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[Fsfe-uk] FSF Europe Newsletter

From: Free Software Foundation Europe
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] FSF Europe Newsletter
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 20:22:02 +0100

1. Gareth Bowker joins General Assembly of FSFE
2. Free Knowledge Foundation associates with FSFE
3. UN Consultations on Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
4. UN WIPO: Provisional Committee on a Development Agenda (PCDA)
5. FSFE's office moves to Düsseldorf
6. Second Fellowship meeting in Berlin
7. Microsoft antitrust case: 2 million EUR per day
9. FSFE organises SWPAT roundtable in Brussels
10. Fellowship: Get a 3 month LWN subscription and win a notebook!

1. Gareth Bowker joins General Assembly of FSFE

After Gareth Bowker has been working in the FSFE Team for a long time,
the Free Software Foundation Europe is glad to announce that he has
joined the general assembly. With this step, Gareth has committed
himself to the work of FSFE in the long term and agreed to accept legal
and political responsibility for FSFE's work.

His dedication strengthens FSFE's role within the United Kingdom and
is warmly welcomed by everyone in the Team.

2. Free Knowledge Foundation associates with FSFE

The Free Knowledge Foundation, a Spanish non-profit organisation, has
become the first FSFE associate organisation in Spain. Both FKF and
FSFE are looking forward to a close cooperation and many fruitful
projects. Together with FKF, the next step will be to build up the
Spanish Team for FSFE.


3. UN Consultations on Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

As one of the outcomes of the UN World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS), UN secretary-general Kofi Annan asked to organise
consultations on the establishment of an Internet Governance
Forum. The reason for these consultations was to determine the scope
and mandate of the IGF. Statements were rather diverse, and ranged
from "domain name issues only" to "all aspects of the internet,
including spam, cybercrime, privacy and online identities" in scope
and "pure discussion forum" to "global public-policy setting body" in
mandate. FSFE's president Georg Greve participated in the meeting to
help maintain the interests of Free Software, the FSFE statement and
more information are available in his blog:


4. UN WIPO: Provisional Committee on a Development Agenda (PCDA)

Last year's series of Inter-Governmental Inter-Sessional Meetings
(IIM) on a potential reform of the United Nations World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO) ended in a deadlock, largely due to a
blockade by the United States. As a result, the last general assembly
decided to hold two week-long PCDA meetings, the first of which took
place last month in Geneva. FSFE was represented by its president Georg
Greve and former intern and now Team member Karsten Gerloff, who worked
hard to help push for reform in WIPO. The first FSFE statement is
available online at


The second statement can be found in Georg Greve's blog, Karsten
Gerloff also has some more information:


5. FSFE's office moves to Düsseldorf

After its initial founding in 2001, Free Software Foundation Europe
has maintained a small distribution and administrative office in the
Villa-Vogelsang in Essen. The office was kindly provided by Reinhard
Wiesemann of the Villa-Vogelsang, FSFE's visionary patron, who also
allowed Martin Gerwinski to spend part of his time paid by the
Linuxhotel to also work on FSFE office tasks. The rest of the time was
volunteered by Martin Gerwinski. Both Martin and Reinhard deserve and
have our sincere thanks and appreciation for their important

As FSFE has been growing rapidly over the past year, the office work
is now too much to be handled on this basis, which is why FSFE is glad
to introduce Rainer Kersten. He has entered FSFE's paid staff to take
care of the necessary administrative work and is working with FSFE's
head of office Werner Koch to establish the new office in Düsseldorf.

6. Second Fellowship meeting in Berlin

For the second time, Fellows in Berlin met to discuss and coordinate
their activities. FSFE is happy to see Fellows taking initiative, and
is working with them to constantly improve the infrastructure that
can be used freely by the Fellows. Currently, the possibility of
creating ad hoc mailing lists is being worked on, and a Wiki is planned.

7. Microsoft antitrust case: 2 million EUR per day

Last month was also the moment when the European Commission finally
decided to stop allowing Microsoft to ignore its antitrust obligations
and faced them with the obligation of paying 2 million EUR for each
day they remain in non-compliance with the ruling. Microsoft is still
trying to play for more time, so FSFE has spoken up in support of the



As every year, Free Software Foundation Europe participated in one of
Europe's classic: FOSDEM in Brussels. Georg Greve, Ciaran O'Riordan,
Henrik Sandklef, Pablo Machón and Reinhard Müller presented various
aspects of FSFE's work in a series of short talks. Volker Dormeyer,
FSFE booth coordinator and long-term Team member, did an outstanding
job in coordinating the booth. A team of 16 people from the FSFE and
associates, especially the Free Knowledge Foundation and Wilhelmtux,
gathered for this event and helped turn it into a great success.

9. FSFE organises SWPAT roundtable in Brussels

Originally masquerading themselves as 'computer implemented
inventions', software patents are now lurking under the plans for a
'Community patent' for which the European Commission is seeking
input. FSFE took this as an opportunity to organise a round table with
Francisco Mingorance, BSA, Pieter Hintjens, FFII and Ciaran O'Riordan
of the Free Software Foundation Europe. German journalist Stefan
Krempl moderated the discussion to which journalists across Europe
were invited.

10. Fellowship: Get a 3 month LWN subscription and win a notebook!

The Fellowship of FSFE is an essential part and building block of
FSFE's work. It makes possible much of what you can see above, and
helps make visible the number of people who care about these issues.
FSFE greatly appreciates the help and support of all Fellows, and is
glad to see this community for digital freedom grow.

For all that support, FSFE would like to give something that goes beyond
our work and words. Thanks to Jonathan Corbet, there is a new "thank
GNU" for all new or renewing Fellows: a gratis 3 month subscription to
LWN, which every Fellow will receive by email upon confirmation of
his/her renewal or subscription.


Also, all Fellows that are fully activated by 1 April 2006 have the
opportunity to win one of two HP notebooks, kindly provided by HP.


If you wish to support FSFE's work, sign up now:


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