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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2023 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 188, December 2023

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 188, December 2023

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Dec 05, 2023 03:15 PM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 232,350 other activists.

Image of a computer with a university displayed on a laptop screen with students going in and out. The words Freedom and Free Software Inside are displayed prominently.

Free software, free society, free education!

From November 8

We can only learn in freedom if the software we use is free. Your donation helps us bring free software to schools, universities, and every learner around the world, thereby protecting not only each learner's freedom, but also educating everybody on the importance of free software. What better way is there to learn about free software than by using it? Free software in education is vital for a free society. Together, we can build a future in which everyone will be able to learn in freedom and will know their rights as a user.

Invest in a free future by donating to the FSF today!

Please consider supporting our work by making a donation, becoming an associate member, or gifting an associate membership to a loved one. You will help us reach our goal of collecting USD 375,000 by December 31 and thereby support us in bringing free software to every learner around the world.

Plus, if you start an annual associate membership or contribute $140 or more as a donation we'll send you an exclusive drawstring bag to show off your support for user rights.

Share the message using the hashtag #LearnLibre on social media networks.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • EmacsConf joins Free Software Foundation fiscal sponsorship program
  • Worldwide community of activists protest OverDrive and others forcing DRM upon libraries
  • FSF Giving Guide: Tech changes, freedom doesn't
  • Protecting free software against confusing additional restrictions
  • Calling for volunteers: Help FSF staff with the GNU Press shop, which is open until December 15
  • FSF Free Software Community Meetup on December 15, 2023
  • Now's your chance to submit your session and nominations
  • Software that supports your body should always respect your freedom
  • You paid $1,000 for an iPhone, but Apple still controls it
  • November GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Birds of a Feather at LibrePlanet 2024
  • November GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Fourteen new GNU releases!
  • FSF and other free software events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • Translations of the Free Software Supporter
  • Take action with the FSF!

View this issue online here: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2023/december

Encourage your friends to subscribe and help us build an audience by adding our subscriber widget to your website.

Miss an issue? You can catch up on back issues at https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter.

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

EmacsConf joins Free Software Foundation fiscal sponsorship program

From November 30

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced on November 30, 2023 that EmacsConf will join the Working Together for Free Software Fund. The one and only conference dedicated to the joy of Emacs is joining just before their event on December 2 and 3, 2023.

Worldwide community of activists protest OverDrive and others forcing DRM upon libraries

From November 28

The FSF is hosting its International Day Against DRM (IDAD) again this year, taking aim at companies that force Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) upon libraries. This year's IDAD campaign draws attention to the ways libraries, and by extension, their patrons, are mistreated by corporations like OverDrive, makers of the "Libby" app that have a near monopolistic control over digital lending in the United States. Services like OverDrive and Follet Destiny mandate "controlled digital lending" schemes, imposing artificial scarcity on a digital good. They also require monthly or annual fees in order to have the privilege of having a book or piece of media in circulation. Should the library struggle with paying its licensing fees, like the New York Public Library, then its "access" is "rescinded." IDAD will take place digitally and worldwide on December 8, 2023.

FSF Giving Guide: Tech changes, freedom doesn't

From November 22

This year's FSF Giving Guide is here: Make freedom your gift! This is the fourteenth year the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published its Ethical Tech Giving Guide as a way to help people make better informed decisions when finding gifts for friends and family. No matter how you celebrate this year, we hope that the holidays will prove a fruitful time for you to educate the people you care about on the importance of free software. No matter if or how you'll be buying gifts this year, always keep in mind that retaining your freedom is the greatest gift of all.

Protecting free software against confusing additional restrictions

From November 14

While we are pleased when people use GNU licenses to distribute and license software, we condemn the use of unauthorized, confusing derivatives of the licenses. In this article, we explain how users are protected against restrictive terms introduced by people using GNU licenses' terms in drafting their own, new licenses.

Calling for volunteers: Help FSF staff with the GNU Press shop, which is open until December 15

From November 16

The GNU Press shop is open for the holidays until December 15. If you are planning to buy something from the GNU Press Shop, now is the chance. And right now, we have a special offer. Order a stuffed baby gnu, one of our most sought-after items, and receive a special gift with your order: a FSF or unique floating GNU pin. Our favorite baby gnu is small, soft, poised, and eager to migrate onto your computer desk or bookshelf.

And if you are in the area and able to join us in the office, we are asking for assistance in packing, labeling, and sending GNU Press shop orders. We're organizing multiple volunteer days, with the hours of 14:00 to 21:00 (2:00 PM to 9:00 PM) EST each day. Food and drinks will be provided. Please let us know which times and dates would work for you from the following: Tuesday, December 12; and Friday, December 15, 2023.

Also note that the December 15 date coincides with our upcoming Free Software Community Meetup, so if you want to come in that day and do both, you can!

FSF Free Software Community Meetup on December 15, 2023

We are inviting you to the first ever FSF Free Software Community Meetup on Friday, December 15, 2023, from 18:45 to 21:00 (6:45 PM to 9:00 PM) EST.

This is the perfect opportunity to meet other free software supporters, hangout with Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff, swap stories, and discuss free software topics while grazing like a gnu on some snacks. If you support free software and are in the Boston area during this time, you're invited. Feel free to bring friends and family members along. We'll start with a Freedom Trail walk and, once we return, we'll warm up in the office with hot chocolate and snacks.

Now's your chance to submit your session and nominations

From November 15

The window for submitting your session proposals for next year's LibrePlanet and nominations for this year's Free Software Awards is now closed, but registration and sponsoring remain open. Please consider registering for LibrePlanet as a participant and supporting the event as a sponsor or exhibitor.

Software that supports your body should always respect your freedom

From November 3

It's up to us, advocates of free software, to inform the people around us of the issues with proprietary software in medical aids. Let's encourage our friends, parents, and grandparents to ask their doctor about the software in their medical devices and to choose and insist upon free software over proprietary software. You could start by sharing this article with the people who are near and dear to you.

You paid $1,000 for an iPhone, but Apple still controls it

From November 12 by Tripp Mickle, Ella Koeze, and Brian X. Chen

People who purchase an iPhone find themselves asking a question whose importance only becomes obvious once the time comes to service the phone: Who controls my device? This is due to a devious practice called parts pairing, which employs (proprietary) software to check the device, detects installed hardware, and decides whether or not it will continue working purely based on the hardware's origin (i.e. whether or not Apple is getting a cut). This practice has been reported before and is cataloged on the GNU website's DRM malware page, but the authors' research in this article has found that this malpractice has been on the rise over the years.

Tip for viewing articles on The New York Times website: Use LibreJS to avoid its nonfree JS as well as its nagging popup.

November GNU Emacs news

From November 27 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: EmacsConf 2023 updates, Emacs Advent Calendar 2023, creating flow charts in org-mode, and more!

Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory

Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org 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 Libera.Chat, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as newcomers. Libera.Chat is accessible from any IRC client -- Everyone's welcome!

The next meeting is Friday, December 8 from 12:00 to 15:00 EST (17:00 to 20:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Birds of a Feather at LibrePlanet 2024

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 Birds of a Feather at LibrePlanet 2024, which has proposals for, and provides information about, Birds of a Feather sessions at the upcoming LibrePlanet conference. You are invited to add your own proposal, as well as to share this important resource.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at campaigns@fsf.org.

November GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Fourteen new GNU releases!

Fourteen new GNU releases in the last month (as of November 29, 2023):

For a full list with descriptions, please see: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/november-gnu-spotlight-with-amin-bandali-fourteen-new-gnu-releases

For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.

To download: nearly all GNU software is available most reliably from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/. Optionally, you may find faster download speeds at a mirror located geographically closer to you by choosing from the list of mirrors published at https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html, or you may use https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ 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 https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html.

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

As always, please feel free to write to me, bandali@gnu.org, 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:

  • Alessandro Vesely
  • Christopher Rorvick
  • David Lecompte
  • J.Fossy Weinzinger
  • Massimo Spadotto
  • Michael Gran
  • Michael Stroucken
  • Michael Lewis
  • Nathan Thuma
  • Roland Pesch
  • Savoir-faire Linux inc.
  • Seth Erfurt
  • Thomas Hahn
  • Trevor Spiteri

You can add your name to this list by donating at https://donate.fsf.org/.

Translations of the Free Software Supporter

El Free Software Supporter está disponible en español. Para ver la versión en español haz click aquí: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2023/diciembre

Para cambiar las preferencias de usuario y recibir los próximos números del Supporter en español, haz click aquí: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Le Free Software Supporter est disponible en français. Pour voir la version française cliquez ici: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2023/decembre

Pour modifier vos préférences et recevoir les prochaines publications du Supporter en français, cliquez ici: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

O Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2023/dezembro-pt

Para alterar as preferências do usuário e receber as próximas edições do Supporter em português, clique aqui: https://my.fsf.org/civicrm/profile/create?reset=1&gid=34&id={contact.contact_id}&{contact.checksum}

Take action with the FSF!

Contributions from thousands of individual associate members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at https://my.fsf.org/join. 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! https://my.fsf.org/join

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, free software adoption, OpenDocument, and more.

Do you read and write Portuguese and English? The FSF is looking for translators for the Free Software Supporter. Please send an email to campaigns@fsf.org with your interest and a list of your experience and qualifications.


Copyright © 2023 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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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