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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2012 Issue 49, April 2012

Issue 49, April 2012

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on May 08, 2012 12:36 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 56,299 other activists. That's 1,192 more than last month!

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Day Against DRM -- May 4th 2012
  • FSF is hiring: Operations Assistant
  • Tor/Forge to drop DRM from ebooks, citing pressure from readers
  • "FRAND" is a FRAUD
  • Can you help Groklaw monitor the Google/Oracle trial?
  • French presidential elections 2012 and free software
  • Stop the Online Spying Bill
  • Spring cleaning at the GNU Press store
  • Network Services Aren't Free or Nonfree; They Raise Other Issues
  • Get involved: Brazilian patent office software patent consultation
  • Donate to support free software gaming: The Liberated Pixel Cup
  • "Technology should help us share, not constrain us"
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Day Against DRM -- May 4th 2012

While DRM has largely been defeated in downloaded music, it is a growing problem in the area of ebooks, where people have had their books restricted so they can't freely loan, re-sell or donate them, read them without being tracked, or move them to a new device without re-purchasing all of them. They've even had their ebooks deleted by companies without their permission. It continues to be a major issue in the area of movies and video too.

People all over the world are going to be showing their opposition to DRM, and you can join them! Attend a local event and take part in the Day Against DRM on May 4th, 2012.

FSF is hiring: Operations Assistant

This Boston-based position works closely with the Executive Director and Business Operations Manager to ensure all administrative functions of the FSF run smoothly and efficiently, preserving our 4-star Charity Navigator rating and boosting all areas of our work.

Tor/Forge to drop DRM from ebooks, citing pressure from readers

The largest science fiction publisher in the world, Tom Doherty Associates (whose labels include Tor, Forge, Orb, and Starscape books) announced on Tuesday, April 24th, that "by early July 2012, their entire list of ebooks will be available DRM-free."

President and publisher Tom Doherty cites pressure from authors and readers.

"FRAND" is a FRAUD

The UK government is holding a consultation about what sort of patent licenses an "open" standard should require. Anyone that develops free software (free as in freedom, not a matter of price) and would like it to be used in the UK has reason to be concerned with this, along with anyone that uses or distributes free software in the UK.

Can you help Groklaw monitor the Google/Oracle trial?

The Groklaw website needs your help to update the community on the trial proceedings.

  • You will need to be physically present at the courtroom and take notes on who says what.

  • You don't have to be a legal expert. Just be the eyes and ears for the community.

The trial has begun and will run for 8-10 weeks in San Francisco.

If you're able to help, please email PJ at Groklaw -- pj2@groklaw.net. She will give you more information.

French presidential elections 2012 and free software

The French free software advocacy group April asked all of the candidates in the upcoming French presidential elections about their positions on free software, software patents, DRM and more.

At the moment, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, le Front de Gauche for Jean-Luc Melenchon, Eva Joly and Francois Bayrou have answered (in French). Fleur Pellerin, in charge of Francois Hollande's digital economy program has sent in her answers. April is still waiting for answers from Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Marie le Pen, although they both answered in 2007.

Stop the Online Spying Bill

UPDATE: Passed the house, now onto the Senate. Keep the pressure on.

The federal government and big companies want limitless new powers to spy on you, and they plan to get them via legislation called the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (HR 3523).

CISPA would give the government new powers to read, watch and listen to everything we do on the Internet. The folks behind CISPA claim that national security interests make this surveillance necessary, but the bill's language is so vague and overreaching that it opens the door for rampant abuse of our online rights, including bypassing privacy protections to spy on your emails and text messages, block access to particular Web sites and permit companies to hand over social networking and cellphone contact lists.

Spring cleaning at the GNU Press store

Discounts are now available on certain older editions of GNU Press manuals.

With the recent release of the latest editions of our Emacs and GDB manuals, it is time for some Spring cleaning. Previous editions of both manuals are now available at a discounted rate through the GNU Press store. Debugging with GDB: The GNU Source-Level Debugger, V 5.1.1 has been discounted from $40 to $20, and GNU Emacs Manual, 16th Edition, v. 22 has been discounted from $45 to $30. While not the most up-to-date references, these manuals should be a useful addition to anyone's collection, particularly at those prices.

Network Services Aren't Free or Nonfree; They Raise Other Issues

Programs and services are different kinds of entities. A program is a work that you can execute; a service is an activity that you might interact with.

For programs, we make a distinction between free and nonfree (proprietary). More precisely, this distinction applies to a program that you have a copy of: either you have the four freedoms for your copy or you don't.

An activity (such as a service) doesn't exist in the form of copies, so it's not possible to have a copy or to make copies. As a result, the four freedoms that define free software don't make sense for services.

Get involved: Brazilian patent office software patent consultation

Brazil's patent office has launched a consultation about granting software patents.

Donate to support free software gaming: The Liberated Pixel Cup

Liberated Pixel Cup is a LIBERATED PIXEL CUP two-part competition.

Liberated Pixel Cup will be awesome, but it can't happen without the help of people like you.

LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM

May 4th is the International Day Against DRM. As well as the website for the event, http://dayagainstdrm.org, all the local events are up at: http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:DefectiveByDesign/Day_Against_DRM_2012

Even if you can't make it to a local event on the day itself, please share the website with people on your social networks: http://ur1.ca/95484

"Technology should help us share, not constrain us"

Companies like Amazon can control the way we use the ebooks we buy. Instead let's build a publishing model based on freedom.

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events

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.

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Copyright © 2012 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.

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