freedom, it’s because nobody explained them properly" (Bernhard
Bernhard Reiter is one of FSFE's founders and architect of the original
German team. He participated in setting up three important Free Software
organisations: FreeGIS.org, FFII, and FossGIS. Besides that, he is
founder and Executive Director of Intevation GmbH, a company with
exclusively Free Software products and services since 1999.
Interesting stories about setting up FSFE, challenges for Free Software,
and more are covered in this month's Fellowship interview.
== Become a Critical Thinker: Get Rid of "Intellectual Property" ==
A lot of people talk about "intellectual property". When using this
term, they usually mix different things like copyright, patents,
trademarks, also right to a name, utility patents, business models, or
even geographical indications. If you want to think critically and
clearly about challenges in the digital age, you should separate those
If you really need a term to cover all that, you should use one which is
not that much biased. There are some suggestions in the articles
mentioned below, like the term "Limited Intellectual Monopolies".
But in 90% cases there is actually only one monopoly concerned.
Discussions will be much more productive if everybody knows what you are
talking about. So, if someone says "we need more protection of
"intellectual property", ask them what that means, perhaps it means they
want to have software patents. If someone says "we need to limit the
scope of "intellectual property", you should ask if they want to
restrain copyright, patents or even abolish trademarks.
You can read more about this in Richard Stallman's article"Did You Say
'Intellectual Property'? It's a Seductive Mirage", Georg
Greve's"Fighting intellectual poverty (Who owns and controls the
information societies?)", and your editor's interview with Dradio
== Support FSFE in critical thinking ==
For FSFE it is important that all of you support us. This way our work
does not depend on single donors, and we can continue to think and
communicate critical to promote software freedom.
It is now possible to donate us monthly and yearlyby*credit card*and
in Germany also by*direct debit*. Beside that, in the Netherlands
donations to FSFE can now be deducted from income tax (before it was
only possible in Germany and Switzerland). If we get more than 20 new
donors, your editor promises that he will not write the word "critical"
in the next newsletter.
== Something completely different ==
– Richard Stallman wrote an article"Resist the Temptations of the
Cloud!"( German version) in the German Magazine "Spiegel".
– PDFreaders.org. It is boring to follow up bugs, but it does not
take a lot of time and has a good effect. In Italy volunteers again
managed to close 13 bugs last month. Your editor gave two talks in
Brazil about the PDFreaders campaignto motivate people to fix bugs
in Latin America, and our UK coordinator Sam Tuke is organising a
PDFreaders bug hunt in Manchester. If you live around, join other Free
Software advocates on Saturday, August 13, between 15.00–17.30 at
MadLab hackerspaceto find and remove UK Government adverts for
non-Free PDF Readers. Cake and Pizza provided!
– New German Free Software Business Association: Lisog (124 members) and
LIVE Linux-Verband (103 members) now merged into the Open Source
Business Alliance (OSBA)(German).
– FSFE will take part at the Desktop Summit, a joint conference
organised by the GNOME and KDE communities in Berlin, Germany, 6 – 12
August 2011 at the Humboldt University. Our president Karsten Gerloff
will give a talk on"Free desktops for Europe's public sector"and
Bernhard Reiter will talk about"Daily Melee: paid people within Free
Software initiatives – How they tick, how to keep them and the art of
behaving if you are one". (All events are available on our event
pageand in the Fellowship calendar.
– From the planet aggregation:
– CERN launched its Open Hardware License 1.1 and Open Hardware
Repository. IBM promised to give its Lotus Symphony source code to the
Apache Foundation, and W3C wants to invalidate Apple's Widget software
patents. Read the legal news from 27.6.-3.7. 4.7.-10.7., and
– Brian Gough has announced the GNU Hackers meetingwhich will take
place on 25. August – 28. August in Paris. There are about 45 GNU
maintainers and contributors registered so far and speakers include
Jim Meyering, Stefano Zacchiroli, and Jim Blandy.
– Why are students developing Free Software for the public sector? Read
in Guido Arnold's webloghow students get involved in Free
== Get active: Read and distribute "crime story" ==
"When patents attack"is a good story from investigative journalists
on software patents, which reads like a crime story. Your editor
recommends you to read it so you have good arguments in future. If you
like it, distribute the article among your colleagues and friends.
Matthias Kirschner- FSFE