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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2019 Free Software Supporter - Issue 133, May 2019

Free Software Supporter - Issue 133, May 2019

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Apr 02, 2019 12:39 PM
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 205,453 other activists. That's 1,271 more than last month!

GNU GPLv3 at the center of the black hole image

From April 13 by Swapnil Bhartiya

The black hole image that made big news at the beginning of this month was created using software to virtually network and operate physical telescopes and combine them into "a telescope as big as Earth." Two out of the three imaging software libraries used have source code released under GNU GPL v3. This is a major victory for free software!


  • LibrePlanet 2019 wrap-up: Building the free software utopia
  • The US House just passed a bill to bring back net neutrality
  • Software Heritage and GNU Guix join forces to enable long term reproducibility
  • EFF’s tweet about an overzealous DMCA takedown is now subject to an overzealous takedown
  • GNU Radio Conference: September 16-20
  • GUADEC 2019 call for papers
  • GNU Tools Cauldron 2019
  • Designing posters with Krita, Scribus, and Inkscape
  • Microsoft announces it will shut down ebook program and confiscate its customers' libraries
  • VMware announces plans to remove non-complying code, Hellwig decides not to appeal
  • Pearson and Google partner to steal the minds of children
  • GNUnet 0.11.1 released
  • The Free Software Directory needs you! IRC meetups every Friday
  • Volunteers needed! Help update "Introduction to the command line" manual
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: GPG guide
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!
  • GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Take action with the FSF!

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LibrePlanet 2019 wrap-up: Building the free software utopia

From April 8

Every year, the LibrePlanet conference brings together many members of the free software movement to celebrate our achievements, strategize how to deal with our setbacks, show off new ideas, and decide what new frontiers we will trailblaze together next. The 2019 conference included many introductions to, and updates from, new and familiar projects, discussions on copyleft and security, and explorations of free software in the business world, but one compelling theme was woven through both days of the conference: how do we maintain and increase the health of our all-important community?

The US House just passed a bill to bring back net neutrality

From April 10 by April Glaser

The fight to bring net neutrality back from the dead got a major, if perhaps symbolic, boost this month. US House lawmakers passed the Save the Internet Act, a Democrat-backed bill that would prohibit companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down, blocking, or charging Web sites to reach users at faster speeds, with a vote of 232 to 190. The act would restore the Obama-era net neutrality rules that Trump’s Federal Communications Commission repealed in 2017.

Software Heritage and GNU Guix join forces to enable long term reproducibility

From April 18 by Software Heritage

Software Heritage enables long term access to software source code, enabling users to retrieve it even if it disappers from the platform where they are used to find it, or, worse, when the platform itself goes away. On April 18, Software Heritage announced the first results of a collaboration with GNU Guix, which is a stepping stone for long term reproducibility of research software.

EFF’s tweet about an overzealous DMCA takedown is now subject to an overzealous takedown

From April 14 by Katharine Trendacosta

A TV production company made Twitter delete a tweet pointing at an article about a leak of unreleased TV shows. Then the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) tweeted about those events, and the arrogant production company made Twitter take that down too.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) permits victims to contest the claim, but even if they do so, the censored work must remain deleted for 10 days. Thus, the system rewards false claims by crowning them with efficacy.

GNU Radio Conference: September 16-20

From April 17

Registration is now open for GNU Radio Conference 2019! GRCon will be held September 16-20 in Huntsville, AL, and the call for papers is open through July 1. GNU Radio is fiscally sponsored by the FSF.

GUADEC 2019 call for papers

From April 12 by GNOME Project

GUADEC, the GNOME User and Developer European Conference, is GNOME’s main annual conference. This year it is being held in Thessaloniki, Greece from August 23-28.

This is a great opportunity to share your ideas with the GNOME project, as well as the wider free software community. You don’t have to be an existing member of the GNOME project to submit a talk: if you have something interesting to say about software or technology, they want to hear from you! If you’re brand new to speaking, this is also a great opportunity to get started on your public speaking career -- they welcome newcomers and provide a friendly audience.

GNU Tools Cauldron 2019

From April 15 by GCC

We are pleased to announce another gathering of GNU tools developers. The purpose of this workshop 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, developer tutorials and any other related discussions. This year, the GNU Tools Cauldron crosses the Atlantic Ocean and lands in Montréal, Canada. Every developer working in the GNU Toolchain is invited: GCC, GDB, binutils, runtimes, etc.

Designing posters with Krita, Scribus, and Inkscape

From April 12 by Raghavendra Kamath

A few months ago, I was asked to design some posters for a local FSF event. Richard M. Stallman was visiting our country, and my friend Abhas Abhinav wanted to put up some posters and banners to promote his visit. I designed two posters for RMS's talk in Bangalore.

I create my artwork with free software tools. Although many artists successfully use free software to create artwork, I repeatedly encounter comments in discussion forums claiming that free software is not made for creative work. This article is my effort to detail the process I typically use to create my artwork and to spread awareness that one can do professional work with the help of free software tools.

Microsoft announces it will shut down ebook program and confiscate its customers' libraries

From April 2 by Cory Doctorow

Microsoft is shutting down their ebook store, which features books locked down with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and taking away every book that every one of its customers acquired effective July 1. DRM ebooks are never safe! Learn more about our fight against DRM at Defective by Design.

VMware announces plans to remove non-complying code, Hellwig decides not to appeal

From April 2 by Software Freedom Conservancy

At the beginning of April, Christoph Hellwig announced the conclusion of his case against VMware in Germany. The Hamburg Higher Regional Court affirmed the lower court's decision, which dismissed the case on purely procedural grounds; they did not address the main question of the case. (The February 28th decision can be found here.) Hellwig has decided with his legal counsel, Till Jaeger, and after conferring with Conservancy, to not appeal the case further in German courts.

VMware, in their news item about the decision by the Court, announced that they will finally remove vmklinux from vSphere. Both Hellwig and Conservancy had asked VMware to remove the GNU/Linux code from VMware's proprietary kernel many times. While the preferred form of GPL compliance is release of the entire work under the terms of the GPL, a common alternative is to merely remove the GPL'd code from the product. VMware chose the latter method to comply.

Pearson and Google partner to steal the minds of children

From March 25 by Alan Singer

The price of access to thousands of "interactive learning resources and assignments" to give kids a chance to take practice tests that will equip them to do better on high-stakes standardized tests: exposure to malicious spyware.

GNUnet 0.11.1 released

From April 3 by GNUnet

We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.11.1.

This is a bugfix release for 0.11.0, mostly fixing minor bugs, improving documentation and fixing various build issues. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny (about 200 peers) and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.11.1 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

The Free Software Directory needs you! IRC meetups every Friday

From April 23

The Free Software Directory is an essential catalog of free software online. The Directory is maintained by countless volunteers dedicated to the promotion of software that respects your personal liberty. As with any group composed of volunteers, the informal Directory team has people who come and go, and right now, it could really use some fresh new members to kick our efforts into high gear.

Volunteers needed! Help update "Introduction to the command line" manual

From April 18

This popular and highly praised manual to the command line was written in a sprint in 2009 by the FSF. We're currently seeking volunteers to help update it. If you are interested in contributing or would like to know more, please get in touch with Andy Oram at Andy has generously volunteered his time to edit the book and coordinate the project.

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. Freenode is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, May 3 from 12pm to 3pm EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: GPG guide

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 GPG guide, which provides information about the Email Self-Defense Guide. 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 Mike Gerwitz: 15 new GNU releases!

15 new GNU releases in the last month (as of April 25, 2019):

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 Tom Tromey as comaintainer of src-highlite and Abhilash Raj as comaintainer of Mailman.

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 update: 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 this month:

Other FSF and free software 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:

  • Bo Morgan
  • Charlie Ebert
  • Donald and Jill Knuth
  • Donnie Pennington
  • Edward Flick
  • François Badier
  • John Giese
  • Michael Dinolfo
  • Ricardo Pinninghoff

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:

  • Dario Gjorgjevski (Emacs)
  • Konstantin Kharlamov (Emacs, glibc)
  • Kumar Mallikarjuna (Wget)
  • Yuhei Kikuchi (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 © 2019 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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