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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2017 Free Software Supporter - Issue 109, May 2017

Free Software Supporter - Issue 109, May 2017

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on May 01, 2017 03:06 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 146,847 other activists. That's 3,820 more than last month!

#DialUp the Web's inventor for online security and rights—keep the calls coming!

From March 30th

Since the beginning of the Web—the age of dial-up Internet connections—the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has kept the Web's technical standards tuned in a careful balance that enables innovation and respects users' rights. Unless we can stop it, the W3C will welcome a new wave of user-hostile Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) onto the Web, making it harder than ever for us to be secure and free online. Join free software supporters around the world in calling W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee now and urging him not to endanger users by enshrining oppressive technology in the basic standards of the Web.

Leaders needed for the International Day Against DRM

From April 4th

This year's International Day Against DRM will be held on Sunday, July 9, 2017. We'll be gathering, protesting, and making—showing the world that we insist on a future without DRM (Digital Restrictions Management). You can help lead this day by planning an action, writing a blog post or video, and donating.


  • Post-LibrePlanet 2017 community experiences
  • Tim Berners-Lee receives Obedience Award for deference to pro-DRM corporations
  • You're probably confused about your media usage rights, and media companies are ok with that
  • Activists RickRoll FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Never Gonna Give Up on Net Neutrality
  • Congress kills FCC Internet privacy rule: Help states resist
  • Open Bar: The Ministry of Defense persists in its bad-faith strategy
  • Cyborg Lawyer 2.0, "Hack Proof"
  • Get your GNU on at the GNU Hackers' Meeting in Hessen, Germany
  • April Free Software Directory meeting recaps
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Quotes
  • GNU Spotlight with Brandon Invergo: Seventeen new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain: GNU Tools Cauldron 2017
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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Post-LibrePlanet 2017 community experiences

Bringing prototypes back from LibrePlanet for further coreboot porting work

From March 28th by Jeff Fortin

We were very happy to support the Free Software Foundation by sponsoring LibrePlanet! On Saturday morning, we started setting up our booth slowly, thinking there would not be much activity going on at the beginning of the day. We were proven wrong: There was a crowd around our booth at pretty much all times (except lunchtime) throughout the day Saturday, during which it was revealed that Todd is possibly a cyborg, as he stood there answering questions for eight hours straight, without needing to eat, drink, or sit.

Defending copyleft

From April 12th by Jake Edge

For some years now, Bradley Kuhn has been the face of GPL enforcement. At LibrePlanet 2017, he gave a talk about that enforcement and, more generally, whether copyleft is succeeding. Enforcing the GPL is somewhat fraught with perils of various sorts, and there are those who are trying to thwart that work.

LibrePlanet 2017: Liberating your open source experience

From April 17th by Rabimba Karanjai

LibrePlanet is a yearly gathering of free software activists, users, and contributors—and, it's my favorite conference of the year. Here's why.


From April 18th by Eric Schultz

LibrePlanet is a unique conference in that it mixes socially conscious technology users and creators with leaders in the free and open source software space. I was recently asked to speak at LibrePlanet about my experiences working with the FCC on WiFi radio regulations.

Tim Berners-Lee receives Obedience Award for deference to pro-DRM corporations

From April 13th

Defective by Design granted Tim Berners-Lee the first ever Obedience Award, recognizing his work to help wealthy corporations add DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) to official Web standards. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award, the Obedience Award highlights activity upholding the status quo despite an overwhelming ethical case against it. Read the press release and learn more about how to fight against DRM.

You're probably confused about your media usage rights, and media companies are ok with that

From April 27th

When people buy an ebook, do they expect to be able to read it for the rest of their lives? How about the ability to make a backup copy of a movie before their hard drive breaks? For most digital media purchases, these reasonable activities are prevented by DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), but it appears the vast majority of customers don't know it.

Activists RickRoll FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Never Gonna Give Up on Net Neutrality

From April 20th by Free Press

On April 20th, several activists “RickRolled” the Federal Communications Commission’s open meeting to protest Chairman Ajit Pai’s plans to undermine Net Neutrality. Singing and dancing along to a recording of the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up," the activists disrupted the agency’s monthly meeting and were escorted from FCC headquarters. FSF Campaigns Manager Zak Rogoff was there to fight for computer user freedom.

Congress kills FCC Internet privacy rule: Help states resist

From April 13th

The United States Congress and President Trump have killed a new Internet privacy rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) late last year, but state legislators have stepped in to try to fill the gap. If you live in the United States, you can support these state-level efforts by calling, writing, or emailing your legislators. You can also find free resources online to protect your privacy, like the FSF's Email Self-Defense Guide.

Open Bar: The Ministry of Defense persists in its bad-faith strategy

From April 11th by April

In its response to Written Question 24267, by Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, the Ministry of Defense mentioned the existence of a “risk-opportunity assessment” that was the rational basis for the Open Bar agreement with Microsoft. The reality is that, from the Ministry's point of view, government fiat amounts to sound analysis, confirming beyond a doubt that, far from being a reasonable and well thought-out choice, the Open Bar is a purely political decision, an opaque power play in disregard of public interest.

Cyborg Lawyer 2.0, "Hack Proof"

From April 6th by Karen Sandler

It's been quite a number of years since I got my first defibrillator/pacemaker and, a little bit earlier than expected, the battery is now starting to run out. Of course, I've known this was coming for a while, but for various reasons I wasn't that worried about it. I mean, after all, I still don't have access to the source code in my current defibrillator.

Get your GNU on at the GNU Hackers' Meeting in Hessen, Germany

From April 24th

Do you hack on GNU packages—or are you just interested in GNU? Now is the time to register for the GNU Hackers' Meeting in Hessen, Germany, August 24-27, 2017. The GNU Hackers' Meeting is a friendly, semi-formal forum to discuss technical, social, and organizational issues concerning free software and GNU. This is a great opportunity to meet GNU maintainers and active contributors. This year, accommodation and all meals are included in the cost of registration.

April Free Software Directory meeting recaps

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

April 7th meeting

April 14th meeting

April 21st 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, May 5th from 12pm to 3pm EST (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Quotes

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 Quotes page, where you can share your favorite free software quotes. 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!

(as of April 26, 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 Hans Haberg as the maintainer of the new GNU package MLI (Metalogic Inference), David Pirotte as the maintainer of the new GNU package Guile CV, Adam Bilbrough as the new maintainer of GNU OrgaDoc, and David Sefert as a new co-maintainer of GNU a2ps.

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.

GNU Toolchain: GNU Tools Cauldron 2017

GNU Tools Cauldron 2017 will be held on September 8-10, 2017 at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The purpose is to gather all GNU tools developers, discuss current/future work, coordinate efforts, exchange reports on ongoing efforts, discuss development plans for the next 12 months, and any other related discussions. Submission deadline is June 30, 2017.

Support GNU Toolchain

Donate to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational freely licensed software development tools including the GNU C Compiler collection (GCC), the GNU C Library (glibc), and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

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 coming up:

Other FSF events

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:

  • Shawn C [ a.k.a "citypw"]
  • Nicolae Carabut
  • Edward Flick
  • Cătălin Frâncu
  • Donald and Jill Knuth
  • Seungwon Park
  • Donnie Pennington
  • francisco rodriguez
  • Micah Tomblin
  • James Wilson

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:

  • Bartosz Duszel (Emacs, Guile)
  • Tak Kunihiro (Emacs)
  • Elias Mårtenson (Emacs)
  • Charles Roelli (Emacs)
  • Avinash Sonawane (Wget)
  • Peter Vasil (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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