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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2021 Free Software Supporter - Issue 154, February 2021

Free Software Supporter - Issue 154, February 2021

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Jan 08, 2021 01:14 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 223,082 other activists. That's 200 more than last month!


  • Watch "Fight to Repair," demand the right to repair
  • Celebrating the FSF’s 35th anniversary: Stories from the Licensing and Compliance Lab
  • A journey begins: Kofi Oghenerukevwe, FSF tech team Intern
  • applying to be a 2021 High Priority Free Software Project
  • Twitter and interoperability: Some thoughts from the peanut gallery
  • Trying GNU Jami on laptop and phone
  • An in-depth look at the social good of accessible free software: An interview with the MicroBlocks team
  • Farmers fight for the right to repair their own equipment
  • Happy twentieth birthday to Drupal!
  • FSFE is hiring a part-time technical expert
  • January GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: FSF/Fight-to-Repair
  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 22 new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • GNU copyright contributions
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

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Watch "Fight to Repair," demand the right to repair

From January 11th

"Fight to Repair" is an animated video from the FSF about two free software engineers rushing to fix a life-threatening problem in a vehicle's autopilot code. Coming up with a fix for the bug is only the first step in their journey, which has them facing off against the malicious proprietary software corporation DeceptiCor, and culminates in a high-speed motorcycle chase.

This video is the newest addition to the series of animated videos created by the FSF on the subject of free software. Safety regulations on the operation of vehicles and other potentially dangerous devices may be necessary, but we know this can be accomplished without denying users the right to repair. "Fight to Repair" dramatizes something we see happening more and more frequently -- companies giving themselves and their software unjust control over users, often also leaving those users in unsafe situations in order to maximize profit.

Celebrating the FSF’s 35th anniversary: Stories from the Licensing and Compliance Lab

From January 15th

Since 2001, the FSF Licensing and Compliance Lab has provided the legal muscle to defend free software, and has supported software users, programmers, legal professionals, and activists who want their software to remain free. Alongside similar articles about our tech team and campaigns team, this account of the history of the licensing team is incomplete, but we hope it illustrates how important their work is to the free software movement.

A journey begins: Kofi Oghenerukevwe, FSF tech team Intern

From January 12th

It has been a while since I had to write anything about myself. And I do not like starting articles with my name in the first sentence. It’s my not-so-subtle way of rebelling against many English essays I had to write in primary school that began with “My Name Is.” So here we are. My name is Kofi Oghenerukevwe, but everyone I know calls me Rukky. I am a software developer living and working in Delta State, Nigeria, and I am excited about spending the next twelve weeks as an intern with the FSF tech team. applying to be a 2021 High Priority Free Software Project

From January 7th by Wm Salt Hale

In response to our call for community input on our High Priority Projects list, the team at submitted this suggestion to add a category focusing on "sustainability and growth," and to include in it. is a free software project that focuses on fundraising via what they call "crowdmatching."

Twitter and interoperability: Some thoughts from the peanut gallery

From January 25th by Cory Doctorow

Late in 2019, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey floated "Project Blue Sky," a plan for an interoperable, federated, standardized Twitter that would let users (or toolsmiths who work on behalf of users) gain more control over their participation in the Twitter system. This was an exciting moment for us, a significant lurch towards an interoperable, decentralized social media world. It’s been more than a year, and Twitter has marked its progress with an “ecosystem review” that sets out its view of the landscape of distributed systems.

In an unrelated step in the wrong direction, Twitter just broke the ability to use it via the Web without nonfree JavaScript; the FSF will be posting a blog on this issue shortly.

Trying GNU Jami on laptop and phone

From December 29th by Ade Malsasa Akbar

GNU Jami is a complete cross platform communication app. In this blog, Ade Malasa Akbar describes how it works on his computer, which runs the latest version of Trisquel, the fully free computer operating system that we use here at the FSF.

An in-depth look at the social good of accessible free software: An interview with the MicroBlocks team

From January 7th by Vladimir Bejdo

MicroBlocks is a free visual programming language that can be used to make programs that can run autonomously on many popular microcontrollers, allowing users of all technical abilities to program microcontrollers for a vast variety of purposes and "real world" applications. The MicroBlocks team also works to bring the language to youth underrepresented in computer science education as an introduction to computing in hopes of diversifying the field and getting more people engaged in using and producing free software, and works to increase awareness of the inequalities and problems of agency both in education and in embedded software that software freedom can help combat.

John Maloney, Bernat Romagosa, and Kathy Giori, members of the project's Leadership Committee, took part in a remote interview with Vladimir Bejdo, a Conservancy intern, to discuss the project's origins, its future, and their views on the impact that MicroBlocks and free software as a whole can have in creating a more just, equitable future for all of us.

Farmers fight for the right to repair their own equipment

From January 8th by Sean Taylor

The Right to Repair (R2R) movement is helping farmers protect their right to fix their own farm equipment without facing legal repercussions.

The R2R movement lobbies for repair-friendly legislation, standards, and regulations through organizations like the Repair Association. The Association advocates for guaranteeing property rights, obtaining equal access to information, non-discriminatory pricing of parts and tools, and unlocking software.

You can learn more about why the FSF supports the Right to Repair at our new Right to Repair campaign page, and contribute at the LibrePlanet wiki.

Happy twentieth birthday to Drupal!

From January 15th by Heather Rocker

Congratulations to Drupal for reaching such a significance milestone! We use this Web site revision system, which is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later, frequently here at the FSF, and most recently used it to build the page where you can register for the LibrePlanet 2021 conference!

FSFE is hiring a part-time technical expert

From January 19th by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

FSFE is looking for a person with a strong technical background to support projects with software engineering and expertise. The person will work part-time, either in their Berlin office or remotely. Check out the link below to find out how to apply!

January GNU Emacs news

From January 26th by Sacha Chua

In these issues: five reasons to learn Emacs in 2021; awesome hassle-free LaTeX beauty for linguists; grouped bindings in which-key; teach Emacs to keep your folders clean; 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, February 5th, from 12pm to 3pm EST (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: FSF/Fight-to-Repair

Every month on the LibrePlanet wiki, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting FSF/Fight-to-Repair, which is a new shared resource for information about the Right to Repair movement, how it relates to the free software movement, and ways that we can collaborate. 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: 22 new GNU releases!

23 new GNU releases in the last month (as of January 28, 2021):

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

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:

  • Alessandro Vesely
  • Andrew Tosh
  • AskApache, in honor of RMS and Bill Joy
  • Daniel Chess
  • Daniel Gillmor
  • Demo Agoris
  • Dwight Cass
  • Geoffrey Knauth
  • Guus Sliepen
  • Harry Mangalam
  • Julia Kreger
  • Konstantin Münning
  • Marco Graziano
  • Martin Jässing
  • Michael HENDERSON
  • Orlando Wingbrant
  • Peter Kunze
  • Terence O'Gorman
  • Uday Kale
  • William Bolella

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 GNU GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have assigned their copyright to the FSF (and allowed public appreciation) in the past month:

  • Alexander Miller (Emacs)
  • Augusto Ritter Stoffel (Emacs)
  • Cassio Moreira (GCC, glibc)
  • Dimitar Dimitrov (DejaGnu)
  • Elo Laszlo (Emacs)
  • Fabrice Bauzac-Stehly (Emacs)
  • Gabriel do Nascimento Ribeiro (Emacs)
  • Hao WANG (Emacs)
  • Harris Snyder (GCC)
  • Huang Rui (GNU Radio)
  • James Norman Vladimir Cash (Emacs)
  • Lancelot SIX (GDB)
  • Laurence Warne (Emacs)
  • Leon Vack (Emacs)
  • Lorenz Schneider (GCC, glibc)
  • Malgi Reddy Rajashekar Reddy (Emacs)
  • Nicholas Harrison (Emacs)
  • Omar Polo Del Vecchio (Emacs)
  • Wenshan Ren (Emacs)
  • Xing GUO (glibc, GCC, binutils, GDB)

Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your copyright to the FSF.

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

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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 © 2021 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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