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<html newsdate="2012-10-04" type="newsletter">
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<title>FSFE Newsletter - October 2012</title>
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<body>
<h1>FSFE Newsletter - October 2012</h1>
<h2>Software Freedom Day: What alternative is there to Skype?</h2>
<p>The Free Software community celebrated the worldwide <a
href="http://softwarefreedomday.org/">Software Freedom Day</a>, held annually
the third Saturday in September, with diverse events and meetings. Our <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/Manchester">local Fellowship group in
Manchester</a> met to test and discuss what alternative there is to Skype.
They did extensive testing and <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120920-01.html">published the results</a>.</p>
<p>Dressed with hoodies with the slogan "Independent through Free Software" our
<a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/groups/Vienna">Vienna Fellowship group</a> had an
information booth giving away <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/franz.gratzer/2012/09/17/software-freedom-day-2012-in-vienna/">
300 Free Software live CDs and over 1000 Free Software leaflets</a>. At
Freedom Kosova 2012, Erik Albers <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2012/09/13/software-freedom-kosova-2012/">
gave a talk</a> and the day before he helped to free some Android phones.
More devices were <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/anaghz/2012/09/17/libre-android-libre-knowledge/">liberated
during the Free Your Android workshop</a>, that Torsten Grote organised during
SFD in Berlin. And, in Cologne, there was a <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/stehmann/?p=572">gathering with lectures about
software freedom</a>.</p>
<h2>The resurrection of the debate: Should Europe have software patents?</h2>
<p>After <a href="https://lwn.net/Articles/513729/">Apple sued Samsung</a>,
Personalweb Technologies and Level 3 Communications is suing GitHub, and <a
href="http://www.softwarefreedom.org/blog/2012/sep/17/twin-peaks-and-the-gpl/">
"Twin Peaks Software, Inc." is suing Red Hat</a> (they filed a counterclaim
because of a GNU GPL violation) about patents. </p>
<p>Meanwhile <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/09/17/ep-committee-postpones-discussion-of-unitary-patent/">the
European Parliament has postponed the debate about the Unitary Patent</a> ,
which gives us more time to work on pointing out the <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/09/04/software-patents-in-europe-game-on/">
serious problems and hazards of the proposal</a> to the Legal Affairs
Committee.</p>
<p>Our president, Karsten Gerloff, wrote a series of articles about software
patents pointing at the current situation <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/09/05/how-the-european-patent-system-works/">at
the European Union level</a> and he <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2012/09/06/notes-from-boldrinlevine-2012-the-case-against-patents/">has
published his notes</a> about "The Case Against Patents", a recent draft paper
by economists Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine. He concludes that
we cannot "leave it to the EPO" and that "patent policy
needs to be integrated into a larger innovation policy strategy"within the EU.</p>
<h2>France's Prime Minister issues guideline in favour of Free Software</h2>
<p>After <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eole/news/priority-open-source-italian-code-digital-administration">Italy's
new law</a> on software procurement which clearly prefers Free Software upon
non-free software, France also took action: On September 19th France's Prime
Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault <a
href="http://circulaire.legifrance.gouv.fr/pdf/2012/09/cir_35837.pdf">signed
a guideline</a>, addressed to all ministries, that the French public
administration should favour Free Software. The advantages the Prime Minister sees
in Free Software, are its lower costs and that it increases flexibility and
competition in the IT market. The public administration should make "an
educated choice", and do "a systematic review of free alternatives when doing
development and major revisions of applications."</p>
<p>The cross-ministry IT services give a set of recommendations to be implemented
by the French ministries aiming at developing and improving the use of Free
Software such as: find Free Software alternatives, follow and contribute to
the communities, or improve the culture of Free Software and Free licences.</p>
<p>FSFE's new intern Léopold Baillard explains this in detail in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/leobaillard/2012/09/26/french-prime-minister-recommands-free-software-in-public-administrations/">his
first blog post</a>; <a
href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/french-guideline-favours-use-free-and-open-source">EC's
joinup wrote about it</a>; and the French Free Software organisation APRIL
also has <a
href="http://www.april.org/en/ayrault-circular-progress-use-free-software-french-administration-pending-legislative-part">good
information on the case</a>.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>Free Software policies from France, Italy, UK, or Sweden were also a
topic in the German Parliament. On Friday 21st September, your editor was
invited to speak there as an expert for Free Software. In the next weeks you
will receive a summary on this topic, but, until then you can <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=1005"> take a look at the questions</a>
your editor had to answer before it, as well as links to the written
statements from the other invited experts.</li>
<li>FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff was busy giving talks: During Finland's
Openmind conference he spoke about Free Software migrations, procurement, and
overcoming common obstacles. Another talk was about the <a
href="/freesoftware/secure-boot.html">intense
battle about who will control the computers we will use tomorrow</a>, and
why the general-purpose computer is worth fighting for.</li>
<li>There is information that the City of Freiburg wants to switch to a
proprietary office suite. FSFE, together with OSB Alliance and BIKT, wrote <a
href="/news/2012/news-20120918-01.html">an open letter about it</a> asking
several questions to the City's officials (German). EC's joinup <a
href="http://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/advocacy-groups-decry-freiburgs-stealth-return-proprietary-office">reported
about it in English</a>.</li>
<li>"How can I change the license, so my software cannot be used for military
use?" Richard Stallman <a
href="https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/programs-must-not-limit-freedom.html">published
an article</a> arguing, why a program must not restrict what jobs its users
do with it, and why we cannot stop torture through software licenses.</li>
<li>"Who controls the internet controls the data. Who controls the data,
controls the future", says Georg (T)ORwell in the <a
href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o66FUc61MvU">latest episode "Big
Brother is WWWatching you"</a> from Juice Rap News (youtube link, you can
use <a href="http://rg3.github.com/youtube-dl/">youtube-dl</a> to download
it). It is about several Free Software connected topics and the advantages of
<a href="https://www.torproject.org/">TOR</a>, and also features the
Linksys-WRT-54 router, which was the first GNU GPL violation court case
worldwide.</li>
<li>Thanks to Kåre Thor Olsen the article <a
href="/freesoftware/society/democracy.html">"Democracy requires Free
Software"</a> is now translated also into Danish. It is now available in 12
languages, thanks to all the volunteers in our <a
href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">our translators
team</a>.</li>
<li>FSF is <a
href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/join-the-fsf-and-friends-in-updating-the-free-software-directory-3">updating
the Free Software directory</a>, and is looking for your help with this
task.</li>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
<ul>
<li>Isabel (now Drost-Fromm) took your editors advise from the <a
href="/news/nl/nl-201208.html">August newsletter</a> (under "The
Fellowship: One to rule them all") and <a
href="http://blog.isabel-drost.de/index.php/archives/423/moving-to-a-new-domain">made
sure that Thilo became a Fellow</a> before their wedding. Of course
marrying did not stop her to <a href="http://blog.isabel-drost.de/">write
several other blog posts</a> last month. FSFE thanks the two of them for
their support, and wishes them all the best for their marriage.</li>
<li>FSFE's intern Ana Galan has a journalist background. She now wrote
about her experience from Campus Party in <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/anaghz/2012/09/15/my-first-time/">"my first
time"</a>, as well as the above mentioned <a href="
https://blogs.fsfe.org/anaghz/2012/09/17/libre-android-libre-knowledge/">Free
Your Android workshop at Berlin's Software Freedom Day</a>.</li>
<li>How much do you pay per month for Free Software? Last month <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/torsten.grote/2012/09/22/paying-for-free-software/">Torsten
Grote payed $25</a> and your editor $20 for Twidere, an Android
Status.net and Twitter client, who's developer <a
href="https://github.com/mariotaku/twidere#consider-donate">needs new
hardware</a>.</li>
<li>Can you verify <a
href="http://computerfloss.com/2012/09/which-languages-should-you-be-familiar-with-for-a-career-in-web-programming/">
Karl Beecher's results</a> that PHP is essential to a career in web
programming?</li>
<li>On the technical side Torsten also wrote about his <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/torsten.grote/2012/09/12/first-experiences-installing-the-new-kolab-3-0/">
first experiences installing the Kolab 3.0</a>, Daniele Domenichelli had
some fun with the <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/drdanz/?p=705">KDE
telepathy text user interface plugins</a>, <a
href="http://matija.suklje.name/migration-done">Matija Šuklje</a> and <a
href="http://www.softmetz.de/2012/09/05/das-neue-softmetz-de/">Christian
Kalkhof</a> both migrated their websites, Alexandre De Dommelin wrote
about <a
href="http://www.tuxz.net/blog/archives/2012/09/25/high_availability_-_automated_origin_failover_usin/">
how a small hosted site gets redundancy</a>, and Alexandre Keledjian <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/dervishe/2012/08/13/des-logiciels-libres-et-un-petit-script-vous-aident-a-gagner-de-la-place/">describes
how to convert your audio CDs into FLAC</a> (French).</li>
<li>And finally FSFE would like to thank Michael Stehmann who organised an
FSFE Fellowship project room at FrOSCon, which dealt with <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/stehmann/?p=565">the usage of Free Software
in SMEs</a> (German).</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: Less than 3 minutes to support FSFE</h2>
<p>To make it short: If you care about Free Software and support what FSFE is
doing, please <a href="/support/support.html">become a supporter of FSFE</a>.
It does not cost any money and takes less than 3 minutes to do so. If you are
interested you can <a href="/news/2012/news-20120925-01.html">read about the
background of this</a>.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">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="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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