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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2013-02-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - February 2013</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - February 2013</h1>
  8. <h2>Unitary fail for our society</h2>
  9. <p>We want software as a tool to help society. Software patents are a threat to
  10. this as they add legal and financial risks to software development and
  11. distribution by giving the patent holders legal power to completely prohibit
  12. software developers from using patented ideas.</p>
  13. <p>In <a href="/news/2012/news-20121211-01.html">December</a> the European
  14. Parliament has adopted a proposal to create a patent with unitary effect for
  15. Europe (henceforth the "unitary patent"). In adopting the proposal, Members of the
  16. European Parliament (MEPs) chose to disregard intense criticism of the proposal
  17. from all sides of the debate. Already before the vote <a
  18. href="http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2012/12/unitary-patent-deja-vu-council-debate.html">patent
  19. lawyers</a>, <a
  20. href="http://www.ip.mpg.de/en/pub/publications/opinions/unitary_patent_package.cfm">legal
  21. experts</a>, <a
  22. href="http://www.april.org/en/against-software-patents-460-companies-demand-improvement-unitary-patent-europe">SMEs</a>
  23. and civil society groups such as <a
  24. href="http://www.unitary-patent.eu/">FFII</a> as well as FSFE all voiced
  25. their concerns to MEPs. With the adoption, the European Parliament has given up
  26. part of its power to shape Europe's innovation policy. That power will instead
  27. fall to the European Patent Office (EPO), which has a track record of awarding
  28. monopoly powers on the widest possible range of subject matter.</p>
  29. <p>According to the European Parliament's website, "the international agreement
  30. creating a unified patent court will enter into force on 1 January 2014 or
  31. after thirteen contracting states ratify it, provided that UK, France and
  32. Germany are among them. With your <a href="http://fsfe.org/join">ongoing
  33. help</a>, FSFE will continue to inform companies and politicians about the
  34. danger of software patents.</p>
  35. <h2>Italy does not want Free Software users as teachers</h2>
  36. <p newsteaser="yes">Pupils, as well as teachers, must have the possibility to
  37. use Free Software at school. Unfortunately, many of the IT questions on the
  38. questionnaire used to evaluate prospective teachers in Italy focus on a
  39. single proprietary operating system and software exclusively available on that system.
  40. The practice discriminates against Free Software users wishing to become teachers.
  41. Our Italian team <a
  42. href="/news/2012/news-20121217-01.html">filed a legal complaint</a> to
  43. the Italian Ministry of Education about that. In association with AsSoLi, Wikimedia
  44. Italia, the Free Software User Group Italia, the Associazione per
  45. l'Informazione Geografica Libera (GFoss.it), the Italian Linux Society,
  46. LibreItalia and 38 other groups we explain that the country's Ministry of
  47. Education is putting Free Software at an unfair disadvantage.</p>
  48. <p>In addition to the ongoing work in Italy, FSFE's education team did more in 2012 than ever
  49. before to promote the use of Free Software in schools and universities. Guido
  50. Arnold <a
  51. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2013/01/edu-team-2012-summary/">summarised
  52. the team's work</a> and its plans for 2013.</p>
  53. <h2>Don't look back in anger!</h2>
  54. <p>At least there should be no reason for FSFE's work in 2012. Read <a
  55. href="http://fsfe.org/news/2012/report-2012.html">our annual report</a> to
  56. find out what we achieved, how we did it, and what lies ahead for 2013. We thank
  57. all of <a href="http://fsfe.org/join">our Fellows</a>, <a
  58. href="/donate/thankgnus.html">donors and sponsors</a> for making our work
  59. possible! If you like what you read please also <a
  60. href="http://fsfe.org/join">donate as a Fellow of FSFE</a>.</p>
  61. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  62. <ul>
  63. <li>Open Standards: The <a
  64. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/eal/2013/01/23/new-dfd-posters-arrived">2013
  65. DFD posters arrived</a> and volunteers all over the world, including <a
  66. href="http://www.softmetz.de/2013/01/20/bericht-vom-ersten-muenchner-fsfe-fellowship-treffen/">our
  67. new Fellowship group in Munich</a>, are starting to prepare this year's
  68. edition of the event. <a
  69. href="http://documentfreedom.org/news/2012/news-20120403-01.html">In 2012
  70. we had 54 events</a> in 23 countries and in 19 world languages, all of them
  71. about Open Standards. One of the many topics will again be web video and
  72. audio. We would like to raise awareness for <a
  73. href="http://html5video.org/wiki/HTML5_Video_Player_Comparison">HTML5 video
  74. players</a> like <a href="http://lwn.net/Articles/527081/">Wikipedia's new
  75. one</a>. If you have experience with this, please <a
  76. href="http://documentfreedom.org/contact.html">get in contact with
  77. us</a>.</li>
  78. <li>Fellowship interview: One of the most active DFD volunteers, Anna Morris,
  79. <a
  80. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/anna.morris/2013/01/15/phone-coop-pdf-bug-fixed/">tells
  81. us why everyone should have a Free Software buddy</a> to keep them on the
  82. right path when problems are abundant, be proud of them when they have
  83. learned something new, and help them contribute to more and better to Free
  84. Software. We all have something to give!</li>
  85. <li>FSFE helping VLC to play Blu-ray. The Video Lan Client (VLC) is the
  86. world's most widely used Free Software player. For a long time its
  87. developers have wanted to enable playing Blu-ray discs. They have asked Hadopi,
  88. France's copyright authority, over one year ago for legal guidance on how to
  89. handle the <a href="http://drm.info">digital restrictions management
  90. (DRM)</a>, but the copyright authority is yet to come up with an answer.
  91. At an event organised by the French Ministry of Economy, Karsten Gerloff
  92. supported the VLC developers <a
  93. href="http://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/fsfe-frances-reading-copyright-limiting-innovation">criticising
  94. France's strict interpretation of copyright</a> which badly hinders
  95. Free Software hackers.</li>
  96. <li>Public Administrations: Microsoft paid HP for a study about the City of
  97. Munich's use of Free Software. Their result is that the Free Software
  98. solutions cost millions of Euros more than Microsoft's solutions. <a
  99. href="http://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/city-munich-refutes-rumours-spread-about-costs-using-open-source">Munich
  100. refutes the claims</a> of the unpublished study, and several others <a
  101. href="http://jan.wildeboer.net/2013/01/that-hpmicrosoft-study-on-the-linux-migration-in-munich-hm/">criticised
  102. the study</a>. On the other hand, there are good news: in the Swiss city
  103. Bern, the <a
  104. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/majority-bern-council-tells-swiss-city-switch-open-source">majority
  105. in the city council wants to switch to Free Software</a>, and the <a
  106. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/basque-government-unveils-open-source-repository-facilitate-reuse">Basque
  107. government has started a public Free Software repository</a> to facilitate
  108. reuse.</li>
  109. <li>"Free software advocates must return to their ultimate goal of freeing
  110. people, not software", writes Benjamin Mako Hill in his article <a
  111. href="http://mako.cc/writing/hill-freedom_for_users.html">"Freedom for
  112. Users, Not for Software"</a>. It was published in the book <a
  113. href="http://www.wealthofthecommons.org/">"Wealth of the Commons: A World
  114. Beyond Market and State"</a>. The <a
  115. href="http://www.boell.de/downloads/2012-04-buch-2012-04-buch-commons.pdf">German
  116. version of the book (PDF)</a> also includes an article about Free Software
  117. in the German Foreign Office.</li>
  118. <li>FSFE on air: In the last weeks Torsten Grote gave a radio interview about
  119. distributed systems, whereas Erik Albers and Matthias Kirschner talked about
  120. Ubuntu Phone. Together with other interviews, they are available on the <a
  121. href="http://wiki.fsfe.org/Audio">Fellowship wiki's audio page</a>.</li>
  122. <li>From the <a href="http://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  123. <ul>
  124. <li>Women in the Free Software community: "Right now, we're unfortunately
  125. too far from that to just ignore the whole problem and wait for it to go
  126. away on its own." writes Tonnerre in his article <a
  127. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/tonnerre/archives/88">Gender Liberalism: what
  128. got us here won't get us there</a>.</li>
  129. <li>Hugo started the "PatentBS series". Number one covers: <a
  130. href="http://blog.hugoroy.eu/2012/12/24/patentbs-series-1-abolishing-software-patents-would-harm-free-software/">"Abolishing
  131. software patents would harm Free Software"</a>.</li>
  132. <li>Fellowship representative Nikos Roussos reports from a <a
  133. href="http://roussos.cc/2012/12/10/firefoxosappdays-hold-your-breath/">small
  134. hackathon at Athens Hackerspace</a>. Around 40 developers showed up,
  135. learning about Mozilla's new effort to liberate the mobile ecosystem
  136. through Open Web Apps and Firefox OS.</li>
  137. <li>What should you keep in mind when writing an e-mail? Matija highlighted
  138. some articles about <a
  139. href="http://matija.suklje.name/general-e-mail-netiquette">e-mail
  140. netiquette</a>. For <a href="/contribute/internship.html">FSFE
  141. interns</a>, we also summarised this topic some time ago in a <a href="
  142. http://wiki.fsfe.org/Fellows/mk/EmailGuide">brief e-mail guide</a>.</li>
  143. <li>Paul Boddie looks into microcontrollers. He wrote <a
  144. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=111">"Why the Raspberry Pi isn't
  145. the new BBC Micro (and perhaps shouldn't be, either)"</a>.</li>
  146. <li>Michael Kesper has to use Microsoft Windows at work. He published a
  147. blog post on why Windows 8 <a
  148. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/mkesper/?p=155">is a big step
  149. backwards in all categories</a>. </li>
  150. <li>How can you embed metadata for license and attribution requirements in
  151. digital works, making it easier to share them? Jonas Öberg is <a
  152. href="http://jonasoberg.net/post/40906740451/bachelor-master-thesis-opportunity">offering
  153. to supervise a paid bachelor or master thesis</a> on this subject.</li>
  154. <li>Hannes continues sharing his Android experiences with us. Read why
  155. using the <a
  156. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2012/11/29/tracking-memory-usage/">
  157. Linux kernel can be a pain</a> when you come from the BSD-world and <a
  158. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2012/12/27/missing-free-android-apps-ii-e-mail/">why
  159. he misses a proper e-mail client</a>.</li>
  160. <li>Michael Clemens <a
  161. href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/clemens/2013/01/29/adressenmeister/">published</a>
  162. his first software project from 1992 written in BASIC 2.0 on his good old
  163. C64.</li>
  164. </ul>
  165. </ul>
  166. <h2>Get active: You love Free Software? Show it!</h2>
  167. <p>As in the previous years, for February 14th we ask you to <a
  168. href="/campaigns/ilovefs/2013/ilovefs.html">show your love</a> to people
  169. involved in Free Software, and who's work you admire.</p>
  170. <p>For example, prepare a "love letter" telling the developers of a certain
  171. program, why you love what they do, send us a <a
  172. href="/campaigns/ilovefs/2013/whylovefs.html">quote and a picture</a>,
  173. use one of the <a href="/campaigns/ilovefs/2013/banners.html">banners or
  174. buttons</a> made by Markus Meier on your website, blog (like <a href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk">your editor did</a>), profile pages, and motivate
  175. others to participate in the <a
  176. href="http://fsfe.org/campaigns/ilovefs/2013/ilovefs.html">"I love Free
  177. Software" day</a>. Thanks to Markus and Erik we also have ilovefs posters and
  178. flyers available. You can pick them up at <a href="/events/events.html">FSFE
  179. booths</a> or order <a href="/order/promoorder.html">FSFE promotion
  180. material</a> (soon updated with other new material).</p>
  181. <p>All the <a href="https://fellowship.fsfe.org/ams/join.php?ams=join">Fellows
  182. among you</a> also have the e-mail forwarding login@ilovefs.org, in addition to
  183. their @fsfe.org one.</p>
  184. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join">Fellows</a> and
  185. <a href="donate/thankgnus.html">donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  186. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="http://www.fsfe.org">FSFE</a></p>
  187. <p>-- <br />
  188. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  189. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  190. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  191. <a href="http://planet.fsfe.org/en/rss20.xml">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  192. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  193. </body>
  194. <tags>
  195. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  196. <tag>Matthias Kirschner</tag>
  197. </tags>
  198. <timestamp>$Date: 2011-06-06 12:32:19 +0200 (Mon, 06 Jun 2011) $ $Author: mk $</timestamp>
  199. </html>
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