Conservancy at LibrePlanet this Weekend

This weekend, the Free Software Foundation hosts its 11th annual LibrePlanet conference on March 23-24. The event takes place at the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

FSFE Newsletter - March 2019

FSFE Newsletter March 2019

This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.

European Commission Next Generation Internet Initiative

Next Generation Internet Initiative

The European Commission launched an initiative called "The Next Generation Internet" and the FSFE is part of its NGI0 consortium. The Initiative's purpose is to create technologies for a better internet where the individual user's best interests are the top priority. In other words, internet technologies that respect human rights and important values like privacy, openness, transparency, cooperation, and protection of data. To help achieve these objectives, the Initiative runs two branch projects, led by the NLnet Foundation, in order to award grants to applicant technologies that attest to those ideals. The FSFE's role is to provide Free Software licensing recommendations and consultation in these projects:

NGI0 PET deals with technologies that enhance privacy and trust on the Internet. It awards grants to applicants that can provide people with new instruments to keep their data on the Internet confidential, while still being able to act freely and independently online. NGI0 Discovery, deals with technologies that enhance the ability to search for information on the Internet. The project confers grants to applicants that can help strengthen how we search for and discover content on the internet in such a way that supports important social values, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and transparency. The best suited solutions would ensure that searching for information is less centralised with as few intermediaries as possible.

All granted technologies will be based on and be made available as Free and Open Source Software.

The NGI0 consortium acts as a sort of advisory body for successful applicants and assists them with their technologies in specific areas, such as security and accessibility. In this context, the FSFE facilitates their software licensing, advising them on how to properly apply best licensing practices, and making sure their technologies are licensed and compliant.

Calls for applications for both projects are renewed every 2 months. They are currently in the midst of their 2nd call, the deadline of which is 1 April 2019. The first call, which ended in February, resulted in over a hundred submissions from countries not only from Europe, but also from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. If you are interested in getting funding to develop your relevant technology, you can apply here.

Copyright and Article 13 - What happened and what's next

Save Code Share

Despite uncertainties and controversies along the way, the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive seems to be reaching the end of the road. There are many steps to finalise a legal text in the EU, but now the EU Member States and the European Parliament have reached an agreement on a consolidated text. The next step is for the Directive to be voted in the plenary session at the end of March/in early April. As reported, the original proposal could have regulated the platforms software developers use, cooling incentives to innovate and making software more fragile in Europe. It was in response to this that the OpenForum Europe and the FSFE started the campaign. Together we wrote letters, petitions, and held meetings and events in Brussels and in EU member states.

Article 13 now excludes “open source software development and sharing platforms” from its scope (see article 2(5)) in the provisional agreement. This one unintended consequence has at least been avoided. From a wider perspective, no matter how the vote turns out, we were able to raise awareness and understanding of what drives software development in Europe today among many policymakers. We explained how the software ecosystem operates, the pervasive use of Free and Open Source software licenses, and the commercial nature of Free and Open Source Software.

Join our community of freedom fighters:

Inside and Outside the FSFE

Freedom is also about diversity.

The four universal freedoms of Free Software offer fertile soil for emancipating technologies without restrictions towards gender or any other backgrounds. However, women have traditionally been and still are under-represented in those bodies and communities shaping these technologies. It is time to change that. On March 8, the International Women's Day, we used the occasion to share the FSFE's ongoing efforts to improve gender balance and ensure gender equality. As a way to help ensure that in the FSFE everyone can, at all times, feel at ease to participate without fearing any form of attack, reprisal or harassment, we adopted a Code of Conduct and installed a CARE team. To further support the aims of the CARE Team, we welcome Gabriel Ku Wei Bin as a new member. On February 23rd Alexander Sander, FSFE's policy analyst, spoke about our Public Money - Public Code campaign at the "Winter Kongress Digitale Gesellschaft" in Zurich, Switzerland ( watch the video ). At the same event, Marcus Moeller, the FSFE's Coordinator for Switzerland, and Michel Ketterle presented the next version of Freedomvote. Freedomvote is a campaign and a Free Software that enables local groups to run political and electoral campaigns by themselves. FSFE local groups have already been using it to run campaigns in the Netherlands in 2017 and in Switzerland in 2015 Katharina Nocun, Internet activist and FSFE Freelancer, together with Basanta E. P. Thapa from Fraunhofer Fokus presented the ongoing Public Money - Public Code campaign and our new expert policy brochure, and used this occasion to talk about ways public procurement can be modernised. The presentation took place on March 5th at c-base in Berlin, hosted by the Netzpolitischen Abend - (Watch the video) From March 16th to 17th, FSFE's booth and staff could be spotted at the Chemnitzer Linuxtage in Chemnitz, Germany. Erik Albers, FSFE's Programme Manager, gave a workshop about F-Droid, G-Droid, and the most useful Free Software apps to help people use more Free Software on their mobile phones. Another place you could inform yourself about the FSFE and have a chat with our supporters was at the the Dutch Linux Usergroup NLLGG on March 16th, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. FSFE supporter André Klöpfel was interviewed (DE) by Deutschlandfunk Marktplatz about how to install a Linux Distro for beginners. This month we had local FSFE supporter meetings in Madrid, Hamburg, Frankfurt (Main), Berlin and Bonn. Editor's choice

EU Radio Lockdown Directive

Protect freedom on radio devices: raise your voice today! - Alert on an upcoming threat from a new EU regulation. In this entry Max explains in greater detail how a single article in the EU Radio Equipment Directive has the capacity to make installing a custom piece of software on most radio devices (like WiFi routers, smartphones and embedded devices) impossible. Read his blog to find out how you can contribute to the better development of events. Public Money? Public Code! campaign in EDRi's Newsletter EDRigram: "Publicly funded software has to result in public code." Read their opinion on our initiative. Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE Pablo González, FSFE's local Coordinator Madrid, will be present with an info-booth from March 26th to 28th at the Taller de Periodismo de Datos in Medialab Prado in Madrid, Spain. Pass by to get to know local Madrid supporters and the FSFE. Get Active

We have a cool tool for announcing events and promoting them on our website and social channels. If you would like us to include your event in our next newsletter and website, feel welcome to try out the event submission tool.

Contribute to our newsletter

If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to us. As always, the address is We are 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,Galia Mancheva

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RMS article: "Install fests: What to do about the deal with the devil"

In "Install fests: What to do about the deal with the devil," Richard Stallman issues both a caveat to free software novices who would like to transition to using free software exclusively via an install-fest, and a plea to install-fest organizers and volunteers not to make injurious ethical decisions for the people availing themselves of their help.

Stallman explains that, because of obstacles deliberately devised to thwart back engineering, not all computers can function properly with a completely free distro. And that a choice, therefore, often has to be made, between freedom and convenience, between installing a fully free distro that won't function as intended, and installing a nonfree distro that will. He argues that this choice should be made by the informed user alone, not silently by the install-fest volunteer.

Stallman appeals to install fests to forgo the "tacit deal with the devil" that suppresses the free software movement's message about freedom and justice, and to take advantage of the teachable moment, to introduce the user to the "moral dimension" of their computing choices. He suggests a number of things an install-fest could do (implement visual demarcations that help users understand when they're about to "forfeit their freedom," give technical advice regarding free software and free hardware, encourage users to lobby offending manufacturers) in order to "retain full moral authority when it talks about the imperative for freedom." Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, and, ultimately, better no devil at all.

About Musix's removal from our list of endorsed distributions

In 2018 we updated our list of free GNU/Linux distributions to add a "Historical" section. We retired BLAG Linux and GNU at that time, as it was no longer maintained. We are sad to announce today that Musix will also being moving to the Historical section, as it is likewise no longer maintained. Founded in 2004, Musix was on the list of free GNU/Linux distributions for over a decade. The list helps users to find operating systems that come with only free software and documentation, and that do not promote any nonfree software. Being added to the list means that a distribution has gone through a rigorous screening process, and is dedicated to diligently fixing any freedom issues that may arise.

Musix was maintained by a sole developer, Marcos Guglielmetti, as a volunteer effort, a truly impressive accomplishment. Maintaining a distribution is a difficult task. Dealing with technical and security issues across an entire system, as well as upholding the ethical standards required for inclusion on our list, takes a great deal of effort.

While it is sad that Musix will now reside in our Historical section, we can all still be thankful for the maintainer's work over the years, and for the fact that there are still many endorsed distributions available. Users of Musix should consider switching to another distro on our list to ensure that the security and freedom of their system is up to date.

Richard Stallman - « Logiciels libres, société libre » (Anthy-sur-Leman, France)

Richard Stallman décrira les buts et la philosophie du mouvement des logiciels libres et évoquera les enjeux majeurs du monde numérique d'aujourd'hui. Il abordera les Droits de l'Homme des utilisateurs d'un logiciel : liberté de contrôler ce qu'il fait pour eux, égalité dans la communauté des développeurs et des utilisateurs, fraternité entre eux. Richard Stallman traitera enfin la question des modèles économiques pour l'utilisation et le développement des logiciels libres.

Ce discours de Richard Stallman ne sera pas technique, l'entrée sera libre, et tout le monde est invité à assister.

Lieu: Fablac, Maison des Assocations, 2 place de l'église, 74200 Anthy-sur-Léman, France

Veuillez complèter notre formulaire de contact, pour que nous puissions vous annoncer de futurs événements dans la région de Anthy-sur-Léman.

Your guide to LibrePlanet 2019, March 23-24!

Are you planning on joining us for LibrePlanet 2019, coming up this weekend, March 23-24, at the Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)? If you haven't registered yet, there's still time -- registration is open through Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 EDT, and we also welcome walk-ins (space permitting)! Remember, students and Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate members get in gratis.

We also hope you'll join us for the Friday night open house at the FSF office, here in Boston -- you can pick up your badge early to skip the line Saturday morning (more details below).

Here's your guide to maximum enjoyment of LibrePlanet:

  • If you haven't seen it yet, the full conference program is now available.

  • Badge pickup, registration, and coffee begin at 09:00 on Saturday at the conference site, the Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Social events

You're invited to social and community events happening before the conference and during the conference weekend. All ages are welcome at all social events, and we strongly recommend using public transportation.

  • On Friday evening, the FSF is hosting an open house at the FSF office, 51 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 from 17:00 to 19:30. The FSF office is a short walk from the Downtown Crossing, State, and Park Street MBTA stops. The FSF office is an accessible space. We will provide beverages and light refreshments.

  • After the open house, all women, genderqueer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people interested in free software are invited to the Welcome Dinner. This is a gratis meal with some great people in free software -- keep an eye on the social activities page for the details.

  • We'll celebrate on Saturday, March 23rd, after the Free Software Awards, from 19:00 to 22:00, at Scholars Bistro, 25 School Street, Boston, MA 02108, near the FSF office. All ages are welcome until 21:00. Gratis snacks will be provided, and your first drink is on the FSF. A full dinner menu is also available for purchase. The venue is accessible.

  • Prefer a quieter social space? The FSF office will be open late for hacking and hanging out on Saturday from 19:00 to 21:30. Snacks, beverages, and power are provided. This is an alcohol-free event.

  • On Sunday afternoon, during the lunch break from 12:35-13:35, we'll be holding an FSF members meeting at the LibrePlanet site (room TBA), where you can join other associate members to discuss successes from the past year and what you'd like to see in the future of the FSF. Pizza and salad will be provided. Please RSVP at

  • On Sunday night, starting at 21:00, join us at Grendel's Den, a Cambridge pub that is popular with local free software and free culture folks, located at 89 Winthrop Street in Harvard Square. This afterparty is not an official conference event, but is a standing tradition of many years. There is elevator access upon request. Call 617-491-1160 to have someone from Grendel's assist you.

  • Want to plan a group dinner or other social gathering during LibrePlanet? Use the wiki to plan an event or join someone else's event.

More at LibrePlanet

  • We're continuing our popular five-minute lightning talks by conference attendees about their free software passions. Sign up to give one!

  • We're hosting an exhibit hall for a select group of projects and businesses in the free software world. Come by from 09:00 until 18:00 on both days of the conference to check out tables from 3NWeb, CivicActions, FreedomBox Foundation, GNOME, MIT Libraries' Program on Information Science, Private Internet Access, Purism, Technoethical, ThinkPenguin, and the Tor Project.

  • You can use the #libreplanet IRC channel on freenode ( to participate in the online discussion before, during, and after the conference. You can also use Mumble voice chat on the mumble server at We provide these resources, along with video streaming, so that free software supporters who are unable to travel to the US for economic and/or political reasons are still able to participate.

  • You can pre-order your LibrePlanet 2019 T-shirt until Wednesday, March 20, at midnight EDT -- or, just wait and buy yours at the GNU Press table at the conference!


  • Logistics info, including transportation, accommodations, and restaurants, is available to make it easy for you to figure out travel and choose lodging near the conference.

  • The libreplanet-discuss mailing list is great for planning ride-shares or social events during the conference weekend, and also for participating in the year-round conversation about free software events and issues.

  • Are there two LibrePlanet sessions you want to see, and they're at the same time? Fear not, recordings will be available after the conference at

Win a raffle prize!

This year LibrePlanet will be having another awesome raffle. Buy tickets to support free software while also getting a chance to win:

All attendees get a gratis raffle ticket, FSF associate members get a second gratis ticket, and everyone can buy more chances to win at the GNU Press table during LibrePlanet, as well as at the Friday open house and Saturday evening social events! Buy one ticket for $2, 3 tickets for $5, one arm's length for $20, cash or credit. FSF staff and board members are not eligible to participate in the raffle.


Keep an eye on the weather and dress accordingly.

Thank you to our sponsors!

LibrePlanet 2019 is supported by several generous sponsors. Big thanks to Red Hat and Private Internet Access!

Richard Stallman à Lausanne, Suisse (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Ce discours de Richard Stallman ne sera pas technique, l'entrée sera libre, et tout le monde est invité à assister.

Thème du discours à déterminer.

Lieu: Bâtiment SG, EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Lausanne, Switzerland

Veuillez complèter notre formulaire de contact, pour que nous puissions vous annoncer de futurs événements dans la région de Lausanne.

Richard Stallman - "Free Software, Free Society" (Bern, Switzerland)

The Free Software Movement campaigns for computer users' freedom to cooperate and control their own computing. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux, specifically to make these freedoms possible.

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

Location: (room number to be determined), Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik, Engehaldenstrasse 8, UNI-Bern, Switzerland

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

Richard Stallman à Grandvaux, Suisse (Grandvaux, Switzerland)

Ce discours de Richard Stallman ne sera pas technique, l'entrée sera libre, et tout le monde est invité à assister.

Thème du discours à déterminer.

Lieu: Living Lab Ecopol, Smala Ecovillage, rue Gare 17, 1091 Grandvaux, Suisse

Veuillez complèter notre formulaire de contact, pour que nous puissions vous annoncer de futurs événements dans la région de Grandvaux.

Richard Stallman à Genève, Suisse (Geneva, Switzerland)

Ce discours de Richard Stallman ne sera pas technique, l'entrée sera libre, et tout le monde est invité à assister.

Thème du discours à déterminer.

Lieu: Aula, Campus de Battelle, HEG-GE (Haute écolde de gestion de Genève), 1227 Carouge, Genève, Suisse

Veuillez complèter notre formulaire de contact, pour que nous puissions vous annoncer de futurs événements dans la région de Genève.