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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2009 December


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:18 PM

Issue 21, December 2009

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 27,304 other activists.

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  • Spread the free software philosophy by joining the new FSF Community Team
  • Heroid Shehu is the GNU Generation member of the month!
  • First GNU Bucks awarded
  • FSF works with PayPal to the benefit of the free software community
  • Free Software Foundation executive director Peter Brown reflects on Bilski case
  • FSF credit card (initially for US residents only)
  • Windows 7 Sins e-mail signatures
  • Acer discovered using crippled GNU/Linux
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Spread the free software philosophy by joining the new FSF

Community Team

The FSF is putting together a Community Team of supporters to spread the free software philosophy in blogs, online press, and through social networking sites. If you spend some time each day reading popular blogs or mainstream press and you have a good handle on the debate around software freedom, this could be a great opportunity.

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Heroid Shehu is the GNU Generation member of the month!

Heroid has been working on a wide variety of projects. He is one of the four developers on a new GNU/Linux distribution called RMS GNU/Linux — based on Slax, but includes only free software. Another project Heroid has been contributing to (through his GLUG) is FreeKosovaArena, a game that includes some history of his home country, Kosova.

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First GNU Bucks awarded

The GNU Bucks bounty program is off to a great start. Two contributors have already found instances of nonfree components in FSF-endorsed fully free distributions.

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FSF works with PayPal to the benefit of the free software community

The FSF recently discovered that PayPal had added a proprietary software license to its User Agreement. Of course, the FSF couldn't agree to those terms, so as soon as we learned about them, we contacted PayPal to see if we could make other arrangements. The company listened to our concerns, and specifically excepted us from these conditions. But not only that: next year, PayPal is also updating its user agreement to ensure that the free software community can continue to receive and make payments without having to accept a proprietary software license.

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Free Software Foundation executive director Peter Brown reflects on

Bilski case

"This is a case that could have huge implications for developers' ability to patent software, but software developers were nowhere to be found, or if present, were out-numbered twenty to one by lawyers. There is something rather perverse about the patenting of software when the vast majority of those that practice the art of software development want nothing to do with the patent system - and for good reason."

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FSF credit card (initially for US residents only)

More than 75% of our members and donors use a credit card when donating to the FSF. Now you can add to that support by using a credit card with an FSF logo on it.

(Please don't let the thought of supporting us encourage you to start using a credit card if you don't already, or discourage you from buying anonymously with big-brother-resistant cash.)

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Windows 7 Sins e-mail signatures

Microsoft is using Hotmail signatures to spread Windows 7. We, as a community, can spread the "Windows 7 Sins" campaign in like manner.

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Acer discovered using crippled GNU/Linux

A few weeks ago, a free software supporter encountered an Acer netbook that came pre-loaded with a distribution of GNU/Linux (provided by a company called Linpus that offers distributions for the Asian market -- the netbook in question was sold in the Philippines) that lacked almost every basic feature you would expect from a modern GNU/Linux distribution.

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GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

Here are the recent GNU software releases:

archimedes-0.9.0 autoconf-2.65 automake-1.11.1 cgicc-3.2.9 coreutils-8.1 denemo-0.8.10 dionysus-1.1.0 freeipmi-0.8.1 gama-1.9.07 glibc-2.11 glpk-4.40 gnun-0.4 gsasl-1.4.0 gzip-1.3.14 icecat-3.5.5 ignuit-0.0.16 libextractor-0.5.23 libgsasl-1.4.0 libtool-2.2.6b mpfr-2.4.2 mtools-4.0.12 myserver-0.9.1 nano-2.2.0 patch-2.6 sipwitch-0.5.11 tramp-2.1.17 ucommon-2.0.7 xboard-4.4.2 zile-2.3.14

I'd like to specially note the first new release of patch in many years. Thanks to the new co-maintainer, Andreas Gruenbacher, for reviving this.

To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: Nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors ( You can use the url to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror; for example, will redirect to the GDB directory on a mirror.

This month we welcome Spencer Buckner, author of the new GNU package gsegrafix, an advanced plot-generating program that integrates well with GNU Octave.

We also welcome Benoit Hamet as the new maintainer of GNU phpGroupWare, and Chris Simon as a new co-maintainer of GNU miscfiles, and Dhaivat Pandya and Medhamsh Vuthpala as the new co-maintainers of GNU gtypist.

Thanks also to existing maintainers taking on additional packages: Andy Wingo for volunteering to co-maintain Guile, Eric Blake for findutils, Jim Meyering for diffutils and grep, Alfred Szmidt for miscfiles, and Paolo Bonzini for grep.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at To submit new packages to GNU, see

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

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

  • 2009-12-12 | El Software Libre en la Ética y en la Práctica, Santiago, Chile. --

  • 2010-01-12 | Richard Stallman et la révolution des logiciels libres: une biographie autorisée. Paris, France - Amphithéatre Eyrolles, Librairie Eyrolles, 5, 57, 61 et 63 boulevard Saint-Germain. --

  • 2010-01-14 | Le logiciel libre dans l'éthique et dans la pratique. Grenoble, France - Amphithéatre de l'École de Management de Grenoble, 12, rue Pierre Sémard. --

  • 2010-01-15 | Comment soutenir les arts sans restreindre les libertés essentielles. Autrans, France - L'Escandille, Village Vacances Cap France, Route de la Sure. --

  • 2010-02-10 | El Software Libre en la Ética y en la Práctica. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. --

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, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


Copyright © 2009 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 or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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