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You are here: Home Free Software Supporter 2024 Free Software Supporter -- Issue 193, May 2024

Free Software Supporter -- Issue 193, May 2024

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on May 03, 2024 10:38 AM

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 231,441 other activists.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • FSF to be deposed in SFC v Vizio, updates relevant FAQ entry
  • What role community plays in free software -- interview with David Wilson
  • Meet the locals: Come to LibrePlanet and connect with free software supporters in New England
  • There are plenty of ways to socialize at LibrePlanet 2024
  • FCC votes to restore net neutrality: A win for consumers and democracy
  • Why the US government's overreliance on Microsoft is a big problem
  • What we know about the xz-utils backdoor that almost infected the world
  • April GNU Emacs news
  • Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: LibrePlanet 2024
  • April GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven 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/2024/may

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.

FSF to be deposed in SFC v Vizio, updates relevant FAQ entry

From April 29

For nearly 25 years, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) "Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses" have been an important educational resource about the GNU General Public Licenses (GPL).

Unfortunately, Vizio, Inc., an American publicly traded company that designs and sells televisions, sound bars, viewer data, and advertising, has attempted to exploit the FSF's FAQs to the detriment of software freedom in the case Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), Inc. vs. Vizio, Inc. (case no. 30-2021-01226723-CU-BC-CJC). In this case, SFC is requesting that Vizio provide source code to programs on some Vizio devices that are covered by the GNU General Public License v2 (GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1 (LGPL). In response, Vizio has argued that SFC cannot enforce a request for source code if it does not hold copyright to the underlying software. In support of that argument, Vizio has made reference to an FAQ that is captioned "Who has the power to enforce the GPL."

  • https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-to-be-deposed-in-sfc-v-vizio-updates-relevant-faq-entry
  • https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html.en

What role community plays in free software -- interview with David Wilson

From April 24

Can't wait for the start of LibrePlanet 2024: Cultivating Community? Same here. To sweeten the wait, we have interviewed David Wilson, one of the keynote speakers and the creator of the System Crafters channel and community.

  • https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/what-role-community-plays-in-free-software-and-more-interview-with-david-wilson

Meet the locals: Come to LibrePlanet and connect with free software supporters in New England

From April 10

New England free software supporters: we invite you to come socialize with other local free software supporters at LibrePlanet 2024.

LibrePlanet 2024! is an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded locals. In the Birds of a Feathers (BoF) section of the LibrePlanet wiki, you can let other free software enthusiasts from the area know that you want to meet with them. We will happily provide you with a classroom at our beautiful venue, the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), or you can simply meet up somewhere close by.

There are plenty of ways to socialize at LibrePlanet 2024

From April 2

In this blog, we're sharing with you all the ways you can socialize and participate in LibrePlanet 2024: Cultivating Community outside of the official program.

Check out the growing number of social activities you can participate in on the weekend of LibrePlanet 2024!

  • https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/there-are-plenty-of-ways-to-socialize-at-libreplanet-2024-cultivating-community
  • https://libreplanet.org/2024/other-activities/

FCC votes to restore net neutrality: A win for consumers and democracy

From April 25 by Tony Bradley

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to restore net neutrality, marking a crucial victory for consumer privacy, democratic engagement and the fundamental principles of a fair Internet.

This decision reverses the prior Administration's deregulation efforts, which left broadband access unregulated and placed consumers at the mercy of Internet service providers.

  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2024/04/25/fcc-votes-to-restore-net-neutrality-a-win-for-consumers-and-democracy/

Why the US government's overreliance on Microsoft is a big problem

From April 16 by Eric Geller

When Microsoft revealed in January that foreign government hackers had once again breached its systems, the news prompted another round of recriminations about the security posture of the world’s largest tech company.

Despite the angst among policymakers, security experts, and competitors, Microsoft faced no consequences for its latest embarrassing failure. The United States government kept buying and using Microsoft products, and senior officials refused to publicly rebuke the tech giant. It was another reminder of how insulated Microsoft has become from virtually any government accountability, even as the Biden administration vows to make powerful tech firms take more responsibility for America’s cyber defense.

  • https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/04/why-the-us-governments-overreliance-on-microsoft-is-a-big-problem/

What we know about the xz-utils backdoor that almost infected the world

From April 1 by Dan Goodin

On Friday, a lone developer rocked the world when he revealed a backdoor had been intentionally planted in xz Utils, a free data compression utility available on almost all installations of GNU/Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. The person or people behind this project likely spent years on it. They were likely very close to seeing the backdoor update merged into Debian and Red Hat, the two biggest distributions of GNU/Linux, when an eagle-eyed software developer spotted something fishy.

  • https://arstechnica.com/security/2024/04/what-we-know-about-the-xz-utils-backdoor-that-almost-infected-the-world/

April GNU Emacs news

From April 29 by Sacha Chua

In these issues: Keymacs, comparing startup times between Emacs and other editors, writing better Emacs Lisp documentation, configuring the Emacs tab bar, 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, May 3 from 12:00 to 15:00 EDT (16:00 to 19:00 UTC). Details here:

LibrePlanet featured resource: Lightning talks at the 2024 LibrePlanet conference

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 the general group of LibrePlanet 2024 pages. Be sure to check out the wiki's conference landing page and subpages. We'll see you at this year's LibrePlanet on May 4 and 5!

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

April GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Eleven new GNU releases!

Eleven new GNU releases in the last month (as of April 28, 2024):

For a full list with descriptions, please see: https://https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/april-gnu-spotlight-with-amin-bandali-eleven-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

  • May 4-5, 2024, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, LibrePlanet 2024
  • June 7-9, 2024, Sheraton Charlotte Airport, Charlotte, NC, SELF
  • July 12-14, 2024, St. John's University, Queens, New York City, HOPE XV

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:

  • Dwight Cass
  • Edward Flick
  • Hideki Igarashi
  • Ken Senoo

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/2024/mayo

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/2024/mai

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}

Free Software Supporter está disponível em português. Para ver a versão em português, clique aqui: https://www.fsf.org/free-software-supporter/2024/mayo-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 © 2024 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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