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[Fsfe-uk] Re: Image Flyer FSF

From: Marc Eberhard
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Image Flyer FSF
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 14:06:59 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

Dear Martin, Robert & Simon,

can one of you please have a closer look at this, correct it and get back to

Many many thanks,

email: address@hidden
email: address@hidden, web: http://www.aston.ac.uk/~eberhama/

On Thu, May 23, 2002 at 02:43:09PM +0200, Andreas Gebhard wrote:
> Dear friends,
> as Georg told you, we are doing the new FSF Flyer. If you want to change 
> the text, feel free to do it. We need it on sunday 3 pm.
> yours
> andreas
> werk21 - Büro für politische Kommunikation und Design
> Gormannstrasse 16 - 10119 Berlin-Mitte - Germany
> Tel: +49 (0)30 28 48 48 30
> Fax: +49 (0)30 28 48 48 31
> address@hidden
> www.werk21.de

> What is Free Software?

> Free Software - sometimes also referred to as Libre Software or Open
> Source Software - is best defined by the following four freedoms:

> 1. freedom: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

> 2. freedom: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to
>             your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for
>             this.

> 3. freedom: The freedom to redistribute copies.

> 4. freedom: The freedom to improve the program, and release your
>             improvements to the public, so that the whole community
>             benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for
>             this.

> Although some languages have an ambiguity in terms of free referring to
> price, attempts to find a better term have failed; for more details,
> please see http://fsfeurope.org/documents/whyfs.en.html.

> Therefore the FSF Europe recommends using the term Free Software or the
> equivalent term in the local language. Software not meeting the freedoms
> mentioned above is properly called proprietary or non-free.

> What is the GNU Project?

> The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard M. Stallman in order to
> create a complete UNIX-like operating system based on Free Software. The
> name GNU, which stands for GNU's Not Unix, was chosen to indicate that it
> would be a system similar to UNIX, but not directly connected to the
> product UNIX.

> Work on the GNU system began in 1984 and in 1985 Richard M. Stallman also
> founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to maintain the legal issues of
> the GNU Project.

> Being almost complete in the early 90ies, the GNU system still lacked a
> central component, the kernel. Like other Unix operating systems, the GNU
> system is modular, so Linus Torvalds was able to write the Linux knel to
> work within the GNU system and release it under the GPL.

> The GNU system with a Linux kernel - the GNU/Linux system - is
> particularly widely-used today and provides the basis for every so-called
> Linux distribution.

> The web page of the GNU Project can be found at http://www.gnu.org/

> What is the GNU General Public License/GPL?

> The GNU General Public License (GPL) and its sister license, the GNU
> Lesser General Public License (LGPL; formerly known as GNU Library General
> Public License) were published by the Free Software Foundation for the GNU
> Project.

> The GPL does not only grant the four freedoms of Free Software, it also
> protects them: Expansions of GPL software have to be licensed under the
> GPL again if they are being published. There is no requirement to publish
> modifications, but if they are being released to others, they must adhere
> to the GPL. This vaccinating effect against proprietarization by third
> parties is often referred to as Copyleft.

> Like all Free Software, software under the GPL comes at no licensing cost.
> It can, however, be sold. Also it is possible to provide warranties as
> part of a commercial service.

> GPL/LGPL are the most widely used licenses for Free Software today. The
> GNU General Public License alone has been chosen by more than 50% of all
> Free Software, including such important contributions as the GNU system
> and the Linux kernel.

> What ist the Free Software Foundation?

> The Free Software Foundation was originally founded in 1985 by Richard M.
> Stallman as the legal branch of the GNU Project. Facing the need to also
> do tasks like spreading awareness for Free Software as well as legal and
> political work, the FSF soon grew beyond this initial idea.

> From Boston, MA in the United States, the Free Software Foundation has
> been working on all aspects of Free Software for over 16 years, which
> makes it the oldest organization of its kind.

> Facing the needs of a growing Free Software community, the FSF always
> needed to adapt to new situations. With the foundings of the Free Software
> Foundation Europe and the Free Software Foundation India in 2001, the FSF
> has taken a large step forward.

> Nowadays, the Free Software Foundation consists of the original FSF, the
> FSF North America, as well as the FSF Europe and FSF India, with more to
> be expected within the next years.

> What is the organizational layout of the FSF Europe?

> The FSF Europe is a European Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) founded
> in 2001 by members from several European countries with the intention of
> one day having members from all European countries.

> Believing in the European vision, but facing lack of a European
> association law, the FSF Europe is registered as a charitable association
> in Germany (gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein). To provide means for
> tax-deductable donations in other countries, as well, the FSF Europe seeks
> to set up charitable per-country units - usually referred to as Chapters -
> whenever possible.

> Similar to its sister organization, the FSF North America, the FSF Europe
> pursues a minimum membership principle to protect its integrity. For the
> FSF Europe, new members are only appointed if X of the existing members
> believe in the serious commitment and dedication as well as the
> long-standing Free Software competence of the new member.

> Therefore participation in the activities of the FSF Europe usually begins
> through associate organizations, which are self-organizing, independent
> associations often centered on a certain region or area of interest.

> These associate organizations are included in much of the internal
> communication, are the first reference points when questions arise and
> always have a direct line into the FSF Europe.

> Every organization related to Free Software and agreeing with the general
> positions and values of the FSF can apply for associate status. As of
> 1.6.2002, the associate organizations of the FSF Europe are: AFFS (UK),
> ANSOL (Portugal), APRIL (France), AsSoLi (Italy), FFII (Germany), FFS
> (Austria), Ofset (France).

> For information on how to get involved in these associations, please
> follow the links on the FSF Europe home page http://fsfeurope.org/.

> What does the Free Software Foundation Europe do?

> The FSF Europe is working on all aspects of Free Software in Europe, which
> means that it is engaging itself in multiple areas.

> Technical Tasks

> The FSF Europe engages itself directly or indirectly in multiple technical 
> activities. Usually, the FSF Europe tries to avoid maintaining dozens of Free 
> Software development projects, though.

> In most cases, the FSF Europe tries to identify and solve
> bottleneck-problems that have not been addresses sufficiently before.
> Through input, communication, coordination and sometimes even funding, the
> FSF Europe will seek to push these projects past the threshold. first-year
> examples: Savannah, AGNULA

> Competence Center

> The FSF Europe provides a competence center for Free Software. It offers
> advice for politicians on the EU-, country and regional levels and tries
> to make sure Free Software gets adequate coverage and recognition in the
> political and legislative systems. first-year examples: Commission on
> Intellectual Property Rights, FP6 recommendation, Consultation on software
> patents by the German Ministry of Justice.

> Legal Work

> Being the fiduciary for most of the GNU system and also other Free
> Software, the Free Software Foundations worldwide make sure the freedoms
> granted by the Free Software licenses are being upheld. If possible, this
> is done outside of court, but the FSF Europe does go to court on behalf of
> Free Software if it has to.

> Especially the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most common license
> of Free Software, is of paramount interest to the FSF. The FSF Europe
> helps upholding the GPL in court and keeping it up-to-date with
> legislation and technical developments. first-year examples: Exception for
> Free Software in German Copyright revision 2002

> Building Awareness

> A main task of the FSF Europe is to create awareness for the issues of the
> information age. Free Software is the best answer to the questions of the
> information age that we know of.

> What are the advantages of Free Software?

> Free Software offers many advantages in different areas. Their relevance
> is often determined by personal preferences, so here are some reasons why
> you should consider Free Software:

> Reliability

> Access to the source code is necessary for two of the four freedoms of
> Free Software. Since many people can take a look at the source code and
> have the chance to find and fix problems faster and more efficiently, Free
> Software tends to be more stable.

> Security

> Although it strikes some people as odd that security is being increased by
> everyones ability to look at the source code, it is true. The best analogy
> for this is that between key and lock. With Free Software the best people
> can work together on creating the best lock - which does not mean we give
> everybody our key.

> Economy

> For most companies, software is not their main area of interest, butit
> largely determines their ability to fulfill their contracts. Contrary to
> the situation most companies find themselves in today,with Free Software a
> company can never lose the right to use their IT solution because a vendor
> goes out of business or decides to not renew the license. Companies gain
> independence from release-cycles forced onto them. Also a company
> employing Free Software retains the right to change the vendor should this
> become advisable or necessary.  If a company wishes to train or hire
> somebody to maintain their own IT structure, they have the freedom to do
> so. This makes Free Software the most secure way of investing into IT.

> Politics

> Like companies, governments very much depend on software. Whenever a
> government depends on the proprietary product of some software vendor,
> this vendor can effectively shut down parts of the government for several
> months, giving him significant clout over its decisions.

> Democracy

> Proprietary software has the tendency to only interact properly with
> itself, forcing citizens into the same proprietary solution used by the
> government in order to be able to communicate with it. Citizens unwilling
> to be forced in such a way lose the ability to communicate with their
> government.

> Macro-Economy

> Communication has always been a necessity for social and economic success.

> Just like citizens are being forced into a proprietary solution, companies
> wishing to interact with each other are forced to use the same proprietary
> software solution. Proprietary software has a strong, inherent tendency to
> create mono- or oligopolies.

> Free Software breaks that cycle and brings freedom from dependencies along
> with better protection against monopolies.

> Society

> Access to software determines who may participate in a digital society. It
> decides what can be learned, what can be said, what can be done and who
> can be communicated with. Software ceases being an entirely economic
> property, it becomes a cultural property, a cultural technique. Therefore,
> it becomes fundamental for the information age that all people have equal
> access to software.

> Support the Free Software Foundation

> It sounds like this is very important and you could clearly need help. How
> can I support the FSF Europe?

> There are many ways of supporting the work of the FSF Europe.

> First of all, you can help us spreading the word.

> For this you might consider distributing this brochure to other interested
> parties. It is available in multiple languages in the FSF Europe office.
> If you send an email to address@hidden, letting us know many of
> these brochures in which languages you'd like to be sent where, we'll be
> happy to supply you with them.

> If you want to get active, you might consider helping us out with the web
> site, translations, booths and other activities. Information on this can
> be found at http://fsfeurope.org/help/help.html.

> If you have the necessary resources, you might also support us financially
> with a donation to the FSF Europe. You will find details about this at
> http://fsfeurope.org/help/donate.html.

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