Issue 27, June 2010
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 31,279 other activists.
Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your web site.
Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at http://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.
Multilingual? Send translations of the Supporter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- "Working together for free software" starts
- Bilski is out
- FSF says: Take a stand with us for freedom, against ACTA
- Introducing campaigns summer interns
- GNU social: Next steps
- Google's updated WebM license
- Defective by Design sticker contest winners announced!
- More about the App Store GPL Enforcement
- Patent Absurdity film DVDs sent to over 200 key people
- Job Opening: FSF Campaigns Manager
- GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
- Take action with the FSF!
"Working together for free software" starts
Our summer campaigns interns, Danny Piccirillo and Steven DuBois, helped launch the "working together for free software" campaign. The new campaign aims to make free software ideals accessible to everyone.
With the new campaign comes a fresh look for fsf.org's front page. It will continue to evolve with an eye toward making it easier for everyone to get started understanding and using free software.
Bilski is out
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in the long-awaited Bilski case, a case that the FSF had promoted as a vehicle for directly limiting software patents. As such, the decision disappoints, with the justices providing a narrow ruling and rejecting Bilski's business method patent.
The software patent mess that the US finds itself in today is a product of the US judicial system and not Congress. It is therefore all the more disappointing that the Supreme Court failed to use Bilski to clean house and remove software from the scope of patentability.
On a positive note, the majority opinion does stress past decisions that clearly limit the patenting of software.
FSF says: Take a stand with us for freedom, against ACTA
The FSF published a new declaration calling for rejection of ACTA unless key changes to protect the public's freedom are made, and is asking people around the world to add their names in support.
So far, 2,437 have added their names and verified their signatures. The more signatures and visible support we have, the weaker ACTA will look, so please continue sharing and promoting the petition.
Introducing campaigns summer interns
Steven DuBois and Danny Piccirillo are our summer campaigns interns. They are going to release a weekly video blog concerning the progress they made (in Ogg format, of course!)
The FSF internship program gives you the chance to be closely working and learning with FSF staff in advancing software freedom. Consider applying for the program whether you are a designer, good writer, translator or someone else who can help the FSF!
GNU social: Next steps
A group of core GNU social developers had the opportunity to meet with Blaine Cook, of OAuth fame. In the midst of figuring out the plan for moving ahead with GNU social, Blaine was able to provide the group with a tremendous amount of insight into useful approaches for controlling privacy in distributed social networks.
Google's updated WebM license
Last month, Google announced their WebM project, which provided a free software implementation of their VP8 video codec and a license to exercise the patents the company held on the software. (This after we appealed to them to do just that a couple of months prior.) The license they chose was unambiguously free. Unfortunately, the interaction between the copyright license and the patent license made the result GPL-incompatible. Based on the concerns of developers writing GPL-covered software, Google publicly stated that they would take some time to review the WebM license and try to address the community's concerns. Today, they released a revised license, and it is GPL-compatible.
Defective by Design sticker contest winners announced!
We now have an official winner of our sticker design contest announced in April.
So, without further ado, we are pleased to announce Jeremy Todaro is the winner of our Defective by Design sticker contest for his accurate portrayal of Steve Jobs as Big Brother. Jeremy is a freelance artist from Wentzville, Missouri who specializes in using free software tools for his work. Well done Jeremy!
You can get the new sticker, and a package of others, at the FSF shop. Please get some and let others see them on your laptop and bag!
More about the App Store GPL Enforcement
Since our announcement that we were pursuing a compliance case involving GNU Go in Apple's App Store, we've received a lot of questions about the details of the conflict between the GPL and Apple's terms of service. For those of you who are interested, we're providing those details here.
Patent Absurdity film DVDs sent to over 200 key people
After more than 100,000 views for the FSF-funded short-film Patent Absurdity, the FSF, working with the well-known blogger Brad Feld, asked for the names of the 200 people most influential to the software patent debate in the US, in order to send copies of the documentary to them in the postal mail.
Feld has sent the copies attached with a message that explains the issue of software patents and how they corrupt the system, and he volunteered to answer their questions regarding the film!
Job Opening: FSF Campaigns Manager
The FSF is hiring a Campaigns Manager to be part of a team that directs and coordinates our campaigns for software freedom. This is an opportunity to take a senior role in the organization that promotes the message that software freedom is a must-have right.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
The recent GNU software releases:
ccscript-4.2.0 glpk-4.44 parted-2.3 emacs-23.2 gnuradio-3.3.0 shishi-1.0.0 enscript-18.104.22.168 gss-1.0.1 sipwitch-0.8.3 freeipmi-0.8.6 gv-3.7.0 solfege-3.16.3 gcal-3.6 inetutils-1.8 ucommon-3.0.2 gcc-4.3.5 libidn-1.19 wdiff-0.6.3 gettext-0.18.1.1 libtasn1-2.7 xnee-3.06 glibc-2.11.2 libtool-2.2.10 zile-2.3.17 global-5.9 parallel-20100601 autoconf-archive-2010.06.04
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html). You can use the url http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.
This month we welcome Delyan Raychev as the new maintainer of GNU Oleo, and Luis Strano Moraes as the new maintainer of GNU Shogi.
Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to GNU, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.
As always, please feel free to write to me, email@example.com, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
2010-07-01 | Por una sociedad digital libre Tarragona, Spain
2010-07-02 | El software libre y tu libertad Barcelona, Spain
2010-07-03 | Programario libre en la ética y en la práctica Berga (Barcelona), Spain
2010-07-24 and 2010-07-25 | GNU Hackers' Meeting The Hague, Netherlands
Take action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.fsf.org/join. If you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:
I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://www.fsf.org/volunteer). From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
Copyright © 2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.