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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2015-07-06" type="newsletter">
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  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - July 2015</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body class="newsletter article" microformats="h-entry" id="nl-201507">
  7. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - July 2015</h1>
  8. <h2>FSFE pokes the European Commission on its transparency commitment</h2>
  9. <p newsteaser="yes">While looking into the Digital Single Market (DSM) package,
  10. our president Karsten Gerloff noticed that the EU Commissioner Günther
  11. Oettinger neglected to publish his recent meetings with lobbyists. So Karsten
  12. reminded the Commission about their transparency commitment. Meanwhile
  13. Oettinger's Head of Cabinet, Michael Hager, explained that a long-term sickness
  14. leave in the cabinet has led to a delay in publishing the meetings, and they
  15. updated the lists of meetings.</p>
  16. <p>But it turned out <a
  17. href="">Karsten
  18. was not the only one interested in Oettinger's meetings</a>. A few days after
  19. Karsten's reminder the Spiegel and other media published news stories about it.
  20. According to Spiegel Online’s figures, 90% of the Commissioner’s meetings were
  21. with corporate representatives, business organisations, consultancies and law
  22. firms. Only 3% of his meetings were with NGOs. Of the top ten organisations
  23. he’s meeting with, seven are telecoms companies, most of whom are staunchly
  24. opposed to net neutrality.</p>
  25. <p>Without the EU's transparency commitment, it would have been almost
  26. impossible to research this. This shows how important such transparency
  27. commitments are and it shows how important it is that organisations and
  28. individuals actually monitor such publications. Furthermore we hope that from
  29. now on Oettinger better balances his meetings, so he hears different sides of
  30. an issue, and can make an informed decision.</p>
  31. <h2>TiSA: intransparent treaty might prevent digital sovereignty</h2>
  32. <p>Nowadays countries start to demand the source code for software they
  33. procure. If they sign the currently negotiated Trade in Services Agreement
  34. (TiSA) they might be forbidden to continue doing so.</p>
  35. <p>End of May, a draft of TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) was leaked. TiSA
  36. is yet another international agreement, like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and
  37. Investment Partnership (TTIP), or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is apparently negotiated by 51 countries
  38. including the EU. In the section <a href="">“Transfer
  39. or Access to Source Code”</a> the leaked version prevents countries to give
  40. priority to Free Software:</p>
  41. <blockquote><ol>
  42. <li><p>No Party may require the transfer of, or access to, source code of
  43. software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition of providing
  44. services related to such software in its territory.</p></li>
  45. <li><p>For purposes of this Article, software subject to paragraph 1 is limited
  46. to mass-market software, and does not include software used for critical
  47. infrastructure.</p></li>
  48. </ol></blockquote>
  49. <p>We believe that a trade agreement should not force signatory countries to
  50. give up control over their IT infrastructure for decades to come. On the
  51. contrary,
  52. companies should provide the source code if the public administrations
  53. demands it, as well as the corresponding rights to use the software for any
  54. purpose, to share the software with others, as well as to adapt the software
  55. for their own needs without anyone else's permission.</p>
  56. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  57. <ul>
  58. <li>Copyright directive: In an important step towards modernising the EU's
  59. copyright laws, the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament adopted
  60. a report on the Copyright Directive by MEP Julia Reda. FSFE, which <a
  61. href="/activities/policy/eu/20150605-Comments-On-Reda-Report.html">provided
  62. input to the MEPs</a> of the Legal Affairs committee ahead of the vote, <a
  63. href="/news/2015/news-20150616-01.html">views the adopted report as largely
  64. positive</a>. The European Parliament is scheduled to hold a plenary vote on 9
  65. July 2015 on the subject.</li>
  66. <li>Education: The German state of Saxony-Anhalt is forcing their pupils to use
  67. a variety of Microsoft services by making it mandatory for every public school.
  68. The plan was arranged by the Minister of Finance without knowledge of neither
  69. the data protection officer, nor the ministry of education. Erik Albers <a
  70. href="">wrote
  71. about that</a> (in German) and afterwards Fellows in Saxony <a
  72. href="">filed
  73. a petition against this procedure</a>, which everybody – also outside
  74. Saxony-Anhalt – can sign and promote.</li>
  75. <li>FSFE Internal: About two years ago, Karsten Gerloff decided that he would
  76. eventually move on from his role as FSFE’s president. FSFE has been preparing
  77. the leadership transition ever since. <a
  78. href="">As he wrote
  79. in his blog post</a> June was the last month for him actively handling
  80. operations at FSFE. Karsten currently takes two months of parental leave, and
  81. at FSFE’s General Assembly in September, FSFE's General Assembly will elect his
  82. successor.</li>
  83. <li>Events: Our active volunteer Guido Arnold <a
  84. href="">was
  85. giving a keynote “Free Software in Education”</a> at the 22nd DORS/CLUC in
  86. Zagreb, and Franz Gratzer reports from <a
  87. href="">the
  88. FSFE's booth at Veganmania</a>. This vegan festival in Vienna lasted for four
  89. days, with 70 organisations and companies having booths there.</li>
  90. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
  91. <ul>
  92. <li>In his series <a
  93. href="">“Three
  94. steps towards more privacy on the Net”</a> Jens Lechtenbörger explains <a
  95. href="">how
  96. to setup Firefox with Tor/Orbot on Android</a>.</li>
  97. <li>Imagine you want to install GNU/Linux on ~10 old computers, and all you
  98. have is a slow 10kb/s internet connection. Max Mehl faced this problem and
  99. wrote <a
  100. href="">“splitDL”,
  101. a small Bash script which splits huge files into several smaller ones and
  102. downloads them</a>.</li>
  103. <li>Timo Jyrinki takes a <a
  104. href="">look
  105. at the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (2015) which is shipped with Ubuntu 14.04
  106. LTS</a>.</li>
  107. <li>Daniel Pocock documents <a
  108. href="">how to use
  109. Blender for video editing</a> with the included non-linear video editing
  110. system.</li>
  111. <li>And Erik Albers writes <a
  112. href="">how
  113. he learned to love the NASA</a>.</li>
  114. </ul>
  115. </ul>
  116. <h2>Get active: Tell us about active groups in Europe</h2>
  117. <p>There are many groups in Europe who do advocacy and lobby work for software
  118. freedom. Some have done this work for many years, some just started doing it.
  119. Unfortunately often they do not know from each other's existence, and therefore
  120. cannot benefit from a knowledge exchange.</p>
  121. <p>We want to make sure the FSFE does not overlook other Free Software
  122. activities in Europe, so we can learn from each other and improve our way of
  123. empowering more users to control their technology. That is why this month we
  124. ask you <a
  125. href="">to tell
  126. us about the active groups working for software freedom in Europe</a>.</p>
  127. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  128. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  129. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
  130. <!--/e-content-->
  131. </body>
  132. <sidebar promo="about-fsfe" />
  133. <author id="kirschner" />
  134. <date>
  135. <original content="2015-07-06" />
  136. </date>
  137. <followup>donate</followup>
  138. <tags>
  139. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  140. </tags>
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