FSFE Newsletter - May 2018

FSFE Newsletter May 2018LLW2018: The FSFE brings together top legal experts to debate about legal and licensing issues around Free Software

Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal experts to debate over issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This year we decided to bring the event back to its roots and to emphasise the "Workshop" part in its original title. Our 3-day conference attracted around 120 legal experts and came with an unprecedented amount of parallel tracks and interactive sessions designed to dive into the most contentious topics in the legal world of Free Software.

Some of the topics covered during the conference included an update on how to build a successful legal defense strategy against a copyright troll, recommendations on how to tackle challenges of compliance in container images, as well as an overview of what decades of Free Software licensing can teach us in data sharing. A more detailed report of this important event is to come during the next weeks.

Polina Malaja, the FSFE's legal coordinator, moderating during LLW 2018

The FSFE community as a case study

Since more than 15 years, the FSFE is an enduring non-profit organisation with a distributed network of people, who contribute their time and effort into our common mission to empower users to control technology. That is why Giacomo Poderi chose the FSFE community as one of his cases for his research in the “Infrastructuring SuStainable Playbour“ (ISSP) project. This project investigates the sustainability of collaborative spaces, as commons, and it focuses on participants’ continuous contribution to the maintenance and development of such ‘places’.

If you are contributing or contributed in the past to the FSFE's mission and you feel fine with being interviewed, please get in touch with Giacomo Poderi. No automated data gathering is involved in this research and no sensitive data are expected to be collected. Furthermore, anonymity of participants will be preserved in any dissemination activity related to this research.

Join our community of freedom fighters.

What else have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE While you better not start using Facebook in the first place, currently many people decide to move away from Facebook. Sebastian Schauenburg writes about his own experience of "Disconnecting from Facebook". Evaggelos Balaskas blogs about USBGuard and other measurements to protect your system from the harmful attach of an unknown USB device. Daniel Pocock runs a crowdfunding campaign to help run a ham radio station at OSCAL 2018 and blogs about initial problems with GoFundMe beforehand. Erik Albers was on a panel about "The Sustainable Side of Technology", organized by GreenBuzz in Betahaus in Berlin, Germany. Matthias Kirschner gave a talk at the Internet policy forum of the social-democratic party in Germany in Berlin, Germany. The FSFE has been present with a booth at the OpenTechSummit and at Netzfest in Berlin (Germany) and Corso Leopold in Munich (Germany) Get Active

We have been running a call for participation for the FSFE track during the Libre Software Meeting 2018 and the FSFE's community meeting from July 7 to 9 in Strasbourg, France. Thanks to numerous submissions we still need to set the last details of the agenda, but you can already get a first glance of our track as well as the most important information about accommodation and organisation on our wiki-page.

If you like to join the Libre Software Meeting and our community meeting be quick to organise your trip and book a suitable hotel. We expect many people to attend the event, while Strasbourg attracts a lot of visitors during the summer weekends in general.

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to us. As always, the address is newsletter@fsfe.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks to our community, all the volunteers, supporters and donors who make our work possible. And thanks to our translators, who enable you to read this newsletter in your mother tongue.

Your editor, Erik Albers

Join our community of freedom fighters.

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Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: May 25th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC

Help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. Every Friday we meet on IRC in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org.

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 providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

When a user comes to the Directory, they know that everything in it is free software, has only free dependencies, and runs on a free OS. With over 16,000 entries, it is a massive repository of information about free software.

While the Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world for many years now, it has the potential to be a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help! And since it's a MediaWiki instance, it's easy for anyone to edit and contribute to the Directory.

40 years ago, American management consultant Marilyn Loden first coined the term "glass ceiling" to describe invisible career barriers for women at a panel discussion. Despite the passing of two generations, Loden notes that the matter is still very alive, which readily displays how insidious a problem we have. To honor Loden's contribution, this week's theme for the Directory meetup is business software.

If you are eager to help, and you can't wait or are simply unable to make it onto IRC on Friday, our participation guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on helping the Directory today! There are also weekly Directory Meeting pages that everyone is welcome to contribute to before, during, and after each meeting. To see the meeting start time in your time zone, run this in GNU bash: date --date='TZ="America/New_York" 12:00 this Fri'

Congratulations to Tesla on Their First Public Step Toward GPL Compliance

Conservancy rarely talks publicly about specifics in its ongoing GNU General Public License (GPL) enforcement and compliance activity, in accordance with our Principles of Community Oriented GPL Enforcement. We usually keep our compliance matters confidential — not for our own sake — but for the sake of violators who request discretion to fix their mistakes without fear of public reprisal. As occurred a few years ago with Samsung, we're thrilled when a GPL violator decides to talk about their violation and works to correct it publicly. This gives us the opportunity to shine light on the real-world work of GPL and copyleft compliance. We're thus glad that, this week, Tesla has acted publicly regarding its current GPL violations and has announced that they've taken their first steps toward compliance.

Richard Stallman - "We must legislate to block collection of personal data" (HOPE, New York, NY)

Richard Stallman will be speaking at The Circle of HOPE (2018-07-22–24).

We must legislate to block collection of personal data" With surveillance so pervasive, weak measures can only nibble around the edges. To restore privacy, we need strong measures. Companies are so adept at manufacturing users' consent that the requirement hardly hampers their surveillance, so now what we need nowadays is to put strict limits on what data systems can collect.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical and the public is encouraged to attend.

Location: 18th floor, Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street (15 Penn Plaza), New York, NY 10001

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around New York City.

Richard Stallman estará en La Plata, Argentina

Esa charla de Richard Stallman no será técnica y será abierta al público; todos están invitados a asistir.

El título será determinado.

Lugar: Facultad de informática de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata (calle 50 y 120), La Plata, Argentina

Favor de rellenar este formulario, para que podamos contactarle acerca de eventos futuros en la región de Buenos Aires.

Zerocat Chipflasher "board-edition-1" now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

chipflasher in action

This is the first device under The Zerocat Label to receive RYF certification. The Chipflasher enables users to flash devices such as laptops, allowing them to replace proprietary software with free software like Libreboot. While users are able to purchase RYF-certified laptops that already come with Libreboot pre-loaded, for the first time ever they are capable of freeing their own laptops using an RYF-certified device. The Zerocat Chipflasher board-edition-1 is now available for purchase as a limited edition at http://www.zerocat.org/shop-en.html. These first ten limited edition boards are signed by Kai Mertens, chief developer of The Zerocat Label, and will help to fund additional production and future development of RYF-certified devices.

"The certification of the Zerocat Chipflasher is a big step forward for the Respects Your Freedom program. Replacing proprietary boot firmware is one of the first tasks for creating a laptop that meets RYF's criteria, and now anyone can do so for their own devices with a flasher that is itself RYF-certified," said the FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

An RYF-certified flashing device could also help to grow the number of laptops available via the RYF program.

"When someone sets out to start their own business selling RYF-certified devices, they now have a piece of hardware they can trust to help them with that process. We hope to see even more laptops made available under the program, and having those laptops flashed with a freedom-respecting device will help to set those retailers on the right path from the start," said the FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

"Free software tools carry the inherent message 'Let’s help our neighbors!', as this is basically the spirit of the licenses that these tools are shipped with. From a global perspective, we are all 'neighbors,' no matter which country. And from this point of view, I would be happy if the flasher will be regarded as a contribution towards worldwide cooperation and friendship," said Mertens.

To learn more about the Respects Your Freedom device certification program, including details on the certification of all these devices, please visit https://fsf.org/ryf.

Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at and , are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About The Zerocat Label

The Zerocat Label has been set up in order to direct the focus on free design hardware development.

The development of free designs for hardware has many benefits. One of the most important is probably its capacity to conserve the Earth’s resources, and those of people. When we share knowledge, we work towards global solutions instead of individual profits.

Our current approach is to check which free design computer chips are available today, and to start creating something useful with them, even if bigger goals remain out of reach at this time. Creating tools in a modular manner allows us to combine them and to achieve complex solutions in the future.

Our next tasks are to find an answer to questions like “What free-design tools do we need?” and “What are we able to accomplish right now?” We hope to be able to build other free-design tools of wide interest by answering those questions. It is an experimental endeavor.

Media Contacts

Donald Robertson, III Licensing and Compliance Manager Free Software Foundation +1 (617) 542 5942 licensing@fsf.org

Kai Mertens Chief Developer The Zerocat Label zerocat@posteo.de

Image Copyright 2018 Kai Mertens, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: May 18th starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC

Help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones. Every Friday we meet on IRC in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org.

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 providing detailed info about version control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing info that has been carefully checked by FSF staff and trained volunteers.

When a user comes to the Directory, they know that everything in it is free software, has only free dependencies, and runs on a free OS. With over 16,000 entries, it is a massive repository of information about free software.

While the Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world for many years now, it has the potential to be a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help! And since it's a MediaWiki instance, it's easy for anyone to edit and contribute to the Directory.

During this week in 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in the cartoon Plane Crazy. However, his first appearance before the public was officially in the short Steamboat Willie, since it was released first. 70 years later, Mickey became infamous in a new way: as the derisive namesake of the US Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998, which extended, and thereby harmonized the US and EU length of copyright.

To honor this dubious milestone, the theme of the Directory meeting is graphics and drawing software. One immediate item that needs a refresh is GIMP. The other big drawing projects could be helped by adding screenshots and updating the entries. Of course, if you know of any projects that aren't listed, we hope you will take the time to add them to the Directory.

If you are eager to help, and you can't wait or are simply unable to make it onto IRC on Friday, our participation guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on helping the Directory today! There are also weekly Directory Meeting pages that everyone is welcome to contribute to before, during, and after each meeting. To see the meeting start time in your time zone, run this in GNU bash: date --date='TZ="America/New_York" 12:00 this Fri'

Contract opportunity: JavaScript Developer for GNU LibreJS

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a contract JavaScript Developer to work on GNU LibreJS, a free browser add-on that addresses the problem of nonfree JavaScript described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap. This is a temporary, paid contract opportunity, with specific deliverables, hours, term, and payment to be determined with the selected candidate. We anticipate the contract being approximately 80 hours of full-time work, with the possibility of extension depending on results and project status.

Reporting to our technical team, the contractor will work to implement important missing features in the LibreJS extension. We are looking for someone with experience in backend JavaScript development, WebExtensions, and NodeJS/Browserify. Experience with software licensing is a plus. This is an urgent priority; we are seeking someone who is able to start now. Contractors can be based anywhere, but must be able to attend telephone meetings during Eastern Daylight Time business hours.

Examples of deliverables include, but are not limited to:

  • Web Labels support, plus Web Labels in JSON format
  • SPDX support
  • Unit and functional testing
  • User interface improvements
  • New and updated documentation

LibreJS is a critical component of the FSF's campaign for user freedom on the Web, and freeing JavaScript specifically. Building on past contributions, this is an opportunity to help unlock a world where users can better protect their freedom as they browse, and collaborate with each other to make and share modified JavaScript to use.

Reference documentation

Proposal instructions

Proposals must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "LibreJS Developer." A complete application should include:

  • Letter of interest
  • CV / portfolio with links to any previous work online, especially browser extensions
  • At least two recent client references

All materials must be in a free format. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the contract is filled. To guarantee consideration, submit your proposal by Friday, May 18, 2018.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

Richard Stallman - "El software libre en la ética y en la práctica" (Barcelona, España)

Richard Stallman hablará sobre las metas y la filosofía del movimiento del Software Libre, y el estado y la historia del sistema operativo GNU, el cual junto con el núcleo Linux, es actualmente utilizado por decenas de millones de personas en todo el mundo.

Esa charla de Richard Stallman no será técnica y será abierta al público; todos están invitados a asistir.

Lugar:Auditori UPC Edifici Vertex Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Carrer de Dulcet 3, 08034 Barcelona, España

Favor de rellenar este formulario, para que podamos contactarle acerca de eventos futuros en la región de Barcelona.

Richard Stallman to speak in Barcelona, Spain

Richard Stallman will be speaking at the Maker Faire (2018-06-16–17). His speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Speech topic to be determined.

Location: CaixaForum Barcelona,​ Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

Important: While (gratis) registration for this event is required, please note that you have the option of registering anonymously and without running nonfree software, at the venue.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Barcelona.