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<title>FSFE Newsletter - October 2015</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - October 2015</h1>
<h2>FSFE elections and other news from Bucharest</h2>
<p>At this year's General Assembly in Bucharest, the FSFE
<a href="/news/2015/news-20150922-01.html">elected a new leadership team
for the next two years</a>. Reinhard Müller will continue his role as
Financial Officer while your editor will assume the role as President,
with Alessandro Rubini filling in as Vice-President. Alessandro is an
electronic engineer working on device drivers and embedded systems.
He was one of the first members of the FSFE and recently joined again
to support us in our work. The FSFE's former President, Karsten Gerloff
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2015/09/18/please-welcome-fsfes-new-president/">welcomed
the change and wrote about his future steps</a>.</p>
<p>The city of Bucharest was already warming up to Free Software several
weeks before the FSFE's arrival, as Romanian public administrations were
<a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145574">invited by Rogentos Linux User Group
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.
After the General Assembly, we discussed this news and further collaboration
with Free Software contributors from Romania, especially with our friends
from Fundația Ceata, the Romanian foundation for Free Software and Free Culture.
We found out that they are looking for skilled designers to contribute their
ideas for a new logo for the foundation. So any graphic artists out there who
are willing to flex their muscles for a good cause can find more information
on their <a href="https://ceata.org/comunicate/international-challenge-logo-for-ceata.html">call for submissions page</a>.</p>
<h2>FSFE’s evaluation of the EU Parliament copyright report</h2>
<p>In July, the European Parliament adopted its recommendations for copyright
reform initially drafted by MEP Julia Reda, and the FSFE
<a href="/news/2015/news-20150918-02.html">released</a>
its assessment of the final report that was approved in the Parliament
after considerable amount of amendments. While some improvements exist
in the Parliament's final report over current legislation, there are enough
problems that it should be reconsidered, especially in regards to Free Software.
In particular, the report fails to adequately address Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)
that can still hinder the use of works that fall under copyright exceptions,
and it does not provide a possibility for software developers to contribute
their works directly to the public domain.</p>
<p>In the next step, the Commission
will publish their proposal on copyright reform sometime before the end of 2015.
We ask the Commission to take the copyright reform even further and ensure
that no exception to copyright should be ever limited by technological restrictions,
to provide for a fully harmonised set of exceptions, and to publish all works
that are publicly funded under a Free Software licence.</p>
<h2>Tidying up PDFreaders</h2>
<p>While wrapping up our <a href="/activities/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.html">PDFreaders campaign</a>
it is worthy to highlight a few success stories in particular. Our German
Coordinator, Max Mehl,
<a href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2015/german-government-wants-authorities-to-advertise-pdfreaders/">blogged</a>
about the success of the campaign in German government. In fact, the campaign was so successful,
the German "Migration Guide" now includes a titbit about us, saying "If PDF documents are
provided publicly authorities shall no longer only recommend Adobe Acrobat Reader
for displaying them, but for example use the HTML templates provided by the FSFE
on their websites for downloading alternative PDF readers", as well as recommending
officials to expand to Free Software as viable alternatives.</p>
<p>The FSFE helped to bring out the best in Free Software PDF readers for the
private sector as well. Our very own Polina Malaja was able to
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/polina/2015/09/10/free-pdf-reader-for-the-web-browser/">catch up</a>
with our former PDFreaders campaign coordinator, Hannes Hauswedell, about
his conversation with Google back in 2011 about releasing Pdfium software as
Free Software. Finally in 2014, Hannes's request came to fruition. Now, we
are not saying our campaign caused the Pdfium release, but we would like to
think our campaign played a part in it.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>FSFE Switzerland, in cooperation with the Swiss Open Systems User Group,
sent out hundreds of letters to different political candidates asking them
to participate in their online questionnaire, <a href="https://freedomvote.ch/">Freedomvote</a>,
as a way to collect candidates' opinions of various digital issues that are sometimes
overlooked like e-voting, open data, Free Software, and data security. The results
were posted online for citizens to make more informed decisions about who they will
vote for on election day on 18 October.</li>
<li>Paul Boddie <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/fellowship-interviews/?p=672">interviews FSFE Fellow Nico Rikken</a>
from the Netherlands. Nico's background is in electrical engineering, and he
provides insight into open hardware and education policy amongst other things.</li>
<li>On 1 September the Parisian High Court
<a href="https://www.april.org/en/paris-high-court-reaffirms-ban-software-patents">reaffirmed
that software patents are illegal in Europe under the European Patent Convention.</a>
However, this success comes only as a silver lining, considering that the
plaintiff in this case was actually granted a patent from the European Patent Office.</li>
<li>According to Felix Greve's PhD thesis,
<a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145984">the German constitution
requires vendor-neutral ICT standards to ensure interoperability in public
administration and elsewhere</a>. The current lack of interoperability rules
are a major barrier to the country’s uptake of Free Software.</li>
<li><a href="http://www.fsf.org/news/now-fsf-cerified-to-respect-your-freedom-taurinus-x200">
FSF certified Taurinus X200 laptop</a> to respect users' freedom. It also
removes Intel's Management Engine (ME) which is a secret and proprietary software
that allows remote access to the computer over a network, changing and upgrading
the BIOS configuration, or wiping the disk. ME has full access to the computer with
a wide functionality and could be a very useful security measure, but only if the owner
of the device has the ability to control it. </li>
<li>Public Administration: The UK government
<a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145658">publishes an authoritative
ODF guide</a> about integration of ODF with enterprise software in public procurement,
<a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145784">the Italian military is switching to
LibreOffice and ODF</a> making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation,
at the Debian Conference "DebConf15" the city of Munich showed that they are <a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/145626">
a major contributor to Free Software by sharing software solutions and best practices</a>,
and Open Forum Europe's Karel De Vriendt <a href="http://www.openforumeurope.org/windows-dressing/">provided insight</a>
into the thinking behind European Commission's call for tender concerning Microsoft
products that will further increase the vendor lock-in in public IT sector.</li>
<ul>
<li>From the <a href="https://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
<li>Daniel Pocock argues that the only way to avoid scandals like the one with VW in the
future is to ensure everyone's freedom to see and modify the source code in
the equipment that controls our lives.</li>
<li>Dominic Hopf (now an official intergalactic diplomat) and new Fellow
Pascal Wittmann, organised a booth at a
<a href="http://blog.dmaphy.de/2015/09/how-to-travel-intergalactic-way-free.html">Software Freedom Day (SFD)
event in Kiel</a> and gave a presentation about F-Droid.</li>
<li>On a wet day in Frankfurt, the FSFE booth made a splash among visitors
at the annual Rotlintstraßenfest who were eager to learn more about software
freedom. Guido Arnold<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2015/09/fsfe-info-booth-at-rotlintstrasenfest-in-frankfurt/">
provides more details on this popular outdoor event.</a></li>
<li>Meanwhile FSFE Fellow Michael Stehmann <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/stehmann/?p=1554">
summarised his SFD experience in Cologne (in German)</a>.</li>
<li>Our Executive Director Jonas Öberg gave a rundown on the
<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/jonas/?p=20">logistics behind running a successful event</a>.</li>
<li>Carsten Agger was busy organising the <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/agger/2015/09/28/organizing-this-years-libreoffice-conference/">
LibreOffice Hackfest in Aarhus</a>.</li>
<li>Tobias Platen <a href=" https://blogs.fsfe.org/tobias_platen/2015/09/22/why-i-wont-buy-the-libre/">criticises</a>
just how allegedly "free" Purism Librem computers actually are.</li>
<li>André Ockers explains how concerned citizens in the Netherlands<a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/ao/2015/09/26/why-we-convinced-a-dutch-government-agency-to-use-an-open-document-format/">
convinced a Dutch government agency to use an Open Document format</a>, and </li>
<li>Paul Boddie asks <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=1129">"Random Questions"
about the Fairphone's source code availability"</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get Active: Nominate people and projects for the Free Software Award</h2>
<p>Often users do not realise that they are using Free Software. Sometimes
we need to explicitly state that fact. For instance <a href="http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/wordpress-brings-the-freedom-to-the-front">
the new upgrade of WordPress</a> includes a tab with a reference to the
GNU General Public License and the four freedoms of Free Software,
explicitly informing the Wordpress community about the importance of
freedom underlying their software.</p>
<p>However, very often a lot of amazing Free Software developers and
projects out there do not get the recognition they deserve. Right now
the FSF is <a href=" http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/who-is-improving-the-world-through-free-software-nominate-them-now">
accepting nominations for the 18th annual Free Software Awards</a>
for people and projects who have improved the world using Free Software.
There are two awards, one for people who have advanced the movement,
and another for a project that has fulfilled a crucial societal need through
the use of Free Software. Please submit your nominations until 1 November.</p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>,
<a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">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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