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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2015-10-05" type="newsletter">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE Newsletter - October 2015</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body microformats="h-entry">
  8. <h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - October 2015</h1>
  9. <h2>FSFE elections and other news from Bucharest</h2>
  10. <p>At this year's General Assembly in Bucharest, the FSFE
  11. <a href="/news/2015/news-20150922-01.html">elected a new leadership team
  12. for the next two years</a>. Reinhard Müller will continue his role as
  13. Financial Officer while your editor will assume the role as President,
  14. with Alessandro Rubini filling in as Vice-President. Alessandro is an
  15. electronic engineer working on device drivers and embedded systems.
  16. He was one of the first members of the FSFE and recently joined again
  17. to support us in our work. The FSFE's former President, Karsten Gerloff
  18. <a href="">welcomed
  19. the change and wrote about his future steps</a>.</p>
  20. <p>The city of Bucharest was already warming up to Free Software several
  21. weeks before the FSFE's arrival, as Romanian public administrations were
  22. <a href="">invited by Rogentos Linux User Group
  23. to test out two GNU/Linux-distributions</a>. This is a first step towards more awareness for software freedom in the country's public administration.
  24. After the General Assembly, we discussed this news and further collaboration
  25. with Free Software contributors from Romania, especially with our friends
  26. from Fundația Ceata, the Romanian foundation for Free Software and Free Culture.
  27. We found out that they are looking for skilled designers to contribute their
  28. ideas for a new logo for the foundation. So any graphic artists out there who
  29. are willing to flex their muscles for a good cause can find more information
  30. on their <a href="">call for submissions page</a>.</p>
  31. <h2>FSFE’s evaluation of the EU Parliament copyright report</h2>
  32. <p>In July, the European Parliament adopted its recommendations for copyright
  33. reform initially drafted by MEP Julia Reda, and the FSFE
  34. <a href="/news/2015/news-20150918-02.html">released</a>
  35. its assessment of the final report that was approved in the Parliament
  36. after considerable amount of amendments. While some improvements exist
  37. in the Parliament's final report over current legislation, there are enough
  38. problems that it should be reconsidered, especially in regards to Free Software.
  39. In particular, the report fails to adequately address Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)
  40. that can still hinder the use of works that fall under copyright exceptions,
  41. and it does not provide a possibility for software developers to contribute
  42. their works directly to the public domain.</p>
  43. <p>In the next step, the Commission
  44. will publish their proposal on copyright reform sometime before the end of 2015.
  45. We ask the Commission to take the copyright reform even further and ensure
  46. that no exception to copyright should be ever limited by technological restrictions,
  47. to provide for a fully harmonised set of exceptions, and to publish all works
  48. that are publicly funded under a Free Software licence.</p>
  49. <h2>Tidying up PDFreaders</h2>
  50. <p>While wrapping up our <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.en.html">PDFreaders campaign</a>
  51. it is worthy to highlight a few success stories in particular. Our German
  52. Coordinator, Max Mehl,
  53. <a href="">blogged</a>
  54. about the success of the campaign in German government. In fact, the campaign was so successful,
  55. the German "Migration Guide" now includes a titbit about us, saying "If PDF documents are
  56. provided publicly authorities shall no longer only recommend Adobe Acrobat Reader
  57. for displaying them, but for example use the HTML templates provided by the FSFE
  58. on their websites for downloading alternative PDF readers", as well as recommending
  59. officials to expand to Free Software as viable alternatives.</p>
  60. <p>The FSFE helped to bring out the best in Free Software PDF readers for the
  61. private sector as well. Our very own Polina Malaja was able to
  62. <a href="">catch up</a>
  63. with our former PDFreaders campaign coordinator, Hannes Hauswedell, about
  64. his conversation with Google back in 2011 about releasing Pdfium software as
  65. Free Software. Finally in 2014, Hannes's request came to fruition. Now, we
  66. are not saying our campaign caused the Pdfium release, but we would like to
  67. think our campaign played a part in it.</p>
  68. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  69. <ul>
  70. <li>FSFE Switzerland, in cooperation with the Swiss Open Systems User Group,
  71. sent out hundreds of letters to different political candidates asking them
  72. to participate in their online questionnaire, <a href="">Freedomvote</a>,
  73. as a way to collect candidates' opinions of various digital issues that are sometimes
  74. overlooked like e-voting, open data, Free Software, and data security. The results
  75. were posted online for citizens to make more informed decisions about who they will
  76. vote for on election day on 18 October.</li>
  77. <li>Paul Boddie <a href="">interviews FSFE Fellow Nico Rikken</a>
  78. from the Netherlands. Nico's background is in electrical engineering, and he
  79. provides insight into open hardware and education policy amongst other things.</li>
  80. <li>On 1 September the Parisian High Court
  81. <a href="">reaffirmed
  82. that software patents are illegal in Europe under the European Patent Convention.</a>
  83. However, this success comes only as a silver lining, considering that the
  84. plaintiff in this case was actually granted a patent from the European Patent Office.</li>
  85. <li>According to Felix Greve's PhD thesis,
  86. <a href="">the German constitution
  87. requires vendor-neutral ICT standards to ensure interoperability in public
  88. administration and elsewhere</a>. The current lack of interoperability rules
  89. are a major barrier to the country’s uptake of Free Software.</li>
  90. <li><a href="">
  91. FSF certified Taurinus X200 laptop</a> to respect users' freedom. It also
  92. removes Intel's Management Engine (ME) which is a secret and proprietary software
  93. that allows remote access to the computer over a network, changing and upgrading
  94. the BIOS configuration, or wiping the disk. ME has full access to the computer with
  95. a wide functionality and could be a very useful security measure, but only if the owner
  96. of the device has the ability to control it. </li>
  97. <li>Public Administration: The UK government
  98. <a href="">publishes an authoritative
  99. ODF guide</a> about integration of ODF with enterprise software in public procurement,
  100. <a href="">the Italian military is switching to
  101. LibreOffice and ODF</a> making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation,
  102. at the Debian Conference "DebConf15" the city of Munich showed that they are <a href="">
  103. a major contributor to Free Software by sharing software solutions and best practices</a>,
  104. and Open Forum Europe's Karel De Vriendt <a href="">provided insight</a>
  105. into the thinking behind European Commission's call for tender concerning Microsoft
  106. products that will further increase the vendor lock-in in public IT sector.</li>
  107. <ul>
  108. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
  109. <li>Daniel Pocock <a href="">
  110. argues that the only way to avoid scandals like the one with VW</a> in the
  111. future is to ensure everyone's freedom to see and modify the source code in
  112. the equipment that controls our lives.</li>
  113. <li>Dominic Hopf (now an official intergalactic diplomat) and new Fellow
  114. Pascal Wittmann, organised a booth at a
  115. <a href="">Software Freedom Day (SFD)
  116. event in Kiel</a> and gave a presentation about F-Droid.</li>
  117. <li>On a wet day in Frankfurt, the FSFE booth made a splash among visitors
  118. at the annual Rotlintstraßenfest who were eager to learn more about software
  119. freedom. Guido Arnold<a href="">
  120. provides more details on this popular outdoor event.</a></li>
  121. <li>Meanwhile FSFE Fellow Michael Stehmann <a href="">
  122. summarised his SFD experience in Cologne (in German)</a>.</li>
  123. <li>Our Executive Director Jonas Öberg gave a rundown on the
  124. <a href="">logistics behind running a successful event</a>.</li>
  125. <li>Carsten Agger was busy organising the <a href="">
  126. LibreOffice Hackfest in Aarhus</a>.</li>
  127. <li>Tobias Platen <a href="">criticises</a>
  128. just how allegedly "free" Purism Librem computers actually are.</li>
  129. <li>André Ockers explains how concerned citizens in the Netherlands<a href="">
  130. convinced a Dutch government agency to use an Open Document format</a>, and </li>
  131. <li>Paul Boddie asks <a href="">"Random Questions"
  132. about the Fairphone's source code availability"</a>.</li>
  133. </ul>
  134. </ul>
  135. <h2>Get Active: Nominate people and projects for the Free Software Award</h2>
  136. <p>Often users do not realise that they are using Free Software. Sometimes
  137. we need to explicitly state that fact. For instance <a href="">
  138. the new upgrade of WordPress</a> includes a tab with a reference to the
  139. GNU General Public License and the four freedoms of Free Software,
  140. explicitly informing the Wordpress community about the importance of
  141. freedom underlying their software.</p>
  142. <p>However, very often a lot of amazing Free Software developers and
  143. projects out there do not get the recognition they deserve. Right now
  144. the FSF is <a href="">
  145. accepting nominations for the 18th annual Free Software Awards</a>
  146. for people and projects who have improved the world using Free Software.
  147. There are two awards, one for people who have advanced the movement,
  148. and another for a project that has fulfilled a crucial societal need through
  149. the use of Free Software. Please submit your nominations until 1 November.</p>
  150. <p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>,
  151. <a href="">Fellows</a> and
  152. <a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
  153. <a href="/about/people/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
  154. <!--/e-content-->
  155. </body>
  156. <sidebar promo="about-fsfe" />
  157. <author id="kirschner" />
  158. <date>
  159. <original content="2015-10-05" />
  160. </date>
  161. <followup>donate</followup>
  162. <tags>
  163. <tag key="newsletter"/>
  164. </tags>
  165. </html>