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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2012 Free Software Supporter, Issue 50, May 2012

Free Software Supporter, Issue 50, May 2012

by John Sullivan Contributions Published on Jun 27, 2012 03:35 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 57,338 other activists. That's 1,039 more than last month!

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  • FSF statement on jury's partial verdict in Oracle v Google
  • Diablo 3 DRM: "It's really an online game without a monthly fee"
  • Publishers and activists come together to say NO to DRM on ebooks
  • New items in the guide to DRM-free living
  • Nonfree DRM'd Games on GNU/Linux: Good or Bad?
  • Call on the new French president to "Stop software patents"
  • Richard Stallman: Photos from Madrid
  • Richard Stallman: In Singapore
  • GNU Emacs Reference mugs -- all gone!
  • Conservancy projects launch coordinated compliance efforts
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Gaming Collective
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other free software events
  • Take action with the FSF!

5/9 -- FSF statement on jury's partial verdict in Oracle v Google

Were it grounded in reality, Oracle's claim that copyright law gives them proprietary control over any software that uses a particular functional API would be terrible for free software and programmers everywhere. It is an unethical and greedy interpretation created with the express purpose of subjugating as many computer users as possible, and is particularly bad in this context because it comes at a time when the sun has barely set on the free software community's celebration of Java as a language newly suitable for use in the free world.

Fortunately, the claim is not yet reality, and we hope Judge Alsup will keep it that way.

5/22 -- Diablo 3 DRM: "It's really an online game without a monthly fee"

Blizzard has released the long-awaited game Diablo 3 to much fanfare, and yet to many gamers, much disappointment and frustration because of the game's DRM system. It requires a permanent internet connection to play -- moving much of the in-game interaction and logic to the network. Blizzard is using Diablo 3 to operate an online auction house, using real-world currency or in-game gold, which in turn can be exchanged between players to purchase weapons, materials and upgrades for your in-game character.

Take action

5/21 -- Publishers and activists come together to say NO to DRM on ebooks

Friday, May 4th was the fourth International Day Against DRM, and wow -- what a day! We were supported by our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, the Accessible Computing Foundation, Fight for the Future, APRIL, and our sister organizations, FSF France, FSF India and FSF Europe.

We had a solid base of activist events all over the world -- from Massachusetts to Spain, Florida, Japan, England, Portugal, and more. These local events are especially important as they spread the message by word of mouth -- DRM elimination crew members (that's you) telling people in their local communities about the specific ways defective technologies like DRM are disrupting their lives and taking away their freedom.

5/18 -- New items in the guide to DRM-free living

We've added some new items to the guide to DRM-free living, including music from They Might Be Giants and Radio Wonderland, and comedy from Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee and Simon Munnery, as well as ebooks from O'Reilly and Smashwords.

5/31 -- Nonfree DRM'd Games on GNU/Linux: Good or Bad?

A well known company, Valve, that distributes nonfree computer games with Digital Restrictions Management, recently announced it would distribute these games for GNU/Linux. What good and bad effects can this have?

How does this development affect users' freedom?

5/23 -- Call on the new French president to "Stop software patents"

The next Competitiveness Council will be held today, May 31st. François Hollande's government will be attending it for the first time. April, the French free software group, calls upon the President to take this opportunity to act against software patents and bring up the flaws of the current unitary patent project.

5/8 -- Richard Stallman: Photos from Madrid

We have some photographs of Richard's latest European trip, which included a stop in Madrid, at the IES Arquitecto Ventura Rodríguez, where four-hundred people came to hear him speak, on March 1st.

5/8 -- Richard Stallman: In Singapore

And at the National University of Singapore's School of Computing, on March 13th, where three-to-four hundred people came to hear him speak.

5/10 -- GNU Emacs Reference mugs -- all gone but back soon!

Thanks to a generous donation by one of our supporters, we were able to offer a limited set of GNU Emacs Reference mugs through the GNU Press. Unfortunately, due to the incredible popularity of the mugs, we have sold out our entire stock in less than 24 hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

More mugs are on their way, and if you would like to be first in line to buy one, please join our GNU Press mailing list.

5/29 -- Conservancy projects launch coordinated compliance efforts

Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit that provides a home and a broad range of services to free software projects, has announced a unified effort among many of its member projects to ensure compliance with their licenses. The effort brings together copyright holders, developers, and users to ensure that the rights embodied in licenses are fully upheld for all developers, users, and the general public.

The effort brings the Samba and Busybox projects together with a new effort called the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers. This new project is comprised of copyright holders in the kernel Linux who have contributed to the project under its license, the GPLv2. These seven copyright holders have formally asked Conservancy to engage in compliance efforts for their copyrights in the kernel.

LibrePlanet featured resource: Gaming Collective

Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting the LibrePlanet Gaming Collective, a group of free software activists organized around their enthusiasm for video games. By gathering around free software video games, we are furthering the ideals of free software and related issues as necessary means for a free society.

If you're interested in playing free games, you should join the Collective.

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

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

New GNU releases as of May 31, 2012:

aris-1.7 autogen-5.16 coreutils-8.17 freefont-20120503 freeipmi-1.1.5 gcal-3.6.2 global-6.2.4 gmp-5.0.5 gnuhealth-1.6.1 gnutls-2.12.19 gsasl-1.8.0 guile-clutter-1.10.0 guile-gnome-platform-2.16.2 kawa-1.12 libgsasl-1.8.0 libidn-1.25 librejs-4.6 parallel-20120522 wdiff-1.1.2

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 Ian Dunn as the author and maintainer of the new package GNU Aris, and Nala Ginrut as the new maintainer of GNU SXML, now renamed and generalized to GNU XMLAT.

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 events

  • "Por una sociedad digital libre" -- June 2nd, Pirai do Sul, Brazil
  • "A Free Digital Society" -- June 4th, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • "Logiciels libres et éducation" -- June 27th, Marly-le-Roi, France

In July 2012, Stallman will be Czech Republic, Germany and Venezuela. See for details of future speeches.

Another event we'd like to draw your attention to is the 13th Libre Software Meeting, in Geneva, Switzerland on July 7th. LSM is a non-commercial cycle of conferences, round tables and practical workshops based on Libre Software and its uses. Its aim is to provide a platform for Libre Software users, developers and stakeholders.

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 Matt Lee, Campaigns Manager

Copyright © 2012 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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