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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2012 Free Software Supporter, Issue 57, December 2012

Free Software Supporter, Issue 57, December 2012

by Zak Rogoff Contributions Published on Dec 07, 2012 02:50 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 65,202 other activists. That's 895 more than last month!
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             HAPPY GNU YEAR 2013!

Help us make 2013 a great year for free software!

We hope you enjoy this special New Year's issue of the Supporter, complete with an impressive piece of holiday ASCII art by FSF member Chris Webber. As you can hopefully tell, that's a gnu toasting the new year with Gavroche, the adorable goblin mascot of the GNU MediaGoblin project that so many of you generously supported this year.

All of you care about free software, and our job at the FSF is to make your voices heard. In 2013, our goal is to turn up the volume and reach more people than ever before with the message that all software can and should be free. To make this possible, we want to raise $350,000 by January 31st. If you've been following the progress bar on our homepage, you know we're about halfway there. Can you help us reach our goal?

Click here to donate to the FSF or become a member now.


John, Ward, Chrissie, Don, Kira, Jasimin, Jeanne, Josh, Libby, Martin, Nico, Peabo, and Zak

View this issue online here:

Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your web site.

Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at


El Free Software Supporter está disponible en castellano. Para ver la versión en castellano haz click aqui:

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en castellano, haz click aquí:


  • Gnu comes bearing gifts, draws shoppers from Microsoft store
  • Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?
  • Share freedom this holiday season!
  • Interview with Kovid Goyal of Calibre
  • GNU Press debuts GNU beanies!
  • Who ever thought APIs were copyrightable, anyway?
  • 45 organizations join in legal complaint to [Italian] Ministry of Education
  • European Parliament adopts deeply flawed unitary patent, gives up power over innovation policy
  • RMS around the world
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Free Software in Government
  • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 23 new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain update
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Thank GNUs!
  • Take action with the FSF

Gnu comes bearing gifts, draws shoppers from Microsoft store

From December 18th

FSF activists visited a local Microsoft store during its "Tech for Tots" session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software's buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. See pictures here:

Read our press release for more details:

Ubuntu Spyware: What to do?

By Richard Stallman, from December 7th

Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.)

One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample. What should we do?

Share freedom this holiday season!

From December 26th

This holiday season, support computer-user freedom by giving an FSF membership to your loved ones. Membership support makes up the lion's share of the FSF's operating costs, and an FSF membership will help fund our work to defend and promote computer-users' freedom.

Interview with Kovid Goyal of Calibre

From December 13th

This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab's series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works. Calibre is a free ebook library management application developed by users of ebooks for users of ebooks, distributed under GPLv3.

GNU Press debuts GNU beanies!

From December 13th

Keep cozy this winter in our navy blue beanies with GNU embroidered in white on the side. Now available from the shop!

Chrissie's blog post about the beanies is here (with Zak modeling!):

Who ever thought APIs were copyrightable, anyway?

From December 26th, by Bradley Kuhn

FSF board member and former executive director Bradley Kuhn discusses the landmark copyright case of Oracle v. Google and what it does -- and doesn't -- mean for free software.

45 organizations join in legal complaint to [Italian] Ministry of Education

From December 17th, by the Free Software Foundation Europe

A group of 45 free software organisations, including FSFE, have signed a legal complaint to Italy's Ministry of Education, warning that it is putting free software at an unfair disadvantage in Italy's schools.

European Parliament adopts deeply flawed unitary patent, gives up power over innovation policy

On December 11th, the European Parliament adopted a proposal to create a unified patent system for Europe. Unfortunately, instead of productively simplifying Europe's patent laws, this "unitary patent" will leave Europe with a system that is both deeply flawed and prone to overreach.

End Software Patents gives a point-by-point explanation of the dangers of the treaty now threatening innovation and freedom in Europe:

The European free software advocacy organization April "regrets a missed opportunity for the European Parliament to finally create a genuine patent of the European Union":

FSF Europe condemns the European Parliament for "[throwing] Europe's researchers and innovators under the bus just to achieve a deal, any deal":

RMS around the world

From December 4th

Richard Stallman spends much of the year travelling around the world, giving talks in English, Spanish and French to a variety of audiences, from university students to professional software developers. Here are pictures from some of his adventures this year:

Spain in May:

France in June:

Peru in August:

Mexico in October:

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit each month to discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and exciting free software projects.

To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Everyone's welcome.

The next meeting is Friday, January 11th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm EDT (19:00 to 22:00 UTC). Keep an eye on for a post in the week before the meeting.

After this meeting, you can check to see the rest of January's weekly meetings as they are scheduled.

LibrePlanet featured resource: Free Software in Government

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 Free Software in Government page. Share your knowledge of free software in government and swap ideas for ways to improve it.

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

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 23 new GNU releases!

New GNU releases this month as of December 24:

  • auctex-11.87
  • gprolog-1.4.2
  • libosip2-4.0.0
  • automake-1.12.6
  • gtypist-2.9.2
  • libtasn1-3.2
  • bison-2.7
  • guile-2.0.7
  • mediagoblin-0.3.2
  • freedink-1.08.20121209
  • help2man-1.40.13
  • parallel-20121222
  • gdb-7.5.1
  • icecat-17.0.1
  • sed-4.2.2
  • global-6.2.7
  • kawa-1.13
  • ucommon-6.0.3
  • gnunet-0.9.5
  • libidn-1.26
  • xnee-3.15
  • gnupg-1.4.13
  • libmatheval-1.1.10

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.

We welcome Daiki Ueno as the new maintainer of GNU Gettext (and thank Bruno Haible for his long-time development of gettext and many other packages, some still continuing). We also welcome Aleksey Demakov as the maintainer of the new package libjit, now split as a separate package from DotGNU.

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, 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 the GNU operating system, see

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

GNU Toolchain update

From December 17th

The GNU toolchain refers to the part of the GNU system which is used for building programs. These components of GNU are together often on other systems and for compiling programs for other platforms.

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future events in your area, please visit .

So far, Richard Stallman has the following events in the first few months of 2013:

Other FSF and free software events

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, but we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have donated $500 or more in the last month.

This month, a big Thank GNU to:

  • John David Stone
  • Gabor Toth
  • Tim Heaney
  • Terrance Druggan
  • Thomas H. Puckett
  • Alipes CME, Inc
  • Georges Sancosme
  • Roozbeh Pournader
  • Håkon A. Hjortland
  • Furlotti Family Foundation
  • Russell McManus
  • Scott Boughton
  • Morten Lind
  • Mark Nelson
  • Skowronski Family Foundation
  • Pariksheet Nanda
  • Max Lekomcev
  • Stefan K. Berg
  • Uday Kale
  • Doyle Myers
  • Anneli Weiss
  • Craigslist Charitable Fund
  • Benjamin Carl Wiley Sittler
  • Joseph Paul Cohen
  • Jon Howell
  • Eben Moglen
  • Kahle/Austin Foundation

You can add your name to this list by donating at

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.


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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