Free Software Supporter
Issue 54, September 2012
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation’s monthly news digest and action update — being read by you and 61,769 other activists. That’s 1,189 more than last month!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Stop software patents from muscling in on Europe
- Save the Web from software patents
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- Hi, I’m Zak (one of the new campaigns managers)
- Web host Dreamhost pledges to quadruple donations to the FSF
- Apple v. Samsung: a patent battle with freedom as the collateral damage
- GPL violations are still pretty common, you know?
- Hampshire College distributes free software bundle to all incoming students
- Trademarks and free software
- LibrePlanet featured resource: Free Software Courses
- GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 12 new GNU releases!
- Richard Stallman’s speaking schedule
- Other FSF and free software events
- Thank GNUs!
- Take action with the FSF
Stop software patents from muscling in on Europe
From September 19th:
If the corrupt European Patent Office succeeds in imitating America’s software patent system, it will be a disaster for software development. Join April, the FSF’s French ally, in calling for strong legislation against software patents in Europe.
The patent legislation threatening Europe is part of a treaty called the unitary patent. If you’d like to learn more about it, we direct you towards the End Software Patents campaign’s recent post on the issue.
Save the Web from software patents
From September 30th:
PersonalWeb’s software patent suit against Github and others threatens the freedom of the Web. In order to make sure that the Web can remain a free and accessible space for everyone, we need to rid ourselves of all the patents that threaten its viability. We need to end software patents.
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
From September 21st:
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.
While the Free Software Directory has been and continues to be a great resource to the world over the past decade, it has the potential of being a resource of even greater value. But it needs your help staying up to date with new and exciting free software projects.
To help, join volunteer leader Andrew Engelbrecht on most Fridays from 2pm to 5pm EDT (18:00 to 21:00 UTC). Meetings take place in the #fsf channel on irc.gnu.org, and usually include a handful of regulars as well as new volunteers. Everyone’s welcome.
Hi, I’m Zak (one of the new campaigns managers)
From September 24th:
I started three weeks ago and I’m mostly in the swing of things, though I’m still learning a lot every day. My latest milestone has been putting together this newsletter. Here’s an introductory blog post about me:
We’ve also updated our staff page to reflect new hires and update existing bios.
Web host Dreamhost pledges to quadruple its members’ donations to the FSF
The FSF is Dreamhost’s « featured charity » this month. If you have a Dreamhost account and you love the FSF, this is the time to help out.
Apple v. Samsung: A patent battle with freedom as the collateral damage
From September 21st:
In their struggle to control software markets, large companies are hoarding software patents and finding more and more draconian ways to enforce them. Many patent-holding companies have multi-million dollar legal teams that can blow a well-meaning project out of the water if they have the slightest reason to believe it is infringing, even by accident. This situation presents a growing threat to innovative free software projects that draw code and inspiration from many sources. It’s our responsibility to protect the free software community by demanding an end to the oppressive practice of software patents.
GPL violations are still pretty common, you know?
From September 17th:
Drawing from years of experience with GPL compliance cases, Bradley Kuhn reminds us that it’s freedom, not drama, that we should focus on.
Hampshire College distributes free software bundle to all incoming students
From September 30th:
Hampshire student and FSF campaigns organizer Kira shares the success of their ambitious project to help fellow students get started with free software. The achievements of Kira’s organization, LibrePlanet/Students for Free Culture, is exciting and reproducible outside of Hampshire. Kira provides suggestions to help other students realize the same changes at their schools.
Trademarks and free software
From September 2nd:
Benjamin Mako Hill argues that trademarks, even those created with the best intentions, can still harm a project and limit its benefit to society. Though there is a natural urge to prevent others from misrepresenting our work, we need to limit these efforts to what is productive.
LibrePlanet featured resource: Free Software Courses
Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful — often one that could use your help.
This month, we’re featuring the Free Software Courses page. This course catalog, which includes offerings from multiple institutions, is a starting point for people who want to bring their knowledge of free software systems to an academic or professional level. If you’ve taken classes that focus on free software, you can guide others to join you by listing the courses on the page. We hope this page enables more software engineers to use free software to its full potential.
Do you have a suggestion for next month’s featured resource? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 12 new GNU releases!
New GNU releases as of September 26, 2012:
- alive-2.0.1 gnutrition-0.32
- aris-2.0 gsrc-2012.09.06
- autoconf-archive-2012.09.08 less-451
- automake-1.12.4 libextractor-1.0.0
- ccide-0.6.6 libmatheval-1.1.9
- denemo-0.9.6 libmicrohttpd-0.9.22
- enscript-1.6.6 libtasn1-2.14
- gama-1.13 lilypond-2.16.0
- gcc-4.7.2 mpc-1.0.1
- gnu-ghostscript-9.05.0 octave-3.6.3
- gnutls-3.0.23 patch-2.7
- gnutls-3.1.1 tramp-2.2.6
To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu. Nearly all GNU software is available from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors (http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html). You can use the url http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.
I’d like to specially mention the new release of GNU GSRC http://www.gnu.org/software/gsrc/, providing a simple way to install GNU packages from their original sources, entirely independent of any distro packaging system. Its maintainer, Brandon Invergo, has developed additional and most welcome support for configuring Python-based packages in the standard way for GNU http://savannah.gnu.org/forum/forum.php?forum_id=7375.
This month we welcome John Meinel as the new maintainer of GNU Bazaar, aka bzr. We also welcome Gary Vaughan as the new maintainer of GNU Zile, in addition to being co-maintainer of GNU libtool and GNU m4. Many thanks to Reuben Thomas, Zile’s original author, for contributing the program (and much else).
Several GNU packages, as well as the GNU system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you’d like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see http://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.
As always, please feel free to write to me, email@example.com, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
Richard Stallman’s speaking schedule
For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified of future events in your area, please visit .
Richard Stallman has the following events in October and November:
- October 2, 2012, 6:30 PM, Paris, France, « Le logiciel libre et votre liberté »
- October 3, 2012, 7:00 PM, Paris, France, « The danger of software patents »
- October 12, 2012, 11:00 AM, Tijuana, Mexico, « El software libre y tu libertad »
- October 19, 2012, 1:00 PM, Mexico City, Mexico, « Por una sociedad digital libre »
- October 23, 2012, 1:00 PM, Mexico City, Mexico, « El software libre y tu libertad »
- November 7, 2012, 7:30 PM, Reykjavik, Iceland, « Copyright vs. community »
- November 16, 2012, 9:00 AM, Santa Clara, California, « The danger of software patents »
Other FSF and free software events
- FSF executive director John Sullivan will talk about « Four freedoms for freedom » at the Libre Software World Conference on October 19, 2012 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, but 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:
- Robert Baldy
- Etienne Grossman
- Adam Mishcon
- Peter Rock
- Sergio Shen
- Open Invention Network
You can add your name to this list by donating at https://donate.fsf.org.
Take action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF’s work. You can contribute by joining at http://www.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! http://www.fsf.org/jf?referrer=2442
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers (http://www.fsf.org/volunteer). From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing — there’s something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section (http://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
Copyright © 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.