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[Fsfe-uk] [until Monday, 18:00] New Flyer, final changes

From: Georg C. F. Greve
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] [until Monday, 18:00] New Flyer, final changes
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 01:04:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090006 (Oort Gnus v0.06) Emacs/21.2 (i386-debian-linux-gnu)

Hi all,

here is the final version of the text for the FSF Europe flyers, there
will be no more content-changes now (even if changes to improve the
English spelling will of course still be welcome).

For the translators: There are only few changes. Some wording has been
changed, but that is probably irrelevant for your translation. Two
major things (but relatively quick to translate) have changed,

 * The section "Work of the FSF Europe" now contains examples that
   should be translated.

 * The section "How can you support the FSF Europe" has been

Note: Please make sure that you have used the "preferrable" form in
your languages (libre logiciel, software libero etc.) throughout the

The only exception to this should be "What is Free Software," the
title of which should also contain the form in your language, but it
should contain "Free Software" in two places like this:

 FREE SOFTWARE (engl. Free Software) - sometimes also referred to as
 Libre Software or Open Source Software - is best defined by the
 following four freedoms:

 Therefore the FSF Europe recommends using the term Free Software or
 the equivalent term in the local language, in [YOURLANGUAGE] FREE
 SOFTWARE. Software not meeting the freedoms mentioned above is
 properly called proprietary or non-free.

where "FREE SOFTWARE" means the best form in your language. I hope you
get the idea.

Andreas will layout the flyers throughout Monday, so if he receives
everything on Monday, he should be able to create all these languages.

Also I asked him to mail the layouted flyers in the different
languages to the according lists to give you a chance to find last
second bugs to fix before it goes into print.

Thank you all very much for your help!



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:

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

 2nd 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.

 3rd freedom: The freedom to redistribute copies.

 4th 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) s a legal entity to
represent 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 kernel 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: Derivatives 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 proprietarisation by third parties is often referred to as

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 licences 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


What is the Free Software Foundation?

The Free Software Foundation was originally founded in 1985 by Richard
M. Stallman as the legal entity representing the GNU Project.

In response to the need to perform tasks such as spreading awareness
of Free Software, and performing legal and political work related to
this,FSF soon grew beyond this initial idea. Based in Boston, MA, USA,
the FSF has been working on all aspects of Free Software for over 16
years, which makes it the oldest organisation 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), and FSF Europe and FSF India, with more
regional FSFs to come.


What is the organisational layout of the FSF Europe?

The FSF Europe is a European Non-Governmental Organisation (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 (gemeinn├╝tziger eingetragener Verein). To
provide means for tax-deductable donations in other countries, as
well, the FSF Europe seeks to set up charitable per-country-specific -
usually referred to as Chapters - whenever possible.

Similar to its sister organisation, the FSF North America, the FSF
Europe follows a minimal membership policy to protect its integrity.

For the FSF Europe, new members are only appointed if 3/4 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 organisations, which are self-organizing,
independent associations often centred on a certain region or area of

These associate organisations 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 1st June 2002, the associate organisations 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

Example: The FSF Europe is participating in K.A.IV 3.3 of the 5th
European Commission framework programme as a partner of the "AGNULA
Project" (IST-2001-34879). The aim of the project is to create "A
GNU/Linux Audio Distribution" for professional audio users that will
be easy to install, use and maintain. The page of the project is

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.

Example: For the 6th European commission framework programme, the FSF
Europe has issued a recommendation explaining how the European Union
could greatly profit by adopting Free Software as the preferred
model. This recommendation was backed by over 50 companies, research
institutes, associations and consortiums throughout Europe; it is
available online at http://fsfeurope.org/documents/fp6/

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.

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.

Example: In January 2002, Germany approved a revision of the copyright
law that aimed to give musicians and artists better protection from
unfair contracts. Unfortunately, this revision might have jeopardized
Free Software developers and companies in Germany. Together with the
ifrOSS, the FSF Europe was able to make sure this law - which has been
enacted by now - does contain an exception for Free Software.

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.

But since most people do not ask themselves these questions yet, we
have to make people raise these questions so they will be able to
appreciate the answer.

Example: In May 2002, the FSF Europe filed a request to the French
authorities to have the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) and OpenSSL approved
for strong cryptography on public networks and for official use. After
GnuPG has become the only supported major OpenPGP standard
implementation in early 2002, this will help protecting privacy and
maintain secure communication in the future.


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:


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.


Although it strikes some people as odd that security might be enhanced
by allowing the world to look at the source code, this is actually the
case. 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.


For most companies, software is not their main area of interest, but
it largely determines their ability to fulfil 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 in IT.


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 it significant clout over its decisions.


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.


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.


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?

You can support the work of the FSF Europe in many ways.

First of all, in order to be able to understand the answers provided
by Free Software, people have to start asking the proper questions. By
spreading the word you can make them raise these questions for

To help you with this, you might order this flyer from the FSF Europe
and spread it to colleagues, friends, family or anyone else who might
be interested. The flyer can be ordered in several languages at the
FSF Europe office by email to address@hidden

If you wish to participate in the information flow, you should
consider subscribing to the FSF Europe mailing lists you are
interested in and possibly joining one of our associate
organizations. You can find information about both on the FSF Europe
home page.

The best way of getting involved in the work is to start helping out
as a volunteer with the web site, translations, booths or other
activities that you feel you can help us with. General information on
this can be found at http://fsfeurope.org/help/help.html.

And 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.

Joining one of our associate organizations and helping us work for
Free Software through them or as a volunteer, donor or other
contributor is also the best way of getting involved in the FSF Europe
activities and getting to know us and our work in detail.


Georg C. F. Greve                                       <address@hidden>
Free Software Foundation Europe                  (http://fsfeurope.org)
Brave GNU World                            (http://brave-gnu-world.org)

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