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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2010 April


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:20 PM

Issue 25, April 2010

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 30,619 other activists.

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  • Day Against DRM: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
  • GNU Hackers' Meetings, July 24th-25th, 2010
  • Stop BBC Digital Restrictions Management
  • LibrePlanet was a great success!
  • 2009 Free Software Awards announced
  • Time for nonprofits to leave proprietary fundraising software systems behind
  • FSF Compliance Lab helps CiviCRM establish licensing best practices
  • GNU Generation 2.0
  • Patent Absurdity: A short film on software patents
  • Who does that server really serve?
  • Defective by Design: Design a new sticker!
  • Digital economy bill: One clown giveth and the other clown taketh away
  • Using the GPL for Eclipse plug-ins
  • Bradley Kuhn joins the FSF Board
  • Why I'm rejecting your email attachment
  • FSF opposes more copyright enforcement in Joint Strategic Plan
  • Finding oodles of Adas
  • Trisquel 3.5 Awen released
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Day Against DRM: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

As part of its Defective by Design anti-DRM campaign, the Free Software Foundation will be helping to coordinate anti-DRM activists all over the world on May 4th, 2010, to mobilize the public against DRM. Organizations and individuals that want to be involved can contact or visit to sign up and follow the campaign.

GNU Hackers' Meetings, July 24th-25th, 2010

GNU Hackers' Meetings are informal meetings for GNU maintainers and active contributors. A GNU Hackers' Meeting will be held on July 24th-25th, 2010, during the GUADEC 2010 conference in The Hague, Netherlands. The free secure networking and decentralized applications issues will be discussed. This is a technical meeting, all GNU contributors are welcome.

Stop BBC Digital Restrictions Management

The Open Rights Group (ORG) is having a campaign to raise the awareness about the new danger of including DRM in BBC's high definition TV shows. The restrictions will prevent people from recording some TV shows and will auto-remove other records after a given time. Please join this campaign and defend your right to watch, share and document TV materials.

LibrePlanet was a great success!

FSF hosted its annual conference, LibrePlanet, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 19th-21st. During the conference, the free software community awards were given and a GNU Hackers Meeting was held, in addition to a track discussing ways to increase women's participation in the free software movement, and keynotes by John Gilmore, Richard Stallman, and Eben Moglen. We are looking forward to a successful 2011 free software activism conference! And stay tuned for audio and video recordings from the 2010 sessions.

2009 Free Software Awards announced

During LibrePlanet 2010, this year's Free Software Awards were announced. The award for the Advancement of Free Software was won by John Gilmore and the award for Project of Social Benefit was won by the Internet Archive. The awards were presented by FSF president Richard Stallman.

Gilmore was given the award for the Advancement of Free Software for his great, early role in giving free software a place in the business world by founding Cygnus Solutions, and for his long-term free software contributions and donations.

The Internet Archive was given the Social Benefit award for building a massive free Internet library, for providing millions of books, audio and video recordings, and for building and contributing to several free software projects.

Time for nonprofits to leave proprietary fundraising software systems behind

The FSF announced that CiviCRM has earned its recommendation as a fully featured donor and contact management system for nonprofits.

The FSF had highlighted the need for a free software solution in this area as part of its High Priority Projects campaign. With this announcement, the FSF will also be adopting CiviCRM for its own use, and actively encouraging other nonprofit organizations to do the same.

FSF Compliance Lab helps CiviCRM establish licensing best practices

Today the FSF announced that one of our high-priority projects has been fulfilled: CiviCRM provides an excellent donor and contact management system for nonprofit organizations. As part of the preparation for this announcement, the Compliance Lab helped the project handle its licensing issues more consistently.

GNU Generation 2.0

A new theme for GNU Generation, FSF's project to encourage young people to join the free software community, was announced during LibrePlanet 2010. The new version depends on completed tasks instead of monthly progress reports. We encourage young people to join the project to find exciting tasks and people with common interests.

Patent Absurdity: A short film on software patents

Patent Absurdity, a short film directed by Luca Lucarini and supported by a grant from the FSF, was officially released. Patent Absurdity makes the case against software patents, featuring interviews with economists Ben Klemens and James Bessen, and legal scholars Dan Ravicher, Eben Moglen and Karen Sandler. The film, made entirely with free software in the Ogg Theora format, is available for anyone to download and redistribute at no cost from its web site.

Who does that server really serve?

Richard Stallman, FSF president and founder, published a new article explaining the relationship between proprietary software and software doing users' computing on remote servers. A printed copy of the article was handed out during his keynote at LibrePlanet 2010.

With free software, we, the users, take back control of our computing. Proprietary software still exists, but we can exclude it from our lives and many of us have done so. However, we now face a new threat to our control over our computing: Software as a Service.

Defective by Design: Design a new sticker!

FSF's Defective by Design campaign is having a contest for designing a new sticker. The existing pink one features the problem of DRM'd music on iPod, and it was pink to fit Apple's pink iPod advertising back in 2006. However, now we need to make one that focuses on DRM'd applications, games and movies on iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The contest will be held until the end of May and the three best designers will get a LibrePlanet t-shirt! Join and let your designer friends know!

Digital economy bill: One clown giveth and the other clown taketh away

MPs are pushing for faster broadband in the digital economy bill -- but also planning to restrict what the public can do with it.

When I read about Gordon Brown's plan to give the UK more broadband, I couldn't restrain my laughter. Isn't this the same clown now busy circumventing democracy to take away broadband from Britons who already have it? And what good would broadband do them if they're punished for using it (or even being suspected of using it)? Laying cables would be a waste of resources if people are not allowed to use them.

Using the GPL for Eclipse plug-ins

Recently we've seen some questions about whether Eclipse plug-ins can be released under the GPL. Answered briefly, this is possible if you can provide an additional permission with the license to allow combining your plug-in with the necessary EPL-covered libraries. The rest of this post examines why an additional permission is necessary, and has specific recommendations for interested developers.

Bradley Kuhn joins the FSF Board

When I started working at the Free Software Foundation in September 2001, it was to join a team that then-executive director Bradley Kuhn was putting together. It was a period of transition for the FSF.

Why I'm rejecting your email attachment

The FSF launched a campaign calling on all computer users to start politely rejecting email attachments sent in secret and proprietary formats: for freedom and the good of the web!

The campaign is in support of Document Freedom Day and the OpenDocument format. OpenDocument is an ISO standard that allows anyone to create software that supports it, without fear of patent claims or licensing issues. Documents, spreadsheets and presentations sent in Microsoft Word or Excel native formats, or documents created in Apple's iWorks, are proprietary and incompatible with freedom and an accessible web.

FSF opposes more copyright enforcement in Joint Strategic Plan

The United States' newly-created "Intellectual Property" Enforcement Coordinator asked for public comments on a Joint Strategic Plan to make copyright enforcement more effective. The FSF submitted an argument that the government should use free software to provide more freedom and transparency to its constituents and eliminate enforcement of proprietary software licenses.

Finding oodles of Adas

My thoughts on the Women's Caucus we held on Sunday and a few of the inspiring women who participated.

Trisquel 3.5 Awen released

Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, codename Awen, is ready. This release is a fully free Ubuntu 9.10 derivative that includes extra software, better multimedia support, more translations and a faster configuration. For this release we used Ext4 for the root filesystem and XFS for the home one, to have a balance between speed and usability. Some important features include a much faster boot process and the ability to encrypt the home directory.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

The recent GNU software releases:

bison-2.4.2 gnunet-0.9.0pre0 mit-scheme-9.0.1 cpio-2.11 gnupg-2.0.15 nano-2.2.4 cppi-1.15 gnutls-2.8.6 rottlog-0.72.2 ddrescue-1.12 grep-2.6.3 sipwitch-0.8.0 denemo-0.8.16 gsasl-1.4.4 solfege-3.16.1 dionysus-1.2.0 gsl-1.14 swbis-1.5 freedink-1.08.20100321 gss-1.0.0 tar-1.23 gcal-3.5.1 hello-2.6 tramp-2.1.18 gcc-4.5.0 icecat-3.6.3 ucommon-2.1.1 gdb-7.1 inetlib-1.1.2 wdiff-0.6.1 gecb-0.8.3 libextractor-0.6.1 xboard-4.4.3 gidfwizard-0.6.3 libgsasl-1.4.4 xorriso-0.5.2 global-5.8.2 libmicrohttpd-0.4.6 gnuedma-0.18.1 libtasn1-2.5

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.

This month we welcome Matt Lee as the maintainer of the new (and ongoing) packages goodbye, GNU FM, network, and social. We also welcome Jason Self as the new maintainer of gnutrition.

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

2010-04-24 | Keynote speech Ewing, NY

2010-05-01 | The Free Software Movement San Francisco, CA - 1675 Owens Street, Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF

2010-05-11 | Free Software in Ethics and in Practice Frascati, Rome

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 © 2010 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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