John Sullivan - " 'Just don't buy it': Consumer choices in free software activism" (Curitiba, Brazil)

FSF executive director John Sullivan will be giving his speech “‘Just don't buy it’: Consumer choices in free software activism” at DebConf 19 (2019-07-21–28):

Movement activism often focuses on economic decisions. Buy this ethically made product; don't buy that one made by a company that funds terrible things. In free software, we encourage people to boycott (for example) Microsoft, and to instead support companies who sell machines with GNU/Linux.

It's an intuitive idea that, as individuals wanting to make the world better, we should use our willingness to spend or not spend money to reward those who do right and punish those who do wrong. Throughout history, this has sometimes been effective. But how effective? Can it be dangerous?

There is a danger of reducing activism and social change strategy to these decisions. We see this in the free software movement, when some activist campaigns aimed at persuading people to stop using proprietary software are met with responses like, “If you don't like Apple products, just don't buy them. Help make free products that are better than theirs. Why campaign against them?” or “How can you criticize proprietary software but still drive a car that has it?”

As an advocate, have you ever heard these responses, or felt like a hypocrite, or stumbled trying to explain to others why the situation is more complicated than “just don't buy it”?

How do we form a holistic movement strategy for advancing user freedom that takes consumer activism as far as possible, without overprioritizing it?

I hope those interested in effectively fighting for user freedom will join me as I share thoughts formed from 16 years of experience working on the Free Software Foundation's advocacy efforts, against the backdrop of some highlights from the history of other social movements.

Location: Auditório, Av. Sete de Setembro, 3165 Rebouças, Curitiba, PR 80.230-901, Brazil

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

John Sullivan - "The Free Software Foundation and Debian" (Curitiba, Brazil)

FSF executive director John Sullivan will be giving his speech “The Free Software Foundation and Debian” at DebConf 19 (2019-07-21–28):

Debian and the Free Software Foundation, along with its GNU Project, share many goals and ideals. They are two of the most mature and dedicated organizations working in the free software movement. This is an annual opportunity to talk in person about how they can better work together and inspire each other.

FSF members (and potential members) will meet to talk about the FSF’s work, the FSF’s relationship with Debian, and progress of the movement as a whole:

  • A very brief update by the FSF’s executive director on highlights of the FSF’s work since the last DebConf
  • Feedback (positive and negative) from members, and a little brainstorming about what the FSF should and shouldn’t be doing
  • A review of the current relationship between the FSF and Debian
  • A discussion of areas for collaboration, focused on projects that could be completed or significantly advanced before the next DebConf

Recognizing that we can’t cover everything in 45 minutes, at the beginning, we’ll choose some specific topics to focus on under this general umbrella.

Past sessions at DebConf have led to concrete positive results like collaboration on the hardware database at https://h-node.org/. Let’s have another productive one!

This session will not be recorded, in order to make participants feel more comfortable speaking informally.

Location: Sala de Videoconferencia, Av. Sete de Setembro, 3165 Rebouças, Curitiba, PR 80.230-901, Brazil

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

June 2019: Photos from Brno

Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman (RMS) was in Brno, Czech Republic on June 6, 2019, to give two speeches.

In the morning, he took part in the URBIS Smart City Fair, at the Brno Fair Grounds, giving his speech "Computing, freedom, and privacy."1

(Copyright © 2019 Veletrhy Brno, a. s. Photos licensed under CC BY 4.0.)

In the afternoon, at the University Cinema Scala, he gave his speech "The free software movement and the GNU/Linux operating system," to about three hundred people.

(Copyright © 2019 Pavel Loutocký. Photos licensed under CC BY 4.0.)

(Copyright © 2019 Pavel Loutocký. Photos licensed under CC BY 4.0.)

Thank you to everyone who made this visit possible!

If you're in the area, please fill out our contact form, so that we can inform you about future events in and around Brno.

Please see www.fsf.org/events for a full list of all of RMS's confirmed engagements,
and contact rms-assist@gnu.org if you'd like him to come speak.


1. The recording will soon be posted on our audio-video archive.

Thank you for advancing free software: Read FSF spring news in the latest Bulletin

ThankGNU Star Supporter

Our Bulletin highlights some important activities and issues in free software over the last six months, including:

It highlights some important activities and issues in free software over the last six months, including:

  • an educational program we launched, together with free software activist Devin Ulibarri, where we used the program Music Blocks to teach Boston area public school youth about coding and free software, and then proceeded to donate ten fully freed laptops to the schools we visited;

  • some ideas on how the free software community can do better to bring visibility to our movement, according to LibrePlanet 2019 conference speaker and free software activist Mary Kate Fain, pulled from her superb LibrePlanet talk “Sparking change: What free software can learn from social justice movements”; and

  • our licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III, reports on the progress of our Respects Your Freedom program, with further explanation on the parameters needed for the certification of hardware devices that meet FSF's criteria for protecting the rights of users.

Thirty-five volunteers joined FSF staff over the course of three days to get all the Bulletins stuffed in envelopes and mailed out. This was a great opportunity to catch up on free software issues with some of our most dedicated free software enthusiasts here in Boston. We are grateful to have such a strong core of supporters that keep the movement growing, and thanks to your generous contribution, we will be even stronger.

Please be vocal about your support for free software. Read and share the Bulletin articles online using the #ISupportFreeSoftware hashtag, use our fundraiser support images, and talk to your community about why you support the FSF. It makes a difference.

Throughout our spring fundraiser, we have been enjoying both the public posts from supporters using the hashtag on social media, as well as answers to the "What inspired you to join today?" question we ask new members. Here are some of our favorites.

  • We see many excited calls for user freedom and user control:
    • "For freedom!"
    • "Does the software you use grant you the freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others? #FreeSoftware does. Learn more by listening to Richard M. Stallman, on the Making Better podcast. #ISupportFreeSoftware" from @makingbetterpod
    • @mmaug shared: "There are alternatives to Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter. Take control of your privacy, and your computer! #ISupportFreeSoftware #FSF"
    • @globalspectator posted: "Software you don't control seizes control over you. Help @fsf break the chains of proprietary software for a freer future #ISupportFreeSoftware"
  • We receive humbling thank you's from people appreciating our work, naming the LibrePlanet conference, our licensing work, and the GNU Project:

    • "Wanted to for a long time. Also, LibrePlanet!"
    • "Gratitude. And a long lasting debt feeling. Thanks so much!"
    • "As a software developer and GNU/Linux user I want to set a statement and do my part in keeping free software popular"
    • "I use GNU tools, and have since the beginning"
  • And most importantly, we hear from people who have come across our activities and campaign images online, or who were informed about FSF through their on- and offline community and decided to take action -- convincing us that people inspiring each other to join the Free Software Supporter mailing list, or to become an associate member is by far the most powerful way to expand our reach and strengthen our message:

    • "I watched an interview with Richard Stallman"
    • "A friend"
    • "A post in the 'Victorhck in the free world' blog"
    • @opc_5 called for digital liberation through free software: "Software Libre para la liberación digital. #ISupportFreeSoftware"
    • @AugustinPMichel tagged his connections with: "#ISupportFreeSoftware, do you?"

Today, we have one week left in our spring fundraiser, and we are confident we will achieve our membership goal of 200 members in 28 days if we keep at it. With your help, we may engage enough people to also reach 400 donations before the 15th of July. Your support helped get us where we are, in position to succeed. Your generosity and outspokenness fuel our message, increase our reach, and will allow us to continue to advocate on your behalf.

Thank you for your contribution to free software.

Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei der Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

Du bist zwischen 16 und 24 Jahre alt und möchtest Dich im gesellschaftlichen Engagement ausprobieren bevor es mit Ausbildung oder Uni weitergeht? Außerdem beherrschst Du Englisch fließend in Wort und Schrift, verfügst über gute Deutschkenntnisse und hast Interesse an Technik? Dann bist Du bei der FSFE goldrichtig!

Wir suchen eine engagierte Person, die Interesse hat ihren Bundesfreiwilligendienst bei der FSFE zu leisten. Bewirb Dich bis zum 7. Juli 2019 über unseren Kooperationspartner Freiwilliges Jahr Beteiligung für den Jahrgang 2019/20 mit Beginn 1. September.

Über den FSFE e.V.:

Der Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. ist ein gemeinnütziger Verein, der Menschen im selbstbestimmten Umgang mit Technik unterstützt. Software ist in vielen Aspekten unseres Lebens tief verankert. Es ist daher elementar, dass diese Technologie uns hilft, statt uns einzuschränken.

Freie Software gibt allen das Recht, Programme für jeden Zweck zu verwenden, zu verstehen, zu verbreiten und zu verbessern. Diese Rechte stärken zudem Grundrechte wie das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung, die Pressefreiheit und das Recht auf Privatsphäre.

Wir betreiben zahlreiche Projekte und Kampagnen, um unsere Ziele zu erreichen, zum Beispiel "Public Money Public Code", "Save Code Share" und die REUSE-Initiative.

Das erwartet dich:

Im Rahmen des Bundesfreiwilligendienstes wirst Du Einblicke in die Arbeitsweise einer europaweit agierenden NGO erhalten, die von vielen Freiwilligen aus ganz Europa unterstützt wird. In einem internationalen Team kannst Du verschiedene Projekte kennenlernen und mitgestalten. Deine Ideen sind uns willkommen. Auch mit Freiwilligen vor Ort wirst Du ins Gespräch kommen und Dich bei deren Engagement einbringen.

Deine Aufgaben: Unterstützung und Mitarbeit bei Kampagnen und Projekten des Vereins; Verfassen von Dokumentationen und Texten für Informationsmaterial, Artikeln sowie Inhalten für die Webseite; Recherchearbeiten und Übersetzungen; Betreuung von Informationsständen des FSFE e.V.; Verschicken von Informationsmaterial und allgemeine Bürotätigkeiten; Moderation von Mailinglisten sowie Kommunikation und Koordination mit Ehrenamtlichen und der Community; je nach Profil und Interesse tiefergreifende technische Unterstützung, etwa bei Webseitendesign, Serverinfrastrukur, Containerisierung (Docker) sowie weiterer Dienste des FSFE e.V.

Bei Fragen steht Dir Alexander Sander alex.sander@fsfe.org gerne als Ansprechpartner zur Verfügung. Weitere Informationen und Zugang zur Online-Bewerbung: www.fj-beteiligung.de/blog/artikel/free-software-foundation-europe/

Support FSFE

Conservancy News Round-up June

Summer in the northern hemisphere means lots and lots of busy time with interns and quite a few FOSS events. We've got plenty of blog posts for your edifying summer reading and plenty of opportunities to catch up with Conservancy folks in person.

GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 17 new GNU releases in June!

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 from https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL 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 us at maintainers@gnu.org with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

FSFE Newsletter - June 2019

FSFE Newsletter June 2019

This month's newsletter highlights the Google/Huawei case and the greater picture it reveals to us. In the Get Active section we call for your proactivity in promoting the use of Free Software. Additionally, you can find out what happened at our Web-a-thon in Frankfurt am Main and view some media of the actions we have taken for promoting and increasing the awareness of Free Software to the wider audience, as well as see what's planned for the near future, where you can take part in.

The Google - Huawei Lessons

Last month, Google blacklisted and blocked Huawei from accessing all its proprietary components of the Android mobile operating system. The California based tech giant had to comply with the executive order issued by the U.S. government to effectively ban all American companies from trading with Huawei. While the Chinese telco will not have access to Google's proprietary components, it will nevertheless be able to use those parts of Android's operating system available under the open source licence, which is free for anyone to use. This highlights the importance that Free Software has for users, public bodies, and businesses. The Free Software Foundation Europe presented three essential lessons from this case:

Free Software enables control over technology: The more important technology becomes in our daily lives, the more relevant Free Software becomes for individual users. The EU is overly reliant on foreign sources of technology: The European Union and its member states should invest in Free Software development and focus on supporting local Free Software organisations and businesses. This can foster greater technological independence for the EU economy. Free Software gives companies technological independence.: A company that uses proprietary software is dependent on such software's vendor and the government that regulates it. The best strategy for a company to avoid this is to use as much Free Software as possible in their supply chains.

Read more details about these lessons in our press release.

Join our community: https://fsfe.org/join/nl2019-06

Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE

As with every month, we are trying to spread the word and help individuals and organisations understand what Free Software is and how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination. If you are interested in seeing us in action and join our cause, keep in mind the following dates and locations in the coming few months:

On July 3rd, FSFE Programme Manager Max Mehl will explain how Free Software can be the solution to many security problems at Pass the Salt in Lille, France. On July 6th, FSFE supporter Reinhard Müller will give a presentation at Tübix about the development of web applications he used successfully for the development of the new online FSFE community portal in Tübingen, Germany On July 8th, the FSFE community in Bonn will have a meeting discussing Free Software. On July 22nd, the Franken community of the FSFE and the Nuremberg Hackerspace will be hosting a lecture about the basics and common misunderstandings of Free Software in Nuremberg, Germany Between August 21st and 25th the FSFE will host an assembly at the Chaos Communication Camp in Mildenberg, Germany. The assembly will be part of about:freedom, a cluster with a focus on digital (human) rights politics, freedom of information and Free Software advocacy. It is a union of different and diverse organisations from all over the world promoting Free Software and defending and extending digital rights. There will be workshops on-site and information materials. If you are coming to the camp, drop by and have a chat with us! What have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE

Since the last newsletter we have been very active in promoting the Free Software cause, by helping individuals and organisations have a better understanding of what Free Software is and encouraging them to develop and implement it in their lives. We want to share with you the events we have photos and videos for, below:

Our web-a-thon in Frankfurt. Between May 24th and 26th, the FSFE ran our web-a-thon 2019. There were 13 hackers (and more in the evenings) who met in Frankfurt (Main) to work on the FSFE's website, and of course to also celebrate our nice community and commemorate International Towel Day. We aimed high and tried to get rid of many unresolved issues, some rather small, some highly important for editors, translators and of course our visitors. In the milestone "Hackathon1905", we collected the issues to be worked on, and it turns out that we achieved more than we anticipated. 47 tickets and pull requests have been closed successfully. Thanks to everyone who participated, maintained the good mood throughout and to the CCC FFM for hosting us patiently during the whole weekend! Some of the people behind fixing the FSFE's website during the 2nd web-a-thon for the year Lucas Lasota, the FSFE's legal intern, presented the legal trends in Free Software at the Libre Graphics Meetings in Saarbrücken, Germany on May 29th. You can watch his presentation video. Lucas Lasota at the Libre Graphics Meetings in Saarbrücken

The Viennese FSFE supporters group participated with an FSFE info-booth at the local street festival Veganmania between June 7th and 10th in Vienna, Austria. See pictures of the event and read about the local group's successful down-to-earth approach in a report by Franz Gratzer.

The FSFE booth at Veganmania in Vienna

The FSFE's president Matthias Kirschner gave a keynote about Free Software in our society at this year's OW2 on June 13th in Paris. You can watch the keynote video.

Matthias Kirschner keynote at OW2 in Paris

Our Policy Manager Alexander Sander was invited as an expert on E-Government in the Landtag Saarland, the parliament of the German federal State Saarland on June 17th. In his talk he discussed the advantages of free software in the area of e-government. You can find his expert opinion and research here:

The FSFE participated with a booth at the OpenExpo in Madrid, Spain on June 20th where we had the chance to meet and talk to many people about Free Software.

Erik Albers and Pablo González Otero at the OpenExpo in Madrid On June 25th, the FSFE's Policy and Project Managers Alexander Sander and Galia Mancheva talked about the Public Money? Public Code! campaign and the updated Copyright Directive at Libertybits in Sofia, Bulgaria Alexander Sander talks about PMPC at the Libertybits event in Sofia, Bulgaria Galia Mancheva presents the Copyright Directive updates at the Libertybits in Sofia, Bulgaria Get Active

Do you remember that some years ago the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung (TAZ) received the Document Freedom Day Award for delivering its electronic paper to its subscribers in a choice of open formats, and without digital restrictions (DRM)? This year, the TAZ newspaper went a step further and even launched their taz.app on f-droid under a Free Software license. This is a great example for other newspapers to follow. Contact your favourite newspaper and demand they follow the TAZ's example of giving users freedom of choice and technical control.

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!

If you also want to support us and our work, join our community and support us with a donation or a monthly contribution: https://my.fsfe.org/support

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 editors,

The FSFE team

Join our community: https://fsfe.org/join/nl2019-06

Support FSFE

GNU Emacs T-shirts available now at the GNU Press Shop

zoe modeling emacs tee

Have you been waiting with bated breath for the opportunity to show your love for GNU Emacs, the text editor that also does everything else, with a nifty T-shirt? Wait no longer. The GNU Press Shop now has GNU Emacs logo T-shirts in unisex sizes S through XXXL. Order one at https://shop.fsf.org/tshirts-hoodies/gnu-emacs-logo-t-shirt, and we'll ship it to you sooner than you can say "extensible, customizable, self-documenting, real-time display editor."

All GNU Press Shop purchases support the Free Software Foundation's efforts to free all software, and FSF associate members get a 20% discount off of all purchases.

Drop the journalism charges against Julian Assange

The US government has persecuted Julian Assange for a decade for Wikileaks' journalism, and now seeks to use his case to label the publishing of leaked secret information as spying.

The Free Software Foundation stands for freedom of publication and due process, because they are necessary to exercise and uphold the software freedom we campaign for. The attack on journalism threatens freedom of publication; the twisting of laws to achieve an unstated aim threatens due process of law. The FSF therefore calls on the United States to drop all present and future charges against Julian Assange relating to Wikileaks activities.

Accusations against Assange that are unrelated to journalism should be pursued or not pursued based on their merits, giving him neither better nor worse treatment on account of his journalism.