End Software Patents Australia

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.


Ciarán O’Riordan, +32 487 64 17 54, http://ciaran.compsoc.com/

Software patents wiki: http://en.swpat.org/
End Software Patents: http://www.EndSoftwarePatents.org/

Donate: http://endsoftwarepatents.org/donate
List: http://campaigns.fsf.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/esp-action-alert

Make a difference in 2009

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.

Current campaigns include:

  • ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an imminent threat to the distribution and development of free software. 
  • 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?

    If you would like to support the FSF in 2009  — become a member or make a donation.

    I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

    Happy Birthday to GNU

    Happy birthday GNU 🙂 Thank you to all the GNU hackers that write free software, thank you for giving me so much freedom when I use my computer and thanks from my friends who I share it with 😀

    Check out GNU and FSF audio and video repository to learn more.

    September 2, 2008 by Bradley M. Kuhn – SFLC

    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

    Mike Linksvayer, September 2nd, 2008 – Creative Commons Weblog

    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

    “Year of the Upgrade”. FSF Annual Associate Member Meeting, Saturday March 24

    “Year of the Upgrade”. Annual Associate Member Meeting, Saturday March 24.

    The full schedule of speakers and details for attendees and registration is published at

    “Year of the upgrade”

    09:15-10:00 Breakfast, registration and gpg key signing
    10:00-10:25 Peter Brown, Executive Director – “Libre Planet”
    10:25-10:50 John Sullivan, Program Administrator – “BadVista and the Campaign for Free Software Adoption”
    10:50-11:05 Justin Baugh, Senior System Administrator – “Hardware Free from Restrictions”
    11:05-11:20 Joshua Ginsberg, Senior System Administrator – “FSF Systems Administration”
    11:20-11:35 Break
    11:35-12:10 Brett Smith, Licensing Engineer – “Compliance and GPLv3”
    12:10-12:50 Richard Stallman, President – “Free Software and Software Patents”
    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 – “After GPLv3”
    15:20-16:00 Board members panel and Q&A “Year of the Upgrade”
    16:00-16:15 Break
    16:15-17:30 Members Forum – including a presentation by Mako Hill – “Defining free culture”
    17:30-17:50 Free Software Awards Ceremony
    19:00 Dinner at the Middle East ($)

    Read this essay.
    The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth: My Story of Unlearning – Benjamin “Mako” Hill

    Read Writings and Publications by Benjamin Mako Hill.

    Here’s the Recordings from the 2006 Associate Member Meeting. Here’s the part I was interested in “Moving the fight for free software into the mainstream”.

    It is immoral to exclude people from knowledge and from beauty

    Eben Moglen with more words of wisdom.

    Die Gedanken Sind Frei: Free Software and the Struggle for Free Thought
    Wizards of OS 3, Opening Keynote – Eben Moglen – June 10, 2004

    Read the transcript and visit this page to download the video or watch it below.

    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.

    German 16th-century peasant song

    Die Gedanken Sind Frei.
    Another quote:

    The perpetuation of ignorance is the beginning of slavery — Eben Moglen “

    Eben Moglen: A message about the Free Software Foundation

    From www.FSF.org:

    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.

    Codev2 and Eben Inspiration

    Lawrence Lessig updated his book “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace“. Download Codev2.

    Recenlty we read Eben Moglens speech “Free Software and the Death of Proprietary Culture” and now lets check out his keynote address, titled “Software and Community in the Early 21st Century” presented at Plone Conference 2006 on October 25, 2006 in Seattle, WA. You can read the transcript by Geof Glass on his blog “Eben Moglen on Free Software and Social Justice“.

    Heres a look at some of what he said.

    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 didn’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 today’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 – 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 need’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 “what” but “why” would help a lot. Because people are getting used to the “what”.

    “Oh yeah, Firefox, I use it all the time.”


    “Why, cuz Internet…”

    “No no no no no. Not why do you use it, why does it exist?”

    “Oh I dunno, some people did it.”

    That’s the moment, all right, that’s the moment, that’s the one where that annoying Stallman voice should enter the mind, okay. Free As In Freedom, Free As In Freedom, tell people it’s free as in freedom. Tell them that if you don’t tell them anything else. Because they need to know.

    We’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 aren’t all going to go with monuments and honors. But they’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.

    Visit the Internet Archive to download the video/audio. You have to check this one out.


    Defective by Design Artwork

    DRM Protest The flashmobs are at it again, this time it was Apple. Check out Apple Events June 10th.
    You can help thwart DRM.

    DefectiveByDesign.org is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation Empowered by CivicActions.com
    Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA. Verbatim copying and distribution of site content permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.


    Eliminate DRMNewsforge has the story FSF launches anti-DRM campaign outside WinHEC 2006

    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.

    The FSF has created the defectivebydesign.org Web site.