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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2012 Free Software Supporter, Issue 46, January 2012

Free Software Supporter, Issue 46, January 2012

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Jan 31, 2012 11:01 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 53,243 other activists. That's 541 more than last month!

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

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  • Stop ACTA in Europe
  • GNU Project renews focus on free software in education
  • The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out--and GPL-compatible!
  • Apple's ebook sales restrictions: the newest reason to use free software
  • Measures governments can use to promote free software
  • Stallman's Law
  • Learn more about who we are and what we do
  • And now for some completely different ways to give to the FSF
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:GNU Generation
  • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
  • LibrePlanet sign-up reminder
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Other FSF and GNU events
  • Take action with the FSF!

Stop ACTA in Europe

We've been hearing a lot lately about SOPA and PIPA in the United States. In the meantime, ACTA has been creeping along under the radar, and last week it was signed in Japan by the EU and its member states.

But it's not over yet! Read about how you can help defeat ACTA:

For a refresher on why ACTA threatens free software, see:

GNU Project renews focus on free software in education

The newly formed GNU Education Team is being led by Dora Scilipoti, an Italian free software activist and teacher. Under her leadership, the Team has developed a list of specific goals to guide their work:

  • Present cases of educational institutions around the world who are successfully using and teaching free software.
  • Show examples of how free programs are being used by educational institutions to improve the learning and teaching processes.
  • Publish articles on the various aspects involved in the use of free software by educational institutions.
  • Maintain a dialogue with teachers, students and administrators of educational institutions to listen to their difficulties and provide support.
  • Keep in contact with other groups around the world committed to the promotion of free software in education.

The new effort is based at

Dora writes:

We invite people who share our goals and our views to join us. We need help to spot special cases of schools and free programs, write reports, talk to schools, edit and convert audio visual materials to free formats, do graphic design, and more. Our contact address is

Learn more about the GNU Education relaunch:

Press release:

Blog post:

The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out--and GPL-compatible!

The Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0 is a major update to Mozilla's flagship license, which covers most of the Foundation's own free software projects, as well as others'. The FSF was engaged throughout this process, especially on questions about compatibility with GNU licenses.

Apple's ebook sales restrictions: the newest reason to use free software

Last week, Apple announced ebook authoring software called iBooks Author. As you would expect from Apple, the software is completely proprietary--but the license includes some terms that are so restrictive, they shock even Apple's fans. Fortunately, there is free software to do the same job.


The FSF is proud to have participated in the January 18th protest against SOPA by blacking out all of our public web sites, including,,, and We thank everyone who joined us and supported us during this effort! We will continue to participate in the amazing coalition of organizations working to protect the Internet.

Measures governments can use to promote free software

This new article published by Richard Stallman suggests policies for a strong and firm effort to promote free software within the state, and to lead the rest of the country towards software freedom. Adoption of the measures outlined in the article would help a country recover control over its computing, and lead the country's citizens, businesses and organizations toward control over theirs.

Stallman's Law

"While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance in technology is an opening for them to further restrict its users."

Learn more about who we are and what we do

This year we decided to use our annual fundraiser as an opportunity to share with the world a more detailed look at the work we do here at the FSF. So we wrote a four part series, We want to do more for you.

Part 1 of the series provides an overview of some of what we accomplish with a staff of "ten dedicated and effective individuals, working with a global network of volunteers and supporters of the free software movement."

Part 2 shares with you the heroics of staff member Jeanne Rasata who in addition to helping to coordinate and plan Richard Stallman's grueling travel and speaking schedule, also acts as front-line of communication for nearly all email sent to the FSF, as well as being the virtual front-desk for questions and requests from FSF associate members.

Part 3 provides a glimpse into the work of our campaigns team of Matt Lee and Josh Gay, who carry out our advocacy campaigns, as well as a large share of our public relations, fundraising, web development, and graphic design at the FSF.

Part 4 reveals the surprising discovery that the FSF's licensing and compliance engineer, Brett Smith, is in fact a GPL Ninja!

And now for some completely different ways to give to the FSF

Campaigns manager Matt Lee reviews some of the more unusual ways you can give to the FSF. Learn how you can make micro-donations, transfer bitcoin, give us your used car (or brand new one!), and more!

LibrePlanet featured resource: Group:GNU Generation

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 featuring the Group GNU Generation, an ongoing community and competition to involve pre-university and high school students (approximately age 13-18) in free software. This is a great project that is in need of a little rejuvination. Get involved today!

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

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

autogen-5.14 gnutls-2.12.16 parallel-20120122 coreutils-8.15 gnutls-3.0.12 recutils-1.5 cppi-1.16 goptical-1.0 sipwitch-1.2.1 ddrescue-1.15 help2man-1.40.5 source-highlight-3.1.6 ed-1.6 inetutils-1.9.1 stow-2.1.3 freeipmi-1.1.1 libidn-1.24 tramp-2.2.4 gdb-7.4 libmicrohttpd-0.9.18 ucommon-5.2.0 global-6.2 mediagoblin-0.2.0 gnu-ghostscript-9.04.1 octave-3.6.0

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.

In addition to the usual releases, a new installment of the Lilypond Report has been published: It includes release news, an interview, Prelude #1 in Scheme, and more.

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.

LibrePlanet sign-up reminder

March 24th-25th, 2012 -- Boston, MA, USA -- LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

For detailed information for each of the events below, see: *

  • Jan 31, 2012 04:00 PM -- Ghaziabad, India -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom
  • Feb 01, 2012 11:30 PM -- Delhi, India -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom
  • Feb 02, 2012 03:00 PM -- Kolkata, India -- Event A Free Digital Society
  • Feb 03, 2012 05:00 PM -- Guwahati, India -- Event The Free Software Movement
  • Feb 04, 2012 11:00 AM -- Guwahati, India -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 06, 2012 01:00 PM -- Chennai, India -- Event Free Software, Freedom, and Education
  • Feb 07, 2012 11:15 AM -- Tiruchengode, India -- Event The Free Software Movement
  • Feb 07, 2012 06:00 PM -- Coimbatore, India -- Event Free Software in Ethics and in Practice
  • Feb 11, 2012 11:00 AM -- Mandi, India -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 21, 2012 06:00 PM -- Avignon, France -- Event For a Free Digital Society
  • Feb 28, 2012 02:00 PM -- Braga, Portugal -- Event Copyright vs. Community
  • Feb 29, 2012 02:00 PM -- Lisbon, Portugal -- Event Free Software and Your Freedom

Other FSF and GNU events

"Is copyleft being framed?" -- John Sullivan February 4th, 2012 -- Brussels, Belgium -- FOSDEM

" and GNU.FM, supporting artists with free software" -- Mike Sheldon

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 © 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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