Issue 31, October 2010
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 33,631 other activists. That's 443 more than last month!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How to upload a video to YouTube and ensure it is viewable in WebM
- VLC developer takes a stand against DRM enforcement in Apple's App Store
- Fostering free software education: FTA and FSF partner to expand master's program in free software and standards
- Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for the hardware endorsement program "Respects Your Freedom"
- Windows Phone 7: the best choice for Patent Trolls.
- Stop the Internet blacklist
- Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me: The Mac App Store
- Amazon app store for Android welcomes DRM
- DRM action from Italy
- When is reading out loud patentable?
- LibrePlanet featured resource: Hardware Endorsement Criteria
- GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
- Take action with the FSF!
How to upload a video to YouTube and ensure it is viewable in WebM
We've just posted a recipe to follow for converting your videos to the new free WebM format, using VLC. It's hosted on the LibrePlanet wiki at http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:PlayOgg/WebM_recipe, with the hope that people will continue to update and improve it over time.
VLC developer takes a stand against DRM enforcement in Apple's App
Rémi Denis-Courmont is one of the primary developers of the VLC media player, which is free software and distributed under the GPL. Earlier this week, he wrote to Apple to complain that his work was being distributed through their App Store, under terms that contradict the GPL's conditions and prohibit users from sharing the program. People enforcing the GPL like Rémi are fighting against DRM, so that everyone can be in full control of their own computers. We're thankful to him for taking a stand. If you want to show your support, too, it's easy: just steer clear of Apple's DRM-infested App Store.
Fostering free software education: FTA and FSF partner to expand
master's program in free software and standards
The Free Technology Academy (FTA) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) have announced their partnership in the FTA's Associate Partner Network.
The FTA provides courses about free software and free standards that are taught completely online using materials which are available under free licenses.
The FSF will provide special video guest lectures in FTA courses and will encourage volunteers to maintain existing materials and write new courses. The FTA will provide the FSF Associate Membership with 30 discount vouchers for FTA courses each trimester.
Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for the hardware
endorsement program "Respects Your Freedom"
The FSF has published an initial set of criteria for endorsing computers and other devices. We ultimately plan to promote an endorsement mark to be carried on products that meet the criteria: "Respects Your Freedom".
These criteria include installing and recommending exclusively free software, allowing users to install their modified version of the software, making it possible to compile the source code using only free software, and releasing any useful technical documentation under a free license.
Feedback is welcome on the criteria wiki page.
Windows Phone 7: the best choice for Patent Trolls.
The FSF issued a warning to the public over Microsoft's Windows 7 Phone series. The new operating system is backed by the largest phone marketing campaign in history.
Microsoft has been attacking free-software-based mobile systems like Android and spreading malicious features like DRM and proprietary formats to lock in users.
Please take an action and warn people you know. Tell them that they deserve software freedom!
Stop the Internet blacklist
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is a new proposed act that will require Internet service providers and others to block a blacklist of any domain that the government thinks are involved in copyright infringement, which the Attorney General can add to with a court order.
Please join Richard Stallman and us at the FSF in signing a petition that demands Congress to stop this act which is aimed to be a weapon in the hands of mega corporations in the War on Sharing. Furthermore, since free software is often distributed using the same peer to peer technologies and sites they target, it's a real danger that we could get caught in the crossfire.
Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me: The Mac
Apple has announced that it would introduce a version of the infamous App Store in its new MacBook Air laptop. The new restriction will likely bring "FairPlay" digital handcuffs to software that is installed through the Store.
Apple claims that the App Store is the only legal method for iPad, iPhone and iPod users to install software on their devices. All applications must be approved by Apple and developers are required to sign a subjugating contract that completely blocks free software.
The new store is a new step towards that direction for desktops and laptops. Please join us and take an action now!
Amazon app store for Android welcomes DRM
Our campaigns intern, Molly de Blanc, has written an interesting article about Amazon's history of participating in promoting both DRM'd and DRM-free materials. She goes through the history of Amazon MP3, Kindle applications and books, and its new Androids app store -- which will promote DRM.
DRM action from Italy
Our software freedom activist friends in Italy were excited to share some updates about their local campaign against Digital Restrictions Management. They have sent us photos that we loved!
Join DefectiveByDesign, start a campaign for educating people to refuse DRM in your local area, share your updates and photos with us and we will pick the best update and photo we get every month!
When is reading out loud patentable?
Ciaran of End Software Patents has added a wiki page for analyzing the "Cabinet for the blind" example. It's an example that was used in a 1980 amicus brief for the Diamond v. Diehr case in the USA. In looking into this, he also turned up a few interesting quotes about pen and paper patents. Comments welcome on the wiki.
LibrePlanet featured resource: Hardware Endorsement Criteria
We are going to highlight one resource every month on LibrePlanet that is interesting, useful and can use your help.
For this month, we are highlighting the FSF's new hardware endorsement criteria which will eventually be used to apply and promote the "Respects Your Freedom" mark.
What kind of hardware do you want? What kind of restrictions should we reject? Feel free to browse, spread, comment on and improve this important resource!
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
autoconf-archive-2010.10.26 mdk-1.2.6 coreutils-8.6 mtools-4.0.15 denemo-0.8.20 myserver-0.10 dfarc-3.8 solfege-3.18.6 gcc-4.4.5 tar-1.24 gnubatch-1.3 ucommon-4.0.3 gnupg-1.4.11 websocket4j-1.3 gnuspool-1.8 xnee-3.07 gnutls-2.10.2 xorriso-0.6.4 icecat-3.6.11 zile-2.3.20 libmicrohttpd-0.9.2
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 Chris Bryant as the new maintainer of vmslib.
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, email@example.com, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
2010-11-03 | Une société numérique libre et durable Lausanne, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101103-fs-lausanne
2010-11-04 | Une société numérique libre et durable Geneva, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101104-fs-geneva
2010-11-08 | Free Software in Ethics and in Practice Lausanne, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101108-fs-lausanne
2010-11-09 | Système financier libre vs. propriétaire Geneva, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101109-sflvp-geneva
2010-11-10 | Copyright vs. Community Geneva, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101110-cvc-lausanne
2010-11-11 | Les logiciels libres et votre liberté Lausanne, Switzerland * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101013-fs-geneva
Other free software events
2010-11-05 | GNU get-together at FSCONS 2010 Goethenburg, Sweden * http://www.fsf.org/events/20101105-gnu-get-together-at-fscons
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.
The Free Software Supporter is edited by FSF volunteer Osama Khalid.
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.