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Re: Growing FSFE Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only

From: Shane Martin Coughlan
Subject: Re: Growing FSFE Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2008 19:08:45 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071022)

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
>> [...]gpl-violations.org[...]or the FSFE's Freedom Task Force they're
>> unfortunately too undermanned to respond or inform the public of their
>> progress.
> You're right, but I'd also add that sometimes longterm enforcement is best
> achieved quietly.

As Ciaran said, a lot of the work we do is relatively quiet.  Solving
individual licensing problems is one area of activity, but there is also
a substantial amount of work on other levels, such as broader
discussions with regards ODM purchasing contract agreements, compliance
terms and ensuring that personnel in companies understand licensing
obligations and are in a position to deal with any issues that arise.
We're looking at solving the long-term issues in the marketplace as a
key objective.  The FTF is not just about violations.  We do training,
we help people plan adoption of Free Software, we help people improve
their usage of Free Software and we work to create communication
channels between multiple stakeholders.

However, I do want to address your concerns about response time from the
FTF.  What areas of specific improvement would you like to see with
regards response?  Quite a few people do report violations to the FTF
and we queue these cases for investigation.  Some are processed more
quickly than others.  Clear-cut problems are discussed with vendors and
frequently measures are undertaken to correct the problem at hand.
Would you like to see the FTF informing the reporter of a problem of
such actions?  Of course, such reportage does consume additional time
and resources on our part, but if several people felt that it was a
necessity then it's something I would like to take into consideration.

At the moment, if people report a clear cut problem I often state that
the FTF will investigate, and then we work to resolve the issue.  Status
reports back to the original reporter in such cases are given low
priority and our focus is on resolution of the issues at hand.

It's true that we have quite a few cases to work on and we are
exceptionally busy most of the time.  I'd love if we had more resources
in terms of volunteers helping out.  If people are interested in lending
a hand then please contact me.

If there have been cases where we have failed to provide adequate
response then I apologise.  I can assure you that we want to do our best
and we are continually working to improve our processes.

As a further note, I'd like to once again re-emphasise what Ciaran said:

"FSFE had income/expenditure of ~£180k in 2006.  That's for it's
European/EU work, it's global work in WIPO/WSIS, and it's national work
for 710 million people.  The annual budget has grown consistently by
about 50% each year, which is very good for a non-profit, but it's not
going to give FSFE surplus resources in the short or medium term.

What we need is:

1. Large drives to increase Fellowship subscriptions:

2. People to solicit businesses to donate lump sums:
   (as well as individuals and philanthropists)

3. People to purchase FTF training courses:

If we want FSFE to be in a position to work on all the important issues
of software freedom, we have to increase the organisation's rate of growth.

Would anyone like to work on a mass effort to increase one of these
funding channels?  ...such as a membership drive or other campaign?"


Shane Coughlan
FTF Coordinator
Free Software Foundation Europe
Office: +41435000366 ext 408 / Mobile: +41792633406
Support Free Software > http://fsfe.org

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