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FSFE is hiring a working student specialised on websites

06. Dezember 2021 um 00:00

FSFE is hiring a working student specialised on websites

We are looking for a working student to support our work to empower people to control technology. The person will work 10-15 hours per week and will maintain and improve the FSFE's websites. Applicants have to be enrolled in a German university and can work remotely.

About the FSFE

Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our lives and it is important that technology empowers rather than restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use, understand, adapt, and share software. These rights help support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press, and privacy.

The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software adoption, encourages people to use and develop Free Software, and provides resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software in Europe.

We are involved in many activities in the legal, economic, political and technical areas around Free Software. Our work is made possible by a community of volunteers, supporters, donors, and staff. The web working student's job will strengthen the public perception of the FSFE and allow more people to work effectively with the web presences.

Group picture of our 2019 web-a-thon in Frankfurt

Main responsibilities

  • Working closely together with technical staff and volunteers.
  • Solving issues and working on long-term improvements of the FSFE's main website and separate activity-related websites like publiccode.eu.
  • Helping volunteers and staff with problems when working with the website, and finding solutions to lower the technical threshold, for example when working with Git or other tools used in the process.
  • Assisting in major overhauls of existing websites (like design, restructuring, or website generator) and the development of new web projects.

Qualifications

  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Other European languages are considered an asset.
  • Proven experience with the development and maintenance of websites.
  • Practical understanding of Git, HTML/XML, CSS/Less, and the use of GNU/Linux systems.
  • Experience with one or more of the following technologies: Python, PHP, Perl, XSL, Bash, Hugo.
  • Other technical experiences are considered an asset, for example with liberating phones or routers, or server administration.
  • Enthusiasm for the principles of Free Software, its community, and tools.

Attitude

We are looking for a reliable, well-organised member of our technical teams who is keen to learn about old and new technologies. You support the whole organisation in its mission. Long-term thinking, efficiency and effectiveness are more important to you than the newest cool technology on the block.

When people have technical questions, you can support them and also have interest in explaining them the underlying technology in an adequate language.

Working time and compensation

The desired working time is 10-15 hours per week but can be discussed. You can work from anywhere in Germany, but should be willing to travel 1-2 times a year to staff and web-team meetings. The salary is based on the currently applicable minimum wage in Germany but can be higher depending on your experience. A mandatory requirement due to administrative reasons is that you are enrolled as a student at a university in Germany, and have a working permit for Germany, for example by EU citizenship.

How to apply

To apply, please send a maximum one-page cover letter -- including the desired hours per week -- and a maximum two-page CV (only PDFs are accepted) by email to jobs@fsfe.org, with the subject "website student" and your name. Please do not include pictures of yourself in the application.

Your personal data will be deleted 3 months after we have made our decision. The closing date for applications is Sunday 31 December 2021.

Free Software is meant to serve everyone regardless of their age, ability or disability, gender identity, sex, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. Hence, we encourage applications from all backgrounds and promise to judge all applications on merit, without reference to any of the characteristics listed. To promote diversity and equality in the Free Software community, we shall give preference to applicants who identify as part of a traditionally marginalised demographic in technology for applications of equal strength.

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Infrastruktur ganz im Sinne der Softwarefreiheit

03. Dezember 2021 um 00:00

Infrastruktur ganz im Sinne der Softwarefreiheit

Können Organisationen mit begrenzten Ressourcen digital souverän sein und trotzdem moderne Dienstleistungen anbieten? Es ist nicht trivial, aber die FSFE beweist, dass es möglich ist. Tauchen Sie mit uns tief in unsere Infrastruktur ein, um zu erfahren, wie wir all die verschiedenen Dienste in der FSFE betreiben und mit den zahllosen Hürden umgehen. Eine Geschichte nicht nur für Techies.

Wohltätige, gemeinnützige Organisationen stoßen täglich an Grenzen: Personal, Budget, Zeit und die drängende Frage, wie man Spendengelder am effizientesten einsetzt. Wenn es um technische Infrastruktur geht, entscheiden sich viele Organisationen leider für das Outsourcing und die Nutzung proprietärer, unfreier Dienste. Damit geben sie die Softwarefreiheit und damit die digitale Souveränität und Unabhängigkeit auf.

Die FSFE geht seit ihrer Gründung vor mehr als 20 Jahren den entgegengesetzten Weg. Von Anfang an haben wir uns auf Freie Software verlassen, auch wenn dies manchmal bedeutete, dass wir keine trendigen Dienste nutzen und anbieten konnten. Außerdem müssen wir angesichts der begrenzten Ressourcen ständig zwischen nützlichen Funktionen und Wartbarkeit wählen.

Und dennoch ist weder unsere Infrastruktur perfekt noch ist sie 1:1 auf andere Organisationen übertragbar. Aber wir halten es für wichtig, dass Organisationen ihre Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse austauschen, insbesondere wenn es um etwas so Wichtiges wie Softwarefreiheit geht.

Lassen Sie sich daher von uns auf eine Reise durch unsere Infrastruktur und ihre Prinzipien mitnehmen, von den glänzenden Benutzeroberflächen unserer Dienste über die Virtualisierungsmethoden und die Systemüberwachung bis hin zu den physischen Servern, auf denen sie laufen. Dies ist eine Geschichte nicht nur für Technikbegeisterte, sondern für alle, der daran interessiert sind, eine NGO unabhängig von proprietären Dienstanbietern zu machen oder zu halten.

Ein Team und seine Prinzipien

Die gesamte Infrastruktur der FSFE wird von den System Hackers verwaltet. Noch vor ein paar Jahren, in einer Zeit größerer technischer Altlasten und Umstrukturierungen, bestand das Team nur aus drei Personen. Glücklicherweise haben wir seither einen stetigen Zuwachs an Mitgliedern erlebt. Heute ist es ein gesundes Team, bestehend aus 9 aktiven Freiwilligen, ergänzt durch zwei Mitarbeiter, die einen Teil ihrer Arbeitszeit den Aufgaben des Teams widmen.

Bild vom Treffen der System Hackers 2020 in Lyon

Bei einem Team dieser Größe war es von entscheidender Bedeutung, die grundlegenden Prinzipien dieses Teams zu definieren. Sie bilden die Grundlage für die Ziele der Systemhacker: So viel Kontrolle wie möglich über Dienste und Server durch die Verwendung von 100% Freier Software, Transparenz nach innen und außen und erträgliche Komplexität bei gleichzeitiger Bereitstellung nützlicher Funktionen für die verschiedenen FSFE-Teams und die gesamte Community.

Neben der rein asynchronen Arbeit, E-Mails und Chats, trafen sich die System Hackers in der Zeit vor der Pandemie mindestens einmal im Jahr und tun dies auch weiterhin in virtueller Form. Bei diesen Treffen konnten wir komplexere Entscheidungen und technische Änderungen effizient angehen, hatten aber auch einfach Spaß an nicht-technischen Gesprächen und spaßigen Aktivitäten. Das Team wird von uns Autoren dieses Textes, Albert und Max, koordiniert, die auch eine große Zahl von Diensten und Systemen betreuen.

Dienste, Dienste überall

Die Infrastruktur der FSFE ist sehr diensteorientiert. Freiwillige und Mitarbeiter verlassen sich auf grundlegende Funktionen wie das Senden und Empfangen von E-Mails oder den Austausch von Dateien, aber auch auf eine Website, die ihre Daten aus einem Versionskontrollsystem zieht, ein Wiki oder Video-Chat-Systeme. Um ein Beispiel für die komplexe Verknüpfung verschiedener Komponenten zu geben: Allein das Verfassen und Freigeben dieses Artikels umfasst mindestens 12 Dienste, die nahtlos zusammenarbeiten müssen.

Die derzeit wichtigsten und meistgenutzten Dienste sind Mailman für Mailinglisten oder Gitea als unser Git-Versionskontrollsystem. Um den Austausch und die Speicherung von Wissen zu ermöglichen, pflegen unsere Wiki-Betreuer MoinMoin, während Björn sich um Nextcloud kümmert, um Dateien auszutauschen, Aufgaben zu koordinieren und Dokumente gemeinsam zu bearbeiten. Wir betreiben unsere eigenen Instanzen von BigBlueButton und Jitsi für Videokonferenzen und XMPP/Jabber für textbasierte Chats. Ganz neu hinzugekommen sind Matrix als weiterer Chat-Dienst, der von Michael initiiert und gepflegt wird, und Peertube für das Hosting und die gemeinsame Nutzung unserer Videos auf unserer eigenen Infrastruktur, was von Alvar ermöglicht wurde.

Die Liste der Dienste ist noch viel länger und enthält auch fundamentale Systeme wie das von Reinhard entwickelte Account-Management-System und die Community-Datenbank, unsere eigenen DNS-Server oder Drone als CI/CD-System, welches Daten aus Gitea verarbeitet, prüft und auf andere Server produktiv stellt.

Selbstredend erhält das Team regelmäßig Anfragen zur Bereitstellung zusätzlicher Dienste. Hier besteht die Herausforderung darin, eine sorgfältige Auswahl zu treffen, die auf den verfügbaren Ressourcen (Rechenleistung, Speicherplatz, Zeit der Freiwilligen) und dem geschätzten Nutzen für die Organisation basiert, und zu bewerten, ob eine Lösung gut wartbar ist, sich nicht weitgehend mit bestehenden Diensten überschneidet und generell einen guten Eindruck hinterlässt.

Manchmal bedeutet das auch, dass wir Lösungen über einen längeren Zeitraum in der Praxis testen müssen. Ein gutes Beispiel dafür ist die Echtzeitbearbeitung von Dokumenten, für die wir derzeit mehrere Möglichkeiten zur Verfügung haben. Längere Dokumente werden oft als ODF-Dateien über Collabora Online in Verbindung mit Nextcloud bearbeitet, aber einige Autoren bevorzugen Etherpad oder verwenden direkt Git. Alle Lösungen haben Vor- und Nachteile, und es ist alles andere als trivial, einen guten Mittelweg zwischen vielfältigen Möglichkeiten auf der einen Seite und einer Überfrachtung mit Tools auf der anderen Seite zu finden.

Virtualisierung und Deployment

Während die FSFE tatsächlich dedizierte Server in Racks besitzt (dazu kommen wir später), laufen alle Dienste in einer gewissen Form von Virtualisierung. Zum Zeitpunkt der Erstellung dieses Artikels gibt es insgesamt 43 virtuelle Maschinen, die auf verschiedene Rechenzentren verteilt sind. Einige haben eine rein interne Funktion, zum Beispiel als Gateway für andere virtuelle Maschinen oder zur Unterstützung von Webdiensten bei der Beschaffung von TLS-Zertifikaten.

Eine Übersicht über die virtuellen Server der FSFE und ihre Verteilung über die verschiedenen Cluster

Einige andere wiederum hosten selbst eine Reihe von verschiedenen Diensten. Seit 2017 setzen wir Docker als Container-Engine ein. Das war keine leichte Entscheidung, da die Technologie viel Komplexität mit sich bringt und manchmal verblüffende Workarounds erfordert, um sicher betrieben werden zu können. Andererseits ist es vor allem für kleinere Dienste oder größere, selbst programmierte Tools praktisch. Man kann sie damit schnell aufzusetzen, über unser Continuous-Integration-System testen und bereitstellen, eine mehr oder weniger einheitliche lokale Entwicklungsumgebung bereitstellen und eine (zugegebenermaßen begrenzte) Reproduzierbarkeit von Konfigurationen gewährleisten.

Wir evaluieren regelmäßig alternative Lösungen, die einen nahtloseren Rootless-Modus bieten, weiterhin mit unserem CI/CD-System (Drone) und Reverse Proxy kompatibel sind und im Idealfall keine umfangreiche Überarbeitung des bestehenden Deployment-Code erfordern. Auch hier ist es für die System Hackers wichtig, dass mindestens zwei Mitglieder eine so elementare Technologie in der Tiefe verstehen.

Zum initialen Aufsetzen virtueller Maschinen und zur reproduzierbaren Bereitstellung von Diensten, die nicht aus Containern bestehen, verlassen wir uns in hohem Maße auf Ansible, ein Tool für Provisionierung und Konfigurationsverwaltung. Obwohl Ansible-Deployments auch ihre Schwächen haben können, schätzen wir den Infrastructure-as-Code-Ansatz, der von jedem Computer aus ausgeführt werden kann und keinen zentralen Server erfordert. Inzwischen werden nur noch wenige Dienste weder über Ansible noch über Docker bereitgestellt, was das Verständnis der bestehenden Infrastruktur, das Onboarding neuer Freiwilliger und die Dokumentation von Änderungen erheblich erleichtert.

Das allessehende Auge, und Gleichfürmigkeit

Dutzende von Servern und Diensten: Woher weiß man, wenn es bei einem von ihnen ein Problem gibt? Wir müssen zugeben, dass wir bis vor zwei Jahren manchmal nur durch eine E-Mail eines zufälligen freundlichen Community-Mitglieds von einem abgestürzten Server erfahren haben. Jetzt kümmert sich ein auf Icinga2 basierendes Überwachungssystem darum. Derzeit werden 50 Hosts und 690 Dienste kontinuierlich überprüft, zum Beispiel auf anstehende Upgrades des Betriebssystems, systemd-Dienste, fehlgeschlagene Backups, Speicherplatz oder die Gültigkeit von TLS-Zertifikaten.

Dies wird durch andere Aspekte unserer Strategie erleichtert: Bis auf 4 virtuelle Maschinen laufen alle unter Debian GNU/Linux. Nach der anfänglichen Erstellung erfährt eine neue Maschine ein Basis-Setup, das sich um grundlegende Sicherheitseinstellungen, Überwachung, Backup und automatische Upgrades kümmert. Dadurch beschränkt sich die Wartung eines Servers meist auf den Dienst, der auf ihm läuft, und andere Verbesserungen können innerhalb weniger Minuten automatisch auf eine große Anzahl von Hosts angewendet werden.

Um die Verwaltung und Wartung weiter zu erleichtern, schreiben wir manchmal unsere eigenen Tools. So bietet beispielsweise ssh-key-distributor eine einfache Schnittstelle und Bereitstellungsmethode, um den Zugang über SSH auf unseren Servern zu verwalten und zu dokumentieren. Oder docker-utils, das auf unsere Docker-Infrastruktur zugeschnitten ist und sich um die Analyse und Aktualisierung von Docker-Images und -Containern kümmert. Beide Tools wurden von unserem Werkstudenten Linus entwickelt. Weitere Tools und generell den meisten Ansible/Docker Deployment Code finden Sie in der Git-Organisation der System Hackers.

Physische Server

Entgegen dem aktuellen Trend in der IT-Branche sind wir stolz darauf, den überwiegenden Teil der Dienste auf unseren eigenen physischen Servern zu betreiben. Das garantiert uns ein Höchstmaß an Souveränität, Datensicherheit durch volle Festplattenverschlüsselung, und technologische Unabhängigkeit. Um die Ausfallsicherheit zu erhöhen, bündeln wir jeweils drei Server in einem Proxmox-Cluster mit Ceph-Speicher, so dass beim Ausfall eines physischen Servers eine virtuelle Maschine einfach auf einen der beiden anderen Server im Cluster verschoben wird.

Als zusätzliches Sicherheitsnetz sind die drei Cluster und eine Solomaschine auf vier verschiedene Rechenzentren verteilt, die uns freundlicherweise die Colocation zur Verfügung stellen.

Dies ist jedoch nur dank einer glücklichen Kombination von Bedingungen möglich. Zunächst einmal haben wir das Glück, Albert bei uns zu haben, der unter anderem viel Erfahrung mit Proxmox, Ceph und den Tiefen der Netzwerktechnik hat. Dann haben wir die freundliche Unterstützung der Rechenzentren, die uns Colocation zur Verfügung stellen, sowie der Hardware-Spender, und natürlich die FSFE-Unterstützer, die uns finanziell fördern. Außerdem profitieren wir von einem mehr oder weniger identischen Setup an allen vier Standorten, was die Wartung ein wenig einfacher macht. Dennoch erwägen wir, den Cluster mit den ältesten Servern sowie die einzelne physische Maschine zu streichen, um Arbeit und Komplexität zu reduzieren.

Herausforderungen hinter und vor uns

Im Laufe der Jahre haben wir viele Herausforderungen gemeistert: Technische Altlasten, uralte Software, die Betriebssystem-Upgrades blockierte, fehlende Hardwareressourcen, fatale Abstürze aufgrund von Single Points of Failures und schwierige technische Entscheidungen über die weitere Entwicklung der Infrastruktur. In einer dieser schweren Zeiten spielte unser damaliger Praktikant und seitdem System Hacker Vincent eine wichtige Rolle und half, den Grundstein für den guten Zustand zu legen, in dem wir uns heute befinden. Trotz aller Vorbereitung und Evaluation haben wir viele Fehler gemacht, aber vor allem haben wir viel daraus gelernt.

Im Moment stehen wir vor neuen Hürden. Zum Beispiel können wir bei der großen Anzahl von Servern nicht mehr jeder virtuellen Maschine eine eigene IPv4-Adresse zuweisen. Leider unterstützen viele Technologien und Internetdienste, selbst große proprietäre und vermeintlich professionelle Unternehmen, immer noch nicht das modernere, zukunftssichere und bereits 20 Jahre alte IPv6-Protokoll. Daher müssen wir uns mit einigen Hacks wie Reverse Proxies, Container-Discovery-Diensten, NAT und VPNs herumschlagen.

Eine weitere interessante Entscheidung, die ansteht, ist die der Kommunikationskanäle. Während Klartext-E-Mail und seit 2004 XMPP/Jabber den De-facto-Standard innerhalb der FSFE bilden, bevorzugen viele Leute inzwischen Matrix, Discourse oder immer noch das traditionelle IRC. Während wir für alle Vor- und Nachteile sehen, wollen wir auch eine Fragmentierung unserer Community vermeiden. Dies ist keine rein technische Frage, sondern ein gutes Beispiel für die Notwendigkeit einer guten Kommunikation und Entscheidungsfindung zwischen den einzelnen Teams.

Zu guter Letzt haben wir noch einige Technologien, die uns Kopfzerbrechen bereiten. Nehmen wir Mailman 2 als Beispiel, das jahrelang unsere 116 Mailinglisten betrieben hat. Leider wird das Projekt nicht mehr aktiv weiterentwickelt, und der Nachfolger und seine Alternativen haben alle gravierende Nachteile. Hier müssen wir eine sorgfältige Bewertung vornehmen, viele Tests durchführen und schließlich die beste Lösung aus der Masse der unvollkommenen Optionen finden.

Vor diesem Hintergrund möchten wir den vielen Freie-Software-Projekten und ihren Entwicklerinnen und Entwicklern unseren Dank aussprechen. Sie geben uns die Möglichkeit, aus verschiedenen Lösungen zu wählen, sie bilden die Grundlage unserer Infrastruktur und sie bieten erstaunliche Lösungen, die unser Leben jeden Tag einfacher machen. Es ist eine Freude, Teil dieser großen Gemeinschaft zu sein.

Warum all der Aufwand?

Wie Sie sehen können, ist die technische Infrastruktur unserer Organisation alles andere als langweilig oder einfach. Das liegt nicht nur an der Größe der FSFE und ihrer Community, sondern auch an unseren eigenen hohen Ansprüchen: Softwarefreiheit in der Praxis leben und so viel technische Unabhängigkeit und Souveränität wie möglich erhalten. Gleichzeitig achten wir auf technische Zugänglichkeit, um auch nicht-technischen Mitwirkenden die Interaktion mit unseren Diensten zu ermöglichen. Das erfordert manchmal zusätzliche Arbeit und Werkzeuge, aber wir sind überzeugt, dass es sich lohnt.

All dies hängt von der Hingabe und dem langjährigen Engagement vieler Menschen ab und wird von der produktiven Nutzung und dem Feedback der gesamten FSFE-Gemeinschaft befeuert. Und es ist nur möglich dank der Unterstützer der FSFE, die es uns ermöglichen, Ressourcen in eine vollständig Freie-Software-Infrastruktur zu investieren. Wenn Sie dieses Ideal teilen, erwägen Sie bitte eine Spende.

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Kinderbuch veröffentlicht über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis

29. November 2021 um 00:00

Kinderbuch veröffentlicht über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis

Heute, am 29. November, veröffentlicht O'Reilly Deutschland das Buch „Ada & Zangemann - Ein Märchen über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis“, geschrieben vom FSFE-Präsidenten Matthias Kirschner und illustriert von Sandra Brandstätter, u.a. Character-Designerin für die Serie „Trudes Tier“ aus der Sendung mit der Maus.

In einer riesigen Villa hoch oben über der Stadt lebt der berühmte Erfinder Zangemann. Erwachsene wie Kinder lieben seine Erfindungen und wollen sie unbedingt haben. Doch dann geschieht etwas: Zangemann kommt in die Stadt, um seine Erfindungen wieder einmal aus der Nähe zu betrachten und – RUMMS! – ein Kind fährt ihm mit seinem Skateboard gegen das Schienbein. Wutentbrannt trifft der Erfinder eine Entscheidung und dann passieren merkwürdige Dinge ... Aber das kluge Mädchen Ada durchschaut, was vor sich geht. Gemeinsam mit ihren Freund:innen schmiedet sie einen Plan.

Illustrationen von Sandra Brandstätter, CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE

Das illustrierte Kinderbuch erzählt die Geschichte vom berühmten Erfinder Zangemann und dem Mädchen Ada, einer neugierigen Tüftlerin. Ada beginnt mit Hard- und Software zu experimentieren und erkennt dabei, wie wichtig der eigenständige, freie Umgang mit Software für sie und andere ist.

Ein Buch für Kinder ab 6 Jahren, das Freude am Tüfteln vermittelt und zum selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik aufruft.

„Kirschners Buch führt junge wie ältere Leser in die Macht und Gefahren von Software ein. Es hebt auch die Multiplikatoreffekte des freien Teilens von Software hervor - das Herstellen von Bedingungen für direkte und indirekte Zusammenarbeit, das als Metapher für die Wissenschaftsarbeit verstanden werden kann. Hinter all dem steht die Ethik des Wissensaustauschs, auf dem die gesamte Menschheitsgeschichte aufbaut.“

Vint Cerf – Informatiker und einer der Erfinder des Internets (nach dem Lesen der englischen Übersetzung).

„Ich war auch als Nicht-Kind von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite von der Geschichte gefesselt. Hut ab für den Autor, schwierige Themen wie Monopole, Lobbyismus, Digital Divide, Softwarefreiheit, digitale Autonomie, IoT, Verbrauchergängelung, Elektroschrott und vieles mehr in kindgerechter Form leicht verständlich in eine spannende Handlung zu verpacken. Und Hut ab für den Verlag für die Traute, ein Buch unter CC-BY-SA zu veröffentlichen.“

Jörg Luther, Chefredakteur Linux-Magazin, LinuxUser, Raspberry Pi Geek

„Nachdem meinem Sohn gestern Abend das Buch vorgelesen wurde, hat er mir heute morgen dann die ganze Geschichte erzählt… Er will heute nach der Schule erst etwas aus alten Paletten basteln. Und dann will er programmieren lernen.“

Ingo Wichmann, Geschäftsführer Linuxhotel GmbH

Das Buch „Ada & Zangemann - Ein Märchen über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis“von Matthias Kirschner und Sandra Brandstätter, erschienen bei der dpunkt.verlag GmbH unter ISBN 978-3-96009-190-5, steht unter der Lizenz „Creative Commons Namensnennung – Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)“.

Der Text wurde von Matthias Kirschner ehrenamtlich für die FSFE geschrieben. Alle Autoreneinnahmen gehen direkt an die gemeinnützige Free Software Foundation Europe. Die Illustratorin Sandra Brandstätter und die Kinderbuchlektorin Wiebke Helmchen wurden von der FSFE für ihre Arbeit bezahlt. Ermöglicht wurde das Projekt dadurch, dass die Linuxhotel GmbH bereits am Anfang des Schreibprozesses zugesagt hatte, nach Fertigstellung des Buches 1000 Exemplare zu kaufen.

Derzeit sucht die FSFE einen geeigneten Verlag zur Veröffentlichung einer englischen Übersetzung. Die FSFE möchte es möglichst vielen Menschen ermöglichen, das Buch in ihrer Muttersprache lesen zu können und bittet um Spenden für ihre Arbeit.

Weitere Pressematerialien zu „Ada & Zangemann“ sind auf der Verlagsseite verfügbar .

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Upcycling Android: Nutze dein Telefon weiter - mit Freier Software!

25. November 2021 um 00:00

Upcycling Android: Nutze dein Telefon weiter - mit Freier Software!

Die FSFE nutzt die Europäischen Woche der Abfallvermeidung um ihre neue Initiative "Upcycling Android" zu starten: Jedes Telefon das wir länger nutzen, anstatt ein neues zu kaufen, unterstützt einen nachhaltigeren Umgang mit unseren Ressourcen. Upcycling Android hilft Menschen dabei, ihre Telefone mit Freier Software weiter zu nutzen.

Die Europäische Woche der Abfallvermeidung ist eine Woche, die der Wieder- und Weiterverwendung von Produkten und Materialien gewidmet ist. Die Weiterverwendung soll helfen, Ressourcen zu sparen und Abfall im Alltag zu reduzieren. Die FSFE stellt heute ihre neue Initiative "Upcycling Android" vor - eine Initiative, die Menschen dabei hilft Ressourcen zu sparen, indem wir eines unserer wertvollsten Geräte des täglichen Lebens länger und weiter verwenden: unser Telefon.

Unser Video fasst die Initiative Upcycling Android präzise zusammen.

Jedes Jahr produzieren Hersteller weltweit 1,5 Milliarden Handys - und leider werden wahrscheinlich fast genauso viele nach einer oft kurzen Nutzungsdauer weggeworfen. Diese kurze Nutzungsdauer ist immer mehr auf eine so genannte "Software-Obsoleszenz" zurückzuführen. Das beschreibt eine Situation, in der Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher vor dem Dilemma stehen, entweder neue Hardware zu kaufen oder mit veralteter Software zu leben. Die Umweltfolgen dieser kurzen Hardware-Nutzungszeit können verheerend sein. Um Nutzerinnen und Nutzer bei der Überwindung dieses Dilemmas zu helfen, beleuchten wir das Upcycling von Android-Handys mit Hilfe Freier Software. Jedes mal, wenn wir unser aktuelles Telefon weiter benutzen anstatt ein neues zu kaufen, tragen wir dazu bei, die Produktion neuer Telefone und die weitere Zunahme von Elektroschrott zu vermeiden.

Upcycling Android erklärt das Problem der Software-Obsoleszenz in der Android-Welt und zeigt auf, wie Telefone mit Freie-Software-Betriebssystemen bespielt werden. Dieser Prozess bietet mehr Kontrolle über unsere Geräte und kann auch zu einem besseren Erlebnis führen als die Verwendung proprietärer Betriebssysteme. Und bei Upcycling Android das Wichtigste: Wenn ein Telefon keine Software-Updates mehr von der Herstellerfirma erhält, hilft der Wechsel zu einem Freie-Software-Betriebssystem, das Telefon auf dem neuesten Stand zu halten. Auf diese Weise können Geräte weiter benutzt werden, die Umwelt geschont und viele weitere Vorteile in Anspruch genommen werden. Mit Freier Software können Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher die volle Kontrolle über ihre Geräte zurückgewinnen, sie genießen einen erweiterten Datenschutz und die Apps können endlich nach belieben installiert und deinstalliert werden und - um nur einige Aspekte zu nennen.

Politischer Hintergrund & Informationsmaterial

Die FSFE setzt sich für eine nachhaltigere Nutzung von Technologie mit Hilfe Freier Software ein. Anfang des Jahres haben wir an der EU-Konsultation zur "Energiekennzeichnung von Mobiltelefonen und Tablets" teilgenommen und später im Jahr eine Studie zur Software-Obsoleszenz veröffentlicht, die wichtige Aspekte digitaler Nachhaltigkeit, darunter Geräteneutralität und das Upcycling von Software erörtert.

Wir haben eine große Sammlung von Informations- und Hintergrundmaterial, um über die Folgen von Software Obsoleszenz, auch auf unsere Umwelt, aufzuklären. Und wie wir das Problem durch ein upcyceln von Android-Gerät mit Hilfe Freier Software verringern können. Das Material umfasst Aufkleber, Infografiken, Broschüren, Videos, Podcasts, Artikel und Studien.

Nächste Aktivitäten

In den kommenden Monaten wird sich die FSFE im Rahmen der Upcycling Android Initiative auf zwei Kern-Aktivitäten konzentrieren: In Zusammenarbeit mit lokalen Gruppen bieten wir mehrere Workshops an, in denen sich Menschen zum Thema Upcycling Android treffen und vernetzen können oder Hilfe beim Flashen ihrer Telefone erhalten. Außerdem bringen wir uns in die aktuellen Diskussionen auf europäischer Ebene über die "Sustainable Products Initiative" und die "Circular Electronics Initiative" ein. Mit unseren Aktivitäten wollen wir Entscheidungsträgerinnen und Entscheidungsträger die Vorteile von Freier Software für eine nachhaltigere Nutzung unserer Produkte erklären.

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Launch event – Public Money? Public Code! Spanish Brochure

24. November 2021 um 00:00

Launch event – Public Money? Public Code! Spanish Brochure

Thanks to the support and hard work of our volunteers, our Public Money? Public Code! brochure is now available in Spanish. In this event we will explore the already implemented good practices, but also the challenges that lie ahead to modernise the public digital infrastructure with public code in Spain. The event will be held in Spanish.

In the framework of our Public Money? Public Code! initiative we demand that software developed by the public sector with publicly funded money should be available to the public under a Free Software license. To support these demands, we provide an exhaustive brochure which is dedicated to public bodies and serves as an instrument to address decision-makers to inform them about the advantages of Free Software. Thanks to that it has become easier to convince them of modernising public digital infrastructure with public code.

During the event we want to discuss the current situation in Spain and also present our brochure. We are glad to present the following panellists: Luis Falcón, founder of GNUHealth, Ricardo Muñoz from Lliurex, Alexis Puente Montiel from Pica Pica HackLab, Ana Albalat Martínez and Francesc Busquets in representation of Linkat, and Aleix Pol Gonzalez, president of KDE.

Our panellists come from different areas; education, health, and civil society. They will help us to better understand the already implemented and working Free Software solutions driven by the public sector. We will briefly explore the process that Pica Pica Hacklab went through to convince the Parliament of Asturias to support our demands, and we will discuss the future that is ahead for public code in the public sector in Spain.

The event will take place online on Monday, 13 December 2021 from 18:00 to 19:30 CET. After registration, the BBB instance link will be shared.

You can check the whole agenda here and register your participation through this link.

We look forward to your participation!

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20 Years FSFE: Interview with Nico Rikken on country teams' activities

23. November 2021 um 00:00

20 Years FSFE: Interview with Nico Rikken on country teams' activities

In our fifth birthday publication we are interviewing Nico Rikken, and we focus on the FSFE Netherlands country team. Through our discussion you can also get a glimpse of how FSFE country teams work. And if there is no FSFE team in your country, this is a great opportunity for you to see how one forms.

Nico Rikken, an electrical engineer and programmer, is one of the Coordinators of the FSFE Netherlands country team. His interest in technology, combined with his appreciation for community and disdain for central control, led him to the FSFE in 2014. Since then, he has helped the FSFE with his technical skills while contributing greatly to community building. With this interview, you do not only get to meet Nico Rikken, but also the FSFE Netherlands country team.

Interview with Nico Rikken

FSFE: Do you remember the first contact you had with the FSFE? How did it evolve from there?

Nico Rikken: I do remember most of my 'firsts' I had with the FSFE. Strictly my first contact was reading the FSFE website and becoming a Fellow (the construct at that time). But after this quite formal arrangement I was looking for more informal contact and a feeling of community. So I still have good memories how Felix Stegerman, then Deputy Coordinator Netherlands, invited me to the Linux Nijmegen User Group to get to know each other and learn more about the FSFE. Up until that evening my efforts in Free Software were a solo effort and that changed in that evening. I became part of a larger community of like-minded people, thanks to Felix.

FSFE booth at T-Dose. The Netherlands, 2016. Up until that evening my efforts in Free Software were a solo effort and that changed in that evening. I became part of a larger community of like-minded people, thanks to Felix.

Later that year I attended my first Free Software conference, T-Dose, and a few months later my first FOSDEM. From there my FSFE journey evolved with events, booths, presentations, community events, political efforts, and meeting ever more community members along the way. In 2019, André and I took over Coordinatorship from Maurice Verheesen and Felix with the goal to give a new impulse to the local group. We have a growing group of active supporters with multiple ongoing activities, which I feel proud to be a part of.

Together with André Ockers you coordinate the FSFE's country team in the Netherlands. Can you describe to us a typical month in terms of activities and engagement within the community?

Since the pandemic, the monthly online get-together has become the heartbeat of the Netherlands country team. The lack of travel has enabled us to meet more frequently and have a great attendance. Before we would meet in the center of the Netherlands at the NLLGG Linux User Group, but that required travel and so the turnout was quite low. During our online get-togethers, we discuss a variety of topics, from recent news and personal findings, to more strategic opportunities to present the topic of Free Software, and ongoing efforts. André and I facilitate by acting as a bridge to the rest of the FSFE and to other organizations.

In the last months we have seen rising demands for digital autonomy in the Netherlands followed by positive developments regarding Router Freedom. How do you see these developments? What was the role of the FSFE Netherlands country team?

I'm very concerned about the lack of Free Software and Open Hardware adoption in the Netherlands, and the whole of Europe and the world for that matter. Increasingly we rely on computer systems rather than humans. This automation does bring a lot of benefits, but also comes with risks of losing transparency, losing privacy, and centralizing control. With the wide-scale adoption of cloud services, AI, and algorithms and an increase in cyber attacks, more and more people become aware of the need for better solutions and more regulation. I see Free Software, Open Standards, and Open Hardware as ways to improve technology itself and the social structures around it, and so I think we need more of them and they need to be prioritized by our governments.

Nico Rikken, FSFE Netherlands team coordinator, talks about Free Software in the Dutch public sector at Still Hacking Anyway. The Netherlands, 2017. I see Free Software, Open Standards, and Open Hardware as ways to improve technology itself and the social structures around it, and so I think we need more of them and they need to be prioritized by our governments.

The issue of the Netherlands (citizens, companies, and government) becoming too reliant on specific vendors and solutions is not new and has been discussed many times over the last years. In that sense, this report by the Dutch Cyber Security Council was just another call for change. As this report comes from an organization closer to government and the call has urgency to it, hopefully we will see some more action from companies and government. When called upon to vote, Dutch PM's generally are in favor of adopting Open Standards and Free Software, but in practice it is low on the priority list and so the government is not held accountable to follow up. The role of the country team in this respect is limited. Rijk Ravestein wrote an article reviewing the report and suggesting the adoption of Free Software as a viable solution to this issue. Outside of the article, we have been speaking with various government bodies on the topic of Free Software to highlight opportunities and discuss ways to improve the situation. I find it important that we not only follow the developments critically but that we also constructively engage in discussions where we can.

The topic of router freedom is quite different. The Router Freedom campaign has made our members take a closer look at the situation in the Netherlands. This included André writing Internet Service Providers (ISP's) about their practices and Kevin Keijzer informing us how router freedom works out for him in practice. Kevin has some of his findings documented on his wiki page. Router Freedom in the Netherlands in practice wasn't too bad, but there are now stronger guarantees in place. I think the practical freedom that was already in place stems from the tech-savvy community in the Netherlands that would already install their own router rather than the one provided by the ISP. These new more formal guarantees can be attributed to the lobbying of the FSFE in Europe and not to the country team in the Netherlands. The FSFE contributed to the BEREC Guidelines on the Implementation of the Open Internet Regulation, which were quoted as the reason for the new rules. In the Netherlands, we missed the opportunity of the consultation on the new rules as this was not on our news radar. The consultation was mostly by ISP's opposing the new rules, but regardless the rules were put in place in accordance with the BEREC Guidelines.

What do you see as the most rewarding activities or biggest achievements of the Dutch team?

This question is difficult to answer because our activities have been diverse and some have been in collaboration with people outside of the country team. I think our biggest achievement has been the level of translation of the FSFE website and marketing material. André has been a persistent translator and together with other valued contributions from other community members we now have most of the information material and news in Dutch for an increased reach and impact.

I think our biggest impact came from our involvement with the recent court case by Jos van den Oever about getting the source code of the Debat Direct App. This was not strictly a country team effort, but we were involved and also got support from the FSFE. The final verdict didn't result in public source code, but through the court case Jos showed that source code can be requested via a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request. The success will depend on the specific situation and country-specific implementation of the EU directive. Inspired by this request, Daniel Joffe has also filed a request for source code and I'm pretty sure this will not be the last legal request for source code in the Netherlands.

FSFE spot in a non-profit hacker camp. The Netherlands, 2017.

What would you say are peculiar factors that challenge or facilitate the advance of Free Software in the Netherlands?

Please take my answer with a pinch of salt, as this comes down to personal convictions and generalizations. I think for a start the broader tech-savvy community in the Netherlands is helpful. There are plenty of system administrators and programmers who value control over technology from a do-it-yourself perspective and so have an inherent preference for Free Software, Open Standards, and solutions that protect user privacy. This group follows developments or regulation and company offerings with a critical eye on forums like Tweakers or technology podcasts which helps move forward the discussion on these FSFE-related topics. There is also a smaller but active group that shares our concerns from an ethical non-technical perspective by questioning our reliance on big tech and the privacy violations that typically go along with it. Both groups move the debate of user control and digital sovereignty forward and nudge politics, government, and companies in the right direction.

I think this critical view on technology is strengthened on the level of the European Union where these countries align and do favor a more strategic play for which Free Software makes a lot of sense.

Possibly our biggest factor is our participation in the European Union, as it seems to me that the European Union has more capacity to develop policies to protect civil rights and regulate digital infrastructure. On a national level this topic doesn't win deciding votes in the election, so it is hardly discussed in public. Also there is a general lack of knowledge about technology and its social constructs in parliament to question current policy and develop a new one. I get the impression that a large part of the IT solutions in the Netherlands are centered around US vendors. And so regulations that prevent companies storing private information in the USA are considered a burden on companies, rather than a good safeguard for the general public. My impression is that it is more common in France and Germany to question offerings by US vendors and to prefer national offerings. These regulations do not directly relate to the adoption of Free Software, but I do think that questioning the ethics of offerings and valuing digital sovereignty are the moral grounds which fit well with Free Software. I think this critical view on technology is strengthened on the level of the European Union where these countries align and do favor a more strategic play for which Free Software makes a lot of sense. In that sense I think the European Union is also advancing Free Software in the Netherlands.

How can people start participating in the Dutch team? Can you share some examples of how the existing members found out about the FSFE Netherlands country team?

The easiest is to join the conversation on XMPP or our online get-togethers and align with our efforts there. We do have a mailing list but in practice it is only used for announcements. As we are all volunteers, I think it is important that our supporters do what they enjoy doing. Most of us have our own topics and efforts we work on, and the country team is a way to align and get support. As with any work, formulating concrete steps and delegating work to others can be a challenge. So I think there is an opportunity for more collaboration between supporters on certain topics and hopefully that will grow in the future when we gain more experience working together.

I have asked around and it seems our stories of joining the country team are quite similar. People somehow gained in interest in Free Software and found the FSFE as the designated party to uphold these values in Europe. Then they found out about the NL country team, joined the mailing list and attended a physical meeting. André also met Felix at Linux Nijmegen as it was close to him, but for Kevin living on the other side of the country the T-Dose conference was the first time to physically meet the community. If anything I think it highlights the importance of letting people know you exist as a local team, being open to newcomers, and making it easy to join community meetings.

FSFE stand at NLLGG booth in Utrecht. The Netherlands, 2019.

What are your recommendations for others who want to start local activities for the FSFE? Although the Netherlands FSFE country team was already formed when you joined, could you recall some of the early activities carried out there?

First, I think it is good to know what sets the FSFE apart from other organizations. In the Netherlands, there are various other groups with similar or even the same members, like a Linux user group, a Debian community, the digital rights organization Bits of Freedom. and multiple hacker spaces. Although at the FSFE we talk plenty about technology, our focus at the FSFE is to inform the general public and to bring about policy change. As a result our community has a different aim than other Free Software related communities in the Netherlands, and knowing the difference can help you stand out and attract like-minded people. I don't know exactly how it started in the Netherlands, but the behavior I typically see with forming new groups is to start with like-minded people you already know, announce your presence in related communities, and then just start holding open meetings and let it grow from there.

Over the last few years, we did experience such a growth path in the Netherlands. There was already a national group that communicated via mail and chat, and we would have a booth and country team meeting at the yearly T-Dose conference. Other activities were organized mainly when the opportunity arose. We increased our frequency of contact by having a stand at the bi-monthly NLLGG meeting in Utrecht where some of our supporters would be present, and we had the opportunity to meet like-minded people. The online get-togethers let us spend more time to grow and align our local group and cause plenty of people to join the conversation. Some people joined for only one meeting, which I think is fine as it was still a nice way to meet, and these relationships might be helpful in the future. And from these conversations new ideas for activities grew. Only recently we started having a more formal agenda and minutes of our meetings as we'd often have more talking points than time would allow.

Don't think our relative success is the straightforward execution of an upfront well laid-out plan. Growing a community is very much an iterative process based on learning and feedback. Our supporters become active because they want to make a difference in the world, and we have to find the ways that suit us best. Personally I like to take things one step at a time, just make one change or do one activity and see where it leads. In doing so, we have developed our own way of doing things and have gained a lot of experience with a variety of activities. Say we want to write a letter to politicians, then we have some earlier work already lying around for potential reuse, and we know already what support we can expect from the FSFE Core team and what part we have to provide ourselves.

European Coordinators Meeting in Essen. Germany, 2015. Don't think our relative success is the straightforward execution of an upfront well laid-out plan. Growing a community is very much an iterative process based on learning and feedback.

Our activities have been quite diverse. There is of course an ongoing effort to translate information material. We wrote to national and local politicians on multiple occasions based on various developments and news articles. We took part in multiple consultations on laws and policies and offered our expertise on free software to government. We have had stands at the yearly T-Dose conference and bi-monthly NLLGG meetings. We handed out FSFE tool flyers in a university and a library. We gave presentations about Free Software. We helped organize an Educational Freedom Day and the SHA hacker camp. We organized a privacy café at Erasmus University to educate media students about solutions to protect your privacy. We hosted a Freedomvote for national elections. And we were involved in the court case for the source code of Debat Direct. From the diversity of topics and methods it is apparent that activities were sparked from opportunity or interest by our community members. The campaigns from the FSFE help us to prioritize and link our efforts to a topic, but we don't feel constrained to just the campaigns. I have found that politics especially requires a strong organization because topics can become big quite quickly. Ideally, you want to play into that attention span and so you have to act fast. Also politics revolves around the election cycles and so every couple of years you have to start all over explaining to politicians why Free Software is common sense and should be on their agenda.

How did you get involved in Free Software in the first place?

From a young age I spent a significant amount of time on the computer, experimenting with various software also as a creative outlet. Being a kid I mostly started out with gratis software that came bundled with our computer or printer. With the arrival of unlimited internet downloading, other software became an option. I learned about the importance of open standards and access to software because I had encountered situations where I could no longer open my files as software had become unavailable due to operating system incompatibility or the expiration of the trial duration. Using various gratis software over time I found out that the Free Software was generally the best, not having annoying advertisements or spyware and generally being well-documented. I learned the value of Free Software and Open Standards the hard way, from a practical standpoint, and so it was not very explicit.

Once at the University studying Electrical Engineering, I learned more about programming and how computers were built. But during that time I also learned more about privacy and security and how my privacy was actually being violated by a lot of services I was using. Being technically educated it was clear to me that to guarantee privacy and security in the long run you need control over technology and so over the software you are using. Following this reasoning led me to discover the philosophy behind Free Software. The value of Free Software felt so logical at that point I asked myself why I did not find out about it earlier. Not just the practical implications of it, but also the philosophy behind it. I felt that Free Software needed more promotion to the general public and that is why I joined the FSFE, to support their effort in promoting this common sense.

'We got a call in the morning by Matthias Kirschner that we had to bring 'Bügel' (clothing hangers) to hang the T-shirts at the stands. Normally Maurice and I could cope with the German we got taught in secondary school, but this time it failed us.'

Can you tell us one of the stories that still warm up your heart or that always makes you laugh or smile when you remember it?

I always have a laugh thinking back to the time I visited Open Rhein Ruhr with Maurice in 2016. If I remember correctly, we got a call in the morning by Matthias Kirschner that we had to bring 'Bügel' (clothing hangers) to hang the T-shirts at the stands. Normally Maurice and I could cope with the German we got taught in secondary school, but this time it failed us. Maurice understood the world 'Bügel' to mean a clothing iron from the conversation ("Bügeleisen"), assuming the T-shirts were crinkled and had to be ironed. As Matthias had asked for two, Maurice asked me to bring mine as well. So we both added our clothing irons to the luggage and off we went. Only when we arrived at the booth did we find out about the miscommunication and had a great laugh about it. We took this memorable picture posted on the blogpost by Max Mehl.

As a last question, what do you wish the FSFE for the next 20 years?

I wish the FSFE will gain more active local supporters. I think the FSFE stands out from other organizations with the topics it addresses, and I would love to see each European nation have a fruitful local group to table the topic on a national level. In a world using mostly the same software and being bound by the same EU directives, the foundation of our activities will probably be similar in all countries. But each country comes with a different language, different political system, different values and norms, and various other differences. By having a strong local representation, the FSFE can be 'united in diversity' (EU motto) and be more effective in bringing about change. I also wish this because I have a good time being part of the FSFE and a local group, and I think there are a lot of like-minded people that would also enjoy it. So I wish other supporters can be a part of a local group and also experience the value of community.

I think the FSFE stands out from other organizations with the topics it addresses, and I would love to see each European nation have a fruitful local group to table the topic on a national level.

FSFE: Thank you very much!

For more by Nico Rikken, you can read his interview focusing on technical aspects of Free Software and Free Hardware such as sustainability and scaling. You may also be interested in his blogpost on how the Netherlands group grew in covid times.

About "20 Years FSFE"

In 2021 the Free Software Foundation Europe turns 20. This means two decades of empowering users to control technology.

Turning 20 is a time when we like to take a breath and to look back on the road we have come, to reflect the milestones we have passed, the successes we have achieved, the stories we have written, and the moments that brought us together and that we will always joyfully remember. In 2021 we want to give momentum to the FSFE and even more to our pan-European community, the community that has formed and always will form the shoulders that our movement relies on.

20 Years FSFE is meant to be a celebration of everyone who has accompanied us in the past or still does. Thank you for your place in the structure of the FSFE today and for setting the foundation for the next decades of software freedom to come.

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Digital Markets Act - the FSFE calls for Device Neutrality

22. November 2021 um 00:00

Digital Markets Act - the FSFE calls for Device Neutrality

On the imminent voting of the Digital Markets Act - the latest EU proposal on internet platform regulation - the FSFE demands device neutrality as a fundamental element for safeguarding consumer protection in open, fair, and contestable digital markets.

While digital devices are a ubiquitous reality in all aspects of life, control over the hardware and software running on them is increasingly being limited by internet platforms, digital services providers, hardware manufacturers, and vendors. The European Commission's Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a regulatory instrument for targeting large internet companies that act as gatekeepers in digital markets. Such gatekeepers may be internet platforms, service providers, manufacturers, and vendors satisfying criteria defined by law. This regulatory initiative is an attempt to create fairer and more competitive markets for online platforms in the EU. On November 22, the European Parliament's leading IMCO committee will vote on its position.

The FSFE urges the Members of the European Parliament in the upcoming vote to safeguard device neutrality principles based on Open Standards and interoperability, securing the interest of consumers for a contestable, open, and competitive digital market in the EU.

Free Software and Device Neutrality

Device neutrality translates as non-discrimination of services and apps by providers, manufacturers, and vendors. The objective of device neutrality is to enable consumers to bypass gatekeepers and enable a fair and non-discriminatory use of Free Software in the application and operating system layers of devices. The FSFE demands the inclusion of the following principles in the DMA legislation:

Device neutrality principles
  • Strict end-user consent for pre-installed apps. The DMA must impose on gatekeepers the obligation to allow their customers to uninstall any pre-installed software applications they provide on their services or with their hardware. This means more restrictive rules for pre-installed apps, providing users the same access privileges for both pre-installed and alternative apps, and the possibility to uninstall pre-loaded apps;
  • No vendor lock-in. The DMA should enable side-loading of apps in dominant operating systems, so consumers can install any compatible software on their devices. The DMA shall require gatekeepers to permit third-party app stores and code repositories that compete with their own. The law must prohibit gatekeepers limiting the ability of end-users to switch between and subscribe to different software applications and services. This prevents gatekeepers from locking users into specific service providers;
  • Interoperability of services based on Open Standards. It is urgent for the DMA to require gatekeepers to provide free of charge access to and interoperability with the same hardware and software features accessed or controlled via an operating system. This includes communication apps and social media platforms. Interoperability should be defined by Open Standards;
  • Real-time data portability. The DMA should require gatekeepers to provide real-time data portability for devices, so that consumers can switch from one device to another - including operating systems - as smoothly as possible.

Next steps

After the committee voting on Monday, 22 November, the proposal will incorporate the approved amendments. Next up is the plenary voting to achieve the final position of the European Parliament, planned for December. The FSFE will continue to monitor the whole process closely and demand device neutrality to the full extent in the legislative text, so users are empowered to control technology.

"The digital markets will benefit by the regulatory proposal of the DMA. Device neutrality is fundamental for a fair, competitive, and contestable market. We demand stricter consent rules for pre-installed apps, no vendor lock-in, full interoperability, and real-time data portability. Free Software and Open Standards are key to achieve these goals", says Lucas Lasota, the FSFE's Deputy Legal Coordinator.

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Dutch government formation: open letter on Free Software and Public Money? Public Code!

18. November 2021 um 00:00

Dutch government formation: open letter on Free Software and Public Money? Public Code!

The Dutch government is about to form itself and setting up goals for the next term. With an open letter, the FSFE urges the coalition parties to implement the "open, unless" policy of 2020 and thus the principle of Public Money? Public Code!

Free Software gives everybody the right to use, study, share, and improve software. This right helps support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy. With the principle of "Public Money? Public Code!" implemented, the government will improve the transparency and digital sovereignty.

Also it will help educational institutions with digital skills, information literacy, and improving the privacy of students and staff. At the same time it will stimulate the IT market and thus others like the labour market. Open code encourages cooperation with governments at home and abroad.

First attempts to promote Free Software among public bodies, like the "open, unless" policy of 2020, need to be followed, implemented, and extended. We urge for legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free Software license. Code paid by the people should be available to the people!

You can read the full open letter in Dutch and in English.

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Upcycling of software +++ FSFE Translators +++ Router Freedom at risk in Latvia

16. November 2021 um 00:00

Upcycling of software +++ FSFE Translators +++ Router Freedom at risk in Latvia

In our November Newsletter learn why device neutrality and upcycling of software are essential to make (re-)using our hardware more resource-efficient. Read about the key role translators play in the FSFE and about the loss of Router Freedom in Latvia. Watch a new video on Free Software core values, and follow our community events.

Free Software helps extending hardware lifespans

In the European Union we currently see a strong desire to make digitisation more sustainable, with the European Commission aiming at making our product lifecycles more resource-efficient as well as making circular economy methods applicable. Technological devices should be designed in a way that they last for a longer period of time. The Circular Electronics Initiative recognises that a common issue is that manufacturers stop updating the software of a device and then the user of the device has to buy a new one. A solution that gains ground in the Circular Electronics Initiative is that manufacturers of smartphones and tablets should provide security updates for five years and function updates for three years free of charge.

In an in-depth study, the FSFE explains that publishing the source code after the end of support is a more effective way to extend the lifespan of devices than relying exclusively on the manufacturers' extended support. If manufacturers publish a device's underlying source code under a Free Software licence at the end of support, the software of the device can be modified. This way, the device can still be used and its hardware gets a second life. Reusing software can help steer the European digitisation from a market of linear hardware production towards circular electronics devices. We are asking for truly opening up the circular reuse of electronics by enabling an upcycling of software. For a critical, long-lasting, and sustainable change in the extension of our hardware usage lifetimes, however, products need to be designed with device neutrality in mind from the beginning.

The key role of translators

Translators empower people to learn about Free Software in various languages. Since the founding of the organisation in 2001, the translators team has been an integral part of the FSFE. Today we have over 280 members on the translators mailing list, helping us in their spare time to translate for software freedom. We have 40 languages represented on our web page, with almost 7,000 translations.

"I love translating items about Free Software mainly because I love Free Software and I want that all Italian people could easily know the benefits of Free Software in their own language. As a side effect, since the translation process usually involves more than one person, I'm also learning more about English and Italian too!" says Luca Bonissi, Deputy Translators Coordinator.

Regulation in Latvia takes away Router Freedom

Latvia has created a risky precedent against end-users' rights by allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the use of personal routers and modems based on "technological necessities". When the Latvian Regulatory Agency (SPRK) asked for public feedback about the regulation, the FSFE shared its concern and engaged with the regulator. In May 2021, we submitted a consultation explaining to the SPRK that its approach limits Router Freedom and would not comply with European laws. Unfortunately, the regulator decided to keep its position.

ISPs can now deny people the right to use a personal router or modem in Latvia, claiming technological issues. If they do so, they would have to justify on their respective websites why they are restricting Router Freedom. Even so, SPRK still withheld the ability to assess these claims by the ISPs, and they would have a final say on the claimed necessities. Beyond hampering consumer rights, the Latvian situation creates unnecessary friction for a functional and harmonised framework on the terminal equipment market, negatively affecting European router manufacturers and vendors.

No other EU country has identified such technological necessities so far. We encourage, therefore, Latvian consumers to report ISPs' practices in our survey, so we can get data and bring this to the attention of BEREC and the European Commission, and so defend end-user rights.

This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the 20 years to come

New video about Free Software values

For our 20 years anniversary this year, we have now released our new video about the values of software freedom. You can watch the three-minute video on our new self-hosted peertube instance in English and German. It is licensed under Creative Commons by Share-Alike, so feel free to share it with others or include it in your websites in order to explain Free Software to a wider audience..

You can also subscribe to our new peertube instance, so you don't miss our upcoming videos.

Public Money? Public Code! Now in Japanese

Code paid for by the people should be available to the people! This demand is said in many languages, and now it is said in Japanese too. After growing increasingly popular, the FSFE's initiative PMPC has had its website and video translated into Japanese as well. The video was done by the same team which created the aforementioned new video about the core values of software freedom.

Now with the Japanese translations, the "Public Money? Public Code!" video is available in 10 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Japanese.

Upcoming events

  • On Friday 10 December, time TBC, Lina Ceballos, an FSFE Project Manager, will participate at the GNUHealthCon2021. Lina will take a look at the role that Free Software played in the last crisis and how it could help overcoming future ones, by pointing to the principle of “Public Money? Public Code!" and the role that governments, public bodies, and administrations have in this. More information to be shared on our website soon.
  • On Monday, 13 December, at 7pm (CEST), the monthly meeting of the Bonn FSFE Fellowship will take place. The Bonn FSFE Community Meetings are regular meetings which are taking place on every second Monday of the month for supporters of the FSFE or in general people who are interested in Free Software.
  • On Monday 13 December at 18:00 CET, Lina Ceballos, an FSFE Project Manager, will host the launching event of our recently translated into Spanish - Public Money? Public Code! brochure. We will discuss the current situation and future challenges for software freedom in Spain. We anticipate the participation of Pica Pica HackLab, GNUHealth, and KDE, and more. This event will be held in Spanish. More information to be shared on our website soon.

Past events

On 6 November, the FSFE organised the Legal Education Day. From left to right: Lina Ceballos, Gabriel Ku, Lucas Lasota, and Niharika Singhal were among the speakers.
  • On 20 October, the FSFE Netherlands had its online get-together. Upon the formation of a new Dutch government, the FSFE Netherlands team discussed ways to push the Public Money? Public Code! demand. A discussion on other current topics followed, such as the news of Belgium offering a digital wallet to its citizens.
  • On 20 October, Lucas Lasota, FSFE's Deputy Legal Coordinator, organised at the Humboldt University of Berlin a winter seminar on software law, including elements of software licensing, copyright and contract law.
  • On 28 October, the Berlin Fellowship Group had its regular meeting (online).
  • On 6 November, the FSFE organised the Legal Education Day. It offered a session on the basics of copyright law and an introduction to the concept of copyleft. Useful topics for software developers followed, such as licence compatibility, trademarks, and containers. Our aim is to help Free Software developers to understand these legal topics so that their software projects can reach their full potential.
  • On 12 – 13 November, the FSFE participated in the SFSCon by organising a sustainability track and providing three talks. Erik Albers, Programme Manager, defined 4 principles for a sustainable digital society; Max Mehl, Programme Manager, presented REUSE as the gold standard for Free Software licensing; Lucas Lasota, Project Manager, demonstrated our efforts Protecting Router Freedom within the EU reform of telecom law; and Alexander Sander, Policy Consultant, presented Public Money? Public Code! During Corona. Besides that, we had a phone flashing workshop. More about that in our next publications.

Get active

Help us translate the new video about the core values of Free Software into more languages, just as we did with the Public Money? Public Code! video. The cost of a professional translation is ~850 EUR, including editing of the script, an external professional speaker, and potential studio costs.

We want to offer our new video in many other languages to help people understand why it is important for society that software grants the freedoms to use, study, share, and improve it. This demand concerns us all as technology users, regardless of the language we speak. You can support our translation effort as well as our other work for Free Software by becoming a supporter.

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

Support FSFE

Software Freedom in Europe 2021

10. November 2021 um 00:00

Software Freedom in Europe 2021

Cancelling of large events, limitations in meetings, and travel restrictions: none of this stopped the FSFE from advancing software freedom in 2021. From Router Freedom to new podcast episodes to co-organising the Legal and Policy devroom at FOSDEM, we keep empowering people to control technology.

'Public Money? Public Code!' online workshops were offered to volunteers, and an online Legal and Licensing Workshop for legal experts was organised. The FSFE assisted software projects to become REUSE compliant with our new initiative, REUSE Booster. We created a monitoring map to demonstrate the developments of Router Freedom rights in Europe. The FSFE presented suggestions and demands to support sustainable software. Meanwhile, a two-year court case initiated by FSFE supporter Luca Bonissi successfully came to an end, unequivocally recognising the right to a Windows licence refund. Overall, significant accomplishments for software freedom marked 2021, the year FSFE is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

While this yearly report corresponds to our work during November 2020 - October 2021, many of our activities last for many years. We are celebrating our 20-years milestone because ultimately it is our long term presence that allows us to advance software freedom. Initiatives become more robust every year, as we have seen with the growing adoption of 'Public Money? Public Code!' and REUSE.

In 2017, we launched the 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign, convincing several public administrations to change their IT strategy. Since then, the accompanying open letter has been signed by over 200 civil society organisations and several public administrations like the city of Barcelona and the Swedish JobTech Development center. The same year, we also initiated REUSE to provide a set of recommendations that make licensing Free Software projects easier for developers. Since then, REUSE has been adopted by well-known projects such as the German Corona Warn App and KDE.

Likewise, informing the public about the benefits of Free Software is a core activity that builds up over time. We inform people in information booths, we run workshops and give talks, we send out a monthly Newsletter and publish a podcast episode every two months to help the Free Software community grow and stay connected. Our "I Love Free Software Day", which started over a decade ago, is celebrated around the globe every year on 14 February. Still, sometimes our endeavors succeed after an entire journey which brings us in parliaments or to courts, as the Microsoft v. EU case did. This is why continuous engagement for software freedom matters.

Table of contents

Celebrating 20 Years FSFE

Long before the first smartphone was introduced, it was evident to the FSFE's founders that it is the people who should be in control of technology. In 2001, Free Software experts around Europe therefore created the Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. In 2021, the Free Software Foundation Europe turned 20. This means two decades of empowering users to control technology. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use, study, share, and improve software. This way, Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

Prolific Sci-fi author Cory Doctorow sends birthday wishes to the FSFE.

The FSFE was founded in April 2001, so this year in April 2021 we started having a look at our community and previous work. We contacted people who paved the way of the FSFE since its beginning, such as long term volunteers and past staffers. We have interviewed Georg Greve, Torsten Grote, Reinhard Müller, and Fernanda Weiden, and we received a video message from Cory Doctorow. We shared the FSFE highlights from the last 20 years, and Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE since 2015, presented the work of the organisation since its founding. To mark this important milestone, we produced a bag and a sticker.

Although technology is ever-changing, our values have been consistent throughout the last twenty years. The core of our work is, in a nutshell: highlighting the sociopolitical implications of Free Software, simplifying its legal preconditions, and educating people on the nature of Free Software. Therefore, we divide our work into three areas: Policy Advocacy, Legal Support, and Public Awareness. Matthias Kirschner explains this in his own words in a short video:

We divide our work into three areas: policy advocacy, legal support, and public awareness.

Policy advocacy

1. Raising 'Public Money? Public Code!' demand

Why is software created using taxpayers’ money not released as Free Software? The 'Public Money? Public Code!' initiative was launched in 2018. Its popularity demonstrates that our continuous effort through the years can make a difference. More than 200 organisations and administrations support our call for action by signing our open letter. Good news of municipalities embracing Free Software keeps coming in. In 2021, PMPC progressed in a variety of sectors, ranging from EU policy to public health related apps.

Examining the EU Open Source Strategy

The FSFE examined the new 'Open Source Strategy' of the EU for the period 2020-2023 and raised its concerns. The benefits of Free Software are fully emphasised and the Commission is on paper ambitious in its future use of Free Software. However, concrete goals are rare and a clear commitment to the use of Free Software is lacking. The strategy mainly repeats previous commitments and activities; sustainable and verifiable approaches are sought in vain.

The EU Open Source Strategy 2020-2023 is ambitious but lacks concrete goals.

In February 2021, we interviewed Evangelos Tsavalopoulos, Head of Sector of the European Commission Open Source Software Unit, and addressed the most important questions about this strategy.

Offering PMPC Workshops

In the framework of its campaign 'Public Money? Public Code!', the FSFE has launched a workshop series, 'Contact your administrations'. Its target audience is volunteers and supporters from all over Europe who want to become active in reaching out to their local representatives. This workshop aims to share best practices when addressing public administrations to discuss Free Software in the public sector, while empowering volunteers to become more active within their own communities. During 2021, Lina Ceballos, an FSFE Project Manager, and Alexander Sander, Policy Consultant of the FSFE, held online sessions of this workshop for our Italian and Spanish communities. Alexander Sander and Bonnie Mehring, Translations Coordinator, held the online session for this workshop in German.

Conceptualising a code repository for the public sector

Together with our associated organisation the 'Open Source Business Alliance', the federal working group of municipal IT service providers and other experts, FSFE has developed a first concept for a code repository for the public sector (EN, DE, .pdf). In the proposal, we clarified the potential of Free Software for use in public institutions and how such a repository can contribute to the further development of the digitalisation of administrations. This concept is already being tested with a pilot project in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior.

The FSFE conceptualised a code repository for the public sector. It is being tested in a pilot project.

Demanding Free Software in Public Health related apps

Amid the difficulties of the pandemic, the FSFE identifies a crucial aspect: that apps related to public health should be Free Software. This way they will be transparent, trustworthy, and available to people who consciously avoid proprietary software. Throughout this challenge our demands focus on user rights, and this is reflected in our work. In December of 2020, the FSFE stood in favour of coronavirus tracing apps to be Free Software and thanked the volunteers who liberated the German Corona Warn app (CWA). The FSFE appealed to governments and administrations to publish developed software as Free Software, to break dependencies on proprietary app stores and instead make their apps installable from independent sources like F-Droid, and to renounce proprietary dependencies. This also helps to protect fundamental rights such as the right to privacy.

Example of Corona Tracing app

In August 2021, we witnessed the same problematic pattern in Germany: volunteers once more had to step in to take over the government's task in order to make the CovPass app available to everyone. The FSFE urges the government to quickly adapt its practices and make sure everyone can use such apps without any restrictions from the start. Furthermore, if it is ensured that solutions are published as Free Software, they can be adjusted and reused by other institutions around the world.

Demanding accessibility to political participation apps

In the Netherlands, the official application for parliamentary debates is not available under a Free Software license. In 2018, FSFE supporter Jos van den Oever noticed that the 'Debat Direct' app could not be downloaded to his Firefox OS phone. Jos' request to get the app's source code was denied, and he brought the case to court. The Council of State ruled on 31 March 2021 that the Parliament does not have to publish the source code. The FSFE therefore calls upon the Dutch Parliament to impose rules on itself, to act transparently, and to publish the source code of such applications under a Free Software licence in the future.

The FSFE calls upon the Dutch Parliament to publish the source code of political participation apps.

Moreover, the FSFE calls on the Dutch government to stand firm and get a grip on their digital security and autonomy by adhering to Open Standards and Free Software, in line with their earlier commitment to use Free Software by default. The Netherlands is becoming dependent on a digital infrastructure that is dominated by a small number of monopolistic companies. Although the Dutch Cyber Security Council recognises the consequent risk, their report neglects focusing on Open Standards and Free Software, the proven best practices to face this problem.

Spreading the word

In 2021 we translated our 'Public Money? Public Code!' video into Swedish and Dutch. Apart from those translations, the PMPC video is available in English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Slovenian. We also translated the PMPC brochure into Spanish.

Bringing Free Software to local governments

On May 2021, we contributed to a report on the use of Free Software in local administrations (DE)(.pdf) which was released by the German association for municipal government.

Dortmund embraces Free Software

With an overwhelming cross-faction majority, Dortmund committed itself to the use of Free Software in a groundbreaking resolution (DE) in February 2021. The case of Dortmund, where the motion passed unanimously, proves that all sides can appreciate the practical benefits of Free Software. The result was made possible by the consistent efforts of the DO-FOSS initiative, which also supported the "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign of the FSFE. The Council's decision means that there is now political backing to gradually break down dependencies on proprietary vendors. The FSFE will follow the implementation and at the same time call on other administrations in Germany and Europe to follow Dortmund's example.

The Swiss cantons of Bern and Uri embraced Free Software and the FSFE met online with the people behind this process. Bern followed the steps of another Swiss canton, Uri, trailbrazer for the use of Free Software in administration. For years, the Free Software app 'Caluma' has been successful in Switzerland. The example of the cantons of Uri and Bern shows that the principle of "Public Money? Public Code!" benefits everyone: citizens, the administration, and also the economy.

2. Discovering the sustainability of Free Software

We recently published a study 'On the Sustainability of Free Software' that includes five core demands about What can politicians and society do for a more sustainable digitization? Among them are:

  • When the software of a device is not supported any more, the manufacturers should publish the source code of the software under a Free Software license.
  • Users must be given the right to install the operating system of their choice on their own devices, as well as any software.
  • Devices should be produced with open standards, drivers, and interfaces, to ensure a sustainable use of hardware resources.
The "upcycling of software" can extend usage lifetimes and grow aftermarkets after the end of support by the initial manufacturers.

Icons reused from sources available on Freepik.com

Erik Albers, Program Manager of the FSFE, also gave a talk (DE) about the subject of software sustainability at this year's Winterkongress, the annual conference from the Swiss Digital Intiative, and in the second round table "How do we shape and grow a green tech sector?", organised by the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament. In February, Erik co-published the paper "Design Options for Long-lasting, Efficient and Open Hardware and Software" in "Ökologisches Wirtschaften: Digitalisation and Sustainability". In January we participated in the European Comission's consultation about "Designing mobile phones and tablets to be sustainable – ecodesign".

3. Supporting Router Freedom in the EU

Since 2013 the FSFE has been a leading voice in promoting end-users' right to use their own personal modems and routers. Router Freedom is not a one-time achievement. As the regulations change, our work is continuous to defend this digital right. Our long-term engagement for Software Freedom is needed, and it makes a difference.

2021 represented a milestone for the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. We exerted great efforts to protect Router Freedom on the European level. We have been involved in legislative processes and implementation of technical rules in diverse jurisdictions in the EU. Also, we provided to communities and individuals all necessary elements to engage in initiatives so that they can push the agenda on a political level.

We have been promoting Router Freedom all over Europe. SFSCon, 2019.

This year demonstrated that although the regulatory framework remains fragmented in the EU, Router Freedom is emerging as a prospective reality. We empowered people to defend their right to use their own internet equipment all over Europe.

Informing and empowering the public

In response to the EU reform of telecommunications law (EECC), we explained that Router Freedom is fundamental for security and privacy and summarized the current status in an Activity Summary. Router Freedom is essential for fair competition in markets and sustainability by promoting compatibility among devices and the right to repair.

In March 2021, when EU countries started to implement the telecom reform, we launched an Engagement Package so that anyone can organize supporting activities for Router Freedom. The included wiki page helps the volunteers of the initiative identify interested people, collect information, and set up courses of action. To involve the maximum number of people, we promoted Router Freedom in several events, gave talks, and organised expert meetings with stakeholders all over Europe. Our demands have been shared by several groups in public consultations and official hearings.

Pushing the Router Freedom demand in each country

Router Freedom is emerging as a reality in the EU. Photo credit: Tom, CC-BY-2.0.

We followed closely the positive developments in the Netherlands, which confirmed our demands for consumer rights. In June 2021, we talked with a representative of the Finnish regulator, who explained why Router Freedom is essential for net neutrality. Our coordinated activities in Greece in May 2021 supported that regulator's preliminary decision to secure Router freedom. We worked closely with consumer organisations, digital groups, and business representatives to promote and leverage the agenda, demanding clear rules for consumers, as in the beginning of the legislative process in Austria.

On another hand, we have monitored issues with implementations which could harm Router Freedom. We raised our concerns when Germany decided to step back from the positive experience the country has built since 2016 by allowing the national regulator to determine a regulatory framework against consumers. Latvia opened an extremely dangerous precedent by allowing ISPs to determine by themselves technological issues to prohibit the use of personal routers.

Collecting Data

Router Freedom is undergoing a rapid development in Europe, so we created a monitoring map to help everyone keep track of the Router Freedom status in their countries.

Monitoring map for Router Freedom

To understand better the issues end-users are facing with ISPs' abusive commercial practices, we started a survey. With this research, which is unique in the EU, we aim to gather data about end-user experience, so we can highlight the issues to regulators and decision makers. Our survey is still open and you are welcome to answer our questions.

4. Promoting Free Software in international development cooperation

In December 2020, the FSFE published an analysis of the benefits of using Free Software in international development cooperation. In this increasingly digitised sector, Free Software is becoming an indispensable fundamental technology that guarantees legally compliant international cooperation and reuse. With Free Software, global scaling is possible, as well as local adaptability. New monopolies and dependencies are avoided, which is a major UN sustainability goal.

Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations

5. Preventing a Radio Lockdown

Since 2015, we have been monitoring the possible unpleasant effects of the European Radio Equipment Directive, for which we coined the term Radio Lockdown. Although the FSFE has warned the European Commission multiple times of the disastrous consequences Article 3(3)(i) can have for users, organisations, and the whole communication equipment market, the regulators did not give in. However, in the past 12 months the Commission did not propose any concrete draft regulations, so we are in limbo. The FSFE will continue to monitor the situation closely.

6. Suggesting improvements to the German warning system

Already in November 2020, the FSFE flagged that Germany's warning system is unstable and ineffective and pointed out pragmatic improvements that can guarantee that a warning message can reach every person needed while respecting software freedom and privacy. Unfortunately, our suggestions were not implemented in time: the German warning system once again failed in July 2021 during a number of heavy regional floodings, after which the FSFE repeated that the more effective alternatives must be adopted as soon as possible to prepare for the next serious events. The commentary received several republications. Since this wake-up call, it seems the responsible administrations have been giving this crucial change the necessary attention and traction.

The FSFE points out pragmatic suggestions that can guarantee that a warning message can reach every person needed while respecting software freedom and privacy.

7. Running electoral activities

Prior to the German elections we raised our PMPC demand, in line with our electoral activities. During the final week before the German federal election we reached out to politicians asking their stance on Free Software. The FSFE and the Open Source Business Alliance conducted interviews with representatives of all political parties with a prospect of government participation. The videos are available in German. Also we released our vision for the upcoming decades and concrete demands for the next government (DE) and analyzed the elections programs (DE) of the parties.

Interview with Manuel Höferlin, MdB, FDP Chairman, Digital Agenda Committee. October 2021.

Legal support

1. Launching REUSE Booster

REUSE has facilitated the licensing of Free Software projects. Developers are given standardised ways to mark all files in a project with their chosen license and copyright notice. A tutorial, a set of FAQs, a helper tool, and an API have been made available to lower the threshold and save time.

With REUSE Booster, launched in 2021, the FSFE takes this initiative one step further. This progress was possible thanks to the support the FSFE has received, which enables the implementation of long-term activities. REUSE Booster enables Free Software projects to seek tailored support by our legal experts. As the name suggests, this will boost the process of adopting the best practices as well as general understanding of licensing and copyright. Each project is evaluated individually and the recommendations apply to its particular situation.

Max Mehl joined a podcast episode to present REUSE Booster and talk about the recent developments of the whole initiative. For example, REUSE was adopted by the KDE community as the standard best practice to communicate all projects' licensing and copyright situation. To learn how a large community like KDE managed this step, we interviewed Andreas Cord-Landwehr, long-term developer at KDE, to discuss this implementation.

2. Celebrating win in landmark court case initiated by Luca Bonissi

On March 2021, FSFE supporter Luca Bonissi won a court case he initiated against Lenovo. Ιn a historic judgment in Italy, Lenovo was ordered to pay 20,000 euros in damages for abusive behaviour in refusing to refund the price of a pre-installed Windows licence. In a motivating gesture for the Free Software cause, Luca donated 15,000 euros to the FSFE.

"The Monza decision demonstrated that is possible to reverse the unacceptable behaviour of big techs. What was taken away from the Free Software community has now been returned to it. I encourage everyone to fight back for their legitimate rights!" -- Luca Bonissi.

3. Organising the Legal and Licensing Workshop

In 2021, we organised and supported the first online edition of the Legal and Licensing Workshop. The FSFE's Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) has been held annually for the FSFE's Legal Network since 2008, and serves as a conference for legal experts in the field of Free Software to debate over issues and share best practices surrounding Free Software licenses. Instead of a physical one-time conference, this year, from March to July, LLW offered online presentations, discussion panels, and workshops continuously.

Miriam Ballhausem has been kindly involved in organising the LLW. Don't miss her podcast on copyright enforcement!

Discussions ranged from the recently concluded Google v. Oracle case in the US Supreme Court to legal considerations of Open Hardware. The LLW provided workshops on improving the quality of Free Software licensing information, including those specific to copyleft licenses. As with all online discussions of the Legal Network and its associated events, the Chatham House Rule applied to this year's edition of the LLW. Next year we plan to organise LLW again as a physical meeting to continue building a robust Free Software legal community.

4. Assisting projects in Next Generation Internet Initiative

Free Software is key for the future of the Next Generation Internet.

2021 marks the 3rd and final year of FSFE's involvement in the European Commission's Next Generation Internet Zero Initiative. Our work has been praised by the European Commission and the projects which we have been working with. The FSFE has been a partner organisation of Next Generation Internet Zero (NGI0).

“Our Free Software developer needs were understood and met with minimal frictions. With audits, this NGI0 support went further than just allowing us to spend more time working on the project, they taught us how to improve it. The FSFE REUSE team even contributed actual code with a regular merge-request, in a perfect illustration of ‘them’ teaming up with us!”

Simon Descarpentires, Meta-Press.es Project

Supporting Free Software Developers Through NGI0

The FSFE provided guidance on how to communicate the components, licences, and copyrights associated with software packages. We assisted software projects with their legal and licensing needs, and convinced them to adopt our REUSE standards as best practices for displaying licensing and copyright information.

We have guided over 100 NGI0 software projects to implement the REUSE standards on their workflow. This has included working directly with their repositories to better improve how the licensing and copyright information contained in their repositories is displayed, so that any adopters of their work in the future can more easily comply with these licence and copyright obligations.

"Regarding REUSE, we have learnt a lot. We realise that the idea behind REUSE is simple, clear, and powerful. Nowadays, Free Software projects become more and more complicated, and many components/files of a single project have different license/copyright information. REUSE helps a lot on tracking the status of this information in our project.”

Xianjun Jiao, OpenWifi Project

Making Copyright and Licensing Easier for Everyone

Together with another NGI0 partner organisation, the Institute for Legal Issues regarding Free and Open Source Software, or ifrOSS, we have included in our website a set of educational FAQs about Free Software legal and licensing issues. These FAQs tackle topics useful to any Free Software developer, such as the basics of copyright, licensing issues with Free Software, and issues with licence compatibility. In total, we have created eight educational PDF documents that explain these topics more, in greater depth.

"Being involved in NGI0 has been a nurturing experience. On one hand, it has been very interesting to work closely with and learn from projects that are reshaping the future of the internet. On the other, being part of the FSFE team has provided me with the necessary technical and legal skills to feel comfortable to contribute directly to projects' repositories through merge-requests; a task that was completely new for me in the beginning. All the positive feedback from these projects only encourages me to keep up the good work.”

Lina Ceballos, FSFE Legal Trainee at the time, meanwhile FSFE project manager

5. Answering licensing questions

Till Jaeger is one of the kind expert volunteers of the License Questions team. Don't miss his podcast on GPL enforcement!

The FSFE runs a group for License Questions, composed of several volunteer legal experts from around Europe who continuously help projects and individuals with topics concerning Free Software licensing. In 2021 the department was busy dealing with inquiries related to licence violations, contribution policy, relicensing and even the NASA license over photos, video, and content.

Public awareness

1. Co-organising FOSDEM Legal and Policy devroom

On February 2021, the FSFE participated in FOSDEM. This year it took place online, and according to the main FOSDEM organisers it had a peak of 33,600 attendees. Also, the FSFE co-organised the Legal and Policy Devroom for the first time.

In the Legal and Policy Devroom we aimed to cover the most crucial current issues, such as the proprietary software monopolies which were formed within the rapid digitization after the outbreak of the pandemic. This issue was also related to the intentional misuse of the term Free Software for marketing purposes. The panels covered three ongoing EU policies, the 'Open Source strategy', the Digital Markets Act, and the regulations connected to Router Freedom.

The organizers of the Legal and Policy DevRoom for FOSDEM 2021 discuss together the issues they have seen over the last year in FOSS.

2. Publishing podcast episodes

In addition to our regular news stories and monthly newsletter, the FSFE regularly publishes the Software Freedom Podcast. We talk once a month with people deeply involved in software freedom. Podcasts facilitate community building around Free Software. In 2021 we created five new episodes: "Enforcement of the GNU GPL" with Till Jaeger, "REUSE Booster and our update on REUSE" with Max Mehl, "How to support Free Software and a sustainable digital infrastructure" with Elisa Lindinger, "I love Free Software", and "How to tell my mother that Free Software can cost money?".

3. Thanking creators behind Free Software

Free Software often benefits from the generous work of individuals who work to develop and maintain Free Software projects. By making software available to everyone, they help us chat with our friends in privacy, share our notes, save our passwords -- you name it! Their valuable contributions should not go unnoticed. In the FSFE we celebrate 'I Love Free Software Day ' every 14 February thanking creators of Free Software and we invite others to join us in doing so. Our I Love Free Software Day 2021 received a lot of attention. We counted 411 tweets on Twitter and 210 toots in the Fediverse using the hashtag #ilovefs. People from all over the world joined I Love Free Software Day via social media and tweeted and tooted from at least 328 different places.

In the FSFE we celebrate I Love Free Software Day every 14 February thanking creators of Free Software and we invite others to do so.

4. Participating in SFSCon

The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFSCon, is "one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software". In recent years we have been represented with talks, workshops and our information booth. In November 2020, the FSFE organised several talks in which legal issues and current political developments were analysed. The FSFE will also participate in SFSCon 2021 with several talks, and we will organise a sustainability track. If you cannot attend, you can follow our track online this year.

The FSFE community

Educational activity by Local Group Zurich receives award

On December 2020, our Local Group Zurich members received a DINAcon award and we interviewed them. The local FSFE group created a website called "Learning like a pro" (original German: "Lernen wie die Profis") which they use to explain why Free Software matters in education. It proceeds describing individual Free Software solutions and how these solutions in particular can be used to make school learning efficient and easy.

Ralf Hersel, Coordinator of the FSFE local group Zürich, accepting the DINACon Special Award 2020. (in German)

FSFE Women group formed in 2021

In 2021, the FSFE Women group was created to help women and everyone who identifies as female build connections with each other while discussing technological issues. Starting out as a German-speaking group, the FSFE Women turned to English in May to welcome new members from around Europe. FSFE Women meets every month online and covers aspects related to Free Software. In June 2021, Irmhild Rogalla gave a talk about the accessibility of video conferencing tools, supporting a conferencing platform for all. In July 2021, Bonnie Mehring presented 'Public Money? Public Code!' in relation to the German elections. In August 2021, Loria presented how maps are created in a 2D workadventu.re world. FSFE Women is open to everyone who identifies as female; it gladly welcomes new members.

There is nothing that System Hackers cannot fix

The fact that you can read this report is also thanks to our volunteers who call themselves System Hackers. This group is responsible for the development and maintenance of the FSFE's technical infrastructure: servers, connectivity, virtual machines, DNS, services, backups; a hundred of things can break in between, but they keep it running. In 2021, there have too many exciting changes to list them here, which is why they will write an article about their activities within the next weeks.

Translators remove language barriers

The FSFE Translators team removes language barriers for Software Freedom. During the past year the team has worked tirelessly on creating new translations and improving old ones. Since November 2020, the translators team has created 376 new translations. Most of them are in Italian (189), followed by Dutch with 79 new translations. The translators team has also worked on improving the translation processes.

Since November 2020, the translators team has created 376 new translations.

Staffers run day-to-day activities of the FSFE

Besides its dedicated volunteers, the FSFE also relies on its employees for its daily operations. At the FSFE we currently have 7 people working full-time, 5 working part-time, and 2 interns.

In 2021 we welcomed 6 new staffers. Since November 2020, Linda Wagener completes bookkeeping and accounting tasks, offering a helping hand when needed. Lina Ceballos completed her internship in the FSFE last year, and she has now joined our permanent team. Lina is a Project Manager focusing on PMPC, REUSE, and Router Freedom. Also, she helps the FSFE to reach our Spanish-language audience.

Linus Sehn is our new System Administrator; he makes sure our systems run smoothly and solves any problems that come up. Since May 2021, Fani Partsafyllidou has been our new Project Manager and Newsletter Editor, supporting the implementation of Youth Hacking 4 Freedom, 20 Years FSFE, and Upcycling Android. Fani makes sure that the work of the FSFE is accurately communicated to our community.

In September 2021, Marlene Kietreiber joined our team and brings the magic of graphic design to the FSFE. At the same time, Niharika Singhal joined our Legal team as an intern. Would you like to join our team? We are always interested in internship applications.

The General Assembly guides the progress of the FSFE

The FSFE is governed by its formal members, the "General Assembly", who are responsible for planning, budgeting, and setting the agenda, as well as electing the Executive Council which currently consists of the FSFE's President Matthias Kirschner, Vice-President Heiki Löhmus, and Financial Officer Patrick Ohnewein.

The FSFE complies with the guidelines set out in “transparent civil society” by Transparency International Germany with our transparency commitment. Besides our constitution and minutes from our general assemblies, you will find information in our general reports, name and functions of decision makers and staff, our connections with other organisations, how we use our money, and who our donors are.

Spreading the word

We offer gratis information packages, so that people can raise awareness about software freedom in their communities. From 1 November 2020 until now we have sent 263 information packages. Thank you to all of you who spread the news and help us to reach more people about Free Software. The FSFE T-shirt collection is beloved; we have sold 700 T-shirts since 1 November 2020. Also, we introduced two new products to celebrate 20 Years of the FSFE: a bag, which you can see below, and a sticker.

FSFE since 2001 bag

Join our movement

In the last few years, we exceeded ten thousand people from Europe and beyond who are supporting our cause by spreading our word, signing our open letters, subscribing to our community mails and newsletter, or joining our public discussions. If you ever wondered who all these people are and what a FSFE supporter looks like, we have created a dedicated testimonials page for you, where several of our supporters have left a quote, an interview, or a video.

The FSFE would be nothing without our contributors. And it would be so much more with you! If you feel inspired after reading our report, there are many ways to engage in our movement. We have a dedicated contribution page to help you find a way that best fits your interests and skills.

One of the easiest entrance levels is to spread the word about Free Software in public or among your friends with our promotion material or directly show your love for Free Software by wearing some of our inspiring merchandise items. Follow and share our event announcements, find an event that fits your interests, and then go there to meet like-minded people. Don't be shy; most of us have been in your position once.

If you find no event near you, you can also join us online. If you want to contribute with your IT skills or your language skills, you are more than welcome to join our respective online teams. Not yet sure where to start? Then look into our discourse-instance and start to get to know our community and get inspired about what you can do.

Finally, advocating for freedom also costs money and we depend on people like you to support us financially. All support is used to improve European software freedom a little more each day, step by step, bit by bit.

Looking forward to 2022

In 2022, the FSFE will continue its activities while undertaking new ones. The following paragraphs are not an exhaustive account of our future activities, but a glimpse of what is coming up.

In 2022 we are going to monitor the implementation of our PMPC demands, protect Router Freedom in countries where the respective legislation is coming up, and advocate to prevent a Radio Lockdown. We plan to have a physical Legal and Licensing Workshop 2022 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and will continuously evaluate the current conditions there to ensure the safety of all participants. We are currently preparing two exciting projects for the next year, Youth Hacking 4 Freedom and Upcycling Android.

Youth Hacking 4 Freedom is a coding competition to inspire young people to Software Freedom. It is open to teenagers 14-18 from around Europe. Participants will compete in Youth Hacking for Freedom by creating programs of their choice licensed as Free Software. This hacking competition is a great opportunity for young people to receive inspiration and to network with important people of the field. For the winners, the cash prize might turn into an investment for their own project.

Looking forward to the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom project

Upcycling Android will be a campaign with a web presence and practical workshops to overcome software obsolescence on Android by installing Free Software. It will aim to achieve users' freedom and care for the environment at the same time.

Overall, the next year of the FSFE is exciting and promising as we plan to reach out to a younger audience and to highlight the importance of software sustainability. If you are interested in following our future projects make sure you subscribe to our mail updates.

About the FSFE

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charity that empowers people to control technology by enabling access to software and its source code. The rights to use, study, share, and improve this software are essential to guarantee equal participation in democracies of the 21st century.

Thanks to the trust of our supporters, the FSFE counts 20 years of promoting software freedom in Europe. Our stable presence in this field enables us to succeed in lengthy endeavours for software freedom, and to be ready at all times to respond to related developments. We are grateful for the trust of our supporters, and we will keep on empowering people to control technology.

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Software prägt Gesellschaften. Freie Software macht sie besser.

02. November 2021 um 00:00

Software prägt Gesellschaften. Freie Software macht sie besser.

In unserem neuen Video zeigen wir, wie unterschiedliche Herangehensweisen an Software zu unterschiedlichen Gesellschaftsmodellen führen. Software ist immateriell, aber ihre Ergebnisse sind es oft nicht. Die Entscheidungen darüber, welche Art von Software wir verwenden, haben Auswirkungen auf das reale Leben. Es gibt eine Art von Software, die dem Gemeinwohl zugute kommt, und das ist Freie Software.

Wenn Sie jemals nach einem Video gesucht haben, das die Werte von Freie Software in drei Minuten erklärt, sind Sie hier genau richtig.

Die Transparenz und Anpassungsfähigkeit Freier Software fördert Kooperation, Inklusivität und Selbstbestimmung. Dies führt uns zu einer Gesellschaft mit stärkeren demokratischen Verfahren und Gemeinschaftsgeist. "Der Unterschied zwischen Freier und proprietärer Software besteht darin, dass uns Freie Software immer vier Freiheiten gibt: Jeder Mensch darf sie frei verwenden, verstehen, verbreiten und verbessern. Wird eine Software unter einer freien Lizenz entwickelt, dann dürfen sie alle Menschen ohne Einschränkungen immer und überall nutzen. Da der Quellcode von allen gelesen werden darf, ermöglicht das mehr Transparenz und kann zu mehr Sicherheit führen. Menschen können über Grenzen hinweg gemeinsam an Problemen der Menschheit arbeiten, die Software teilen, darüber diskutieren und sie gemeinsam verbessern."

Anlässlich unseres 20-jährigen Jubiläums haben wir dieses Video erstellt, damit mehr Menschen erfahren können, was Softwarefreiheit bedeutet. Wenn Sie tiefer eintauchen wollen, basiert das Skript auf einem Vortrag auf der FOSDEM 2020, gehalten vom FSFE-Präsidenten Matthias Kirschner. Es spiegelt die Grundwerte der Softwarefreiheit wider und plädiert für mehr Respekt und Vielfalt in Freie-Software-Gemeinschaften.

Bitte teilen Sie das Video mit Ihren Freunden, damit auch sie lernen können, worum es bei Softwarefreiheit geht.

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Router Freedom at risk: Latvia allows restrictions to consumers' rights

27. Oktober 2021 um 01:00

Router Freedom at risk: Latvia allows restrictions to consumers' rights

Latvia's reform of the telecom law weakens Router Freedom in the country. The national regulator, SPRK, has allowed ISPs to restrict the use of personal routers on the grounds of "technological necessity". We explain why this is problematic and what impact it can have for end-users' rights.

Router Freedom is the right end-users have to choose and use their own modems and routers to connect to the Internet. Since 2020, European countries have been in a process of implementing this right within a reform of EU telecommunications law. In this context, Latvia has created a risky precedent against end-users' rights by allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to determine restrictions on the use of personal routers and modems based on "technological necessities". The FSFE has engaged with the Latvian regulator, SPRK, to stress the necessity to change the law as it represents a big loss for consumer rights.

What are "technological necessities" against Router Freedom?

Routers and modems are terminal equipment. They are located in the region where the ISP's and end-user's networks meet. In order to determine which network the router should be part of, the reform of the telecom law has focused on localization of the network termination point (the NTP). The European regulator BEREC has identified three positions, called points A, B, and C (see picture below) where routers and modems could be considered as part of the end-user domain or part of the public network. The standard position should be point A. This means that the router and modem are under the control of the user, who can decide which device to use - either the one recommended and provided by the ISP or one from a third party. Position A would result in Router Freedom.

Latvian ISPs can now determine the NTP based on technological necessity. Picture source: BEREC.

However, BEREC has allowed the national regulators to identify any justifiable technological necessity to set the NTP at positions B or C, considerably limiting Router Freedom. The assessment criteria for such necessities include:

  • Interoperability between the public network and the terminal equipment;
  • Simplicity of operation;
  • Network security;
  • Data protection;
  • Local traffic;
  • Fixed-line services based on wireless technology.

The FSFE has been advocating that Router Freedom is the only way to safeguard end-users' interests and comply with EU legislation. The European experience has demonstrated that no such necessities were identified by the regulators. The allowance of discretionary power to set the NTP at three different positions can impose significant barriers to end-users' effectively using their equipment. Such criteria open a dangerous precedent for discretionary and unfair measures against Router Freedom. ISPs' political and economic influence could easily override the high thresholds for these necessities in order to shift the router or modem out of end-users' domain. Moreover, when national regulators provide little information on how such necessities were identified, proving them wrong becomes excessively hard.

Latvia allows ISPs to determine technological necessity

The FSFE stressed to SPRK how this decision could not be compliant with EU law and could seriously hamper end-users' rights. We argued that the best way to achieve compliance with the BEREC guidelines would be the regulator determining by itself any precondition to the public infrastructure related to terminal equipment that would justify Positions B or C (see picture above). We emphasised that ISPs should not establish the criteria by themselves. However, in response, the authority affirmed (Latvian) that they will check whether necessities identified by the ISPs would be compliant with BEREC guidelines, and approve them or not.

We at FSFE understand that such workflow would create a layer of opacity and difficulty for consumers who could have their rights held up until a decision by the regulator would be taken on specifics of the necessity criteria. In the end, ISPs would have much greater liberty in creating situations where such necessities would be easy to prove and hard to counter, although other EU countries have not found any evidence in favour of them.

Router Freedom is future-proof. So far, no technological necessity has been found against it.

What can Latvian consumers do?

The new regulations make it very hard for consumers to counteract when their ISPs limit Router Freedom on the ground of a technological necessity. Unfortunately, the regulator has chosen not to acquiesce in our demands by allowing ISPs to create by themselves arguments against Router Freedom. Nevertheless the regulator has at least imposed on ISPs the duty to publish on their websites information about the alleged necessity, so consumers have access to this information, and the authority can perform an assessment and make a final decision.

To help us monitoring the future developments in the country, Latvian consumers are encouraged to report their experience in our Router Freedom survey. This will enable us to check what ISPs have listed as arguments and which rulings the Latvian regulator has made against Router Freedom. By comparing with what other EU countries have implemented, we can escalate the issue to BEREC and substantiate a request for reviewing this framework. Countries like Finland and the Netherlands successfully implemented Router Freedom without listing any restriction based on technological necessities. Besides, a fragmented terminal equipment market plays against the interests of end-users and European router manufacturers. Such a disparity in determining a basic right can be brought to the European Commission's attention when performing a fit for purpose check on the national legislation.

Latvian ISPs should publish on their websites why they restrict Router Freedom. Help reporting these practices in our survey.

The Router Freedom initiative

Router Freedom is the right that consumers of any Internet Service Provider (ISP) have to choose and use a private modem and router instead of equipment that the ISP provides. Since 2013, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been successfully engaged with Router Freedom, promoting end-users' freedom to choose and use their own terminal equipment in many European countries. Join us and learn more about the several ways to get involved. Please consider becoming a FSFE donor; you help make possible our long-term engagement and professional commitment in defending people's rights to control technology.

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Ecodesign Directive: FSFE calls for Device Neutrality and Upcycling of Software

15. Oktober 2021 um 01:00

Ecodesign Directive: FSFE calls for Device Neutrality and Upcycling of Software

As a contribution to the revision of the EU ecodesign directive and to help understand the impact of software obsolescence, the FSFE publishes a study on the sustainability of software. The findings of the study culminate in five core demands for a more sustainable digitisation, covering the interplay of devices, software, and infrastructure.

In the European Union we currently see a strong desire to make digitisation more sustainable with the European Commission aiming at making products more resource-efficient as well as circular economy methods applicable. The ecodesign directive from 2009 shall be updated in this regard with the "Sustainable Products Initiative" (SPI) that aims "to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable". The SPI will then serve as the main European product policy instrument, in the electronic sector additionally complemented by the "Circular Electronics Initiative" (CEI).

"Circular electronics", symbolized with Arduino Robot Top.jpg by Arduino SA, CC-BY-SA 3.0

It will be for the first time that phones and tablets are included in the ecodesign criteria of the European Union's market. The CEI directly asks for new "regulatory measures for electronics and ICT including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops under the Ecodesign Directive;" and addresses among other things the devices' "shortcomings in durability, [...] reparability, [...] upgradability, e-waste [...], reuse and recycling."

The European Commission is expected to publish its final proposal for the new SPI by the end of 2021 and the proposal for the CEI by the second quarter of 2022. In August this year, however, several news magazines already reported about what details to expect from the new ecodesign criteria regarding electronic devices. Among other things, it has been consistently written that the Commission wants manufacturers of smartphones and tablets to provide security updates for five years and function updates for three years free of charge.

FSFE demands the upcycling of software

Although an extended support time is one step forward in helping durability and lifetime of devices, the obligation of offering several years of security and functional updates is not sufficient enough for a real game change towards a more sustainable (re-)use of our devices. For a critical, long-lasting, and sustainable change and extension of our hardware usage lifetimes, products need to be designed with device neutrality in mind from the beginning. Until we are there, however, and with the current debates about updating the ecodesign directive in mind, the FSFE asks for truly opening up the circular reuse of electronics by enabling an upcycling of software. Such an upcycling will be possible with the manufacturers obligation to publish a device's underlying source code under a Free Software licence at the end of support for any software necessary to run or modify the initial functioning of the device.

The downsides of extending support obligations for proprietary software in contrast to directly opening up aftermarket economies and reuse possibilities through the publication of source code under a Free Software license is manifold: what time span of support seems appropriate for electronic devices in general and others in particular? Is it three years, five years, seven years? Will the decision of today still be valid and up to date at the end of this decade? Even worse, this approach does not fundamentally help one of the core problems of our digital societies which is an e-waste overflow of often still pretty well-working devices that have only been thrown away because a proprietary manufacturer decided to stop support of the device. An extended support obligation does not solve this problem at its core - it just postpones the often unnecessary growth of e-waste for a certain time. Last but not least it takes away the freedom of manufacturers to not continue support for a certain device if, for example, it does not sell well enough.

The graphic demonstrates how the "upcycling of software" can ideally help to extend usage lifetimes and to grow aftermarkets after the end of support by the initial manufacturers.

Icons reused from sources available on Freepik.com

The obligation of publishing a device's underlying source code under a Free Software licence at the end of support instead solves many of these problems in its core: manufacturers can stop the support of a certain device any time and instead of directly de-valuating affected products with the end of support, an aftermarket is enabled to further continue the development and reuse of certain devices. This will not happen as a law of nature, but begin with some popular devices that will experience a second life which got enabled by the publication of their source code as Free Software. And as we can see with the rise of other markets, the more this happens and the more success stories there are, the more competitors and imitators will join and further help creating a market of reuse and cicular electronics. Releasing source code as Free Software thus is the most efficient way to steer the European digitisation from a market of linear hardware production towards circular electronics devices. You can read more about the upcycling of software, the background and its derivation in our in-depth study about software obsolescence and sustainability of Free Software that the FSFE has been able to produce with the support of the German Environment Agency.

In-depth study about the sustainability of Free Software

The study starts with a definition of software sustainablility and shows from there how the inherent characteristics of Free Software enable a sustainability of software as well as their positive impact on the sustainability of IT infrastructures. Software obsolescence is explained and the benefits of using Free Software in saving natural resources by extending hardware usage lifetime and through saving energy cunsumption of software. Finally, based on the findings, five politically demands for a more sustainable digital society are outlined:

For a European shift from linear production and ewaste producion towards a circular electronic economy full device neutrality must be established that includes the Right to use alternative operating systems and software with full access to hardware and freedom of choice. Until then, the upcycling of software will help in the transition as well as the obligation for any public smart infrastructure to be set up with Free Software and public code.

Erik Albers, the FSFE's Programme Manager on Sustainability says: "It has been long time overdue for the European Union to apply ecodesign critera for the currently most selling electronic products, phones, and tablets. The FSFE welcomes the initiative by the European Commission to finally update the European Directive on this. Now it is crucial to do it right from the beginning. Our study explains the benefits of upcycling software in detail but can only be the start of a long time process and transition. In the next months we concentrate on explaining decision takers that we can only overcome linear product waste by an upcycling of software through its final publication under a Free Software licence."

If you are curious now to learn more about the sustainability of Free Software, we invite you read our study "On the sustainability of Free Software" and to watch the upcoming FSFE's track about sustainability at the SFSCon. If you like to support our work in the upcoming months and help us to influence legislation please help us with a financial support.

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Till Jaeger +++ Youth Hacking 4 Freedom +++ SFScon 2021

12. Oktober 2021 um 01:00

Till Jaeger +++ Youth Hacking 4 Freedom +++ SFScon 2021

In our October Newsletter read about Till Jaeger, who knows first-hand what it takes to enforce Free Software licenses. Find out about the contest we just launched: Youth Hacking 4 Freedom. Learn about the donations by a high school yearbook team. Follow our latest activities and write down the dates of the upcoming SFScon.

New podcast: How can we prevent violations against Free Software licenses?

Till Jaeger shared his insight on how can we enforce Free Software licenses. In a podcast hosted by Matthias Kirschner he recalled the beginning of this effort in 2004. This was the first time when a violation of the GNU General Public Licence (GNU GPL) led to a court case and a settlement. The person behind this initiative was Harald Welte who afterwards created a project to rectify GPL violations.

Till Jaeger has been working alongside Harald Welte in enforcing the GNU GPL in court cases in Germany.

17 years after the first court case we now have many more tools to prevent violations against Free Software licenses. Compliance information is clearer, and workshops such as the ones offered by the FSFE Legal Network are available. Still, Till suggests further simplification of licences, interoperability, and licence compatibility. Finally, Till thanks everyone doing GNU/Linux distributions for their crucial work.

Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: coding contest for teenagers

Software development is a powerful, and often self-taught, skill; people who started programming in a young age deserve encouragement. To this end, we are organising a coding competition for teenagers around Europe, Youth Hacking 4 Freedom. From 1 November 2021 to 31 March 2022, you can code any type of software you want, as long as it is Free Software. The winners will be awarded cash prizes (2 x 4096€, 2 x 2048€, 2 x 1024€) and a trip to Brussels. The evaluation phase will be carried out by Free Software experts.

Are you between 14-18 and have already started programming? Join us! Just make sure you register until Sunday, 31 October 2021. Our FAQs might help. We are dedicated to offering an inclusive environment in the YH4F, and we encourage people of all genders to join! We will make sure everyone will enjoy the process and will leave this competition with a smile. Spread the word!

Hittfeld high school shows its support to Free Software projects and the FSFE

The 2021 yearbook of a high school was successfully completed using Free Software, and the editorial team donated all profits from the sale to Free Software projects and the FSFE. This is the story of Hittfeld high school in Seevetal, in the German state of Lower Saxony.

This yearbook was created using Free Software like LibreOffice, GNOME-Desktop, Ubuntu, Nextcloud, gThumb, darktable, PDF Arranger, LimeSurvey, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, MailMerge, Jitsi Meet, OpenStreet, Inkscape, and GIMP.

The editorial team mentions that it is beneficial for the school to avoid paying expensive subscriptions to proprietary programs. We deeply thank the pupils and everyone involved in the donation decision. This kind gesture is a nice reminder that we should support those who provide us great tools without restricting our freedom. We encourage everyone to support Free Software projects, just as the Hittfeld high school did.

This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come

Sustainability track at South Tyrol Free Software Conference

The South Tyrol Free Software Conference, SFScon, is one of Europe’s most established annual conferences on Free Software. Save the date! SFScon 2021 is coming up on Friday 12 November and Saturday 13 November 2021.

This year the FSFE will participate in the conference by organising a Sustainability track with five 20-minute talks:

  • 'Software Heritage: The Great Library of Source Code' by Stefano Zacchiroli from the Software Heritage project.
  • 'Blauer Engel Eco-Certification' by Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss from KDE e.V.
  • 'Measuring the Sustainability of AI: towards a Sustainability Index for Artificial Intelligence' by Anne Mollen from AlgorithmWatch.
  • 'The role of software for a universal Right to Repair: can free software help us fix software obsolescence?' by Ugo Vallauri from the Restart Project and the European Right to Repair Campaign.
  • '4 directives for a sustainable digital society: designing circular digitisation with upcyling software and reusing hardware' by Erik Albers from the FSFE.

The FSFE will also support three additional talks. 'REUSE: Gold standard for Free Software licensing' part of the Legal track, by Max Mehl; 'Protecting Router Freedom' part of the IoT & Cybersecurity track, by Lucas Lasota; 'Public Money? Public Code! During Corona: What role did Free Software play during the crisis' part of the Public Administration & GIS track, by Alexander Sander. We are looking forward to see our readers at the SFScon!

What we have done

During the final week before the German federal election we reached out to politicians asking their stance on Free Software, in line with our electoral activities. Alexander Sander, FSFE Policy Consultant, and Karl Krüger from our associated organisation OSB Alliance conducted 5 interviews (DE) with representatives of German political parties from 20 to 24 September. From CDU we spoke with Nadine Schön, MdB, CDU Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. We interviewed three members of the Digital Agenda Committee: Elvan Korkmaz-Emre from SPD, Manuel Höferlin from FDP, and Anke Domscheit-Berg from Die Linke. From the Greens, we spoke with Margit Stumpp, MdB, member of the Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs. The 5 videos are available in German. Also we released our vision for the upcoming decades and concrete demands for the next government and analyzed the election programs of the parties.

  • Lina Ceballos, FSFE Project Manager, gave an interview to Empodera.org presenting the mission of the FSFE, the PMPC demands, and the need for Router Freedom. Lina stressed the need for a more ethical but also a more sustainable digital environment.
  • Matthias Kirschner, president of the FSFE, was invited to a podcast episode of Radio Citylab Berlin. It dealt with Free Software as a foundation for a democratic technology policy. This enlightening and fun discussion is available in German.
  • The Bavarian Radio (Bayrischer Rundfunk) published a 26 minute radio feature (in German) about the 30 year anniversary of Linux. Matthias Kirschner was also interviewed for that, and talked about how Linux as a Free Software kernel contributed to the Free Software movement and how this changed the world.
  • On 12 September, the FSFE Netherlands met online.
  • On 13 September, the FSFE Community Bonn had its local group meeting and Johannes reported about GNURadio. The meetings are open to all who are interested in Free Software.
  • On 17 September, the campaign framework "Public Money? Public Code!: A campaign framework to promote software freedom" was presented at the Kieler Open Source and Linux Days by Bonnie Mehring.
  • On 19 September, the FSFE Vienna provided an information booth at Tierschutzlauf.
  • On 19 September, Max Mehl introduced REUSE and its benefits for Free Software developers and users, especially for package maintainers of operating system distributions. The presentation is part of EuroBSDCon.
  • On 23 September, the local FSFE Berlin group celebrated 20 Years of FSFE together with the FSFE's president by eating cake around a campfire.
  • On 27 September, the FSFE Women group had its monthly meeting. Antje analysed three papers about women in computer science and gender aspects of learning to code, and Fani Partsafyllidou presented the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom competition.
  • On 5 October, Gabriel Ku Wei Bin, the FSFE's Legal Coordinator, participated in a webinar on open source copyright and license management organized by the NLNet Foundation for the benefit of various NGI projects. The webinar helped software projects with understanding various aspects the law as it relates to software, as well as to introduce the FSFE's REUSE initiative to a wider audience.
  • On 9 October, our associated organisation ANSOL (Associação Nacional para o Software Livre) celebrated its 20th anniversary. FSFE's president, Matthias Kirschner, gave a short talk about the FSFE's work during the last 20 years and highlighted joint activities with ANSOL.
  • On 10 October, the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom hosted its opening event to explain the rules of the competition and to answer questions from people who had already registered.

New bag

For our 20th anniversary, we now present a new bag! Blue and double-faced, it comes with two slogans, the newest: 'FSFE since 2001', to remember when it all started and our evergreen: 'There is no cloud, just other people's computers'. A sustainable solution for a shopping bag. Get it from the FSFE web shop.

Share the YH4F opportunity with teenagers in your community

Would you like to help us spread the message, and help young hackers spot the opportunity to join YH4F? Then please contact teenagers you know, former schools, hacker spaces, youth facilities, or mailing lists. Share with them our call for registration through a post on your website, a mention in your Newsletter, or a social media post. Also, you can freely use the illustrations in our media kit, as well as our Press Release. Both are available in English and translations.

Your contribution is valuable to make sure that young people will take part — and hopefully connect more with the software freedom movement.

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

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Translators team: Reaching more people in their native language

11. Oktober 2021 um 01:00

Translators team: Reaching more people in their native language

The FSFE's translators team has been working tirelessly throughout the second year of Covid-19 to enable people all across Europe to read and learn about Free Software in their native language. Since the beginning of 2021 we have had over 230 new translations into 9 different languages, not counting the English originals.

Since the founding of the organisation in 2001 the FSFE's translators team has been an important part of the FSFE. The translations made by the translators team have enabled people all across Europe to learn and read about software freedom and the FSFE's mission to empower users to control technology. Translations from English to another language enable people who are not fluent in English to read, learn, and participate in Free Software. Without the help of our translators team, this would not have been possible.

For the last 20 years the FSFE's translators team has been working on translating the FSFE's statements, news items, activities, campaigns, and background information. The first translation for our website, which is today no longer available on the website, was made in 2001 by translating the "Volunteers welcome" text to French. Later the "Volunteers welcome" text became our contribute page. In 2004, with the move from gnu.org to our own infrastructure, the then translation coordinator, Reinhard Müller, launched the first general information page about the translators team and the translation process. Since then a lot has happened.

Reinhard Müller: "Translating web pages and press releases for FSFE is not only an important contribution to increase the outreach of our message, it has also proven to be an excellent first step for getting involved in FSFE's work."

FSFE's translators team today

Today we have over 280 members on the translators mailing list, helping us in their spare time to translate for software freedom. We have 40 languages represented on our web page, with almost 7,000 translations. Among them are large projects, like the nearly finalised translation of the "Public Money? Public Code!" brochure to Spanish and the on-going translation of it to Italian.

Alejandro Criado-Pérez, translations to Spanish: "It's especially important to propagate the FSFE message in as many languages as possible, because Free Software's freedoms and their implications are often unknown or misunderstood, causing the general public to undervalue their vital importance to our democracy, privacy, and sustainability."

Not only have we increased our numbers in every direction (members, languages and translations), we have also improved our translation process. We have an actively maintained webpreview tool which allows translators as well as proofreaders to view the HTML source code as an actual web page. And of course we have also kept working on our style guide, wordlist, and the translators wiki. All of this is done with the help of the translators team itself.

If you are interested in joining the FSFE's translators team you are very welcome to subscribe to our mailing list and have a look at our wiki page.

André Ockers, Deputy Coordinator Translations, Translations to Dutch: "I translate for Free Software because I support the Free Software movement and want to help spread our message of empowering people to control their technology to Dutch-speaking people. Dutch is also the policy language in the Netherlands and a policy language in Belgium, so translations might be helpful in enabling policy advocacy on that level."Luca Bonissi, Deputy Translators Coordinator, Translations to Italian: "I love translating items about Free Software mainly because I love Free Software and I want that all Italian people could easily know the benefits of Free Software in their own language. As a side effect, since the translation process usually involves more than one person, I'm also learning more about English and Italian too! :-P "T.E. Kalayci, Translations to Turkish: "I like doing translation for FSF(E) because I want to spread the wise words of Free Software (which is very important to humanity and society in my opinion) to Turkish-speaking people. I am hoping that more people will understand the words, embrace the ideas in it and take part in the community to provide benefit to all the people."Pablo González, Translations to Spanish: "I like translating into Spanish because Free Software is for everyone, including people that don't understand English. One of the barriers here for the adoption of Free Software is the language."

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Learn about Free Software in the Legal Context with FSFE's Legal Education Day

08. Oktober 2021 um 01:00

Learn about Free Software in the Legal Context with FSFE's Legal Education Day

The FSFE is organizing a Legal Education Day on Saturday, 6 November 2021. This online event is open for all to attend. It will include talks and Q&A sessions on the basics of copyright law, licenses, and other legal topics. The event will help Free Software developers to understand these legal topics so that their software projects can reach their full potential.

We all love the four freedoms that Free Software grants to users and developers, and how they benefit the individual user as well as digital society as a whole. In order to ensure these freedoms, users of Free Software rely on legal instruments and the legal system to be able to enforce them when other try to take them away from us.

Understanding and complying with the legal frameworks and licensing obligations can sometimes feel daunting. Nonetheless, some basic knowledge can keep you and your software project safer from legal aspects, while it helps to build a healthy Free Software environment based on openness and community.

We are happy to be organizing the FSFE online Legal Education Day on Saturday, 6 November 2021, at 12:00 CET. The event will be held online on the FSFE’s infrastructure and is open for all to attend free of charge. With this event, we aim to spread basic legal education on the legal context of Free Software, so that licensing your project and meeting legal obligations in your software project will be less of a daunting task!.

Stay tuned for more updates on the LED homepage. In the meantime, you can optionally choose to register your attendance with us, so that we can get a good idea of how many people will be attending the event.

We hope to see you there soon!

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Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: Programmierwettbewerb für Jugendliche startet

28. September 2021 um 01:00

Youth Hacking 4 Freedom: Programmierwettbewerb für Jugendliche startet

Die Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) ist eine gemeinnütziger Verein, der sich für einen selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik einsetzt. Um die junge Generation für Softwarefreiheit zu begeistern, organisiert die FSFE den Programmierwettbewerb 'Youth Hacking 4 Freedom' (YH4F), bei dem Jugendliche aus ganz Europa die Möglichkeit haben, sich auf faire und unterhaltsame Weise zu messen. Die Gewinner erhalten einen Geldpreis und eine Reise nach Brüssel.

  • Die Teilnehmenden müssen zwischen 14 und 18 Jahre alt sein und sich auf yh4f.org registrieren
  • Am 10. Oktober 2021 findet ein Opening Event statt.
  • Die Registrierung kann bis zum 31 Oktober 2021 erfolgen.
  • Sechs Gewinner erhalten Geldpreise (2 x 4.096€, 2 x 2.048€, 2 x 1.024€) und eine Reise nach Brüssel.
  • Der Wettbewerb findet online statt. Die Auszeichnung findet in Brüssel statt.

Grafik von Lisa Schmidt, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Im Rahmen des YH4F Wettbewerb wird ein Opening Event durchgeführt, um alle Teilnehmenden zu begrüßen. Am 10. Oktober 2021 um 17:00 Uhr wird die FSFE das Projekt vorstellen und offene Fragen beantworten. Weitere Informationen und wie man teilnehmen kann erfährt man hier: yh4f.org.

Programmieren

Am Montag, dem 1. November 2021, beginnt die Programmierphase, in der die Teilnehmenden bis Ende März 2022 Zeit haben, um an ihrem Projekt zu arbeiten. Die Teilnehmenden können all ihre Kreativität in den Wettbewerb einbringen; sie können alles programmieren was sie mögen - solange es Freie Software ist. Das Softwareprojekt kann ein eigenständiges, von Grund auf neu geschriebenes Programm sein, oder es können bestehende Programme verbessert werden. Alles ist willkommen! Die Teilnehmenden haben auch die Möglichkeit, sich mit anderen Teilnehmenden über ihre Projekte auszutauschen.

Evaluation

Nachdem die Teilnehmenden ihr Projekt eingereicht haben findet eine Evaluierung durch Freie Software Experten statt. Unsere Jury ist hochkarätig besetzt; unter anderem mit Neil McGovern, Executive Director der GNOME Foundation, und Claudia Müller-Birn, Professorin für Human-Centered Computing an der Freien Universität Berlin.

Preise

Die Gewinner werden im Juni 2022 nach Brüssel eingeladen und dort ihren Preis erhalten. Die 2-tägige Reise umfasst die Preisverleihung und einige weitere Aktivitäten, bei denen die Gewinner die Möglichkeit haben, sich gegenseitig besser kennenzulernen.

Grafik von Lisa Schmidt, CC-BY-SA 4.0

Wir sind bestrebt, ein inklusives Umfeld in dem YH4F Wettbewerb zu schaffen. Wir möchten Jugendliche aller Geschlechter ermutigen, an dem Wettbewerb teilzunehmen. Wir werden alles dafür tun, dass alle Spaß und Freude an diesem Wettbewerb haben und den Wettbewerb mit neuem Wissen und einem Lächeln bestreiten. Der YH4F Wettbewerb wird durch die großartige Unterstützung von Reinhard Wiesemann, dem Linuxhotel und dem Vielrespektzentrum ermöglicht.

Auf der yh4f.org Website finden sich sämtliche Informationen zu dem Wettbewerb und FAQs. Bildmaterial zu dem Wettbewerb befindet sich in unserem Media Paket, das zur Verbreitung genutzt werden kann.

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SFP#12: Enforcement of the GNU GPL with Till Jaeger

22. September 2021 um 01:00

SFP#12: Enforcement of the GNU GPL with Till Jaeger

With our 12th episode of the Software Freedom Podcast we dig into the history and the beginning of enforcing Free Software licences, especially the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). Together with Till Jaeger, who has been working alongside Harald Welte for enforcing the GNU GPL in the first court cases in Germany, we talk about the long way we have come since those early days.

Our guest, Till Jaeger, discusses with our host, Matthias Kirschner, how the decision to go to court and stand up for the rights of copyleft licences came about. Till and Matthias tell an exciting story about those first steps on this new legal ground. They also highlight the short term and long term impacts of the first court decision in favour of Free Software. For example, how more and more information about licensing and especially using a Free Software licence became available and publicly known. But also how workshops, like the FSFE's yearly Legal and Licensing Workshop, were created for those interested in using and being compliant to Free Software licences.

Discover together with us the changes that have come from those first steps to the acceptance of Free Software in companies. Till has been involved with Free Software licensing for a long time and provides a deep and well rounded insight into the history of enforcing the GNU GPL. To give this episode a perfect ending, Matthias and Till also talk about some of the most common misunderstandings of Free Software licensing. This is the perfect episode for everyone to get an insight into one of the most important events in the history of enforcing Free Software licences.

Read more:

If you liked this episode and want to support our continuous work for software freedom, please help us with a donation.

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Die digitalpolitischen Interviews zur Bundestagswahl 2021

20. September 2021 um 01:00

Die digitalpolitischen Interviews zur Bundestagswahl 2021

Die Bundestagswahl am 26.09.2021 steht unmittelbar bevor. Digitale Souveränität auch durch den Einsatz von Freier Software stehen im Zentrum unseres Austausches mit den politischen Parteien, den wir auch über die Wahlprüfsteine unserer Organisationen geführt haben. Wir freuen uns, dass wir in einem weiteren Schritt mit Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten aller Parteien mit einer Chance auf eine Regierungsbeteiligung ins persönliche Gespräch gekommen sind und vertieft nachfragen konnten, was sie und ihre Partei tun möchten, um die Digitalisierung in Deutschland auch mit Freier Software voranzubringen.

Es gibt viele ermutigende Signale, dass bei allen befragten Parteien die Bedeutung von Freier Software erkannt und adressiert wird. Am Ende wird es darauf ankommen, dass das konkreten Eingang in die politische Arbeit findet und gerade im öffentlichen Sektor auch souveräne Lösungen eingesetzt werden. Wir danken allen Politikerinnen und Politikern für ihre Unterstützung und freuen uns, nach der Wahl den Dialog fortzusetzen, wenn es darum geht, den Koalitionsvertrag zu verhandeln und die Sacharbeit in Parlament und Regierung aufzunehmen. Wir veröffentlichen ab heute jeden Tag ein Interview, das von Alexander Sander von der FSFE und Karl Krüger von der OSB Alliance geführt wurde.

Nadine Schön, MdB, CDU Stellvertretende Vorsitzende der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion, zuständig für die Bereiche Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend sowie Digitale Agenda Elvan Korkmaz-Emre, MdB, SPD Mitglied des Ausschuss für Digitale Agenda sowie des Ausschusses für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur Manuel Höferlin, MdB, FDP Vorsitzender Ausschuss Digitale Agenda Anke Domscheit-Berg, MdB, Die Linke Ausschuss Digitale Agenda Margit Stumpp, MdB, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Ausschuss für Kultur und Medien

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Demand for transparent CovPass apps in EU +++ Dutch gain Router Freedom

13. September 2021 um 01:00

Demand for transparent CovPass apps in EU +++ Dutch gain Router Freedom

In our August-September Newsletter, we celebrate the right of using a custom router in the Netherlands. We explain why every app that tackles the spread of Covid-19 has to be Free Software. We share the news of our vibrant community, following up what happened in the summertime and what lies ahead of us.

CovPass apps should be available to all; thus, they should be Free Software

Apps that are necessary for everyone should be available to everyone, without having to install additional and proprietary software stores. This was not the case with the German CovPass app, which provides the EU digital COVID certificate for Corona vaccination on smartphones. It was only available on Apple, Huawai and Google app stores due to proprietary dependencies. Such a practice neglects those who consciously avoid proprietary software and choose to use Free Software. For them, the app was unavailable.

Experts saved the day, and therefore we would like to thank @jugendhacker, @mythsunwind, @rugk, @tzugen, Felix C. Stegerman, and Marcus Hoffmann. Together, they worked selflessly for weeks and developed the CovPass app for F-droid. The experts also removed proprietary Google libraries which were not necessary for the app to function.

This additional work would not have been necessary if the CovPass developers – who are paid with public funds – had not included these unnecessary proprietary libraries from the beginning. Furthermore, the company developing CovPass was unsupportive towards external developers, which increased the difficulty for the volunteers to contribute improvements. Because of this, improvements which would have required little effort by the original developers turned out to be a difficult task for third-party experts. It is a typical problem that can be avoided by releasing as Free Software any software whose development is publicly funded.

The same process happened last year with the German Covid-tracing app: experts voluntarily took over governments' and administrations' tasks to make this app available to everyone. In the case of Covid-related apps, public bodies have failed in Germany. "We urge the government to quickly adapt its practices and make sure everyone can use such apps without any restrictions from the start" says Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE. The silver lining in contrast is the example of Switzerland, where the official Covid certificate app was added to F-droid by the Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT).

Advocating pays off: Dutch Internet users gain Router Freedom

Router Freedom is now a reality in the Netherlands. All Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must allow end-users to choose and use their own routers and modems within 6 months. Also, it was secured that consumers who set up an alternative router should still enjoy technical support by the ISPs. The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets' (ACM) decision represents a victory for consumers in the Netherlands and a win for net neutrality in Europe.

The new rules passed after a persistent effort of the FSFE to draw attention to the importance of Router Freedom. The FSFE contacted BEREC raising the Router Freedom demand for the first time three years ago, in 2018, resulting in establishing Router Freedom as a standard for European countries. In 2019, the FSFE contacted the Dutch national agency too, to enquire about the situation in the country. Since then, the FSFE's Country Team Netherlands pushed the issue through by organising seminars, talking to stakeholders, going to events, raising the issue on social media, and helping with the elaboration of technical and legal documents.

Now, it is the time to celebrate. ACM's decision is a major win for all end-users in the Netherlands!

Do you want to learn more about the status of Router Freedom in your country? Check our monitoring map! You can contribute with our work by taking part in our end-user survey to help monitoring Router Freedom in your country.

Upcoming events:

On Wednesday 15 September at 20:00 CEST, the Dutch FSFE team will have its monthly meeting. The Dutch team always welcomes new members. If you would like to take part in the meeting, please contact the FSFE Coordinator of the Netherlands, Nico Rikken.

In September's monthly meeting, the FSFE Women group will discuss gender aspects of learning programming. Research papers will be briefly presented and discussed. We welcome new members who identify as females. The date is still to be arranged, so if you are interested in Free Software join our mailing list and get to know us.

What we have done:

  • On July 30th, Max Mehl, Programme Manager of the FSFE, gave an interview in thelocal.de about the disaster warning system of Germany. The topic came to the spotlight after the floods in Germany, but the weaknesses of the warning system were a known issue already. Max argues in favour of warnings sent through cell broadcast instead of apps, because they can reach everyone with a phone and target specific locations. There is also a publicly accessible reprint available.

  • On August 17th, the FSFE Women group met and Loria presented how maps are created in a 2D workadventu.re world.

  • On August 18th, the FSFE Dutch team met to discuss the end of SMS authentication for DigiD, the efforts to introduce Free Software in schools, and other technological developments.

  • On August 22nd at FrOsCon, Alexander Sander, FSFE's Policy Consultant, presented the latest developments in the digitization of administrations and ventured an outlook for the time after the federal elections in Germany.

FSFE information stall on Veganmania, Vienna 2021
  • During the last weekend of August, the FSFE Austria participated in the annual Veganmania summer festival. Next to live music, street food, and DIY workshops, the Viennese FSFE volunteers team organised a booth to explain the basics of Free Software to visitors. The Veganmania festival is visited by thousands of visitors with diverse backgrounds. The supporters noticed an increase in how many people were technically conscious compared to the previous years. Also, newcomers in the field of Free Software were interested to read our guides with technical tips to increase their computer security. Instructions on basic utilities such as email encryption and password managers gained a lot of attention. If you are interested to learn more, you can read the report from the FSFE supporters group in Vienna.

Get active for the Federal election in Germany

On 26 September, a new Bundestag will be elected in Germany. We are engaged around the election and want to ensure with our activities that "Public Money? Public Code!" plays an important role for the next government. Therefore we want to make sure that our "Public Money? Public Code!" demands will be included in the coalition agreement of Germany's next government. To achieve this we need your help and support. You can learn how you can help us in the dedicated activity package [DE].

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive, please consider donating a part of your conference budget to Free Software organisations, including the FSFE.

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Öffentliche Einrichtungen versagen: Freiwillige müssen Freizeit opfern, um CovPass-App für alle verfügbar zu machen

30. August 2021 um 01:00

Öffentliche Einrichtungen versagen: Freiwillige müssen Freizeit opfern, um CovPass-App für alle verfügbar zu machen

Nach der erfolgreichen Bereitstellung der deutschen Corona-Warn-App ohne Zugriff auf Google-Dienste auf F-Droid im vergangenen Jahr springen nun erneut Freiwillige ein, um staatliche Aufgaben zu übernehmen und die CovPass-App für alle verfügbar zu machen.

Mit der CovPass-App kann das digitale COVID-Zertifikat der EU für die Corona-Impfung auf Smartphones genutzt werden. Bisher war sie aufgrund von proprietären Abhängigkeiten nur in den App-Stores von Apple, Huawai und Google verfügbar. Das Support-Team der CovPass-App argumentiert zudem, dass die App aus Sicherheitsgründen und um Missbrauch zu verhindern, nicht in anderen App-Stores veröffentlicht werden kann. Diese Argumentation ist nicht nur irreführend und falsch, wie wir bereits bei anderen Corona-Apps gesehen haben, sondern verhindert die Nutzung vieler Corona-Apps für Menschen, die Wert auf Privatsphäre und Softwarefreiheit auf ihren Geräten legen. Eine Gruppe von Freiwilligen hat in den letzten Wochen intensiv daran gearbeitet, diese App für alle verfügbar zu machen und sie heute auf F-Droid, einem App-Store für Freie Software, veröffentlicht.

Zu diesem Zweck haben die Freiwilligen auch proprietäre Google-Bibliotheken entfernt, die für die App nicht notwendig sind. Dieser Mehraufwand hätte vermieden werden können, wenn die mit öffentlichen Geldern bezahlten Entwickler solche unnötigen proprietären Bibliotheken gar nicht erst mit eingebaut hätten. Darüber hinaus war das Unternehmen, das CovPass entwickelt, externen Entwicklern gegenüber wenig entgegenkommend, was es den Freiwilligen erschwerte, Verbesserungen beizusteuern. Eine eigentlich einfache und schnelle Implementierung, die durch die ursprünglichen Entwickler hätte vorgenommen werden können, entpuppte sich so zu einer schwierigen Aufgabe für die Freiwilligen. Ein positives Beispiel ist COVID Certificate, die offizielle App zur Speicherung und Präsentation von Schweizer COVID-Zertifikaten. Sie wird vom Bundesamt für Informatik und Telekommunikation BIT im Auftrag des Bundesamts für Gesundheit entwickelt, und die Entwickler haben selbst dafür gesorgt, dass die App in den Freie Software App Store F-Droid aufgenommen wurde.

Felix C. Stegerman, Softwareentwickler und Teil der Freiwilligengruppe rund um die CovPass-App erklärt: "Ich möchte sicherstellen, dass jeder öffentlich finanzierte Apps nutzen kann, damit wir die Pandemie bekämpfen können. Es ist traurig, dass die Prozesse einiger dieser öffentlich finanzierten Apps externe Verbesserungen erschweren oder gar blockieren, anstatt gemeinsam an Verbesserungen zu arbeiten. Mehr Verwaltungen sollten dem Beispiel der Entwickler der Schweizer COVID-Zertifikats-App folgen."Matthias Kirschner, Präsident der Free Software Foundation Europe äußert sich: "Einmal mehr übernehmen Freiwillige die Aufgaben von Regierungen und Verwaltungen, um Corona-Apps für alle zugänglich zu machen. Die FSFE dankt @jugendhacker, @mythsunwind, @rugk, @tzugen, Felix C. Stegerman und Marcus Hoffmann für ihre entscheidende Arbeit im Kampf gegen die Pandemie. Aber es sollte nicht an Freiwilligen liegen, diese Aufgabe zu erledigen: Wir fordern die Regierung auf, ihre Praktiken schnell zu ändern und sicherzustellen, dass alle die Anwendungen von Anfang an ohne Einschränkungen nutzen kann. Außerdem sollte sichergestellt werden, dass die Lösungen als Freie Software veröffentlicht werden, sodass sie von anderen Institutionen auf der ganzen Welt wiederverwendet und angepasst werden können." Free Your Android

Seit Beginn der Corona-Krise hat die FSFE gefordert, dass alle Apps, die zur Bewältigung der Krise veröffentlicht werden, Freie Software sein müssen. Nur Freie Software bietet genügend Transparenz, um einen vollständigen Datenschutz und eine gesetzeskonforme Nutzung zu gewährleisten; so kann Vertrauen geschaffen werden. Außerdem brauchen globale Probleme globale Lösungen, und nur Freie Software ermöglicht die Entwicklung von globalem Code in einer rechtssicheren kooperativen Umgebung. Jede proprietäre Lösung wird unweigerlich zu unzähligen Insellösungen führen und damit Energie und Zeit verschwenden. Neben der globalen Zusammenarbeit ermöglichen Lizenzen für Freie Software die gemeinsame Nutzung von Code in jeder Rechtsordnung und für jedes Gerät.

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Dutch authority enforces Router Freedom

05. August 2021 um 01:00

Dutch authority enforces Router Freedom

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published new rules that will move Router Freedom forward in the Netherlands. Within 6 months ISPs have to comply and offer the option for consumers and companies to connect a modem or router of their own choice. The FSFE acknowledges this decision as a major win for consumer rights.

Router Freedom is the right that consumers of any Internet Service Provider (ISP) have to choose and use a private modem and router instead of equipment that the ISP provides. In its publication (.pdf) the Dutch Authority cites the BEREC Guidelines on the Implementation of the Open Internet Regulation as the reason for stating the new rules. These guidelines came about with the persistent effort of the FSFE to draw attention to the importance of and right to Router Freedom. As another motivation the ACM explicitly mentions the "significant" group of users wanting to take control of their personal data and network devices.

The new regulation clarifies which part of the infrastructure falls under the governance of the ISP and for which part the user is free to choose their own solution. Router Freedom also implies a user is still free to choose a modem or router offered by the ISP. It is an important step forward that this practice will be the norm from 27 February 2022 and will be enforced by the Dutch regulator. Although the legal aspects have been defined now in the Netherlands, in practice Router Freedom was already tolerated in the country. Most ISPs indicated that they allow consumers to connect their own preferred devices. One even gives consumers a discount if they use their own router or modem.

The details

An important step forward is the explicit choice by the ACM for the Network Termination Point (NTP). The BEREC Guidelines suggest three possible locations, in short A) at the end of the cable B) after the modem C) after the router or mediabox. The ACM has opted for the NTP to be at the end of the cable, offering the maximum of flexibility to the user. This "passive" termination point avoids users having to accept the operation of a device outside of their control, and allows for Router Freedom.

Schematic overview of the Network Termination Point (NTP)

The new rules contain statements on what service should be provided. ISPs are allowed to publish a list of devices, but cannot limit the support to only that list of devices. ISPs should provide the administrative measures within one working day. ISPs maintain the ability to disconnect a user in case damage is done to the network. For troubleshooting a policy is described by which first the ISP has to check it is not their network that is faulty, after which the user can be requested to use a known working device provided by the ISP to verify it is not the different modem or router that is at fault. In case the custom modem or router is at fault, the ISP is allowed to request a financial compensation for providing the known working device for testing purposes.

Space for improvement

ACM's decision is a major win for all end-users in the Netherlands. The decision provides more clarity on the legal aspects involving the NTP. However, ISPs' commercial practices involving routers and modems still pose barriers against end-users' Router Freedom:

  • Most ISPs currently offer little to no support for users wanting to install their own router;
  • Most ISPs demand you still lease a modem as part of the service and keep it stored;
  • Most ISPs don't offer the same level of service like IPv6 when choosing your own router;
  • Some ISPs offer IPTV (streaming television) solutions that rely on different channels than the internet service and so these mediaboxes will not work in combination with a custom modem. This point is underscored by the ACM as something that they will be reevaluating in the future.

The new rules don't contain statements that will change the situation on these points, so the FSFE will continue to call for a more robust Router Freedom and monitor the situation in the Netherlands.

The Router Freedom initiative

Since 2013, the Free Software Foundation Europe has engaged with Router Freedom, promoting end-users' freedom to choose and use their own terminal equipment - first in Germany as a precedent, and now in many European countries. Join us and learn more about the several ways to get involved.

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20 Years FSFE +++ Finland achieving Router Freedom +++ microFSFE

27. Juli 2021 um 01:00

20 Years FSFE +++ Finland achieving Router Freedom +++ microFSFE

In our July Newsletter, we invite our community to join the celebrations of 20 Years FSFE, we applaud Finland for securing Router Freedom, and we look into Free Software activities for children. We are getting ready for German elections and invite you to help us support Free Software demands for public administration during the election campaign.

FSFE: 20 years of empowering people to control technology

Long before the first smartphone was introduced, it was evident to the FSFE's founders that it is the people who should be in control of technology and not vice versa. In 2001, Free Software experts around Europe created the Free Software Foundation Europe.

20 years is a long time in computing history and although technology is ever-changing, our values have been consistent. The core of our work is, in a nutshell: educating people on the nature of Free Software, highlighting its political implications, and simplifying its legal preconditions. Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE since 2015, explains this in his own words in a short video.

Our work throughout the years would not have been possible without the help of our European community. Whether you have translated our news, used your voice to share our message, helped us financially, or participated in one of our public events, you have helped our cause to take a step further.

Would you like to share your thoughts about your time with the FSFE? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Also we would love to see pictures from your activities in the past and share them with the community. Or, if you are feeling creative, you can send us a birthday video, just as the science-fiction author Cory Doctorow did. Do not miss watching it and finding out more on how to share your memories on our birthday page.

Router Freedom achieved in Finland, as the most fair and efficient practice

Finland recognises Router Freedom as a digital right, setting an example for the EU. Net neutrality is ensured by EU Regulation. Net neutrality means that users have the right to use terminal equipment of their choice, such as a phone or modem. For Finland, this is clear. Traficom, the national agency dealing with transportation, communications, and networks, has a noteworthy stance on the issue, protecting the rights of end-users.

We interviewed Klaus Nieminen, Chief Specialist of Traficom. In his view, Router Freedom benefits end-users, fosters competition in the telecommunications terminal equipment markets, and complies with the Open Internet Regulation 2015/2120 of the EU. He shares that there is no technological necessity to justify limiting end-users' rights to choose their own equipment. Traficom arrived at this conclusion after an objective assessment. Finally, he explains that in Finland Router Freedom also applies to new technologies such as 5G.

Listen to our Podcast

This is the first time since the launch of the Software Freedom Podcast that a FSFE staff member gives an interview in our podcast series. Max Mehl, FSFE Programme Manager, has been with the FSFE since 2011 and has worked on numerous campaigns. With this episode Bonnie Mehring and Max Mehl provide a nice and easy entrance to the very complex world of software licensing.

This year the FSFE celebrates its 20th anniversary. Support our work for the next 20 years to come.

microFSFE

Early programmers deserve a spotlight too. From kids to teenagers, the FSFE welcomes early programmers and all beginners in its community.

Teaching Free Software to children

In Kreuzlingen, a city in northern Switzerland, five children had the chance to participate in a 4-day course on Free Software development. The course was free of charge, and it was offered thanks to the creativity and pedagogical skills of FSFE supporter Peter Bittner. The kids had no prior experience using Linux, so the course started with booting GNU/LINUX from a USB stick, and quickly advanced to working in the terminal using Bash commands and coding Python.

'We need our kids to know what school doesn't teach them' says Peter in his blog about this course. 'Pupils are being taught "products" of the technology giants ("Safari", "Word", "Excel", "PowerPoint") instead of information technology concepts (web browser, text processor, spreadsheet, presentations)'.

microfashion

According to scientists, early "nerdiness" can lead to a 10% increase in happiness later in life ; )So do not miss to starting early and get one of our fork T-shirts. They are available for ages 5 to 12, as well as in a bib for babies!

Teenagers

This autumn, the FSFE will launch a new activity for teenagers. Our goal is to share the values of Free Software with young developers. So if you are a young person experimenting with software development, or if you know one, stay tuned.

Upcoming event

  • On Wednesday August 4th, we are organising an online workshop (DE) to prepare the promotion of our 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign during the last weeks until the German elections. We need your support to spread our message. If you would like to be involved in this process, please register and join our workshop for in-person discussions.

What we have done:

  • On June 23rd, Max Mehl, Programme Manager at the FSFE, presented REUSE in the “Leveraging Open Source Responsibly” session at OW2con’21. In his presentation, he explained how REUSE makes it easier for developers to declare the licensing and copyright situation for their code. The presentation is available on Peertube. This session is part of a long-term effort by OW2 to promote best practices and good citizenship in open source governance.
  • On July 6th and 7th, Bonnie Mehring and Alexander Sander presented our German federal election campaign to the local groups of Nordhessen and Frankfurt. If you are interested in participating in such a workshop check our upcoming event.
  • On July 22nd, Bonnie Mehring presented our 'Public Money? Public Code!' campaign in the FSFE women monthly meeting. Also, they discussed what the plans are with respect to the upcoming election campaign of the federal parliament in Germany 2021. The FSFE women group is open to all women who are interested in Free Software and technology; meetings take place online.
  • On July 24th, translators met online to get to know each other and learn valuable tools for their work, such as the webpreview tool, the translation wiki, and Git. The meeting was hosted by Bonnie Mehring, coordinator of the FSFE translator group team, and Luca Bonissi, who has created the webpreview tool.
  • Alexander Sander, our Policy Consultant, contributed to a report on the use of Free Software in local administrations which was released by the German association for municipal government. The association, 'Kommunale Gemeinschaftsstelle für Verwaltungsmanagement (KGSt)', published the report [DE] titled 'Open Source in Kommunen – Ein Baustein für mehr Digitale Souveränität.'

Legal and Licensing Workshop 2021

On July 14th, the Online Legal and Licensing Workshop 2021 was completed. The FSFE's Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) has been held annually for the FSFE's Legal Network since 2008, and serves as a conference for legal experts in the field of Free Software to debate issues and share best practices surrounding Free Software licenses. Instead of a one-time conference, this year LLW offered online presentations, discussion panels, and workshops continuously from March to July.

We are very happy to have put up an online edition of the LLW, and we are also looking forward to organizing next year's edition of the LLW, to be held hopefully in person, to continue building a robust Free Software legal community.

Get active for the Federal election in Germany

On 26 September, a new Bundestag will be elected in Germany. We are engaged around the election and want to ensure with our activities that "Public Money? Public Code!" plays an important role for the next government. Therefore we want to make sure that our "Public Money? Public Code!" demands will be included in the coalition agreement of Germany's next government. To achieve this we need your help and support. We created an activity package [DE] for you and will also present it during a workshop on 4 August 2021. If you want to participate, register now.

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, please send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you! If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution. Thanks to our community and all the volunteers, supporters, and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your native languages.

Your editor, Fani Partsafyllidou

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FSFE: 20 Jahre Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik unterstützen

21. Juli 2021 um 01:00

FSFE: 20 Jahre Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik unterstützen

Zum zwanzigsten Geburtstag der FSFE betonen wir die Bedeutung von Softwarefreiheit in Europa sowie unsere wichtigen Errungenschaften seit 2001. Wir feiern uns und unsere Gemeinschaft mit einer eigenen Geburtstagsseite voll mit Interviews, Bildern und Videos. Alle sind eingeladen, mit uns zu feiern und ihre persönlichen Geschichten zu teilen.

Schon lange vor der Einführung des ersten Smartphones war den Gründerinnen und Gründern der FSFE klar, dass es die Menschen sind, die in Kontrolle der Technologie sein sollen und nicht umgekehrt. 2001 sind darum Freie-Software-Expertinnen und -Experten aus ganz Europa zusammengekommen und haben die Free Software Foundation Europe gegründet. 20 Jahre später konzentrieren wir unsere Arbeit erfolgreich auf drei Säulen, damit Softwarefreiheit in Europa weiter gedeiht: Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, politische Interessenvertretung und rechtliche Unterstützung.

Einige Highlights der letzten 20 Jahre

2021 blickt die FSFE auf eine erfolgreiche Geschichte mit großen Erfolgen im öffentlichen, rechtlichen und politischen Bereich zurück. Zum Beispiel 2005, als unsere erfolgreiche Kampagne und die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Organisationen das Europäische Parlament schließlich zur Abstimmung gegen Softwarepatente überzeugt. Oder zwei Jahre später, als der Europäische Gerichtshof sich an den Empfehlungen der FSFE orientiert, und Microsoft zur Veröffentlichung von Interoperabilitätsinformationen verpflichtet hat. In dieser Zeit haben wir auch die dringende Notwendigkeit gesehen, den Entwicklerinnen und Entwicklern Freier Software bei der Klärung der rechtlichen Aspekte ihrer Arbeit zu helfen, zum Beispiel bei der Durchsetzung von Lizenzverstößen. Dies führte dazu, dass die FSFE bereits 2006 begann, mit Rechtsanwälten in Europa für Freie Software zusammen zu arbeiten.

Inzwischen unterhält die FSFE das weltweit größte professionelle Netzwerk zu Rechtsfragen im Zusammenhang mit Freier Software. Die Rechtsexpertinnen und -experten der FSFE in diesem Netzwerk helfen mit konkreter Lizenzberatung. Dazu haben wir 2017 auch die äußerst erfolgreiche Initiative REUSE ins Leben gerufen, um eine Reihe von Empfehlungen zu bieten, welche die Lizenzierung von Freie-Software-Projekten für Entwicklerinnen und Entwickler deutlich vereinfachen. REUSE wurde inzwischen von bekannten Projekten wie der deutsche Corona-Warn-App und von KDE übernommen.

Seit ihrer Gründung engagiert sich die FSFE mittels öffentlicher Kampagnen und hilft Menschen dabei, die Vorteile von Freier Software zu verstehen und von deren Einsatz zu profitieren. 2010 haben wir den ersten "Ich liebe Freie Software"-Tag ins Leben gerufen, der seitdem jedes Jahr am 14. Februar rund um den Globus gefeiert wird. Zwei Jahre später, 2012, haben wir mit der Einführung unserer 'Free Your Android-Kampagne Anwenderinnen und Anwendern geholfen, Freiheit auf ihren Mobiltelefonen zu erreichen. 2017 haben wir die außerordentlich erfolgreiche Kampagne Public Money? Public Code! gestartet, die bereits mehrere öffentliche Verwaltungen zum Wechsel ihrer IT-Strategie bewegen konnte. Der zugehörige offene Brief wurde bisher von über 200 zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen sowie 31.000 Einzelpersonen und mehrere öffentliche Verwaltungen, darunter die Stadt Barcelona und das schwedisches JobTech-Development center unterzeichnet.

FSFE20 Kampagne: Wir geben das Mikrofon an unsere Gemeinschaft

All diese Errungenschaften können natürlich nur einen kleinen Einblick auf die Auswirkungen der FSFE und unserer Aktivitäten in den letzten 20 Jahren geben. Auch zeigen sie nur bedingt, wie all diese Erfolge das Ergebnis unserer großen Gemeinschaft sind, auf die wir uns seit unserer Gründung verlassen können. Um wenigstens einen Teil dieser Gemeinschaft vorzustellen, haben wir dieses Jahr die FSFE20-Kampagne ins Leben gerufen, um das Mikrofon an unsere Community zu übergeben.

Wir haben Menschen kontaktiert, die der FSFE von Anfang an den Weg geebnet haben, zum Beispiel langjährige Unterstützerinnen und Unterstützer sowie ehemalige Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter. In einer Reihe von Interviews diskutieren wir die Fortschritte der FSFE sowie zugehörige technologische Themen. Jede Person, die an der FSFE beteiligt ist, hat einzigartige Erinnerungen, Expertise und Hoffnungen für die Zukunft. Sie sind alle Teil der Geschichte von 20 Jahren FSFE.

Bisher interviewed wurden Georg Greve, Gründungspräsident der FSFE; Reinhard Müller, langjähriger Freiwilliger und ehemaliger Schatzmeister der FSFE; Fernanda Weiden, ehemalige Vizepräsidentin der FSFE und Gründungsmitglied von FSF Lateinamerika; sowie Torsten Grote, Freier-Software-Entwickler und langjähriger Freiwilliger bei der FSFE.

Und das ist erst der Anfang. Wir werden noch einige Interviews mehr durchführen um 20 Jahre FSFE zu beleuchten. Außerdem planen wir für den Herbst eine spezielle Geburstagspublikation, deren Inhalt vollständig von Beiträgen aus unserer Germeinschafterstellt wird. Alles dau und die Interviews finden Sie auf unserer Geburtstag Seite. Neben den Interviews finden Sie auch ein Geburtstags-Video vom Science-Fiction-Autor Cory Doctorow und eines von unserem aktuellen Präsidenten Matthias Kirschner, sowie Informationen dazu, wie Menschen an unseren Feierlichkeiten teilnehmen können.

FSFE20 Geburtstag Seite

Eine Botschaft von unserem Präsidenten Matthias Kirschner

Obwohl sich die Technologien stets ändern, waren unsere Werte in den letzten zwanzig Jahren konstant. Der Kern unserer Arbeit ist zusammengefasst: Menschen über die Natur Freier Software aufklären, die politische Bedeutung Freier Software hevorheben und die Vereinfachung aller rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen für Freie Software. Matthias Kirschner, seit 2015 Präsident der FSFE, erklärt das in diesem kurzen Video mit seinen eigenen Worten.

Feier mit uns!

Diesen herbst wollen wir eine weitere Geburtstagsseite erstellen, die auschließlich von euch erstelle Beiträge enthält. Jetzt ist die Zeit sich zu beteiligen! Möchtest du deine Gedanken deiner Zeit bei der FSFE teilen? Dafür kannst du unsere Interview Fragen beantworten. Wir freuen uns von dir zu hóren!

Weitere möglichkeiten an unserer Feier teilzunehmen sind das schicken von FSFE Bildern aus der Vergangenheit, ein Geburtstagsvideo erstellen und deine Wünsche dir die Zukunft zu teilen. Finde heraus wie du deine Rückschläge teilen kannst auf unserer Geburtstagsseite. In Wertschätzung an diese Jahrfeier haben wir etwas zum Gedenken erstellt. Zeige deine langjährige Zuneigung zu Freier Software mit einem 'FSFE since 2001' Sticker auf deinem Laptop

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