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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2011-06-04" type="newsletter">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>FSFE Newsletter - June 2011</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>FSFE Newsletter - June 2011</h1>
  8. <h2>The 899 Million question: Microsoft, European Commission, and Free
  9. Software</h2>
  10. <p newsteaser="yes">What would you do with a monopolist, who uses his dominant position in one
  11. area to create monopolies in other areas as well? The European Commission has
  12. decided in 2004 that Microsoft has to provide competitors with information how
  13. to connect a workgroup server with computers running Microsoft Windows. Since
  14. the main competitor to Microsoft’s workgroup server is the Free Software Samba
  15. project, the Commission made it clear that Microsoft had to release
  16. interoperability information in a way that is compatible with Free Software
  17. licenses like the GNU GPL. The Commission's 2004 decision did not require
  18. Microsoft to publish innovative information, it asked for simple information
  19. how Microsoft computers talk to each other.</p>
  20. <p>But Microsoft played for time, even when the Commission imposed a fine of
  21. two million Euro for every day that Microsoft did not make the required
  22. interoperability information and documentation available in a way that the
  23. Samba team could make use of it. That gave Microsoft three more years to gain
  24. profit from its monopoly position.</p>
  25. <p><a href="/activities/ms-vs-eu/timeline.html">After losing an
  26. appeal in October 2007</a>, Microsoft finally made the required
  27. interoperability information available for a one-time fee of EUR 10,000. This
  28. gives Free Software groups access to Microsoft’s protocol specifications, but
  29. does not give them a license to the patents that Microsoft holds in this area.
  30. Microsoft only offers patent licenses under conditions that are fundamentally
  31. incompatible with the GNU GPL. So the Samba team has a license to use
  32. Microsoft’s protocol specifications, but not its patented technologies. At
  33. least those patents are identified, and the Samba team can work around them
  34. with considerable effort until we fix the problem of software patents as a
  35. whole.</p>
  36. <p>Microsoft appealed the fine. On the 24th of May another hearing took place.
  37. Like in the rest of the process, FSFE was again present, together with the
  38. Samba team, giving crucial input to ensure that Free Software can compete on
  39. market. Karsten Gerloff wrote about the hearing in his blog article <a
  40. href="">"Samba
  41. case hearing: How Microsoft’s gamble backfired"</a>, and you can also read <a
  42. href="">Groklaw
  43. interview with Karsten Gerloff and Carlo Piana</a>. A ruling on the
  44. Microsoft’s appeal is expected in the second half of the year.</p>
  45. <h2>Antifeatures + DRM</h2>
  46. <p>How many times have you been forced to watch those copyright notices at the
  47. beginning of a DVD, without the chance to fast-forward? Or would you miss it,
  48. if no mobile phone would have a SIM lock?</p>
  49. <p>On the 4th of May our American sister organisation organised the "Day
  50. Against DRM". There were several <a
  51. href="">articles,
  52. events, and radio shows about this topic</a>. Your editor was interviewed by
  53. Dradio Wissen on the subject of Antifeatures, which also includes digitial
  54. restriction management (DRM).</p>
  55. <p>An antifeature is a feature, which is implemented by the developer on
  56. purpose, but which user does not want. So, it is not about bugs or missing
  57. functionality, but about functions which the vendor added intentionally to
  58. restrict the user.</p>
  59. <p><a href="">Your editor's interview and
  60. corresponding article</a> explain some examples, like how printer vendors
  61. prevent others from producing printers' cartridges, the sim lock in mobile
  62. phones, the option to get rid of additional software commercials on laptops, or
  63. the copyright notices and the region code for DVDs.</p>
  64. <p>With Free Software adding antifeatures simply isn't lucrative. Every user
  65. has the freedom to change the software and to share those changes with others.
  66. So when one person removes an antifeature, all other users will benefit from
  67. this work. In Free Software new features are implemented either if someone pays
  68. for them, or if someone is convinced that this is an important feature and s/he
  69. has spent spare time on it. Therewith Free Software is more honest and more
  70. transparent towards users.</p>
  71. <p>Benjamin Mako Hill <a
  72. href="">wrote more about
  73. antifeatures</a> and also gave several talks about it, e.g. at <a
  74. href="">Linux Conf
  75. Australia 2010 (Ogg-Theora)</a>, or <a
  76. href="">FrosCon
  77. (Ogg-Theora)</a>.</p>
  78. <h2>Something completely different</h2>
  79. <ul>
  80. <li>As British Telecom plan to roll out new music subscription service to
  81. their 5.5 million broadband customers, <a
  82. href="/activities/os/bt-open-letter.html">our UK Team has asked BT to make
  83. user freedom one of the product's key features.</a></li>
  84. <li>The German Foreign Office is turning away from Free Software, and the
  85. German Government is entangling itself in contradictions. <a
  86. href="/news/2011/news-20110511-01.html">The assessment of our German team
  87. is,</a> that the reaction of the Government to an inquiry by "Bündnis
  88. 90/Grüne" shows that the government either does not understand
  89. important aspects of Free Software or is deliberately offending Free Software
  90. in general as well as Free Software companies in particular. We set up a <a
  91. href="">public comment plattform</a>,
  92. and ask you to participate.</li>
  93. <li>The <a
  94. href="">Free
  95. Software in Education update is out for March/April 2011</a>. Besides,
  96. there is an <a
  97. href="">education
  98. survey in the UK.</a></li>
  99. <li>The German team <a href="/news/2011/news-20110520-01.html">commented the
  100. replies to our question to the political parties in Bremen.</a></li>
  101. <li>From the <a href="">planet aggregation</a>: </li>
  102. <ul>
  103. <li>This month's <a
  104. href="">Fellowship
  105. interview with Florian Effenberger</a>, is out. He was the previous
  106. Marketing Project Lead for and now founding member and part
  107. of the Steering Committee at The Document Foundation.</li>
  108. <li>There are again new issues of Free Software and law related links for
  109. <a href="">30.4.-6.5.</a> <a
  110. href="">7.5.-22.5.</a>, and <a
  111. href="">23.5.-29.5.</a>.</li>
  112. <li>Fellow <a
  113. href="">Jan-Christoph
  114. Borchardt wrote about Free(ing) web games.</a></li>
  115. </ul>
  116. </ul>
  117. <h2>Get active: Translate our Ask your Candidates page</h2>
  118. <p>In the coming month we will do more in our <a
  119. href="/campaigns/askyourcandidates/askyourcandidates.html">"Ask Your Candidates"</a>
  120. activity. You can already help us by translating this page into your native
  121. language. Like on all pages click on the <a
  122. href="/source/campaigns/askyourcandidates/askyourcandidates.xhtml">source
  123. code link</a> at the buttom of the page. Translate the page and then send it
  124. to If you are interested to help us more regularly
  125. with translations, please take a look at our <a
  126. href="/contribute/translators/translators.html">translator
  127. page</a>.</p>
  128. <p>Regards,<br/>
  129. <a href="/about/kirschner">Matthias Kirschner </a> - <a href="">FSFE</a></p>
  130. <p>-- <br />
  131. <a href="/index.html">Free Software Foundation Europe</a><br />
  132. <a href="/news/news.rss">FSFE News</a><br />
  133. <a href="/events/events.rss">Upcoming FSFE Events</a><br />
  134. <a href="">Fellowship Blog Aggregation</a><br />
  135. <a href="/contact/community.html">Free Software Discussions</a> </p>
  136. </body>
  137. <tags>
  138. <tag>newsletter</tag>
  139. <tag>Matthias Kirschner</tag>
  140. </tags>
  141. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
  142. </html>
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