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