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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2019 Free Software Supporter - Issue 138, October 2019

Free Software Supporter - Issue 138, October 2019

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Sep 05, 2019 01:04 PM
Welcome to the *Free Software Supporter*, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 212,854 other activists. That's 1,491 more than last month!

Help defend the right to read: Stand up against DRM on October 12th

From September 5th

The FSF's Defective by Design campaign is calling on you to stand up against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019. This year we will be focusing specifically on everyone's right to read, particularly by urging publishers to free students and educators from the unnecessary and cumbersome restrictions that make their access to necessary course materials far more difficult.

Actions we encourage you to participate in include:

1) Challenge yourself to a Day Without DRM: go a day without Netflix, Hulu, and other DRM-restricted services to show your support of the movement.

2) Join us here in Boston for an in-person demonstration at the offices of Pearson Education, whose new "digital-first" textbooks place DRM handcuffs on college students, and for a hackathon at the FSF office, where we'll be contributing to collaborative, freely licensed educational materials.

3) Stage your own in-person event to show Pearson and other offenders how you feel about DRM!

4) Join and take part in discussions on the DRM Elimination Crew mailing list, where we'll be sending all of the information about this year's campaign.


  • Register for FSF's licensing seminar on October 16 in Raleigh, NC
  • Richard M. Stallman resigns
  • Microsoft's only gone and published the exFAT spec, now supports popping it in the kernel Linux
  • GNOME Foundation facing lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging
  • GNOME Foundation launches Coding Education Challenge
  • A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online
  • GNOME 3.34 released
  • DRM broke its promise
  • Purism starts shipping its Librem 5 phone
  • Nerf unveils "DRM for darts"
  • GNU Emacs logo T-shirts are back
  • Introducing Craig Topham, FSF copyright and licensing associate
  • How Google discovered the value of surveillance
  • September GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Group: Defective by Design/Day Against DRM 2019
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

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Want to read this newsletter translated into another language? Scroll to the end to read the Supporter in French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Register for FSF's licensing seminar on October 16 in Raleigh, NC

From September 20

Early registration for the upcoming Continuing Legal Education Seminar (CLE) has closed, but you can still register through Wednesday, October 9th.

The FSF Licensing and Compliance Lab is currently finalizing the schedule for this full day seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics, and we will share it online soon. We will continue to offer a discounted price to all legal professionals, free software developers, and anyone interested in licensing and compliance topics. Students and low income professionals will get gratis registration.

Richard M. Stallman resigns

From September 16th

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on For questions, contact FSF executive director John Sullivan at

Microsoft's only gone and published the exFAT spec, now supports popping it in the kernel Linux

From August 28 by Tim Anderson

Microsoft has published the technical specification for exFAT, a file system widely used for removable storage devices. exFAT stands for Extended File Allocation Table and is widely used for things like memory cards. It is the most recent iteration of Microsoft's FAT series, a simple file system that is lightweight but lacks the resiliency and security of file systems like NTFS.

This demonstrates slow but encouraging progress towards meeting the standards we laid out in our statement on Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network.

GNOME Foundation facing lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging

From September 25 by GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation has been made aware of a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC over patent 9,936,086. Rothschild allege that Shotwell, a free software personal photo manager infringes this patent. We stand with the GNOME Foundation against this unethical attack on free software.

GNOME Foundation launches Coding Education Challenge

From August 28th by GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation has announced the Coding Education Challenge, a competition aimed to attract projects that offer educators and students new and innovative ideas to teach coding with free software. The $500,000 in funding will support the prizes, which will be awarded to the teams who advance through the three stages of the competition.

A huge database of Facebook users’ phone numbers found online

From September 5 by Zack Whittaker

TechCrunch is reporting that a Facebook database of 419 million phone numbers has been leaked. More reason to remember that friends shouldn't let Facebook spy on their friends! Encourage everyone you know to wave goodbye to Mark Zuckerberg and move to free and federated alternative social networks.

GNOME 3.34 released

From September 12th by GNOME Foundation

The latest version of GNOME 3 was released on September 12. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features.

DRM broke its promise

From September 2nd by Cory Doctorow

DRM never delivered a world of flexible consumer choice, but it was never supposed to. Instead, twenty years on, DRM is revealed to be exactly what we feared: an oligarchic gambit to end property ownership for the people, who become tenants in the fields of greedy, confiscatory tech and media companies, whose inventiveness is not devoted to marvelous new market propositions, but, rather, to new ways to coerce us into spending more for less.

Join us to fight back against DRM on October 12, the International Day Against DRM!

Purism starts shipping its Librem 5 phone

From September 9th by Cory Doctorow

Purism is a company that crowdfunds laptops and phones whose design goal is to have no proprietary software, even at the lowest levels. For years, the holy grail has been a competitive mobile phone with software that respects your privacy and hardware that respects your autonomy (user-replaceable batteries ahoy!). The Librem 5 may be that phone! We look forward to evaluating it for Respects Your Freedom certification.

Nerf unveils "DRM for darts"

From September 24 by Cory Doctorow

The new $50 Nerf Ultra One blaster is equipped with a Digital Restrictions Management system that only lets it fire Hasbro-approved darts -- if you try to save some cash by ordering third-party darts, your foam dart gun won't work. Ridiculous! Just another way that DRM takes away your control over the products that you buy.

GNU Emacs logo T-shirts are back

From September 27

The popular GNU Emacs logo shirts are back in stock! You may be mistaken for a costumed hero(ine) of some kind in this purple-on-green, which honors your dedication to everyone's favorite extensible, customizable free text editor. The shirts are manufactured by Bella Canvas, which is WRAP-certified, meaning they comply with ethical, health, and safety standards in manufacturing.

Introducing Craig Topham, FSF copyright and licensing associate

From September 11th

Hello world! My name is Craig Topham, and I’m the latest to have the honor of being a copyright and licensing associate for the FSF. I started work in November 2018, and the delay in assembling my introductory blog post is a testament to how busy I have been. Although my post feels late, it gives me a chance to share my experience here at the FSF, along with sharing a little bit more about myself.

How Google discovered the value of surveillance

From September 24 by Shoshana Zuboff

Google's business model epitomizes one of the central problems with nonfree software: you may not be paying them money, but you can't stop them from using your personal information as the product. In this excerpt from The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, we see how Google figured out how to monetize your clicks by watching your every move. Read more about why Google's software is malware at

September GNU Emacs news

From September 23 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: An elegant way of managing dotfiles; Wakib, an easy to use Emacs starter kit; automatically compile Emacs Lisp libraries; and more!

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, October 4, from 12:00 to 15:00 EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Group: Defective by Design/Day Against DRM 2019

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 Group: Defective by Design/Day Against DRM 2019, which provides information about this year's International Day Against DRM activities, happening on October 12. 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

We're also planning for a LibrePlanet update and redesign in the coming month, so stay tuned!

GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 14 new GNU releases!

14 new GNU releases in the last month (as of September 26, 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.

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.

FSF and other 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:

  • Adam Kraft
  • Adam Van Ymeren
  • Dwengo Helvetica
  • Frederic Barthelemy
  • Geoffrey Knauth
  • Jason Self
  • Justin Corwin
  • Mark Wielaard
  • Michael Ossmann
  • Nicolas Guilbert
  • Peter Rock
  • René Genz
  • SkySafe
  • VM Brasseur

You can add your name to this list by donating at

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aqui:

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici:

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui:

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em português, clique aqui:{contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

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, 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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