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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2015-08-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - August 2015</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body class="newsletter article" microformats="h-entry" id="nl-201508">
  7. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - August 2015</h1>
  8. <h2>Reply to EU consultation on copyright, patents, and trade secrets</h2>
  9. <p nesteaser="yes">Earlier this month, FSFE answered to the “Consultation on
  10. the respect of intellectual property in public procurement procedures”,
  11. initiated by the European Commission. According to Commission the initial
  12. purpose of the consultation was to “gather evidence, opinions and feedback
  13. regarding the respect of intellectual property rights and trade secrets in
  14. public procurement procedures”, and assess whether there is a need for a guide
  15. for public authorities in this regard.</p>
  16. <p newsteaser="yes">In our answer, we restate several issues that need to be addressed in the
  17. overall topic of the consultation. For example on software patents we explained
  18. that it is impossible to procure software that is not violating any patents,
  19. and that the rights of copyright holders should not be devalued by third
  20. parties’ patents. In addition, FSFE argued that every publicly funded software
  21. should be published and distributed as Free Software by default, so that
  22. everyone can use the software for their own purposes and provide better
  23. services for public authorities in return.</p>
  24. <p>Our current trainee Polina Malaja summarised our answers and wrote about the
  25. consultation in her <a
  26. href="">blogpost</a>,
  27. and made our answers available in <a
  28. href="">FSFE's
  29. wiki</a>.</p>
  30. <h2>How to deal with firmware restrictions</h2>
  31. <p>FSFE's goal is to ensure that the owners of IT devices are always in full
  32. and sole control of them. During the last years this fundamental principle is
  33. being challenged by such developments as <a
  34. href="/campaigns/generalpurposecomputing/secure-boot-analysis.html">UEFI
  35. “Secure Boot”</a>, or the proprietary BIOS. This is low-level software that
  36. runs when you turn on your computer. It initialises the hardware and may be
  37. designed to restrict users to install software which is not “authorised” by the
  38. manufacturer. This development was also a topic in <a
  39. href="">your editor's
  40. keynote</a> at this year's Akademy in A Coruña/Spain, that gives an insight on
  41. how to resolve these manufactured restrictions.</p>
  42. <p>One of the ways to counter those developments is alternative boot firmware.
  43. There are several ways to have the built-in proprietary firmware replaced with
  44. free analogues. Our fellow Kevin Keijzer explains in detail how to <a
  45. href="">&quot;set
  46. up a beaglebone black to flash Coreboot&quot;</a>, and how to <a
  47. href="">&quot;flash
  48. Libreboot on an Lenovo X200 with a Raspberry Pi&quot;</a>. Another fellow André
  49. Ockers explains in his blogpost how he got a <a
  50. href="">Thinkpad
  51. T60p with Trisquel and Libreboot</a>.</p>
  52. <p>Beside working on free alternative boot firmware, we also have to look
  53. further into the future. We have to think about how to extend the ideas of Free
  54. Software to hardware. Richard Stallman wrote about this in his article <a
  55. href="">&quot;Why
  56. we need free digital hardware designs&quot;</a>.</p>
  57. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  58. <ul>
  59. <li>On July 24-26, FSFE held its European Coordinators Meeting 2015 (ECM15) in
  60. Essen. Amongst many topics our coordinators discussed strategy, a proposal to
  61. restructure FSFE's community and communication, as well as our press and
  62. campaign work. For more information please <a
  63. href="">read
  64. Erik Albers's blogpost</a>.</li>
  65. <li>FSFE's education team <a
  66. href="">updated their
  67. website</a>. Have a look at it, give us feedback, or even better: join our
  68. education team to promote the use of Free Software in schools and
  69. universities.</li>
  70. <li>Your editor, Matthias Kirschner, was interviewed before Akademy. The
  71. interview is available on <a
  72. href="">KDE's
  73. website</a>. It covers questions about your editor's first GNU/Linux
  74. distribution, why he studied politics and management, how he got involved in
  75. FSFE, how Free Software is linked to the progress of society, as well as his
  76. involvement in wild first aid seminars. (Victorhck <a
  77. href="">translated
  78. the interview into Spanish</a>.)</li>
  79. <li>The European Commission <a
  80. href="">published the legislation editor
  81. LEOS as Free Software</a>. It can be used to draft and automatically process
  82. legal texts. Currently the software supports legal texts issued by the EC, yet
  83. can be extended to support other legislative processes.</li>
  84. <li>Two good developments in France: On one hand the French government has
  85. published <a href="">templates</a> to be
  86. used by procurement officers when requesting free software-based ICT solutions.
  87. The templates include Free Software procurement clauses that prompt developers
  88. to organise contributing code. On the other hand, France wants its public
  89. administration to prioritise ODF over Microsoft OOXML format (see <a
  90. href="">an
  91. article in the Register</a>).</li>
  92. <li>On 3 October 2015 the FSF celebrates its 30th birthday in Boston. That is a
  93. reason to celebrate. As their sister organisation, we invite you to <a
  94. href="">organise
  95. small birthday parties</a> around Europe, too. Let us know if you plan
  96. something, so we promote the celebration.</li>
  97. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
  98. <ul>
  99. <li>Riccardo Iaconelli wrote about <a
  100. href="">WikiFM</a>, a
  101. KDE project which aims to bring free and open knowledge to the world, in the
  102. form of textbooks and course notes. It is aimed at students, researchers and
  103. continuous learners, with manuals and content ranging from basic calculus to
  104. “Designing with QML” (already used by High Energy Physics Software
  105. Foundation).</li>
  106. <li>Daniel Pocock <a
  107. href="">explains howto</a>
  108. record live events with your mobile phone and a lapel microphone.</li>
  109. <li>Guido Arnold reported on <a
  110. href="">Galicia
  111. introducing over 50 000 students to free software</a>, and a <a
  112. href="">school
  113. in Spain switching to using Ubuntu/Linux</a> for its desktop PCs in class rooms
  114. and offices.</li>
  115. </ul>
  116. </ul>
  117. <h2>Get active: Contribute to our static website generator</h2>
  118. <p>Since 2002 FSFE is using a static website generator for our web presence.
  119. The first version was written by Jonas Öberg, who is now FSFE's Executive
  120. Director. Last month we introduced an updated version to the test instance of
  121. our website. In his blog post, FSFE's webmaster Paul Hänsch <a
  122. href="">summarises its new
  123. features, and limitations</a>. So if you are interested to improve FSFE's web
  124. presence on a technical level, read this and get in contact with our web
  125. team.</p>
  126. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  127. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  128. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
  129. <!--/e-content-->
  130. </body>
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  132. <author id="kirschner" />
  133. <date>
  134. <original content="2015-08-04" />
  135. </date>
  136. <followup>donate</followup>
  137. <tags>
  138. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  139. </tags>
  140. </html>
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