= FSFE Newsletter – July 2011 =
[Read online: http://fsfe.org/news/nl/nl-201107.it.html ]
== Attack on Free Software and the GNU GPL ==
Imagine that you’ve just bought a computer with pre-installed Free
Software. After some time you decide to install additional software made
by someone else. The vendor that sold you your computer, however, does
not approve, and decides to sue the people who made the additional
software that you installed. Sounds like purchasing a computer from that
vendor was not such a great idea!
At the moment something very similar is happening in in Germany, in
an important GNU GPL violation case that the FSFE and gpl-
violations.orgare participating. Germany company AVM maintains in
court that others should not be allowed to modify the software that
comes pre-installed on their commercial computers and devices. It turns
out, though, that this pre-installed software includes the Linux kernel,
a piece of software distributed under the GNU GPL which guarantees
exactly this freedom to users.
Through their actions, AVM is attacking the very foundations of Free
Software: they want to take away freedom from others. It will directly
contravene the legal rights of the original software authors, who
decided that software freedom and cooperation is more important to them
than receiving license fees. If AVM is successful in court it will be a
disastrous move for the freedom of software on embedded devices, mobile
phones, network hardware and other Free Software based products.
The judge did not make a decision during the June 21 court hearing, and
participants in the case may still file further written pleas. On
September 27 the court is set to either make a direct ruling on the case
or choose to begin hearing evidence. The FSFE and gpl-violations.org
have published a detailed report about the case, and will continue to
monitor the situation in defence of freedom for software users.
== FSFE Internal: An era ends – others start ==
Usually you don’t hear about the people who work behind the scenes for
the FSFE. Most of us are volunteers, and press and publicity work is
handled by people like FSFE president Karsten Gerloff, or your humble
editor. But without those volunteers who donate their spare time to
promote software freedom the FSFE would not be what it is today. (Thank
At the FSFE’s June 11 General Assembly, which took place in Ljubljana,
Slovenia, FSFE’s memberselected Henrik Sandklefto be the
organisation’s Vice President. A computer scientist and GNU Hacker from
Gothenburg, Sweden, Henrik has been active with the FSFE since 2005. He
takes over from Fernanda Weiden, who held the volunteer position for the
past two years. The General Assembly also confirmed Karsten Gerloff as
FSFE’s President and Reinhard Müller as Finanical Officer.
While a new officer term cycle began, another era ended as Bernhard
Reiter, FSFE co-founder, completed ten years as German coordinator and
Deputy. He is the first FSFE representative to continuously hold
positions within the organisation for such a long time, and is the only
person to have participated in every FSFE annual General Assembly to
date. Bernhard will remain active within the FSFE but has handed the
official post of Deputy German Coordinator to Torsten Grote.
== The European Commission’s locked-in syndrome ==
It’s official: The European Commission will migrate to Microsoft Windows
7 without considering alternative solutions. In a reply to questions
asked by MEP Bart Staes (Greens/EFA), the European Commission confirmed
that it has awarded contracts for the ‘upgrade’ to Microsoft and
reseller Fujitsu-Siemens on behalf of 55 other European institutions and
the Commission itself. As Karsten explains in his blog article on the
issue, this move will drive the Comission into even greater
dependence on Microsoft.
== And now for something completely different ==
– Do you want your (future) children to work with Free Software in
school? Read the new Fellowship Interview with Guido Arnold. Guido
is coordinating the FSFE’s education team. He gives insights into the
team’s latest efforts at increasing the use of Free Software in
– One IP address for everything: FSFE celebrated World IPv6 Day.
Almost all of our servers are now reachable via IPv6.
– Have you ever seen three FSF presidents in one place? The famous
picture captures Richard Stallman (FSF US), Nagarjuna G (FSF India)
and Karsten Gerloff (FSFE)together.
– From the planet aggregation:
– Do you need Free Software law related links? Matija Šuklje and
Natalia Evdokimova published a June 2001 edition of their Free
Software law resource list.
– How do you organise a cool Free Software event, like FSCONS, using
only command line tools? Read the blog articles from Patrik
Willard, FSFE’s new Deputy coordinator of Sweden.
– Football is still a topic on our blog aggregation: Lena Simon writes
about football and football for menand Guido writes about the EURO
2012 in Free Software, an alternative for those not interested in
– Greek Fellow Kostas Boukouvalas writes about Thessaloniki’s
– Michael Stehmann reports about the Düsseldorf Fellowship meeting,
including the Open Music Contest
== Get active: Become an FSFE booth volunteer in Strasbourg ==
The FSFE will participate in the RMLL, one of France’s biggest Free
Software events, from July 9 to 14. In addition to having an information
booth, the FSFE will also deliver presentations on Free Software:
Karsten will talk about Centralised Internet Services and Problems of
Power (13.07., 15:20), France Coordinator Hugo Roywill talk about
the battle fought by Free Software for HTML5 online videos, and several
other speakers have been invited to talk on topics concerning
decentralisation of the Internet.
Like every booth and event we participate with, please contact today to
volunteer if you are able. Help us to inform our audiences about Free
Best regards and see you next time,
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE
Free Software Foundation Europe
Upcoming FSFE Events
Fellowship Blog Aggregation
Free Software Discussions