Skip to content, sitemap or skip to search.

Personal tools
Join now
You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2009 March


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:16 PM

Free Software Supporter

Issue 12, March 2009

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 17065 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

Multilingual? Send translations of the Supporter to

DON'T MISS... the first ever...

/ /() |_ _ _ / _ \ | _ _ _ _ | | / / | | '_ \| '/ _ \/ /)/ |/ _` | ' \ / _ \ _| / /| | |) | | | / /| | (| | | | | / |_ _/|./|| _\/ ||_,|| ||_|_|


CONFERENCE. MARCH 21/22nd 2009. CAMBRIDGE, MA. 02138 | FSF | High-Priority-Projects | GNU

  • FSF adds speakers for LibrePlanet conference on GNU/Linux
  • End Software Patents: developing a global resource and campaign
  • Dinner with Microsoft by Mark Northfist
  • HMV goes DRM-free!
  • Apple releases new iPod Shuffle: still defective by design
  • IETF: Please reject the "TLS Authorization Extensions"
  • Elphel camera: free software and open hardware
  • Software Freedom Day seeks volunteer Technical Director
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF

FSF adds speakers for LibrePlanet conference on GNU/Linux

The conference, to be attended by GNU/Linux users, free software activists, and programmers from around the world, stresses three themes: strengthening global free software activism, addressing the threats posed to free software users by moves toward "cloud computing" and "software as a service," and advancing the projects on the FSF's High Priority Projects list.

Jeremy Allison, lead developer of Samba, will be giving a talk entitled, "The Elephant in the Room. Free Software and Microsoft." Allison said, "Free software is going mainstream, but there are still many threats to the ideals that are changing the face of the software industry. I'm delighted to be able to speak at LibrePlanet, and encourage anyone interested in the future of free software to attend."

End Software Patents: developing a global resource and campaign

"By organizing this information and delivering it into the hands of activists and law makers, we can form an immense tool to help existing and future campaigns around the world"

             -- Ciaran O'Riordan, Director, End Software Patents

The Free Software Foundation today announced funding for the End Software Patents project to document the case for ending software patents worldwide. This catalog of studies, economic arguments, and legal analyses will build on the recent success of the in re Bilski court ruling, in which End Software Patents (ESP) helped play a key role in narrowing the scope for patenting software ideas in the USA.

Dinner with Microsoft by Mark Northfist

When you visit Microsoft's web site for New England Research & Development Center you don't get a sense that it is a part of a 30 year old multinational proprietary corporation with a bad track record when it comes to user freedom and community support. In fact, the site could be called hip and sleek, with an emphasis on small teams, the local community, and innovative research.

But we aren't fooled.

HMV goes DRM-free!

We've had a report that HMV's music download service is now at least partially DRM-free and works with Firefox. While their jukebox still requires Windows, regular track downloads are compatible with free software operating systems like GNU/Linux, albeit in the MP3 format, rather than Ogg Vorbis.

Apple releases new iPod Shuffle: still defective by design

The new iPod Shuffle from Apple has proprietary headphones, and a reliance on non-free software.

IETF: Please reject the "TLS Authorization Extensions"

The Free Software Foundation submitted comment to the IETF before the deadline of February 11th opposing publication of "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Authorization Extensions" (draft-housley-tls-authz-extns) as a proposed standard. We do not think that RedPhone Security's 1026 disclosure filing provides sufficient assurance to free software users that they will not be considered in violation of RedPhone's patent.

Elphel camera: free software and open hardware

Andrey N. Filippov, developer of the Elphel camera, has published a very interesting paper detailing the history of his efforts and explaining why he chose free software for the project.

Software Freedom Day seeks volunteer Technical Director

Software Freedom Day is looking for an innovative technical strategy director with strong IT skills to help bring software freedom to new audiences around the world.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

Here are the recent GNU software releases:

bash-4.0 bazaar-1.12 binutils-2.19.1 ccrtp-1.7.1 ccscript-4.1.0 ccscript3-1.1.7 classpath-0.98 commoncpp2-1.7.3 coreutils-7.1 ddd-3.3.12 ddrescue-1.10 fdisk-1.2.2 freeipmi-0.7.6 glibc-2.9 glibc-libidn-2.9 glpk-4.36 gnash-0.8.5 gnubatch-1.1 gnugo-3.8 gnuit-4.9.5 gnun-0.2 gnupg-2.0.11 gnuspool-1.4 gperf-3.0.4 gprolog-1.3.1 grep-2.5.4 gtypist-2.8.3 indent-2.2.10 libextractor-0.5.22 libgcrypt-1.4.4 libidn-1.13 libmicrohttpd-0.4.0a libosip2-3.3.0 libzrtpcpp-1.4.3 lsh-2.0.4 moe-1.1 mtools-4.0.10 nano-2.1.9 psychosynth-0.1.2 readline-6.0 rush-1.6 sipwitch-0.5.2 solfege-3.12.2 tar-1.22 zile-2.3.4

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 GNU packages and their maintainers: John Collins (gnubatch), Alain Knauff (mtools), and Bruno Haible (libunistring); as well as to the newly-dubbed (co-)maintainers of existing packages: Sadrul Chowdhury (screen), Vasily Eremenko (dotgnu-forum), Gery Kahn (miscfiles), Andreas Gruenbacher (patch).

I'd like to make a special note of John Collins' two packages recently dubbed GNU -- gnubatch and gnuspool. The former is an advanced batch scheduling system, the latter a print spooler comparable to CUPS but with a variety of different features. Thanks to John for contributing these to GNU and continuing to maintain them.

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 and other FSF events

  • 2009-03-19 | Copyright vs. Community: supporting artists while respecting freedom and society -- Boston, MA.

/ /() |_ _ _ / _ \ | _ _ _ _ | | / / | | '_ \| '/ _ \/ /)/ |/ _` | ' \ / _ \ _| / /| | |) | | | / /| | (| | | | | / |_ _/|./|| _\/ ||_,|| ||_|_|


CONFERENCE. MARCH 21/22nd 2009. CAMBRIDGE, MA. 02138 | FSF | High-Priority-Projects | GNU

  • 2009-03-21 and 2009-03-22 | LibrePlanet | Cambridge, MA

  • 2009-03-23 | Copyright vs. Community -- Williamsport, PA

  • 2009-03-25 | Copyright vs. Community -- Philadelphia, PA

  • 2009-03-25 | FTC Town Hall meeting on DRM -- Seattle, WA

  • 2009-03-31 | Copyright vs. Community -- New York, NY

  • 2009-04-02 | Qu'avons-nous fait de nos 25 ans? | Marseille, France

  • 2009-04-03 | Le Logiciel Libre: Philosophie et Enjeux | Marseille, France

Catch up with all the latest events from the FSF and GNU at:

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 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 © 2009 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.

Document Actions

The FSF is a charity with a worldwide mission to advance software freedom — learn about our history and work. is powered by:


Send your feedback on our translations and new translations of pages to