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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2017 Free Software Supporter - Issue 107, March 2017

Free Software Supporter - Issue 107, March 2017

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Feb 27, 2017 01:56 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update—being read by you and 138,677 other activists. That's 4,090 more than last month!

Here's a sneak peek at LibrePlanet 2017: Register today!

From February 16th

On March 25 & 26, 2017, free software hackers, lawyers, activists, students, educators, librarians, and community organizers will gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to explore the roots of software freedom. Will YOU be there? Pre-order your LibrePlanet T-shirt today!

Don't delay: Register today to ensure that you will attend LibrePlanet 2017: The Roots of Freedom. Remember, FSF members and students attend gratis.

Already in the Boston area already? Become a LibrePlanet Volunteer!

We have a number of training sessions scheduled. If you are in the area on any of the following dates and plan to attend LibrePlanet then sign-up today! Remember volunteers get a free LibrePlanet T-shirt and free entrance to the conference!


  • Response to Tim Berners-Lee's defeatist post about DRM in Web standards
  • We are hiring! FSF Job Opportunity: Campaigns Manager
  • RMS on the road
  • What's a cryptovalentine?
  • ACLU Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Director Kade Crockford at LibrePlanet 2017
  • Sumana Harihareswara's keynote will close LibrePlanet 2017
  • Licensing resource series: the FSF Compliance Lab Team
  • Take action to stop the censorship machine
  • A battle rages for the future of the Web
  • Replicant 6.0 development updates
  • Neil McGovern named new GNOME Foundation executive director
  • Please support an FSF endorsed distro Musix GNU+Linux 4.0
  • Software Freedom Conservancy's Karen Sandler talked to students about software freedom
  • European free software policy meeting 2017
  • February Free Software Directory meeting recaps
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Birds of a Feather sessions at LibrePlanet
  • GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Sixteen new GNU releases!
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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Response to Tim Berners-Lee's defeatist post about DRM in Web standards

From February 28th

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, star of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, and one of the best-known tech celebrities outside of Silicon Valley, believes he is powerless.

Well, at least when it comes to keeping Web users free and safe.

We are hiring! FSF Job Opportunity: Campaigns Manager

From February 28th

We are seeking a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be our full-time Campaigns Manager. Reporting to the executive director, the Campaigns Manager works on our campaigns team to plan, carry out, evaluate, and improve FSF's advocacy and education campaigns. The team also works closely with other FSF departments, including licensing, operations, and tech. The position will start by taking responsibility for existing campaigns in support of the GNU Project, free software adoption, free media formats, and freedom on the network; and against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), software patents, and proprietary software.

RMS on the road

Photos from Germany

From February 28th

RMS was in Germany this month, to give his speech “Free Software, Your Freedom, Your Privacy,” in three different cities, all on the invitation of the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI), the German Informatics Society, a network of professionals whose shared goal is to “motivate for informatics, develop the scientific discipline and promote the impact informatics has on the economy, business and society.”

Photos from Michigan

From February 14th

RMS was in the U.S. state of Michigan this month, to give stand-alone speech on three different campuses. RMS visited Kalamazoo College, Wayne State University with University of Windsor remotely and finally Calvin College. Check out the photos and learn how to have RMS come to your town or community!

What's a cryptovalentine?

From February 13th

Roses are red, violets, are blue; I use free software to encrypt my online communication and you can too.

ACLU Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Director Kade Crockford at LibrePlanet 2017

From February 6th

We announced that Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts will be a keynote speaker at LibrePlanet on Saturday, March 25th, 2017. Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just society in general but their primary targets—people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.

Sumana Harihareswara's keynote will close LibrePlanet 2017

From January 25th

Sumana Harihareswara will be a keynote speaker at LibrePlanet, the annual free software conference, on Sunday, March 26th, 2017. Harihareswara is a veteran speaker, having delivered keynotes at Open Source Bridge, code4lib, and Wiki Conference USA. She has spoken at numerous conferences on a variety of topics, including PyCon and LibrePlanet, where, in 2016, she talked about the inessential weirdness in free software. Her stand-up comedy has been seen at AlterConf and science fiction conventions across America.

Licensing resource series: the FSF Compliance Lab Team

From February 2nd

The license volunteers are an amazing group of people, but they are often working behind the scenes. With all the hard work they do, they really deserve some time in the spotlight. That is why this installment of our licensing resource series is focusing on the Compliance Lab Team. Here you can find out a little bit more about the volunteers, their backgrounds, and areas of interest.

Take action to stop the censorship machine

From February 1st by OpenMedia

Dangerous new censorship proposals are on their way. Lobbyists for the music and publishing industries are pulling out all the stops to impose censorship machinery on the American people via extreme new copyright rules. They want to force websites to build expensive robot programs to spy for copyrighted material. This means they will block ones work before you post it—before you’ve done anything wrong—and violate your free expression online. U.S. copyright lobbyists even wrote to Trump attacking civil society efforts for fairer copyright and calling our desire to protect free expression "dangerous," so new rules could pass quickly unless we show the U.S. Copyright Office just how many Americans oppose this censorship plan. Sign on to endorse the letter below and we’ll tell the Copyright Office where you stand!

A battle rages for the future of the Web

From February 13th by J.M. Porup

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, looks set to standardize DRM-enabling Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) in browsers, a move that betrays the founding principles of the open Web. When Berners-Lee invented the Web, he gave it away. His employer at the time, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), licensed the patents royalty-free for anyone to use. An open architecture that supported the free flow of information for all made it what it is today. But that openness is under assault, and Berners-Lee's support for standardizing EME, a browser application programming interface (API) that enables DRM (digital restrictions management) for media playback, has provoked a raging battle within the W3C, the organization that sets the standards for how browsers work. Should the World Wide Web (WWW) be locked down with DRM? Tim Berners-Lee needs to decide, and soon.

Replicant 6.0 development updates

From February 1st by Wolfgang Wiedmeyer

Replicant 6.0 is moving forward and quite some work has been done over the last months. With support for external WiFi dongles with the AR9271 chipset, graphics rendering and security/privacy enhancements. Check out all the other updates

Neil McGovern named new GNOME Foundation executive director

From February 1st by GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Neil McGovern as its new Executive Director. McGovern officially started to work for the GNOME Foundation on February 15, 2017. McGovern is an experienced leader in free software projects and is best known for his role as Debian Project Leader from 2014-15. He has been on the boards of numerous organizations, including Software in the Public Interest, Inc. and the Open Rights Group.

Please support an FSF endorsed distro Musix GNU+Linux 4.0

From February 10th by Musix GNU+Linux

"When I founded Musix GNU + Linux in 2004, the Argentine country was coming out of a terrible economic crisis and I was quite unoccupied, mainly because I had no family yet, nor car, didn't own a house, no expensive bills to pay month to month and so. My main job in Musix was to master the distro (I spent days and nights there, focusing only on that), receiving bug reports and solving them, asking in the mailing lists for suggestions, managing the wiki (I’ve written endless documentation together to other collaborators), to advertise in distrowatch, to carry out talks in all the country and other activities."

The maintainer needs just $900 USD to do the basic job of updating and maintaining the distro. They are planning to build Musix GNU+Linux 4.0 in just 1 month of hard work.

Software Freedom Conservancy's Karen Sandler talked to students about software freedom

From February 9th by Software Freedom Conservancy

Karen Sandler took the stage at Campus Party Brasil to talk about software freedom in her talk “Cyborgs Unite!” Campus Party Brasil 2017 was held in São Paulo, Brazil. This year 8,000 people attended the conference. Targeted at students. Check out the video of her talk!

European free software policy meeting 2017

From February 14th by FSF Europe

Building on the experience from last year's successful pre-FOSDEM meeting, the Free Software Foundation Europe and OpenForum Europe recently continued the tradition of bringing together active free software groups a day before the FOSDEM event, in order to discuss public policy related actions at both the European Union (EU) and the national levels. This year, the meeting focused on encouraging exchanges of views between individual citizens and decision-makers, by providing practical first-hand information on topics relating to free software in public policy.

February Free Software Directory meeting recaps

Check out the great work our volunteers accomplished at the February 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.

February 3rd meeting

February 10th meeting

February 17th 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 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, March 3rd from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Birds of a Feather sessions at LibrePlanet

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 Birds of a Feather sessions, which are a time for people to get together around a specific topic or identity, either to focus on conversations, come up with new ideas, or just spend time socializing. If you have ideas share them on the wiki!

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

GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Sixteen new GNU releases!

(as of February 25, 2017):

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 Christopher Dimech as the maintainer of the new GNU package Behistun and Mathieu Lirzin as the new maintainer of Mcron and Automake.

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 event this month:

Other FSF and free software events

John Sullivan has the following event:

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, and 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:

  • Jörn Callies
  • Shawn C [ a.k.a "citypw"]
  • Jason Compton
  • Katrin Scharnowski
  • Ed Price

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:

  • Yuri D'Elia (Emacs)
  • Jordon Biondo (Emacs)
  • Rаdon Rosborough (Emacs)
  • Didier Nadeau (GDB)
  • Matthew Malcomson (GDB)
  • Tom Szilagyi (Wget)
  • Joe Jevnik (GCC)
  • Andrew Robbins (Emacs)
  • Iurii Gribov (GCC) (glibc) (Binutils)
  • Steven Allen (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 © 2017 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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