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by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:11 PM

Issue 6, July 2008

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 7,824 other activists.

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In this issue

  • It's not the Gates, it's the bars
  • Act on ACTA!
  • Fight the Canadian DMCA!
  • Rhapsody and Naxos go DRM free
  • Refusing Digital Monitoring Policies
  • 5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G
  • activist group to focus on freedom in network services
  • is
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Take action!

It's not the Gates, it's the bars

Originally published by BBC News, this essay by Richard Stallman, begins:

To pay so much attention to Bill Gates' retirement is missing the point. What really matters is not Gates, nor Microsoft, but the unethical system of restrictions that Microsoft, like many other software companies, imposes on its customers.

Act on ACTA!

ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a proposed enforcement treaty between United States, and global coalition. Find out more about how ACTA threatens free software, and join us in action!

Fight the Canadian DMCA!

In mid-June, Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced a bill that BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow described as making it "flatly illegal to break any kind of digital lock...". Canadian or not, you can take action against the Canadian DMCA, read the full story.

Rhapsody and Naxos go DRM free

Rhapsody and Naxos (an audiobook distributor) are now offering DRM-free MP3 downloads. Customers are encouraged to put pressure on these services to provide music and audiobooks in free formats too. Read more:

Refusing Digital Monitoring Policies

Bruce Schneier has brought a new form of Digital Restrictions Management to our attention, "Digital Manners Policies," which, according to him, may "control what you do and when you do it, and [will] charge you repeatedly for the privilege whenever possible."

5 reasons to avoid iPhone 3G

  • iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can't be on everyone's phones.

  • iPhone endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology.

  • iPhone exposes your whereabouts and provides ways for others to track you without your knowledge.

  • iPhone won't play patent- and DRM-free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora.

  • iPhone is not the only option. There are better alternatives on the horizon that respect your freedom, don't spy on you, play free media formats, and let you use free software -- like the FreeRunner.

Share these reasons with your friends, family and colleagues, and read more at: activist group to focus on freedom in network services

Building on its work with the GNU Affero General Public license, the FSF convened a meeting to discuss the impact of network services on free software and user freedom on March 16.

Today, attendees at that meeting launched, a new blog that aims to publish essays and articles exploring the impact of network services on user freedom. Additionally, the group published what it is calling the "Franklin Street Statement on Freedom and Network Services" where it lays out a summary of its thinking so far. While the group is working independently and the statement does not yet represent FSF policy, the FSF will continue to work closely with and within the group, with FSF members, and with the free software community to help inform and refine its strategy and continue to provide leadership in regards to software freedom and network services. is

Speaking of freedom in network services, is a microblogging service based on the microblogging software, available under the GNU Affero General Public License. Evan Prodromou, the lead developer of and a member of the effort, said "I hope that it brings more attention to the issue of Free Network Services, and sets a good example for how to build them."

If you sign up for an account, 'Subscribe' to our campaigns:

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

Here's the list of GNU releases for June (and early July):

  • ccrtp-1.6.1
  • cgicc-3.2.7
  • classpath-0.97.2
  • clisp-2.46
  • coreutils-6.12
  • gcc-4.3.1
  • glpk-4.29
  • gnash-0.8.3
  • gnuit-4.9.4
  • guile-clutter-0.7.6
  • guile-gnome-platform-2.16.1
  • gv-3.6.5
  • libidn-1.9
  • libzrtpcpp-1.3.0
  • mifluz-0.24.0
  • pspp-0.6.0
  • shmm-1.0
  • sipwitch-0.2.1
  • sovix-
  • ucommon-1.9.3
  • wget-1.11.4

See the packages' announcements, web pages ( or the distributions themselves for details. Nearly all are available from, or preferably one of the mirrors:

To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list, which is publicly archived

Some specific notes: the GNU mifluz package for an inverted text index has been revived after many years, thanks to Sebastien Diaz; the new GNU sovix package is a website revision system, by David Englund; and the new GNU shmm package has utilities for working with shared memory, by Jeannie Boffel.

Several GNU packages are still looking for maintainers.
Please see

Finally, I'd like to give a warm welcome to the other newly-dubbed GNU maintainers this month: Kevin Harris (panorama), Joel Denny (bison), D E Evans (rottlog), Jim Meyering & Ralf Wildenhues (vc-dwim), and Eric Hutchins (ballandpaddle).

Please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF speeches

  • Free Software to Free Knowledge -- July 15th, Barcelona, Spain
  • El Movimiento del Software Libre -- July 17th, Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela
  • El Movimiento del Software Libre -- July 22nd, Caracas, Venezuela
  • El Movimiento del Software Libre -- July 24th, Cúcuta, Colombia

Take Action with the FSF

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at 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!

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers ( 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 ( and take action on software patents, DRM, Vista, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


Copyright © 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

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