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[FSF] Free Software Supporter -- Issue 17, August 2009
Free Software Foundation
[FSF] Free Software Supporter -- Issue 17, August 2009
Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:19:53 -0400
Thunderbird 220.127.116.11 (X11/20090608)
# Free Software Supporter -- Issue 17, August 2009
Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's
monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 21,966
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* Coalition launches petition demanding that Amazon drop DRM from the Kindle
* Free Software Foundation calls upon Amazon to free their ebook reader
* Canadians: Please make your voice heard today on copyright law
* Canada's Auditor General falls into "intellectual property" trap
* GNU Generation: Calling all pre-university students
* RMS: How the Swedish Pirate Party platform backfires on free software
* Dailymotion's support for Ogg is a big deal
* Gnash Summerbash
* Gnash Internship final report
* Microsoft's Empty Promise
* GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
* Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
* Take action with the FSF!
## Coalition launches petition demanding that Amazon drop DRM from the
The Free Software Foundation's Defective By Design campaign, in
cooperation with prominent authors, journalists, and librarians, has
launched a petition against the Amazon Kindle's use of digital
restrictions management (DRM).
## Free Software Foundation calls upon Amazon to free their ebook reader
The Free Software Foundation welcomed the apology issued by Amazon CEO
Jeff Bezos, as negative reviews by the Defective by Design DRM
elimination crew criticizing the Kindle's use of proprietary software
and Digital Restrictions Management to remotely delete ebooks
continued to pour in, but said the problem would not be solved until
Amazon dropped DRM entirely.
## Canadians: Please make your voice heard today on copyright law
The Canadian government has set up an online public consultation
process to revise its copyright policy, running until September 13,
2009. If you live in Canada, now is your chance to take back your
copyright law. You can participate at
## Canada's Auditor General falls into "intellectual property" trap
The annual report of Canada's Auditor General makes an important and
unfortunate mistake: condoning use of the marketing phrase
"intellectual property." This quotation shows how this term has led to
inaccurate generalization: "Intellectual property is a valuable asset
that can be bought, sold, licensed, lost, or stolen" -- that is false:
there is no way to steal a copyright or a patent. Suppose I have a
copyright: how could you possibly steal it? You might conceivably
claim it fraudulently, but fraud is not theft.
## GNU Generation: Calling all pre-university students
GNU Generation is a new project sponsored by the Free Software
Foundation to involve high school age students in free
software. Participants will have the opportunity to get involved with
the free software community, and win some prizes!
If you have never considered contributing to a free software project
before, or if you wanted to but had no idea where to start -- this is
## RMS: How the Swedish Pirate Party platform backfires on free software
FSF president Richard Stallman explains the unintended interactions
between the Swedish Pirate Party's platform and free software in his
new article, "How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free
Software." Because free software currently relies on copyleft to
protect software freedom, while proprietary software has other means
beyond copyright to keep users restricted (like patents and EULAs),
eliminating copyright would protect proprietary software and hurt free
software. Users would never get to have the source code of the
proprietary software, while proprietary software companies would be
able to openly pillage from the free world.
## Dailymotion's Support for Ogg is a Big Deal
With video streaming site Dailymotion offering the free Ogg Theora
video format, FSF urges other video sites to follow. Dailymotion has
transcoded over 300,000 videos to the free Ogg Theora format, which
will play without the need for plugins in the latest free software web
browsers. Dailymotion is among the world's largest video streaming
sites, making this a major advance for Ogg Theora format.
## Gnash Summerbash
Greetings again from colorful Colorado, the home of the Gnash
"Summerbash" internship, where five interns have been working on this
FSF high-priority project for a few weeks now. While it's a large
project in size and scope, we have all managed to contribute some
valuable pieces at an individual level.
## Gnash Internship final report
Hello fellow free software enthusiasts! Last week on the Gnash project
blog I took the chance to introduce you to some of the team members,
and gave you an idea of what we were currently working on. I am proud
to report various levels of success across the board! We (the interns)
are now cleaning up loose ends, and turning in final fixes to our code
contributions. This will continue into next week, which is the last
week of the Gnash "Summerbash" internship. The Leader Of The Interns,
Rob Savoye, is planning on a Gnash release at the end of August, which
means everything needs to be clean and tidy before then.
## Microsoft's Empty Promise
Since we published Richard's article about Mono, some people have been
asking us why we're expressing special concern about free software
developers relying on C# and Mono, instead of other languages. Sun
probably has patents that cover Java. Maybe IBM has patents that cover
C compilers. "Shouldn't we discourage the use of these too?" they ask.
## GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry
Updated GNU packages for this month:
autoconf-2.64 ballandpaddle-0.8.1 ccscript-4.1.1 cflow-1.3
clisp-2.48 ddrescue-1.11 dfarc-3.2.3 ed-1.4
emacs-23.1 fdisk-1.2.3 freeipmi-0.7.11 gawk-3.1.7
gcc-4.3.4 gcc-4.4.1 glpk-4.39 gnun-0.3.1
gnuradio-3.2.2 icecat-3.5.2 kawa-1.9.90 libsigsegv-2.7
libtasn1-2.3 moe-1.2 nano-2.1.10 octave-3.2.2
parted-1.9.0 reftex-4.34 solfege-3.14.7 swbis-1.4
I'd like to specially note the new release of GNU Emacs. See
<http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/> for downloads and documentation.
To get announcements of most new GNU packages, subscribe to the info-gnu
mailing list: <http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu>. Nearly
all GNU software is available from <http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/>, or
preferably one of its mirrors (<http://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html>).
I'd like to give a warm welcome to Pavan Gorakavi, newly-dubbed
maintainer of gnuprologjava, and to Robert Millan and Pavel Roskin for
volunteering to be new co-maintainers of GNU grub. Also, thanks to
Jim Meyering, already maintainer of GNU coreutils and many other
packages, for joining in on GNU parted.
Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance.
Please see <http://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint> if
you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at
<http://www.gnu.org/help/help.html>. To submit new packages to GNU,
As always, please feel free to write to me, <address@hidden>, with any
GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
## Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
* Aug 23 | El Software Libre en la Ética y en la Práctica--Cordoba, Agentina
* Aug 24 | Software Libre en la Ética y en the Práctica--Buenos Aires,
* Aug 25 | El Movimiento del Software Libre--Buenos Aires, Argentina
* Aug 26 | Wikimania Keynote Speech-- Buenos Aires, Argentina,
* Aug 31 | Is Digital Inclusion a Good Thing?--Mar del Plata, Argentina,
### Take action with the FSF
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's
work. You can contribute by joining at <http://www.fsf.org/join>. If
you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some
rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email
I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!
The FSF is also always looking for volunteers
(<http://www.fsf.org/volunteer>). From rabble-rousing to hacking, from
issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for
everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section
(<http://www.fsf.org/campaigns>) and take action on software patents,
DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.
Copyright (c) 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No
Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this
license, visit <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/> or
send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San
Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
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