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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2016 Free Software Supporter - Issue 100, August 2016

Free Software Supporter - Issue 100, August 2016

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jul 28, 2016 03:23 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 113,427 other activists. That's 2,548 more than last month!

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             (  (    .o       '.  Supporter! .'
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Fifty of free software's greatest hits in honor of the 100th Free Software Supporter!

In honor of the occasion, FSF staff and community members highlighted some favorite articles from over the years to share. Take a look, and see which ones you've read, or better yet, which you haven't.


  • Microsoft Edge and Netflix – testing new restrictions by locking out competing browsers?
  • Beware of contradictory "support"
  • Protect your privacy: Resist mass cracking by US law enforcement
  • GNOME Board of Directors announced
  • Compulsory routers: what customers have to take care of now
  • French "Digital Republic" bill: Legislation to require publicly financed software to be accessible and encourage the use of free software
  • The importance of following community-oriented principles in GPL enforcement work
  • Kerala state IT policy – A stakeholder consultation
  • Studying the relationship between remixing & learning
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Repository Ethics
  • GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Twenty-one new GNU releases!
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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

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Microsoft Edge and Netflix — testing new restrictions by locking out competing browsers?

From July 15th

Microsoft made the news last week when it announced that its Edge Web browser could deliver a better Netflix streaming experience than the other three most popular browsers. But this explanation doesn't seem to hold water. It seems that Netflix used its DRM to give Microsoft exclusive cryptographic permission to do so, and locked out other browsers. Microsoft and Netflix appear to be deliberately limiting interoperability through DRM and they are both supporting Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to ease their control. Stand with the dissenters in the W3C by signing our petition against EME or adding a protest selfie to the growing gallery. You can make an even stronger statement by respectfully requesting a meeting with one of the body's regional contacts and expressing your concerns in person.

Beware of contradictory “support”

From July 11th by Richard Stallman

There are organizations that proclaim support for free software or the GNU Project, and teach classes in use of nonfree software. It's possible that they do some other things that really support free software, but those classes certainly don't. On the contrary, they work directly against the free software movement by promoting the use of the nonfree software. That increases the magnitude of the practical problem it is our mission to correct.

Protect your privacy: Resist mass cracking by US law enforcement

From July 5th

"Hacking" is often misused to identify those who break computer security – we call them crackers.

In April 2016, the US Supreme Court approved amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (FRCrmP) that will threaten the privacy of Internet users worldwide. The changes will go into effect December 1, 2016, unless a bipartisan bill, unfortunately called the Stopping Mass Hacking Act, is approved. You can help stop this unprecedented and dangerous expansion of government cracking authority!

GNOME Board of Directors announced

From July 13th by GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation welcomes its new Board of Directors for the upcoming 2016 – 2017 term:

  • Alexandre Franke
  • Allan Day
  • Cosimo Cecchi
  • Jim Hall
  • Meg Ford
  • Nuritzi Sanchez
  • Shaun McCance


Compulsory routers: what customers have to take care of now

From July 25th by FSF Europe

Up until now, Internet service providers (ISPs) in Germany determined the router users had to use to connect to the Internet. The user had no say in this decision. This changes on August 1. A new law will allow users choose the device that gets installed in their homes. The FSFE wants to ensure everybody knows about their new rights and is asking users to report cases in which ISPs try to avoid the new regulation.

French "Digital Republic" bill: Legislation to require publicly financed software to be accessible and encourage the use of free software

From July 11th by April

The Joint Committee (a body of seven members, one from each parliamentary chamber) for the French “Digital Republic” bill held a meeting and the Committee confirms that source code of publicly financed software is to be made accessible by default. The Committee also continues to maintain an "encouragement" to free software in public administrations.

The importance of following community-oriented principles in GPL enforcement work

From July 19th by Bradley M. Kuhn and Karen M. Sandler

The GNU General Public License (GPL) was designed to grant clear permissions for sharing software and to defend that freedom for users. GPL'd code now appears in so many devices that it is fundamental to modern technology. While we believe that following the GPL's requirements is neither burdensome nor unreasonable, many fail to do so. GPL enforcement — the process to encourage those who fail to correct problems and join our free software development community — is difficult diplomacy. Our community learned together over the last 20 years how to do this work well. Last year, Conservancy and the FSF published the concise but comprehensive Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement.

Kerala state IT policy – A stakeholder consultation

From July 15th by Software Freedom Law Center India, Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom and InfoPark Ernakulam public library branch are jointly organizing a discussion session to gather inputs from various stakeholders for the upcoming IT policy of the Kerala state government. The participants include government representatives, free software activists, industry representatives, civil society organizations, trade union representatives and others.

Studying the relationship between remixing & learning

From July 4th by Benjamin Mako Hill

With more than ten million users, the Scratch online community is the largest online community where kids learn to program. Remixing plays such a central role in Scratch because its designers believed that remixing can play an important role in learning. Today, close to 30% of projects on Scratch are remixes. In a new paper we used a series of quantitative measures of online behavior to try to uncover evidence that might support the theory that remixing in Scratch is positively associated with learning.

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, August 5th from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Repository Ethics

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 Repository Ethics page, which provides information about evaluations of code-hosting sites. Please add more services to the list.

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

GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Twenty-one new GNU releases!

21 new GNU releases in the last month (as of July 25, 2016):

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 Davin Pearson as the maintainer of the new package Java-Training-Wheels; David Pirotte as the maintainer of the new package G-Golf; Alex Burmashev and Daniel Kiper as new co-maintainers of GRUB; Mike Miller as a new co-maintainer of Octave; and Eli Zaretskii as a new co-maintainer of Emacs.

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 at with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

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:

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:

  • Stefan Gustavson
  • Terence O'Gorman
  • René Genz
  • Zachary Tatum
  • Martin Krafft
  • Alexandre BLANC
  • Gregg Woodcock
  • Judicaël Courant
  • Douglas Hauge

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:

  • James Nguyen (Emacs)
  • Andrea Orru (Emacs)

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 © 2016 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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