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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2008 November


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:12 PM

Issue 10, November 2008

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 12,795 other activists.

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  Support freedom? Join the Free Software Foundation.


Supporters will receive our new USB membership card with gNewSense Live.


In this issue

  • Support freedom: How YOU can make a difference for free software
  • New USB membership cards and FSF Bulletin
  • New t-shirts in our store
  • OpenDocument campaign page gets a revamp
  • Bilski ruling: a victory on the path to ending software patents
  • Show your support with the FSF campaigns widget
  • MP3-compatible, a new DRM-free music promotion
  • xkcd, "Steal this comic"
  • Petition against SecuROM
  • FSF releases new version of GNU Free Documentation License
  • PlayOgg: Theora 1.0 is released!
  • Microsoft's global anti-user day
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action!

Support freedom: How YOU can make a difference for free software

Today we are launching our year-end fundraiser to support our 2009 campaign goals for software freedom. Our target is 750 new FSF members and donors by January 31. As a supporter of free software, your charitable donation to the Free Software Foundation helps us to continue our work to advance user freedom. Read about our achievements in 2008 that member support made possible:

Twenty-five years ago on September 27, 1983, I announced a plan to create a completely free operating system called GNU —- for 'GNU is not Unix' -- there are many ways you can help GNU and free software. One basic way is to join the Free Software Foundation as an Associate Member. -- Richard Stallman

There are many ways you can help us:

If you're already a member, consider giving someone a gift membership. This is a great way to introduce a new user to the world of free software.

New USB membership cards and FSF Bulletin

New members to the FSF will receive a 1GB card loaded with gNewSense Live, a fully free GNU/Linux distribution. This ultra-slim credit-card-sized device comes with your FSF username and membership number printed on it.

The card sports an incredibly sturdy and durable double-sided USB connector and fits in a wallet so you can take it anywhere -- sharing gNewSense on the go!

The next issue of the Free Software Foundation biannual Bulletin is also almost finished. To receive your copy in time for the holidays, be sure to join today!

New t-shirts in our store

Visit the FSF store for shirts, toys and books --

OpenDocument campaign page gets a revamp

The OpenDocument format (ODF) is a format for electronic office documents, such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word-processing documents. The OpenDocument format is supported by free software applications such as, AbiWord and KOffice.

Encourage your friends to join the campaign and let's put an end to Word attachments.

Bilski case: What it means for software patents

In April of this year, the Free Software Foundation through its End Software Patents (ESP) campaign filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in their en banc hearing of in re Bilski, describing the hearing as "an historic opportunity to fix the US patent system, as the Bilski rehearing will directly address the boundaries of the subject matter of patents." On October 30, 2008, the CAFC issued its ruling, and in it ESP sees a victory on the path to ending software patents.

Show your support with the FSF campaigns widget

Want to help the FSF with its fundraising activities? By putting our campaigns widgets on your website or blog, you can help us reach our fundraising target of 750 new members.

After the success of the widget last year, we're doing it again this year. We now also have a static image version of the widget, updated daily, for users of various blogs and social networking sites who need to avoid javascript. MP3-compatible, a new DRM-free music promotion

In Britain, seven of the largest retailers of MP3 downloads have produced a logo which promotes DRM-free downloads.

Ben Drury from 7Digital, one of the first online retailers in the UK to offer MP3 downloads said that online sales "have been booming" because users "love the freedom of MP3".

xkcd, "Steal this comic"

Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd comic:

I spent more time trying to get an audio book playing than it took to listen to the book. I have lost every other piece of DRM-locked music I have paid for. Petition against SecuROM

If you're in the UK, please lend your support to this petition against SecuROM.

SecuROM is DRM typically found on games, such as Electronic Arts's game Spore. SecuROM has been known to hide itself, similar to a virus, as well as refuse to install games if it detects commonly used CD/DVD writing software.

FSF releases new version of GNU Free Documentation License

The FSF has released the latest version of the GNU Free Documentation License. This version of the license allows public wikis to relicense their FDL-covered materials under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 3.0 license.

This new permission has been added at the request of the Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees the Wikipedia project. The same terms are available to any public wiki that uses materials available under the new license. The Wikimedia Foundation will now initiate a process of community discussion and voting to determine whether or not to use CC-BY-SA 3.0 as the license for Wikipedia. Theora 1.0 is released!

The Xiph.Org Foundation has announced the release of Theora 1.0. As a patent- and royalty-free video codec, Theora is an excellent choice for artists, producers and developers who want to help make a world in which everyone can safely and easily use free software. Theora has been standardized since 2004 but this mature and stable release is an important milestone.

Microsoft's global anti-user day

Microsoft recently announced something they called "Global Anti-Piracy Day".

Software companies like Microsoft often refer to copying they don't approve of as "piracy." They suggest that such copying is ethically equivalent to murder and robbery. Even these far-fetched analogies are not enough for Microsoft, who in their press release yesterday updated the comparison to draw a connection between such copying and organized crime: "There is growing evidence that highly organized, transnational criminal organizations and networks are involved in the counterfeiting of software..."

GNU spotlight with Karl Berry

Perhaps the most notable GNU/FSF release for October 2008 is version 1.3 of the GNU Free Documentation License, which GNU manuals and many others use. has the new license, a FAQ, and other information

Here is the complete list of GNU software releases for October:

binutils-2.19 bison-2.4 clisp-2.47 ed-1.1 gama-1.9.06 gforth-0.7.0 global-5.7.3 glpk-4.33 gnash-0.8.4 libcdio-0.81 libextractor-0.5.21 libidn-1.11 libosip2-3.2.0 m4-1.4.12 maverik-6.2 maverik-demos-6.2 ncurses-5.7 octave-3.0.3 pspp-0.6.1 smalltalk-3.1 swbis-1.1

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

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

I'd like to give a warm welcome to the newly-dubbed maintainers Leo Jackson (maverik), Vincent Lefevre (mpfr), and Peter Wainwright (ddd).

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers.

Please see if you'd like to help. To submit new packages to GNU, see

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

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events

All dates in November 2008, at

  • 14th: El Movimiento del Software Libre -- Trujillo, Peru
  • 15th: Copyright vs Comunidad -- Trujillo, Peru
  • 18th: El Peligro de las Patentes Informáticas -- Lima
  • 20th: El Movimiento del Software Libre -- Puno, Peru
  • 21st: Por determinar -- Moquegua, Peru
  • 28th: Le Mouvement du Logiciel Libre -- Belfort, France

Take Action with the FSF

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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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