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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2015 Free Software Supporter - Issue 84, April 2015

Free Software Supporter - Issue 84, April 2015

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Mar 22, 2015 05:38 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update—being read by you and 86,652 other activists. That's 290 more than last month!


  • LibrePlanet 2015: Highlights and what comes next
  • Kat Walsh joins FSF board of directors
  • Obama and Congress go off the rails trying to fast track TPP
  • New articles by RMS, "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs" and "How to Make Hardware Designs Free"
  • Watch your freedom (because Apple's not)
  • The new and improved
  • FSF and FSFE support Software Freedom Conservancy and Christoph Hellwig, GPL enforcement lawsuit
  • Userops: Deployment for the people
  • Worldwide more than 50 events about free document formats
  • Paris joins April and strengthens its commitment to free software
  • Promoting the implementation of free software solutions in the French public school system
  • Swiss Federal Council considers legal assurance for release of free software
  • #ilovefs report 2015
  • Jonas Öberg joins FSFE as Executive Director
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM - May 6th, 2015
  • GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Sixteen new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain Update
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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LibrePlanet 2015: Highlights and what comes next

From March 23rd

LibrePlanet 2015: Free Software Everywhere has come to a close. The FSF staff are back at the office, unpacking, sifting through photos and videos, and gathering our thoughts on another awesome gathering of free software enthusiasts. With approximately 350 people in attendance, we kept pace with last year—with a few improvements.

Other posts about LibrePlanet 2015:

Kat Walsh joins FSF board of directors

From March 21st

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the addition of Kat Walsh to its board of directors. She becomes the ninth director on the FSF's board.

Obama and Congress go off the rails trying to fast track TPP

From March 19th

Fast tracking the TPP negotiations is back on the table. We have to fight back. While we are in the midst of the current battle to end the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions here in the US, we can't lose sight of the broader global fight being waged via the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Strategic Partnership Agreement. If you aren't familiar with TPP, it is a multinational trade agreement being developed through a series of secret negotiations that are pushing a host of restrictions. From making the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions global, to spreading the threat of software patents around the world, to extending copyright indefinitely, these secret negotiations present a plethora of threats to user freedom.

New articles by RMS, "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs" and "How to Make Hardware Designs Free"

From March 11th and 16th

"To what extent do the ideas of free software extend to hardware? Is it a moral obligation to make our hardware designs free, just as it is to make our software free? Does maintaining our freedom require rejecting hardware made from nonfree designs?" Richard Stallman's article "Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs", published in Wired magazine, addresses these questions.

"We must design free hardware. But the question remains: how?" In RMS' second article of three, he shows us "How to Make Hardware Designs Free": he spells out the practical differences between software and hardware as far as user freedom is concerned, explains how to make hardware free, touches on the intricacies of licensing in this field, and elaborates on the most effective way to promote free hardware designs.

Watch your freedom (because Apple's not)

From March 13th

At Apple's "Spring Forward" press event on Monday, March 9, the electronics company expounded upon its plans to release a smartwatch and revealed updates to its MacBook computer line, among other announcements. Underneath their focus on "innovation" and "design," however, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other participating speakers neglected to address growing concerns about the proprietary software and Digital Restrictions Management technologies distributed with its products and services, which only serve to extend the company's oppression of computer users and their freedoms.

The new and improved

From March 9th

FSF's very first full-time web developer recently saw his first major project launch: the new and improved The new look of the site marks the completion of migration from a legacy system to CiviCRM, an actively maintained constituent relationship management system, which we run on top of Drupal.

FSF and FSFE support Software Freedom Conservancy and Christoph Hellwig, GPL enforcement lawsuit

From March 5th and 31st

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, Christoph Hellwig, with support from the Software Freedom Conservancy, filed suit in Hamburg, Germany against VMware Global, Inc. Hellwig is a prominent contributor to the kernel Linux, releasing his contributions under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. VMware, like everyone, is free to use, modify, and distribute such software under the GPL, so long as they make available the human-readable source code corresponding to their version of the software when they distribute it. While the Free Software Foundation is not directly involved in the suit, we support the effort.

FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff comments: "Free software is a public resource, and it is governed by legal rules and social norms. Anyone who draws on this resource without respecting those rules and norms does damage to the community at large. The great majority of such problems are successfully resolved through dialogue and goodwill. It is only when dialogue fails that legal steps become necessary in order to protect this resource which we all share."

Userops: Deployment for the people

By Chris Webber, MediaGoblin, from March 16th

Deb Nicholson and I both recently gave a talk at FOSDEM 2015 called "Can distros make the link?" The main purpose of the talk was that packaging libre network services/applications for distros is important, but distros in their present forms aren’t really enough to solve the deployability problems and pains that anyone trying to run their own libre servers knows. I had a bit of a worry that this thesis would upset part of the audience (it was in the distros room, after all) but it turns out that everyone seemed to agree and be on board.

Worldwide more than 50 events about free document formats

By FSF Europe, from March 24th

March 25 was this year's Document Freedom Day, the global campaign for document liberation by local groups throughout the world. More than 50 groups registered their events in over 25 countries ranging from Asia, Europe, Africa, to South and North America.

By April, from March 24th

April supported Document Freedom Day. Free document formats allow citizens, consumers, governments, and companies to use the software of their choice while retaining long-term control over their documents and their data. We encouraged everyone to educate as many people as possible to the importance of free document formats, citizens as well as public officials, by sharing April's information document.

Paris Joins April and strengthens its commitment to free software

By April, from March 13th

April has the pleasure to announce that the City of Paris has joined our organization and wishes to further its action in favor of free software. Following a request in December 2014 by the Greens' group in the City Council of Paris and a deliberation initiated by Mr. Emmanuel Grégoire, the Deputy Mayor in charge of modernizing city government, Paris' membership to April was approved by the Council. The City's press release mentions that "Paris is already very involved in the development, promotion, and defense of free software. The city uses many tools from the free software world: 60% of its servers run GNU/Linux. Paris also develops software which it then contributes back to the free software community, such as EPM (a public market elaboration and procurement tool), CEP (a professional exams and competition tool), and Lutèce (a website generator)."

Promoting the implementation of free software solutions in the French public school system

By April, from March 9th

April welcomes the initiative of the Delegation for Digital Education (Délégation Académique au Numérique Educatif - DANE) of the Versailles school district, which entrusted Louis-Maurice De Sousa "to lead the projects of the school administration, teaching staff, and local government bodies aimed at implementing free solutions..." April calls on every one of the school districts to take inspiration from this good practice, in order to promote and disseminate free software resources to all educational personnel and local government bodies.

Swiss Federal Council considers legal assurance for release of free software

By FSF Europe, from March 6th

Currently, there is uncertainty in Switzerland regarding the development and release of free software by public contractors. The trigger for this was the development and release of the software OpenJustitia by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The federal council now wants to examine whether the publication of free software by the federal administration can be explicitly allowed. The Free Software Foundation Europe demands a clarification so that publicly-financed software can unambiguously be legally released as free software.

#ilovefs report 2015

By FSF Europe, from March 3rd

On Saturday, February 14, 2015, people all over the world showed free software contributors their appreciation. It was the fifth year that the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has asked people to participate in "I Love Free Software" day. This report shows a variety of love declarations that happened, including blog posts, pictures, comics, poems, and an #ilovefs Android library. The FSFE thanks everybody who motivated free software contributors this year.

Jonas Öberg joins FSFE as Executive Director

By FSF Europe, from March 2nd

FSFE has recruited long-time free software activist Jonas Öberg to be the organization's Executive Director. He joins the organization's leadership team on March 1. Jonas Öberg is one of FSFE's founding members, and was the organization's vice president from 2001 through 2008. He has considerable experience in managing free software-related projects and organizations. Before joining as the organization's Executive Director, he was a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow working on the project to create a global provenance repository for creative works, worked as Creative Commons' regional coordinator in Europe, lectured in software engineering and built up the conference FSCONS in its original form.

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

From March 31st

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, April 3 from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC). Details here:

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

LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM - May 6th, 2015

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 Day Against DRM - May 6th, 2015, which provides information about this year's Day Against DRM projects. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.

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

GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Sixteen new GNU releases!

(Starting this month, Brandon is taking over for Karl Berry. Welcome, Brandon!)

16 new GNU releases in the last month (as of March 23, 2015):

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list:

To download: nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors from You can use the url to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month, we welcome Alex Manoussakis as a new co-maintainer of GNU GNATS.

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

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see

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

GNU Toolchain update

From March 15th

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.

This month features the release of GDB 7.9 and the location of the 2015 GNU Tools Cauldron, set for August.

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 this month:

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:

  • Minoru Sekine
  • Timothy Stiles
  • Doug Purdy
  • Daniel Broennimann

You can add your name to this list by donating at

GNU copyright contributions

Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us defend the GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:

  • Sergio Durigan Junior (emacs)
  • Simen Heggestøyl (emacs)
  • Jeff Clough (emacs)
  • Vibhav Pant (emacs)
  • Jonathan Turney (gdb)
  • Fany You (gcc libstdc++)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

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 © 2015 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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