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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2011-05-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - May 2011</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - May 2011</h1>
  8. <h2>Competition authorities: Free Software protects competition</h2>
  9. <p newsteaser="yes">882 software patents, likely related to GNU/Linux, in the
  10. hands of people who could use them to pressure Free Software companies and
  11. developers? Maybe in the hands of Microsoft, which has for years used nebulous
  12. patent claims to extract licensing fees from companies that use the Linux
  13. kernel in their products. This month the German and the US competition
  14. authorities approved the sale of those patents to CPTN, a consortium consisting
  15. of Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and EMC. But, barring nasty surprises in the still
  16. to be published detailed decision, we neutralised the danger for Free
  17. Software.</p>
  18. <p>Software patents are a very complex matter, and competition authorities are
  19. not used dealing with them. So beginning from December 2010 we explained
  20. to the German competition authorities why the patent sale was highly problematic.
  21. In our <a href="/campaigns/swpat/letter-20101222.html">first</a>, and <a
  22. href="/campaigns/swpat/letter-20110406.html">second</a> submission we
  23. explained the mechanics that some companies use to compete in the software
  24. market, and how they preserve their monopolies. </p>
  25. <p>In their press release the authorities have not only highlighted the
  26. importance of Free Software for competition, and that actual patent lawsuits
  27. are anticompetitive but also that threatening with patent lawsuits, like the
  28. fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) strategies from some non-free software
  29. companies, can be anticompetitive.</p>
  30. <p>So for the first time, competition authorities have acknowledged the
  31. essential part of Free Software for competition, and that patent lawsuits by
  32. dominant market participants can be anticompetitive. This will also be
  33. important for future debates, when the behaviour of big non-free software
  34. companies has to be evaluated from a competition law perspective.</p>
  35. <p>As the devil is in the details, we hope to hear about the exact wording of
  36. the CPTN contracts <a href="/campaigns/swpat/novell-cptn.html">to evaluate
  37. them</a>. Such work is very time consuming, and we would not be able to keep
  38. track of those activities, without the support of <a
  39. href="/donate/donate.html">one time donations</a> and regular ones by <a
  40. href="/join.html">our Fellows</a>.</p>
  41. <h2>Mission is possible</h2>
  42. <!-- Translator notice. Parts from
  43. -->
  44. <p>To date, 17 percent of the public institutions, <a
  45. href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.html">we contacted</a>, already
  46. replied and removed the non-free PDF reader advertisements from their websites.
  47. The current progress of the campaign can be seen on <a
  48. href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/buglist.html">our buglist</a>. Until now we have
  49. only received one negative reply. However, as about 83 percent of the contacted
  50. institutions have not responded yet, we want to remind them about the letter we
  51. have sent, and ask for a reply. This works only with your help. To take part,
  52. follow the actions from our <a
  53. href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/follow-up.html">follow-up guide</a>. In short
  54. this is:</p>
  55. <ul>
  56. <li>have a look at organisations in your country which appear as not having
  57. answered yet,</li>
  58. <li>contact and remind them of FSFE's letter on inadmissibility of advertising
  59. of proprietary software by public institutions, and</li>
  60. <li>ask them to remove the proprietary software advertising from their
  61. websites.</li>
  62. </ul>
  63. <p>If you discover non-free PDF reader advertisement, and is not on our list,
  64. you are encouraged to contact them on your own. For public institutions use a
  65. modified version of <a href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/letter.en.html">our
  66. letter</a>, for companies and non-profits we are working on a template, after
  67. volunteers have convinced organisations like <a
  68. href="">Greenpeace
  69. Germany</a> to link to instead.</p>
  70. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  71. <ul>
  72. <li>Data stored per-user, and under the user's control. That is the aim of
  73. the unhosted web. This project is covered by this month <a
  74. href="">Fellowship
  75. interview with Michiel de Jong</a>. If you want to discuss this in person
  76. with Michiel, he will help as one of our booth volunteers for one day during
  77. <a href="">Berlin's
  78. Linuxtag</a>. </li>
  79. <li>Free Software for the public sector: We have provided input for the
  80. European Commission <a href="/news/2011/news-20110418-01.html">on modernising
  81. the way in which public bodies buy software</a> and related services.</li>
  82. <li>At the moment fellows are starting new <a
  83. href="">Fellowship groups</a> in <a
  84. href="">Augsburg</a> (Germany) and <a
  85. href="">Manchester</a> (UK). For the
  86. Manchester group our British coordinator Sam Tuke created a good
  87. presentation template about the Fellowship which is now linked from the
  88. <a href="">meeting howto</a>.</li>
  89. <li>Noteworthy articles from the <a href="">Fellowship
  90. planet</a> include:</li>
  91. <ul>
  92. <li>Timo Jyrinki's article about his <a href="
  94. presentation of "tuning an old but free phone"</a> with corresponding
  95. videos from <a href="">FSCONS</a>, </li>
  96. <li>Carlo Piana's article <a href="">"Doors
  97. opened at Openoffice"</a> about Oracle's announcement that they want to
  98. make a community developed project,</li>
  99. <li>and Lena Simon's article <a
  100. href="">about
  101. the old myths in a digital society</a> (German) which also covers some
  102. issues we have to explain often. </li>
  103. </ul>
  104. <li>Groklaw's well deserved pension. Groklaw is shutting down and <a
  105. href="">like
  106. our sister organisation</a> we would like to thank them for their good
  107. work.</li>
  108. <li>Free Software licensing, Free Software business, software patents, and
  109. other topics from a legal point of view are covered in Matija's Free Software
  110. and law related links. Editions are available for <a
  111. href="">29.03.-17.04.</a>, <a
  112. href="">18.04.-24.04.</a>, and
  113. <a href="">25.04.-29.04.</a>. </li>
  114. </ul>
  115. <h2>Get Active - Internships at FSFE</h2>
  116. <p>We are looking for smart, motivated interns to join <a
  117. href="/about/team.html">our team</a>. Apply for an <a
  118. href="/contribute/internship.html">internship position</a> yourself, or
  119. distribute the information about it. We offer:</p>
  120. <ul>
  121. <li>a challenging and exciting time with a dynamic NPO working internationally,</li>
  122. <li>a close-up view of organisational and community processes, </li>
  123. <li>a chance to take the initiative and put your ideas into practice, and</li>
  124. <li>the opportunity to meet and work with Free Software advocates across Europe.</li>
  125. </ul>
  126. <p>Beside the current interns <a href="">Natalia Evdokimova</a>, and <a
  127. href="/about/jean/jean.html">Nicolas Jean</a>, past interns include our
  128. Italian coordinator <a href="">Giacomo Poderi</a>,
  129. Fellowship representative <a href="/about/roy/roy.html">Hugo Roy</a>, our
  130. president <a href="/about/gerloff/gerloff.html">Karsten Gerloff</a>, UK
  131. coordinator <a href="/about/tuke/tuke.html">Sam Tuke</a>, Swedish team member
  132. <a href="">Stian
  133. Rødven Eide</a>, education team coordinator <a
  134. href="">Thomas Jensch</a>, and <a
  135. href="/about/kirschner/kirschner.html">your editor</a>, who was FSFE's first
  136. intern. So as you can see, the internship is a good start to get more involved
  137. in FSFE.</p>
  138. <p>Regards,<br/>
  139. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="">FSFE</a></p>
  140. <p>-- <br />
  141. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  142. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  143. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  144. <a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  145. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  146. </body>
  147. <tags>
  148. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  149. <tag>Matthias Kirschner</tag>
  150. </tags>
  151. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
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