require. FSFE and our
sister organisation the FSF published a <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120426-01.html">joint statement</a> on the UK Open
Standard consultation, explaining why FRAND conditions for Open Standards
discriminate against Free Software (regular readers might realise this is an ongoing
debate), and recommending the UK government to abolish software patents to
prevent damage to the UK's economy. We also informed UK Free Software businesses,
organisations, and Fellows about the consultation, <a
href="/freesoftware/standards/uk-standards-consultation.html">prepared draft answers to
some of the questions in the survey</a>, held a <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120425-02.html">Summit Meeting of Open Standard
experts</a>, and also published <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120425-01.html">a joint statement
together with other Open Standard groups</a>.</p>
<p>There is a <a
explaining how to participate in the consultation</a>. Please do so to
support the requirement for royalty-free licenses for Open Standards.</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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