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  4. <title>FSFE - Two year executive summary - June 21st 2003</title>
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  7. <center>
  8. <h1>Two year executive summary</h1>
  9. <h2>Report for the 2003 general assembly</h2>
  10. </center>
  11. <div align="right">
  12. Milano, Italy, June 21st, 2003<br />
  13. </div>
  14. <p>After the Free Software Foundation Europe was proclaimed with a
  15. "Declaration of Intent - Free Software Foundation Europe" [<a href="#1">1</a>] in which
  16. all interested Free Software advocates from all over Europe were
  17. invited to participate in the creation of this common vision, the FSFE
  18. officially began its work March 10th, 2001 and finished the
  19. founding process April 24th, 2001.</p>
  20. <p>The 2003 general assembly in Milano, Italy on June 21st 2003 seems
  21. like a good opportunity to briefly recap some of the things going on
  22. in these two years.</p>
  23. <p>Initially, a lot of the work was going into issues of bureaucracy,
  24. legal questions and informing people about the FSFE. This was
  25. done on the web, in mailing lists, at tradeshows and conferences.</p>
  26. <h3>OECD Conference in Tokyo</h3>
  27. <p>Soon after the FSFE took up its work, it was already accepted by
  28. major political players. An example for this was when the German
  29. representative of the FSFE, Bernhard Reiter, was asked by the
  30. German ministry of economics (BMWi) to speak about Free Software at an
  31. OECD conference in Tokyo in September 2001. At this occasion, Bernhard
  32. Reiter also had the support of LinuxTag, Linux Verband, German Unix
  33. User Group to speak for the German Free Software scene.</p>
  34. <h3>"We speak about Free Software" campaign</h3>
  35. <p>Soon after it started working, Free Software companies were
  36. approaching the FSFE to ask for a campaign to increase the
  37. visibility of Free Software and explain the advantages of the Free
  38. Software terminology in comparison with Open Source.</p>
  39. <p>One of the main reasons for this was that they were experiencing an
  40. invasion into their market by proprietary software vendors exploiting
  41. the common "it's open source if you can see the source code"
  42. misunderstanding, claiming to offer something similar to what the Free
  43. Software companies were providing. </p>
  44. <p>Therefore, in November 2001, the FSFE launched the "We speak
  45. about Free Software" campaign [<a href="#2">2</a>] with support of Free Software
  46. companies across Europe.</p>
  47. <p>Originally only meant for companies, we made one exception by adding
  48. an individual to the list when Bruce Perens, author of the Open Source
  49. Definition, asked us to be added soon after the campaign was launched.</p>
  50. <h3>Bürgerturm ("Citizen Tower")</h3>
  51. <p>The FSFE also provided input and background about Free Software
  52. in projects that were not directly software-related, like the
  53. Bürgerturm ("Citizen Tower") project [<a href="#3">3</a>] in Berlin, Germany.</p>
  54. <p>The vision behind this project was to allow a free and cooperative
  55. design process to build a building by the citizens for the citizens in
  56. the heart of Berlin. According to the initial idea, the design process
  57. as well as the finished building should follow the Free Software
  58. philosophy, creating a visible and tangible implementation of the
  59. Free Software spirit.</p>
  60. <p>In the end, the group hoped to create a multifunctional building that
  61. would be both real and virtual and that would be open to all citizens
  62. 24hrs a day.</p>
  63. <p>Although the idea turned out to be too ambitious for the group that
  64. gathered around it, the ideas and documents remain available and we
  65. hope that one day someone will pick them up and bring them to life.</p>
  66. <h3>Free Software for German Parliament</h3>
  67. <p>Many people were following the discussion about a possible shift to
  68. GNU/Linux by the German parliament. The FSFE actively
  69. contributed to that discussion in December 2001 [<a href="#4">4</a>] and provided the
  70. philosophical stepping stone for the Bundestux [<a href="#5">5</a>] project, which is
  71. still working to further Free Software in public administration.</p>
  72. <h3>Commission on Intellectual Property Rights</h3>
  73. <p>On January 21st, 2002, the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights
  74. [<a href="#6">6</a>] took place in London, UK. Besides participants from Microsoft and the
  75. media industry, Georg Greve, president of the FSFE, was invited
  76. to the expert workshop on "Copyright, Software and the Internet."</p>
  77. <p>When the final report came out in September 2002, it recommended that
  78. developing countries should consider use of Free Software. [<a href="#7">7</a>][<a href="#8">8</a>]</p>
  79. <h3>Investigation of the European Commission against Microsoft</h3>
  80. <p>Also in January 2001, the FSFE got asked for input on the
  81. ongoing investigation against Microsoft by the European
  82. Commission. Thanks to the quick and competent reaction of the SAMBA
  83. team, Dr. Peter Gerwinski, Head of Office of the FSFE, was able
  84. to provide concrete material on how Microsoft was trying to keep
  85. competitors out of the market.</p>
  86. <h3>German Copyright law revision</h3>
  87. <p>Another issue also found its end that month. The German ministry of
  88. justice was planning a revision of Copyright law to protect artists
  89. from exploitation by the media industry through mandatory payment for
  90. transfer of rights. Unfortunately, this might have jeopardised the
  91. legal security of commercial Free Software, as Free Software is
  92. considered a gift under German law.</p>
  93. <p>Thanks to the well-established cooperation with ifross [<a href="#9">9</a>] -- a German
  94. institute for legal questions of Free Software -- the FSFE was
  95. able to support the ifross in requesting a supplement to that specific
  96. law, which got accepted in January 2002. [<a href="#10">10</a>]</p>
  97. <p>Now the law -- which was enacted April 2002 -- contains an exception
  98. for Free Software.</p>
  99. <h3>A GNU/Linux Audio Distribution (AGNULA)</h3>
  100. <p>After many months of preparation and paperwork, the AGNULA project
  101. [<a href="#11">11</a>] finally took off in April 2002 with the goal of creating an
  102. entirely Free Software GNU/Linux Audio distribution for professional
  103. users. Thanks to this, the FSFE became official partner of the
  104. European Commission within a year after being started.</p>
  105. <p>Within the AGNULA project, the FSFE determines the Copyright and
  106. licensing policy, decides which licenses and software packages are
  107. acceptable and makes sure the long-term and community interests are
  108. taken into account. [<a href="#12">12</a>]</p>
  109. <h3>6th Framework Programme of the European Commission</h3>
  110. <p>As some people may know, the European Commission has programs to
  111. further pan-European research and development, called "framework
  112. programmes", which last for four years. Within these framework
  113. programmes, there are certain areas, one of which is "Information
  114. Society Technologies" (IST), the area concerned with information
  115. technology. AGNULA for instance was part of the 5th framework
  116. programme IST area.</p>
  117. <p>The 6th framework programme (FP6) was prepared for launch towards the
  118. end of 2002 and originally, there was no mentioning of Free Software.</p>
  119. <p>So the FSFE wrote a recommendation [<a href="#13">13</a>] for the 6th framework
  120. programme in which the advantages of Free Software for Europe as a
  121. region and the European countries were explained and in which
  122. suggestions were made as to how to capitalise on them. This suggestion
  123. was backed by over 50 parties throughout Europe and filed in April
  124. 2002.</p>
  125. <p>In June 2002, the FSFE also backed this up by filing two
  126. expressions of interest, FOCAL ("FOcusing Competence for Advantages of
  127. Liberty") [<a href="#14">14</a>] and LAFIS ("LAying the Foundations for Information
  128. Society") [<a href="#15">15</a>] with some of the parties who signed the recommendation
  129. in order to show that there was real interest in doing something about
  130. Free software in the FP6.</p>
  131. <p>As of December 2002, the suggestion of the FSFE -- namely to
  132. give projects with Free Software an evaluation bonus in the rating
  133. process, increasing the chances of Free Software projects in
  134. comparison with proprietary software -- became part of the IST work
  135. programme. [<a href="#16">16</a>]</p>
  136. <p>As a result, the whole budget of the IST work programme, containing
  137. 1725 million Euro, is available with a preference for Free Software.</p>
  138. <p>The FSFE is now working to help consortia for Free Software find
  139. and organise themselves to make sure that as many projects as possible
  140. will make use of this opportunity. [<a href="#17">17</a>]</p>
  141. <h3>Web page</h3>
  142. <p>In January 2003, after a process of over one year, Jonas Öberg,
  143. vice-president of the FSFE, was finally able to put the new FSFE web
  144. page on-line with a rather unique structural layout. [<a href="#18">18</a>]</p>
  145. <p>In order to appreciate the thought that has gone into the design, one
  146. should know that the FSFE follows a federal approach with
  147. parallel local and European/global level. Also everything is
  148. translated into as many languages as possible, while missing or
  149. outdated translations must not pose problems.</p>
  150. <p>This makes for a very complex situation -- but trying to achieve the
  151. maximum transparency possible, that complexity should not be the
  152. concern of the web site visitor. Also the visitor should always get
  153. the best match in terms of selected language regardless of which
  154. translations exist or whether they might be outdated.</p>
  155. <p>The solution for this problem is the "focus" approach. If no focus is
  156. selected, people will see all news and projects that are of European
  157. and global interest. But if they select certain regions of special
  158. interest -- like Italy, France or Germany -- they will also see the
  159. information of specific interest to these countries.</p>
  160. <p>Unlike the situation for other web pages, that local information does
  161. not hide any European or global information, however -- it is provided
  162. additionally. So regardless of the focus, the global information
  163. always remains visible and accessible.</p>
  164. <p>Of course we are still in need of more translators and translations,
  165. as always.</p>
  166. <h3>Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA)</h3>
  167. <p>With increasing interest in Free Software by companies and
  168. governments, the question of legal safety and maintainability are also
  169. becoming more important. At the same time, authors have a harder time
  170. taking care of the legal needs of their projects and also sometimes
  171. find themselves in the situation of being attacked legally.</p>
  172. <p>In order to provide protection against this and increase the legal
  173. security of Free Software, the FSFE has worked on the Fiduciary
  174. Licence Agreement (FLA) [<a href="#19">19</a>] with experts in Free Software legal
  175. issues, which was published in February 2003.</p>
  176. <p>This agreement allows authors to make the FSFE their fiduciary
  177. for all legal issues and provides a possible solution for the needs of
  178. several software projects that need to establish some form of rights
  179. management. </p>
  180. <h3>bridge foundation</h3>
  181. <p>June 2003, the bridge foundation [<a href="#20">20</a>] was founded in Berlin, Germany
  182. with the goal of furthering questions of digital citizenship rights in
  183. the information society.</p>
  184. <p>The FSFE supports this foundation ideally and personally through
  185. its president, Georg Greve, who is member of the jury for the bridge
  186. ideas contest, in which 15000 EUR will be available to the project
  187. that seems most promising in spreading awareness for these issues.</p>
  188. <pre>
  189. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="1">1</a>] <code><a href="/documents/doi.html"></a></code>
  190. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="2">2</a>] <code><a href="/documents/whyfs.html"></a></code>
  191. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="3">3</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  192. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="4">4</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  193. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="5">5</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  194. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="6">6</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  195. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="7">7</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  196. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="8">8</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  197. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="9">9</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  198. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="10">10</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  199. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="11">11</a>] <code>(link no longer available)</code>
  200. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="12">12</a>] <code><a href="/projects/agnula/"></a></code>
  201. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="13">13</a>] <code><a href="/documents/fp6/recommendation.html"></a></code>
  202. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="14">14</a>] <code><a href="/documents/fp6/focal.en.html"></a></code>
  203. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="15">15</a>] <code><a href="/documents/fp6/focal.en.html"></a></code>
  204. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="16">16</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  205. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="17">17</a>] <code><a href="/projects/fp6/"></a></code>
  206. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="18">18</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  207. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="19">19</a>] <code><a href="/projects/fla/"></a></code>
  208. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="20">20</a>] <code>(link no longer available)</code>
  209. </pre>
  210. <h3>Ongoing activities</h3>
  211. <p>Of course, besides these concrete projects there were other ongoing
  212. activities in which the FSFE was active or provided assistance
  213. or a platform to the activits in these areas.</p>
  214. <p>Examples include work against the European equivalent of the Digital
  215. Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the European Copyright Directive
  216. (EUCD) [<a href="#21">21</a>]. This law -- which is currently transcribed into national
  217. law -- provides legal measures for monopolies on file formats and
  218. vendor lock-in, silent removal of fair use rights, massive reduction
  219. of the freedom of speech and censorship.</p>
  220. <p>Another area are software patents [<a href="#22">22</a>], in which lobby groups are
  221. trying to seal up the market and divide up the shares for the
  222. information society among themselves to make sure noone else will be
  223. in a position to contribute. Consequently, this not only reduces
  224. innovation and competition, they also provide means of enforcing
  225. monopolies on file formats and vendor lock-in.</p>
  226. <p>During the first general assembly of the FSFE, education was
  227. identified as one of the most important areas for activity so young
  228. people and students would have the chance of getting in touch with
  229. knowledge instead of mere product schooling. Therefore the FSFE
  230. started a Free Software in Education [<a href="#23">23</a>] working group.</p>
  231. <p>Also, the FSFE was very happy to provide a home for the
  232. Tux&amp;GNU@School [<a href="#24">24</a>] column by Mario Fux, a column about educational
  233. Free Software, under the roof of this working group.</p>
  234. <p>On a less serious note, the the FSFE also wanted to uphold the
  235. t-shirt tradition and not only provided the first European FSF shirts,
  236. it also created the first girlie shirts with GPL preamble on the back
  237. as well as the first GNU pins ever. [<a href="#25">25</a>]</p>
  238. <pre>
  239. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="21">21</a>] <code><a href="/projects/eucd/"></a></code>
  240. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="22">22</a>] <code><a href="/projects/swpat/"></a></code>
  241. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="23">23</a>] <code><a href="/projects/education/"></a></code>
  242. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="24">24</a>] <code><a href="/projects/education/tgs/"></a></code>
  243. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="25">25</a>] <code><a href="/order/"></a></code>
  244. </pre>
  245. <h3>Associates</h3>
  246. <p>One of the fundamentals of Free Software is that we do not stand
  247. alone. And just like this is true for individuals, the FSFE also
  248. believes in this with respect to organisations, which builds the basis
  249. of the associate organisation [<a href="#26">26</a>] status.</p>
  250. <p>Current associates are
  251. <ul>
  252. <li>AFFS, UK [<a href="#27">27</a>]</li>
  253. <li>ANSOL, Portugal [<a href="#28">28</a>]</li>
  254. <li>APRIL, France [<a href="#29">29</a>]</li>
  255. <li>AsSoLi, Italy [<a href="#30">30</a>]</li>
  256. <li>FFII, Germany [<a href="#31">31</a>]</li>
  257. <li>FFS, Austria [<a href="#32">32</a>]</li>
  258. <li>FSIJ, Japan [<a href="#33">33</a>]</li>
  259. <li>OFSET, France [<a href="#34">34</a>]</li>
  260. </ul></p>
  261. <p>The members of these organisations can get directly involved in all
  262. FSFE activities and without them, a lot of the work would not
  263. have been possible.</p>
  264. <p>If you wish to become involved in the FSFE, joining one of the
  265. existing associate organisations, making your organisation an
  266. associate or creating an associate organisation is definitely the most
  267. efficient way.</p>
  268. <pre>
  269. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">26</a>] <code><a href="/associates/"></a></code>
  270. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">27</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  271. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">28</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  272. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">29</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  273. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">30</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  274. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">31</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  275. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">32</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  276. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">33</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  277. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="26">34</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  278. </pre>
  279. <h3>Shows/Talks</h3>
  280. <p>One of the most tedious, but very necessary tasks is to be present at
  281. tradeshows, create and spread distribution material, talk to the
  282. people and inform them about Free Software and the value of freedom in
  283. speeches and podium discussions.</p>
  284. <p>Some events and places where the FSFE has done this in the past
  285. are</p>
  286. <pre>
  287. Asia OSS Symposium 2003, Phuket, Thailand
  288. Associazione Industriali Brescia, Brescia, Italy
  289. CECAM (European Center for Atomic and Molecular Computations), Lyon, France
  290. CeBIT, Hanover, Germany
  291. DANTE (German TeX Users Association) 2003 Conference, Bremen, Germany
  292. FOSDEM, Brussels, Belgium
  293. Free Software Symposium 2002, Tokyo, Japan
  294. GNU/Linux Seminar at the Sheffield Wednesday football stadium, Sheffield, UK
  295. IFA, Berlin, Germany
  296. IST Infoday "Open Platforms", Brussels, Belgium
  297. Information Society Technologies (IST) Conference &amp; Expo, Copenhagen, Denmark
  298. Libre Software Meeting, Bordeaux, France
  299. Linux Infotage, Berlin, Germany
  300. Linux@work, Frankfurt, Germany
  301. LinuxDay, Bolzano and Milano, Italy
  302. LinuxExpo, Paris, France
  303. LinuxTag, Stuttgart &amp; Karlsruhe, Germany
  304. LinuxWorldExpo, Milano, Italy
  305. Parliamentary Evening, Berlin, Germany
  306. Systems, Munich, Germany
  307. ThinkAbout-IT, Rostock, Germany
  308. Transmediale, Berlin, Germany
  309. Universita` di Bari, Politecnico, Bari, Italy
  310. Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  311. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
  312. University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  313. Webbit, Padova, Italy
  314. Wizards of OS, Berlin, Germany
  315. Workshop "Free Software and Multimedia," Centro Tempo Reale, Florence, Italy
  316., Washington, U.S.A.
  317. hiroshima mon amour cultural center, Torino, Italy
  318. </pre>
  319. <h3>Outlook</h3>
  320. <p>For the next years, there is still a lot of work ahead of us.</p>
  321. <p>We are currently awaiting the outcome of the evaluation for the "GNU
  322. Coordination Action Network" (GNUCAN) which was filed for the first
  323. call of the FP6 IST program. Also there are plans to start working on
  324. a "Free Software for a Mobile World" (GNUBILE) proposal.</p>
  325. <p>In order to firmly root Free Software in society and make sure that it
  326. is here to stay, we also need to further it in the business field. Our
  327. hope is that we will soon find the time and resources to work on the
  328. GNU Business Network, which will set out to do that.</p>
  329. <p>As the proprietary software companies have increased their spendings
  330. on lobbying against Free Software to preserve their monopolies, we
  331. also need to intensify our political work.</p>
  332. <p>One of the events where this will be necessary is the "World Summit on
  333. the Information Society" (WSIS) [<a href="#35">35</a>] at the end of 2003. The
  334. preparation is already in full progress and the FSFE has for
  335. instance major support by other German civil societies to represent
  336. the German civil society movement in this process, but we will need to
  337. intensify our efforts.</p>
  338. <p>And of course we hope to get more countries officially and
  339. inofficially involved in the FSFE. This does require significant
  340. work by the local activitists, but we are optimistic that more
  341. countries will participate soon.</p>
  342. <p>Finally, we would like to thank all of you who have supported us in
  343. the past -- without you to stand at tradeshow booths, talk to the
  344. people, translate documents, make contacts, ask companies to donate or
  345. donate yourself, we could not have done as much as we did!</p>
  346. <p>And if you haven't supported us yet but would like to do so,
  347. information about this can be found online. [<a href="#36">36</a>] [<a href="#37">37</a>]</p>
  348. <pre>
  349. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="35">35</a>] <code><a href=""></a></code>
  350. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="36">36</a>] <code><a href="/help/"></a></code>
  351. [<a href="es-2003.html" name="37">37</a>] <code><a href="/help/donate.html"></a></code>
  352. </pre>
  353. </body>
  354. <timestamp>$Date$ $Author$</timestamp>
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