FSFE

FSFE opposes claim that free software harms consumers

balancing free software

Microsoft and Nokia protest "price predation" and play at being prey.


Does no-cost software harm consumers? The FairSearch coalition thinks so, at least when it comes to Google: They say Google engages in predatory pricing when it distributes Android – a Linux-based mobile operating system – without charge. Recently, FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) responded in a letter to the European Commission, labeling as "wrong" and "dangerous" FairSearch’s claims, and saying further: » Read more

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German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software

patent reform

On Friday June 7, the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents (see English translation by BIKT). The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents. The only exception where patents should be allowed are computer programs which replace a mechanical or electromagnetic component. In addition the Parliament made clear that governmental actions related to patents must never interfere with the legality of distributing Free Software.

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How software patents are delaying the future

software patents

This fall, I went to Amsterdam to talk about "How Software Patents Are Delaying The Future", on a discussion panel organised by the European Patent Office. The other people on the panel were patent attorney Simon Davies, and Ioannis Bozas, a patent examiner at the EPO. The panel was moderated by James Nurton of Managing IP. Despite our very different views on the subject, we had very friendly and informative conversations before, during, and after the panel.

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Helping the European Parliament to release its own free software

open parliament

For the first time, the European Parliament is about to release one of its own programs as Free Software. The program in question is called AT4AM, short for "Automatic Tool for Amendments". The Parliament is in the business of making laws, and AT4AM automates a lot of the formal stuff associated with the production process.

To understand what AT4AM means for MEPs and their staff, have a look at how amendments were filed before, and how it works now. (Vimeo. Flash required, sorry.) Parliament staffer Erik Josefsson compared the introduction of AT4AM to the arrival of version control for developers. It's been in use inside the parliament for about 18 months, and it's a pretty fundamental tool for the people working there. » Read more

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Is vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?

Is vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?

A report on the City of Helsinki's pilot project for the use of OpenOffice in the public administrations leaves the public with more questions than answers. The city trialled the Free Software productivity suite on the laptops of council members for ten months in 2011. The suite enjoyed high approval rates among its users. When the pilot was finished, the City produced a report stating that the costs of migrating the entire administration to OpenOffice would be very high. » Read more

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Document Freedom Day: UK releases Government ICT Strategy in .odt

Wow! What a great Document Freedom Day!

Today, the United Kingdom's CabinetOffice released is official Government ICT Strategy – not only in .pdf and .doc, but also in .odt!

It's a more detailed, rigorous follow-on to their earlier announcements on this important topic, and well worth a read by governments around the world. » Read more

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Celebrate Document Freedom Day!

Today marks the annual observance of Document Freedom Day (DFD), a global day for document liberation.

On this important occasion, let's all recognize that progress has been made to promote and use open standards and to liberate documents. In January, India’s Department of Information Technology published its draft Interoperability Framework for E-Governance in India (IFEG), which lists ODF on its approved standards for e-governance in India. » Read more

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Freedom to Read, Freedom to Write: Celebrating Document Freedom Day 2011

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) invites individuals, community groups and institutions to celebrate the Document Freedom Day (DFD) on March 30th. DFD is a global day to celebrate Open Standards and open document formats and its importance. Open Standards ensure the freedom to access your data, and the freedom to build Free Software to write and read data in specific formats.
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Graham Taylor and Karsten Gerloff on free software/open source in Europe

Graham Taylor of OpenForum Europe (OFE) and  Karsten Gerloff of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) cite standardization policy as the principal battleground for free software & open source communities in Europe.  As Taylor observes, “We [OFE] identified that 90% of the public sector had lost their choice about freely choosing the next step [of software procurement], using all proprietary technologies.”   » Read more

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Open Your World forum | Event details

The Open Your World Forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 27th, beginning at 8:45 a.m. EDT.  Bookmark this page for the latest information on the day's schedule, speakers, and presentation topics.  Be sure to register for the event if you haven't already done so. » Read more

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