Issue 39, June 2011
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 43,202 other activists. That's 1,445 more than last month!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Statement on OpenOffice.org's move to Apache
- AVM violating license of the Linux kernel
- Two new projects can help free software replace Skype
- Are you up to the Tor challenge?
- Introducing the Compliance Lab's summer intern
- Holding Nintendo Accountable
- LibrePlanet featured resource
- GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
- Take action with the FSF!
Statement on OpenOffice.org's move to Apache
Oracle, IBM, and the Apache Software Foundation jointly announced earlier this month that OpenOffice.org would become an official Apache project. Users and contributors should be aware that it will become easier for proprietary software developers to distribute OpenOffice.org as nonfree software since all Apache projects are distributed under the terms of the Apache License.
While we do recommend the Apache License in specific situations, we do not believe it is the best choice for software like OpenOffice.org. This situation calls for copyleft, because the gains free software stands to make from a non-copyleft license don't justify giving a handout to proprietary software developers.
AVM violating license of the Linux kernel
A legal case is being heard before the District Court of Berlin which may have enormous consequences for the way that software is developed and distributed. The adversaries in the case are the manufacturer and distributor of DSL routers AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH (AVM), and Cybits AG (Cybits) which produces children's web-filtering software.
The case was brought to court by AVM with the aim of preventing Cybits from changing any parts of the firmware used in AVM's routers, including the Linux kernel. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and http://gpl-violations.org consider AVM's action as a broad attack against the principles of free software, and thus against the thousands of individuals and companies developing, improving and distributing free software.
Two new projects can help free software replace Skype
Skype has been in the news a lot lately: Microsoft agreed to buy the company, their network has gone down twice recently, and they're threatening to take unspecified action against developers who try to write free software to make calls on their system.
There are two free software project that stand to make Skype obsolete: GNU Free Call and WebRTC and they both could benefit from your contribution!
Are you up to the Tor challenge?
In March at the LibrePlanet 2011 conference, we presented the 2010 Award for Projects of Social Benefit to the Tor Project for enabling millions of people to experience freedom of access and expression on the Internet while keeping them in control of their privacy and anonymity.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is encouraging people to run more Tor nodes to help keep up with the increasing number of people who rely on Tor. The FSF is already running a Tor node and we hope some of you reading this will take the challenge too.
Introducing the Compliance Lab's summer intern
We recently welcomed William Theaker at FSF as our summer's licensing intern. In a blog post, he wrote about what brought him to free software, and the goals for his internship.
Holding Nintendo Accountable
Over a period of 10 days, 138 people from twenty different countries made donations of $10 or more in order to send Nintendo's President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, a total of 220 bricks.
Earlier this month, our volunteers assembled the cardboard bricks and we wrapped each one of them and attached our signed letter calling for dropping DRM and changing the terms of service.
LibrePlanet featured resource: Free System Distribution Checklist
Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.
This month, we are featuring the Free System Distribution Checklist. This page provides a checklist of practical steps you can take to see whether or not a particular distribution complies with the "Free System Distribution Guidelines".
- Free System Distribution Checklist: http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Free_System_Distribution_Checklist
- Free System Distribution Guidelines: http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
New GNU releases:
autogen-5.12 gprolog-1.4.0 parallel-20110622 binutils-2.21.1 grep-2.9 parted-3.0 ccrtp-2.0.0 help2man-1.40.4 sipwitch-1.0.3 gawk-4.0.0 icecat-5.0 solfege-3.20.0 gcc-4.3.6 libgcrypt-1.5.0 ucommon-5.0.3 gcc-4.6.1 libmicrohttpd-0.9.12 unrtf-0.21.2 glibc-2.14 libzrtpcpp-2.0.0 xorriso-1.1.0.pl01 global-5.9.6 mtools-4.0.17 gnutls-2.12.7 octave-3.4.2
To get announcements of most new GNU releases, 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.
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
2011-07-01 The Danger of Software Users Don't Control Vienna, Austria * http://www.fsf.org/events/20110615-cvc-berlin
2011-07-12 Philosophie et histoire du logiciel libre Strasbourg, France * http://www.fsf.org/events/20110701-dsudc-vienna
2011-07-13 Réflexions quant à l'utilisation et la modification du droit d'auteur en faveur de la Liberté Strasbourg, France * http://www.fsf.org/events/20110613-roundtable-strasbourg
Other FSF and free software events
2011-08-25 -- 2011-08-28 GNU Hackers Meeting Paris, France * http://www.fsf.org/events/20110825-ghm-paris
2011-07-13 John Sullivan at the Greater Hartford GNU/Linux User Group Hartford, CT * http://www.fsf.org/events/20110713-johns-ghglug
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 © 2011 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.