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<html newsdate="2015-07-06" type="newsletter">
<title>FSFE Newsletter - July 2015</title>
<body microformats="h-entry">
<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - July 2015</h1>
<h2>FSFE pokes the European Commission on its transparency commitment</h2>
<p>While looking into the Digital Single Market (DSM) package,
our president Karsten Gerloff noticed that the EU Commissioner Günther
Oettinger neglected to publish his recent meetings with lobbyists. So Karsten
reminded the Commission about their transparency commitment. Meanwhile
Oettinger's Head of Cabinet, Michael Hager, explained that a long-term sickness
leave in the cabinet has led to a delay in publishing the meetings, and they
updated the lists of meetings.</p>
<p>But it turned out <a
was not the only one interested in Oettinger's meetings</a>. A few days after
Karsten's reminder the Spiegel and other media published news stories about it.
According to Spiegel Online’s figures, 90% of the Commissioner’s meetings were
with corporate representatives, business organisations, consultancies and law
firms. Only 3% of his meetings were with NGOs. Of the top ten organisations
he’s meeting with, seven are telecoms companies, most of whom are staunchly
opposed to net neutrality.</p>
<p>Without the EU's transparency commitment, it would have been almost
impossible to research this. This shows how important such transparency
commitments are and it shows how important it is that organisations and
individuals actually monitor such publications. Furthermore we hope that from
now on Oettinger better balances his meetings, so he hears different sides of
an issue, and can make an informed decision.</p>
<h2>TiSA: intransparent treaty might prevent digital sovereignty</h2>
<p>Nowadays countries start to demand the source code for software they
procure. If they sign the currently negotiated Trade in Services Agreement
(TiSA) they might be forbidden to continue doing so.</p>
<p>End of May, a draft of TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) was leaked. TiSA
is yet another international agreement, like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP), or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). It is apparently negotiated by 51 countries
including the EU. In the section <a href="">“Transfer
or Access to Source Code”</a> the leaked version prevents countries to give
priority to Free Software:</p>
<li><p>No Party may require the transfer of, or access to, source code of
software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition of providing
services related to such software in its territory.</p></li>
<li><p>For purposes of this Article, software subject to paragraph 1 is limited
to mass-market software, and does not include software used for critical
<p>We believe that a trade agreement should not force signatory countries to
give up control over their IT infrastructure for decades to come. On the
companies should provide the source code if the public administrations
demands it, as well as the corresponding rights to use the software for any
purpose, to share the software with others, as well as to adapt the software
for their own needs without anyone else's permission.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<li>Copyright directive: In an important step towards modernising the EU's
copyright laws, the Legal Affairs committee of the European Parliament adopted
a report on the Copyright Directive by MEP Julia Reda. FSFE, which <a
input to the MEPs</a> of the Legal Affairs committee ahead of the vote, <a
href="/news/2015/news-20150616-01.html">views the adopted report as largely
positive</a>. The European Parliament is scheduled to hold a plenary vote on 9
July 2015 on the subject.</li>
<li>Education: The German state of Saxony-Anhalt is forcing their pupils to use
a variety of Microsoft services by making it mandatory for every public school.
The plan was arranged by the Minister of Finance without knowledge of neither
the data protection officer, nor the ministry of education. Erik Albers <a
about that</a> (in German) and afterwards Fellows in Saxony <a
a petition against this procedure</a>, which everybody – also outside
Saxony-Anhalt – can sign and promote.</li>
<li>FSFE Internal: About two years ago, Karsten Gerloff decided that he would
eventually move on from his role as FSFE’s president. FSFE has been preparing
the leadership transition ever since. <a
href="">As he wrote
in his blog post</a> June was the last month for him actively handling
operations at FSFE. Karsten currently takes two months of parental leave, and
at FSFE’s General Assembly in September, FSFE's General Assembly will elect his
<li>Events: Our active volunteer Guido Arnold <a
giving a keynote “Free Software in Education”</a> at the 22nd DORS/CLUC in
Zagreb, and Franz Gratzer reports from <a
FSFE's booth at Veganmania</a>. This vegan festival in Vienna lasted for four
days, with 70 organisations and companies having booths there.</li>
<li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
<li>In his series <a
steps towards more privacy on the Net”</a> Jens Lechtenbörger explains <a
to setup Firefox with Tor/Orbot on Android</a>.</li>
<li>Imagine you want to install GNU/Linux on ~10 old computers, and all you
have is a slow 10kb/s internet connection. Max Mehl faced this problem and
wrote <a
a small Bash script which splits huge files into several smaller ones and
downloads them</a>.</li>
<li>Timo Jyrinki takes a <a
at the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (2015) which is shipped with Ubuntu 14.04
<li>Daniel Pocock documents how to use Blender for video editing with the included non-linear video editing
<li>And Erik Albers writes <a
he learned to love the NASA</a>.</li>
<h2>Get active: Tell us about active groups in Europe</h2>
<p>There are many groups in Europe who do advocacy and lobby work for software
freedom. Some have done this work for many years, some just started doing it.
Unfortunately often they do not know from each other's existence, and therefore
cannot benefit from a knowledge exchange.</p>
<p>We want to make sure the FSFE does not overlook other Free Software
activities in Europe, so we can learn from each other and improve our way of
empowering more users to control their technology. That is why this month we
ask you <a
href="">to tell
us about the active groups working for software freedom in Europe</a>.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
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