[ILUG] A call to help FSF Europe protect Free Software
ciaran at member.fsf.org
Thu Mar 3 18:20:21 GMT 2005
FSF Europe have launched a "fellowship" program: http://www.fsfe.org
For 120 euro per year, you get a personalised OpenPGP compliant cryptocard,
an fsfe.org login with homepage, blog, email alias, etc, but the real reason
to join is that the FSFE needs support from you to expand it's work
protecting the freedom to write and use free software.
As well as helping to build a network of national free software
initiatives, such as Irish Free Software Organisation, FSF Europe has
been working at world trade agreement level to stop the creation of legal
impediments to writing and adopting free software.
Normally, it's only the big software owners and last centuries monopolies
that participate in world trade agreements. The dinosaurs are in charge of
evolution, and they don't like Free Software.
The EU's software patents directive and their copyright directive were
initiated to bring the EU into compliance with a 1995 world trade agreement
(TRIPs). While bodies such as IFSO have been working on these directives,
FSF Europe has been working to prevent the next batch of agreements from
spawning another wave of bad law.
Their work often gets no media spotlight, and little community attention,
but no one else is doing this work, so they do it.
Since their founding in 2001, FSF Europe has built up media relations, a
team of volunteer legal experts, and a network of national Free Software
initiatives (such as IFSO). Now they want to grow to the next level. In
particular they want to take a more active role against software idea
patents, and increase their world trade agreement work.
120 euro a year is less than the price of 3 pints a month, and most of us
have saved 100's or 1000's of euros in licensing fees thanks to
They rely on the support of the very small portion of society that knows
that these issues need work (you), so please consider getting out your
wallet and letting them know they don't stand alone.
There are also initiatives, like IFSO, that have been setup but
have not yet gone through the process of becomming official
Ciarán O'Riordan http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/
Free Software in Ireland: http://www.ifso.ie/
Please consider supporting FSF Europe's work: http://www.fsfe.org/
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