Recently I received an email Ciarán O’Riordan about his work on FSF’s End Software Patents campaign. I think its wonderful that we have people working on that and helping us in Australia. For people who care about this issue please make contact with Ciarán O’Riordan and check out the wiki. Thanks for allowing me to publish the email below.
I found your email address from groups.fsf.org/wiki/User:Chrismo (and a bit
of searching 🙂
I’m working on FSF’s End Software Patents campaign and am building a wiki
for anti-software-patent campaigns:
Gathering local info is pretty hard though. This week I’m focussing on
Australia, so if you know of any info/websites/stories about what’s
happening or what’s happened there, it’d be great if you could add it here:
I’ve found two interesting organisations digital.org.au and EFA, but if you
could point me towards other active (or potentially active) groups that care
about digital freedom or SMEs or software market competition, that would be
very useful so I could get in contact with them.
As we wave goodbye to 2008 I thought now seemed as good a time as any to look back at the work done by the Free Software Foundation over the past year.
The FSF celebrated the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project this year with a breakthrough film from the English comedian Stephen Fry, who gave us an important reminder of the alternative vision for the technology we use, a vision where people don’t trade freedom for convenience but instead support development of tools that create a better society. More than 1 million people have watched the film and it has been translated into 32 languages.
DefectiveByDesign.org: FSF’s campaign to eliminate Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting large media companies, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. DRM products have features built-in that restrict you and spy on your activities. These products have been intentionally crippled from the users’ perspective, and are therefore “defective by design”. We aim to make it clear that DRM is an anti-social technology and practice.
PlayOgg.org: FSF’s campaign to promote Ogg, a free alternative to proprietary formats like MP3 and AAC
Today, there are many questions that the free software community needs to tackle — Does your employer or school require you to use Microsoft software? Are you required to use proprietary formats to interact with your bank or local government? Are your children being trained to use Microsoft or Apple rather than learning how to be in control of the computers they use?
Twenty-five years ago this month, I had just gotten my first computer, a Commodore 64, and was learning the very basics (quite literally) of programming. Unfortunately for my education, it would be a full eight years before I’d be permitted to see any source code to a computer program that I didn’t write myself. I often look back at those eight years and consider that my most formative years of programming learning were wasted, since I was not permitted to study the programs written by the greatest minds…Read more
One of the movements and projects directly inspired by GNU is Creative Commons. We’re still learning from the free software movement. On a practical level, all servers run by Creative Commons are powered by GNU/Linux and all of the software we develop is free software.
So please join us in wishing the GNU project a happy 25th birthday by spreading a happy birthday video from comedian Stephen Fry. The video, Freedom Fry, is released under a CC Attribution-NoDerivatives license…Read more
09:15-10:00 Breakfast, registration and gpg key signing
10:00-10:25 Peter Brown, Executive Director – â€œLibre Planetâ€
10:25-10:50 John Sullivan, Program Administrator – â€œBadVista and the Campaign for Free Software Adoptionâ€
10:50-11:05 Justin Baugh, Senior System Administrator – â€œHardware Free from Restrictionsâ€
11:05-11:20 Joshua Ginsberg, Senior System Administrator – â€œFSF Systems Administrationâ€
11:35-12:10 Brett Smith, Licensing Engineer – â€œCompliance and GPLv3â€
12:10-12:50 Richard Stallman, President – â€œFree Software and Software Patentsâ€
12:50-13:50 Lunch and mini-rockbox installfast
13:50-14:40 Gerald Sussman, Director – “Robust Design”
14:40-15:20 Eben Moglen, General Counsel – â€œAfter GPLv3â€
15:20-16:00 Board members panel and Q&A “Year of the Upgrade”
16:15-17:30 Members Forum – including a presentation by Mako Hill – â€œDefining free cultureâ€
17:30-17:50 Free Software Awards Ceremony
19:00 Dinner at the Middle East ($)
He talks about the history and struggle for the freedom of thought, economic justice and the equality of persons. The struggle against control of education and publication by the universal catholic church , control of printing and censorship of learning by state power, control of knowledge and culture by owners capitalistically motivated and idealogically inclined.
We can eradicate ignorance at the expense of a few, we have to do it. — Eben Moglen
Here’s a poem that was mentioned in the talk.
I think as I please
And this gives me pleasure.
My conscience decrees,
This right I must treasure.
My thoughts will not cater
To duke or dictator,
No man can deny
Die gedanken sind frei.
Watch a video appeal from Eben Moglen, Board member and General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation, covering the Novell and Microsoft deal, GPLv3, the FSF’s campaign against DRM (DefectiveByDesign.org) and software patents. You can help us save bandwidth by downloading from Internet Archive and Coral Cache.
From the video:
Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.
We have brought forward now the possibility of distributing everything that every public education system uses freely everywhere to everyone: true universal public education for the first time.
You and I, and the people who came before us, have been rolling a very large rock uphill a very long time. We wanted freedom of knowledge in a world that didnâ€™t give it, which burned people for their scientific or religious beliefs. We wanted democracy, by which we meant originally the rule of the many by the many, and the subjection of todayâ€™s rulers to the force of law. And we wanted a world in which distinctions among persons were based not on the color of skin, or even the content of character, but just the choices that people make in their own lives. We wanted the poor to have enough, and the rich to cease to suffer from the diseases of too much. We wanted a world in which everybody had a roof, and everybody had enough to eat, and all the children went to school. And we were told, always, that it was impossible.
In other words, the free world now produces technology whose ability to reorient power in the larger traditional economy is very great. We have magnets; we can move the iron filings around. We can also change the infrastructure of social life. That OLPC has every textbook on earth. That OLPC is a free MIT education. That OLPC is a hand-powered thick-net router. When you close the lid as a kid and put it in the shelf at night, the main CPU shuts down â€“ but the 802.11 gear stays running all night long on the last few pulls of the string. And it routes packets all night long and it keeps the mesh. The village is a mesh when the kids have green or purple or orange boxes. And all you needâ€™s a downspout somewhere, and the village is on the Net. And when the village is on the Net, everybody in the village is a producer of something: services, knowledge, culture, art, YouTube TV.
But a little more political consciousness about it and a more attempt to get other people to understand not just â€œwhatâ€ but â€œwhyâ€ would help a lot. Because people are getting used to the â€œwhatâ€.
â€œOh yeah, Firefox, I use it all the time.â€
â€œWhy, cuz Internetâ€¦â€
â€œNo no no no no. Not why do you use it, why does it exist?â€
â€œOh I dunno, some people did it.â€
Thatâ€™s the moment, all right, thatâ€™s the moment, thatâ€™s the one where that annoying Stallman voice should enter the mind, okay. Free As In Freedom, Free As In Freedom, tell people itâ€™s free as in freedom. Tell them that if you donâ€™t tell them anything else. Because they need to know.
Weâ€™ve spent a long time hunting for freedom. Many of us lost our lives trying to get it more than once. We have sacrificed a great deal for generations, and the people who have sacrificed most we honor most when we can remember them. And some of them have been entirely forgotten. Some of us are likely to be forgotten too. And the sacrifices we make arenâ€™t all going to go with monuments and honors. But theyâ€™re all going to contribute to the end. The end is a good end if we do it right. We have been looking for freedom for a very long time. The difference is, this time, we win.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) launched its anti-Digital Rights Management (DRM) campaign in Seattle this morning. When attendees of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006 arrived at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to hear a keynote address by Bill Gates, a small group of FSF members and their local allies were waiting to greet them, dressed in yellow hazmat suits and handing out pamphlets explaining that Microsoft products are — in the words of the key slogan for the campaign — “defective by design” because of the DRM technologies included in them.