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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2016 Free Software Supporter - Issue 104, December 2016

Free Software Supporter - Issue 104, December 2016

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Nov 29, 2016 11:29 AM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 125,497 other activists. That's 3,556 more than last month!

Give back to the FSF: Strengthen our roots and make the free software movement stronger

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has sown the seeds of user freedom across the world for more than three decades. Our roots are in the free software community. Our roots are you.

The scope of our work has increased dramatically, as computers and software permeate even more areas of life. We must grow to meet these challenges. We launched our yearly fundraiser with the goal of welcoming 500 new members and raising $450,000 before December 31st. Will you help deepen our roots by becoming a new member for just $10/month ($5/month for students), increasing your current membership giving, or making a donation by December 31st?

At the time of writing we have raised $69,810 toward our goal of $450,000.

Read more about how your donation will support free software.


  • RMS receives the GNU Health Social Medicine Award at GNU Health Con
  • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Micah Lee of GPG Sync
  • RMS photos from Lisbon
  • Join us as a member to give back for the free software you use
  • Licensing resource series: License violations and compliance
  • Tear the wrapping paper off the 2016 Ethical Tech Giving Guide
  • Tim Berners-Lee created sold out the Web?
  • FSF now offering paperless option for all copyright assignments
  • LibreHealth announced by key community members of OpenMRS & OpenEMR
  • Russian bill makes free software a public priority
  • Report: Online harassment – A form of censorship
  • Recent Free Software Directory meeting recaps
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Media Coverage
  • GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Seventeen new GNU releases!
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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RMS receives the GNU Health Social Medicine Award at GNU Health Con

From November 30th

RMS was in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, last month to take part in the first edition of the International GNU Health Conference, three days of sessions, workshops, and networking with the main players in the GNU Health community. At the end of the event, RMS was awarded the conference's GNU Health Social Medicine Award for an individual, in recognition of his work. Take a look at RMS receiving the award.

The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Micah Lee of GPG Sync

From November 30th

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Micah Lee of GPG Sync. GPG Sync is a recently launched project for managing the sharing of GPG keys, particularly within an organization. Micah Lee made the project internally at First Look Media and has now shared it with the world.

RMS photos from Lisbon

From November 30th

RMS was in Lisbon, Portugal, last month to give a stand-alone speech, "Should We Have More Surveillance Than the USSR?", hosted by the Núcleo de Alunos de Ciência Política (the political science students' group), at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE), on November 10th.

Join us as a member to give back for the free software you use

From November 29th

By hosting most of the GNU Project, we enable development on free software components that are key for the whole computing industry, including Emacs, Bash, and the utilities at the base of all the GNU/Linux distributions powering supercomputers and the Internet's servers.

Here at the FSF, we run our own infrastructure using only free software, which makes us stand out from nearly every other nonprofit organization. Virtually all others rely on outside providers and use a significant amount of nonfree software. With your support, we set an example proving that a nonprofit can follow best practices while running only free software. We need you to give back and support this root infrastructure, enabling future free software development and distribution to thrive.

Licensing resource series: License violations and compliance

From November 29th

A big part of our work in the compliance lab revolves around license compliance. We handle compliance for many GNU Project packages, such as GCC and GNU Emacs. When someone fails to meet the conditions of the GNU General Public License, we help them to understand what is needed to be a good citizen in the free software community. But the nature of that work generally means that it all happens behind the scenes. We're not in the business of shaming those who need help with compliance, so when a compliance case arises there may never be any public statement about the situation. That can leave people wondering about the inner workings of the compliance lab -- take a look at what we do.

Tear the wrapping paper off the 2016 Ethical Tech Giving Guide

From November 23rd

Electronics are popular gifts for the holidays, but people often overlook the restrictions that manufacturers slip under the wrapping paper. From surveillance to harsh rules about copying and sharing, some gifts take more than they give. Give freedom-respecting gifts this year.

Tim Berners-Lee created sold out the Web?

From November 9th

Twenty-five years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Back then timbl -- as he's known online -- declined opportunities to lock down his creation and established himself as an advocate for a freedom-affirming, interoperable, and universally accessible World Wide Web. Now he's considering turning his back on this vision to make Netflix, Google, Apple, and Microsoft happy.

FSF now offering paperless option for all copyright assignments

From November 4th

For about 30 years, each copyright assignment required sending paper documents via international post, not always an easy or inexpensive process. All contributors can now take advantage of a simpler assignment process!

LibreHealth announced by key community members of OpenMRS & OpenEMR

From November 8th by Software Freedom Conservancy

Several senior contributors and leaders from OpenMRS and OpenEMR, the two leading free software Health IT platforms, have announced the formation of LibreHealth, a new initiative to expand on many years of work by those communities’ volunteers through increased focused on needs of its users in critical areas. After many years of growth under the sponsorship of organizations OpenMRS and OpenEMR, key members of the two communities have joined forces to launch a successor free software community to fulfill their vision of improved health outcomes around the world.

Russian bill makes free software a public priority

From November 10th by FSF Europe

Legislators have drafted a bill that will boost free software on multiple levels within the Russian Federation's public sector. The draft, approved by the Russian Federation's Duma (lower chamber) in mid-October, requires the public sector to prioritize free software over proprietary alternatives, gives precedence to local IT businesses that offer free software for public procurement, and recognizes the need to encourage collaboration with the global network of free software organizations and communities.

Report: Online harassment – A form of censorship

From November 24th by Software Freedom Law Centre of India

Read the SFLC's report, which "compiles findings from a year of research into the issue, and attempts to provide an insight into the relevant national and socio-political factors influencing exploitative uses of the Internet." Make use of the report's "user-level safeguards against online harassment," protect yourself, and fight mass surveillance.

Recent Free Software Directory meeting recaps

Check out the great work our volunteers accomplished in recent Free Software Directory meetings. Every week, free software activists from around the world come together in #fsf on to help improve the Free Software Directory.

October 28th meeting

November 4th meeting

November 11th meeting

November 18th meeting

November 25th meeting

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 for 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, December 2nd from 1pm to 4pm EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Media Coverage

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 media coverage ideas for free software projects. With the recent electoral news in the US there are opportunities to build knowledge and support for free software 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: Seventeen new GNU releases!

In the last month (as of November 24, 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 Mathieu Lirzin as the new maintainer of GNU Freetalk.

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:

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:

  • Trevor Spiteri
  • Aaron Grothe
  • Matteo Frigo
  • Adam Lewis
  • Elyse Grasso
  • Øyvind Gard Knudtzen
  • René Genz
  • Paul Wang
  • Rob Vens
  • Antonio Carzaniga
  • Vivek Ramachandran
  • Aleph Objects, Inc.
  • Norman Richards

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:

  • Gemini Lasswell (Emacs)
  • Aaron Qian Zhou (grep)
  • Jose Luis Domenech Martinez (Emacs)
  • David Amar (Emacs)
  • Gergely Polonkai (Emacs)
  • Hong Xu (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 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 campaigns section ( and take action on software patents, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), free software adoption, OpenDocument, Recording Industry Association of America (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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