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<html newsdate="2015-03-04" type="newsletter">
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<title>FSFE Newsletter - March 2015</title>
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<h1 class="p-name">FSFE Newsletter - March 2015</h1>
<div class="e-content">
<h2>FSFE's reply to EU consultation on patents and standard</h2>
<p>We believe that proprietary standards and software patents are barriers to
Free Software adoption. To get rid of those barriers we have to help the public
administration to understand this, too. That is why last month we responded to
a consultation on the interaction of standards and patents by the European
Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry,
Entrepreneurship and SMEs.</p>
<p><a href="/news/2015/news-20150218-01.html">In our response</a>, we focused
mainly on how software patents negatively affect competition and innovation in
the software market. We also highlighted that so-called “fair, reasonable and
non-discriminatory” (FRAND) licensing terms are in practice a grave
discrimination against Free Software. In many segments of the software market,
these programs are the most significant competition to non-free offerings. So
the FSFE recommends that standards organisations instead implement the
successful patent licensing policies of the W3C and other bodies, and make the
restriction-free licensing of standard-essential patents mandatory.</p>
<p>If you want to help us to promote Open Standards, please participate in this
year's Document Freedom Day (see this month's get active item at the end of the
newsletter).</p>
<h2>Free Software as integral part of Open Educational Resources</h2>
<p>The more we see classic educational environments equipped with computers,
the more important becomes an education system that teaches every student to be
in control of their technology. For the FSFE, the basis for this is Free
Software.</p>
<p>Together with other partners in the “Bündnis Freie Bildung” (Free Education
Alliance) we published a <a
href="/news/2015/news-20150210-01.html">position paper about
the creation and usage of Open Educational Resources (OER)</a>. The paper has a
specific focus on the creation and usage of OER inside the German educational
system. It should be mandatory to publish educational resources including
software that has been paid with public money under free licences. Furthermore,
the position paper demands that educational institutions should consider the
compatibility with Free Software already during the development or extension of
their IT infrastructures. By this it envisions to have “all educational
resources usable without any legal or technical barriers”.</p>
<p>If you want to know more about what happened in the education field
connected with Free Software, read <a
href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/guido/2015/02/free-software-in-education-news-january/">the
January Education team report</a>.</p>
<h2>What happened on the “I love Free Software” day?</h2>
<p>On 14 February 2015 people all over the world showed Free Software
contributors their appreciation. It was the fifth year we asked people to
participate in the “I Love Free Software” day. <a
href="/news/2015/news-20150303-01.html">This year's report shows a variety of
love declarations that happened this day</a>, including blog posts, pictures,
comics, poems, and an #ilovefs Android library.</p>
<p>We want to thank everybody who motivated Free Software contributors at this
year's “I love Free Software” day, and ask everybody to mark 14 February in
their calendars to motivate the people who enable us to control our
technology.</p>
<h2>Something completely different</h2>
<ul>
<li>Hannes Hauswedell from the German team wrote an update about the situation
with secure texting. The last months Hannes and others wanted to improve the
situation with Textsecure, which unfortunately did not work out until now. So
Hannes changed his mind and is now <a
href="http://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2015/02/23/secure-texting-part-ii/">recommending
kontalk</a>.</li>
<li>Fellow Cory Doctorow wrote an article in the Guardian imagining how it
would look like <a
href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/13/if-dishwashers-were-iphones">“If
dishwashers were iPhones”</a>.</li>
<li>Christian Kalkhoff <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/softmetz/?p=53">reported
from FSFE's Munich group meeting in January</a>. To find upcoming local
meetings close to you, please have a look at <a
href="/events/events.html">our event page</a>.</li>
<li>The Fellowship election for one of the seats in FSFE's General Assembly is
running until 6 March 2015. All sustaining members should have received the
voting instructions to decide between <a
href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/FellowshipElection_2015">Nicolas Dietrich, Max
Mehl, and Felix Stegerman</a>. So if you have not yet voted, do it now!</li>
<li>From the <a href="http://planet.fsfe.org">planet aggregation</a>:</li>
<ul>
<li>After there have been plenty of reports of Lenovo shipping products with a
form of adware known as Superfish, <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/pboddie/?p=852">Paul Boddie asks what Lenovo's
reasoning was</a>, and from whom they want their money in future.</li>
<li>Max Mehl has been asked by a friend why he is “investing so much time in
the FSFE instead of putting more energy in other organisations with more focus
on privacy issues.” <a
href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2015/in-the-end-freedom-is-what-matters/">In his blog
post</a>, he answers that question.</li>
<li><a
href="http://creative-destruction.me/2015/02/26/student-papers-reda-report-amendments-birthday-and-more/">Mirko
Böhm summarised his last weeks</a> including what he worked on with his
students, about amendments to Julia Reda's report, software patents, and Qt
programming.</li>
<li>Daniel Pocock wrote about the <a
href="http://danielpocock.com/lumicall-third-birthday">3rd birthday of
Lumicall</a>.</li>
<li>Christian Kallhoff reports from <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/softmetz/?p=60">his experience to fix a bug in
Free Software</a>.</li>
<li>Nico Rikken wrote about <a
href="http://nicorikken.eu/blog/software-isnt-magic/">understanding software
and why it is not magic</a>, and about <a
href="http://nicorikken.eu/blog/ubuntu-calling-for-freedom/">the freedom Ubuntu
phone offers</a>.</li>
</ul>
</ul>
<h2>Get active: Be a part of Document Freedom Day 2015!</h2>
<p>Every year since 2008, people who care about a free information society
celebrate <a href="http://documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom Day</a> to
raise awareness of Open Standards. This year again people around the world come
together on 25 March to talk about access to communications, run local public
activities, and generally spread the word about Open Standards in a dozen
different ways.</p>
<p>We are offering promotion materials in many languages, and artwork you can
remix, share and improve to publicise your own event. If you are running a
local event, we may be able to offer funding of your local activities or your
local print runs - thanks to DFD's sponsors. To get inspired, take a look at <a
href="http://documentfreedom.org/news/2014/news-20140424-01.html">what other
groups from Mexico to Japan did last year</a>.</p>
<p><a href="http://documentfreedom.org/getinvolved.html">Participate in DFD
2015!</a></p>
<p>Thanks to all the <a href="/contribute/contribute.html">volunteers</a>, <a href="http://fellowship.fsfe.org/join">Fellows</a> and
<a href="/donate/thankgnus.html">corporate donors</a> who enable our work,<br/>
<a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="/index.html">FSFE</a></p>
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