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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2011 May


by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:25 PM

Issue 38, May 2011

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 41757 other activists. That's 1546 more than last month! 40,171

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  • Announcing our license recommendations guide
  • Another High Priority Project done: free RARv3 extraction tools
  • FSF announces publication of two new books by Richard Stallman
  • Brick Nintendo! Outcry leads to 200 bricks ordered and reprehensible Nintendo response
  • Bitcoins: A new way to donate to the FSF
  • Parabola GNU/Linux joins the FSF list of free distributions
  • Introducing Stuffed Baby Gnu
  • Work on a free software GPRS/EDGE stack!
  • Microsoft Skype
  • BT Beats: User freedom and artistic freedom go hand in hand
  • Samba case hearing: How Microsoft’s gamble backfired
  • Behind the scenes of the new GNU mailing list server
  • Highlights from the 2011 Day Against DRM
  • Apology Not Accepted; Sony Boycott Remains
  • Interview with Leo Babauta
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: FSF Community Team
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Announcing our license recommendations guide

We've compiled a single resource that guides you through the process of choosing a license for new software, documentation, and other functional data.

The new guide explains what factors are important to consider when making licensing decisions, and suggests specific licenses for different scenarios. If you're starting a new project (whether it's software, documentation, or something else related) and unsure what license to use, you just need this one link to find our recommendations.

Another High Priority Project done: free RARv3 extraction tools

Free software to support the RARv3 archive format has been listed on our High Priority Projects list for some time now.

We're happy to share the news that there's now a free software project to fill this gap, and we can mark this item as done. The Unarchiver is a small collection of software written by Dag Ågren. It includes two core utilities, unar and lsar, that read and extract archives in many different formats, including RARv3.

FSF announces publication of two new books by Richard Stallman

The FSF has released in tandem the second edition of its president and founder Richard Stallman's selected essays, Free Software, Free Society, and his semi-autobiography, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution.

The books can be ordered at FSF's online shop and as part of the launch, the FSF is also offering copies of each book signed by the author.

Brick Nintendo! Outcry leads to 200 bricks ordered and

reprehensible Nintendo response

In a little over a week, we surpassed our goal of taking 200 brick orders for Nintendo, to protest their claim that they have the right to "brick" (disable) users' devices when used outside of Nintendo's outrageous Terms of Service.

News outlets around the world have picked up on your action, and have been calling Nintendo asking for a response. Nintendo has released a short statement admitting that the Terms they are attempting to enforce elsewhere are so awful, they are illegal in the European Union!

Read the original blog post announcing our action against Nintendo:

Check out our analysis of the Nintendo 3DS Terms of Service:

Read our update with sample letter for reviewers as well as other ways to spread the word about the Brick Nintendo campaign

Bitcoins: A new way to donate to the FSF

We have joined the list of organizations accepting donations of Bitcoins, which is a virtual peer-to-peer currency powered by free software.

We are currently providing just a single address at which to direct contributions: "1PC9aZC4hNX2rmmrt7uHTfYAS3hRbph4UN". If you'd like us to know who the contribution came from, and be able to acknowledge receipt of your donation, then please email with your name and address, and contribution info.

Parabola GNU/Linux joins the FSF list of free distributions

Parabola GNU/Linux has joined the list of Free GNU/Linux distributions and it's now part of nine different distributions that only ever include or recommend free software!

Parabola is a full featured general-purpose distribution that's committed to only including free software and it strives to keep its packaging and management tools as simple as possible. It is based on Arch, and provides instructions for current Arch users to migrate to Parabola and remove any nonfree software they might have installed.

Introducing Stuffed Baby Gnu

Help celebrate the newest addition to the GNU menagerie with your very own Stuffed Baby Gnu. This 7.5 inch (19 cm) toy is a cute and cuddly addition for your desk and a great way to show your support for the GNU Project.

Work on a free software GPRS/EDGE stack!

GPRS is a technology used by mobile phones to transmit data. If you have Internet access on your cellphone, it's likely that you are using GPRS.

A project called OsmocomBB is underway to develop software that could be used in free mobile devices. Progress has been good, with regular telephone calls and text messages already working, but data connections are still not supported. This work is substantial and quite different from the work needed for voice calls.

OsmocomBB developers are looking for people with an interest in implementing data support.

Microsoft Skype

FSF president and founder Richard Stallman explains the real problems behind Skype, which will not change after Microsoft's recent acquisition:

The Skype client program is nonfree software: it gives its owner power over its users. Presently it will give the same power to a different company. The identity of the master is just a detail, because freedom means not having a master.

BT Beats: User freedom and artistic freedom go hand in hand

British Telecom is launching a new music service, BT Beats. The Free Software Foundation Europe's UK team has called on BT to not forget free software users when launching its upcoming service, and to build the system using web standards like HTML5 and CSS3, rather than proprietary and invasive software such as Flash.

We hope BT Beats listens to FSFE's letter, and joins this trend of publishing music in free formats usable with free software.

Samba case hearing: How Microsoft’s gamble backfired

Karsten Gerloff of the Free Software Foundation Europe writes about the latest hearing in the European Commission's antitrust case against Microsoft (which has been going on for over 10 years, now). He writes, "[Microsoft] is still bent on locking down any market it enters, and blocking the path of competitors wherever possible."

Behind the scenes of the new GNU mailing list server

The GNU list server is a monster machine serving, and a few other domains. Every day, it spools out over 1 million messages for 2700 mailing lists. Until April 11, our venerable list server was an 8-year old Fedora Core 2 box equipped with 6 high-speed SCSI drives organized in two RAID packs to maximize I/O bandwidth.

Our system administration team explains the experience they had upgrading this critical system.

Highlights from the 2011 Day Against DRM

This year's Day Against DRM on May 4th was an overall success. Thanks to all of you who participated!

We had blog posts in 4 different languages and our friends over at Creative Commons joined us in the celebration! In addition, we had events in Italy and Portugal, three news articles and a radio show on DRM.

Read our blog post written two days before the Day Against DRM that contains our list of action ideas:

Check out the 2011 Day Against DRM wiki page on

Interview with Marcos Marado on the Day Against DRM

The DRM-PT and Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (an associate of the Free Software Foundation Europe) groups recently celebrated the Day Against DRM together. They hosted a radio show, and then a free movie event followed by a presentation on DRM.

The next day, at Portugal's largest book fair, they distributed flyers and started a lively debate on the subject at the presentation of a pro-DRM ebook retailer. We interviewed Marcos Marado, the creator of DRM-PT, about the recent Day Against DRM events.

Interview with Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author. He created Zen Habits - a blog with over 200,000 subscribers,, and the best-selling books focus, The Power of Less, and Zen To Done. He has dedicated the Zen Habits blog and Zen to Done e-book to the public domain. In this interview with Graziano Sorbaioli of Libreplanet Italia, he shares his thoughts on free software, copyright, and DRM.

Apology Not Accepted; Sony Boycott Remains

In mid-April, Sony's PlayStation Network servers were compromised and over 77 million customers had their personal data exposed. Sony issued a public apology and are offering a bribe they are calling the "welcome back" program.

But Sony has not issued an apology to Alexander Egorenkov (graf_chokolo) and George Hotz (geohot), whom they harassed and threatened with extreme force for modifying their own PS3 computers. Nor has Sony issued a statement that they will stop bringing legal action against individuals that wish to modify their own PS3 computers. So, we say "no thanks," Sony, we are still boycotting you!

Read more about our boycott against Sony and ways you can get involved

LibrePlanet featured resource: FSF Community Team

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 FSF Community Team. The FSF Community Team, which aims to spread the free software philosophy in blogs, online press, and through social networking sites.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

aspell6-kn-0.01-1 grep-2.8 parallel-20110522 autogen-5.11.9 grub-1.99 parted-2.4 bison-2.5 gsasl-1.6.1 sharutils-4.11.1 complexity-0.4 gsl-1.15 sipwitch-1.0.1 coreutils-8.12 guile-2.0.1 solfege-3.18.8 denemo-0.9.0 gv-3.7.2 swbis-1.11 fdisk-1.2.5 help2man-1.39.4 ucommon-5.0.0 gcc-4.5.3 icecat-4.0.1 vc-dwim-1.5 global-5.9.5 libgsasl-1.6.1 xboard-4.5.2a gmp-5.0.2 libidn-1.22 zile-2.3.24 gnuchess-6.0.0 libmicrohttpd-0.9.11 gnutls-2.12.5 nano-2.3.1

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, 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 Kyle Bayes as the new maintainer of GNU Leg, and Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos as a new co-maintainer of GNUTLS Thanks Kyle and Nikos.

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

2011-06-01 El movimiento del software libre Zacatecas, Mexico *

2011-06-02 Richard Stallman at the Senate Mexico City, Mexico *

2011-06-15 Copyright vs. Community Berlin, Germany *

Other FSF and free software events

2011-08-25 -- 2011-08-28 GNU Hackers Meeting Paris, France *

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.


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 or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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