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March

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

Issue 24, March 2010

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 29,512 other activists.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • LibrePlanet 2010 free software community conference: March 19-21
  • Join the Document Freedom Day, March 31st 2010
  • Day Against DRM: Tuesday, May 4th 2010
  • Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube
  • Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto
  • Free software, or masking tape on your kid's webcam.
  • FSF is hosting GNU Hackers' Meeting, 2010
  • Send us your questions for new W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe
  • FSF Comment for the USTR's 2010 Special 301 Review
  • DefectiveByDesign.org updates
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

LibrePlanet 2010 free software community conference: March 19-21

LibrePlanet 2010 will feature workshops on the most widely used free software tools for working with the web, video, graphics and software development. You can learn about the latest developments in the GNU Project, free network services, digital radio, voice-over-IP, encryption, software licensing, media formats, and view the premiere of a new film on software patents. Plus at this year's LibrePlanet we'll be discussing how you can successfully engage with free software communities, mentor free software projects, and how non-coders can take up important roles in free software projects.

The three-day conference will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Harvard University Science Center, from March 19th to March 21st, 2010.

Join the Document Freedom Day, March 31st 2010

The yearly event for promoting OpenDocument formats is taking place on March 31st, 2010. The FSF encourages people to attend their local events to push free formats and free standards adoption.

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 info@defectivebydesign.org or visit http://defectivebydesign.org/ to sign up and follow the campaign.

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

The FSF has published an open letter to Google asking them to release their newly-bought video codec as a free one and push its use via YouTube to replace existing proprietary standards.

If you care about free software and the free web (a movement and medium to which you owe your success) you must take bold action to replace Flash with free standards and free formats. Patented video codecs have already done untold harm to the web and its users, and this will continue until we stop it.

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

Richard Stallman wrote about his objections on the Public Domain Manifesto and why he refused to sign it.

The Public Domain Manifesto tries to defend our freedom within the walled garden of the public domain, but abandons that freedom outside it. This is not enough.

Free software, or masking tape on your kid's webcam.

Appalled by the Lower Merion School District's remote monitoring of students? Help the Free Software Foundation build a wiki database of school districts that provide students with laptops, so that we can campaign against mandatory, proprietary laptops.

What future will we as a society choose? A future based on free software, or one where high school students have to cover their webcams with tape?

FSF is hosting GNU Hackers' Meeting, March 18th-21st, 2010

The FSF is hosting a GNU Hackers' Meeting for GNU maintainers and contributors from March 18th-21st as part of the LibrePlanet 2010 conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Send us your questions for new W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe

Jeff Jaffe, the new CEO of W3C, will attend a session in this weekend's conference, LibrePlanet. He will take questions about the free software community participation in making standards and W3C work and plans in general.

If you have something you want to ask Jeff about, please write to us. We will select the best questions we receive.

FSF Comment for the USTR's 2010 Special 301 Review

FSF has sent a comment for United States Trade Representative special review request. The comment focused on the pressure made on other countries to adopt laws similar to the DMCA that harm free software development.

DefectiveByDesign.org updates

FSF's anti-DRM DefectiveByDesign.org campaign had an active month. Here are some updates:

iPad petition

We sent the second batch of iPad petition signatures to Apple. 10,000 signed our petition in a short period of time!

When Ubisoft takes a break, your games break

Ubisoft video games require a constant connection to the Internet only to make sure that you are using a version they approve. That is not the only problem. Last week, their severs went down and many people were unable to use their games.

The Decade in DRM

A summarized history of DRM was published showing how it developed from a theory, to be supported by the law and finally to be a widespread tool against computer users.

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

Here are the recent GNU software releases:

acct-6.5.4 freeipmi-0.8.4 mtools-4.0.13 archimedes-0.9.1 global-5.8.1 myserver-0.9.2 auctex-11.86 glpk-4.43 nano-2.2.3 autogen-5.10.1 gnash-0.8.7 parted-2.2 binutils-2.20.1 gnubatch-1.2 sharutils-4.9 commoncpp2-1.8.0 gnunet-0.8.1b sipwitch-0.7.2 cppi-1.14 gnuspool-1.6 solfege-3.14.11 denemo-0.8.14 gsasl-1.4.1 units-1.88 dfarc-3.6 libgsasl-1.4.1 xorriso-0.5.0 diffutils-2.9 libidn-1.18 zile-2.3.15 electric-8.11 m4-1.4.14 enscript-1.6.5.1 mit-scheme-9.0

I'd like to specially note two things this month. First, the first new release of patch in many years. Thanks to the new co-maintainer, Jim Meyering, for reviving it (among all his other core work). Second, the new GNU package xorriso, a modern (and compatible) equivalent to mkisofs. Thanks to the maintainer, Thomas Schmitt, and his colleagues for doing all the work to make it possible to include this in GNU.

To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html). You can use the url http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month we welcome Thomas Schmitt as the maintainer of the new package xorriso, and Peter Simons as the maintainer of the new package autoconf-archive (another notable new entry!).

We also welcome Aleksander Morgado and Reinhard Mueller as a new co-maintainers of GNU PDF, Albert Chu as co-maintainer of freeipmi, Vladimir Serbinenko as co-maintainer of grub, Thien-Thi Nguyen as co-maintainer of RCS, and previous maintainer Giuseppe Scrivano for also taking on gcal.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to GNU, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

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

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events

2010-03-19 | Libre Planet 2010

2010-03-26 | El Movimiento del Software Libre Merida, Venezuela

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 http://www.fsf.org/join. 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! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://www.fsf.org/volunteer). 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 (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.

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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 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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