Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's
(FSF) monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and
194,939 other activists. That's 731 more than last month!
Give today to propel the free software movement to new frontiers
From November 15
As 2018 comes to a close, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is
preparing to explore new frontiers in software freedom -- with your
help. This has been a year of significant challenges for the free
software movement, but also incredible opportunities. Our recent large
donations will enable us to fund and initiate more projects than ever,
but we need the consistent support of ongoing and new Associate
Members to see these efforts through. Join
and/or donate today to help us take our
movement to the next level!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Give the gift of freedom this year!
- Help the FSF tech team build the future of free software
- Richard Stallman: Talking to the mailman
- Recent licensing updates
- FSF job opportunity: Web developer
- CPAP machines are becoming a privacy and DRM battleground
- Molly de Blanc: Free software superstar
- New free software swag from the GNU store
- Introducing Jake Glass, FSF campaigns and licensing intern
- Alyssa Rosenzweig's summer internship wrap-up
- The completion of David's internship work on the Free Software Directory
- Reproducible Builds joins Conservancy
- Conservancy adds Dr. Laura Fortunato and Bdale Garbee to its board of directors
- Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
- LibrePlanet featured resource: ReverseEngineering
- GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!
- GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
- Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
- Thank GNUs!
- GNU copyright contributions
- Take action with the FSF!
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Give the gift of freedom this year!
From November 21
So many coveted gifts are loaded with digital gremlins that can take
all of the fun out of the holidays, using proprietary software to
sneak in surveillance, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and
other malware in along with the functions we actually want these items
to serve. Every year, the FSF offers you an
easy solution: our Ethical Tech Giving
Guide! The Giving Guide is loaded
with tech you can feel good about giving your loved ones, including
some great selections from our Respects Your
certification program -- and it also highlights some dangerous devices
that are better left on the shelf.
Help the FSF tech team build the future of free software
From November 28
Our small, three-person tech team supports FSF and GNU infrastructure,
and we work hard to improve the services we provide. All of this
infrastructure runs on free software and is self-hosted: for example,
we use CiviCRM to manage events, campaigns, mailing lists, and our
database of members; our new member forum is powered by Discourse; and
we used tools like HUBAngl and GNU MediaGoblin to stream, record, and
publish 30+ hours of video from LibrePlanet 2018. All of this work
demonstrates that a nonprofit can be best-in-class in its operations
and at its mission without giving up its freedom to Service as a
Software Substitute or proprietary software.
Richard Stallman: Talking to the mailman
From September-October 2018 by Rob Lucas
FSF founder Richard Stallman (RMS) sat down with Rob Lucas from the
New Left Review to discuss the history of free software and the GNU
Project, how proprietary software abuses users, the political
implications and global impact of free software, and much more.
Recent licensing updates
From November 8
We recently published a number of updates to our licensing
materials. While we generally post individual announcements for these
types of important changes, there were so many in such a short span
that we needed to combine them all in one place. We recently added two
licenses to our list of Various Licenses and Comments about
Them, updated our
article on License Compatibility and
and added a new entry to the Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU
Licenses. What follows is
a brief rundown on those changes, and how you can learn more about
free software licensing.
FSF job opportunity: Web developer
From November 9
The FSF seeks a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be
our full-time Web developer. This position, reporting to the executive
director, works closely with our sysadmin team and chief technology
officer to maintain and improve the FSF's Web presence. The FSF uses
several different free software Web platforms in the course of our
work, both internally and externally. These platforms are critical to
work supporting the GNU Project, free software adoption, free media
formats, and freedom on the Internet; and to opposing bulk
surveillance, Digital Restrictions Management, software patents, and
proprietary software. We are looking for someone who is comfortable
with keeping these systems up-to-date and working, as well as
customizing them when necessary. Please see the link below for details
on how to apply.
CPAP machines are becoming a privacy and DRM battleground
From November 15 by Jason Koebler and from November 21 by Marshall Allen
Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly illness, and continuous positive
airway pressure (CPAP) machines can save lives. However, like any
Internet-connected device run via proprietary software, they're
susceptible to the control of forces that may not have the patients'
best interests at heart. According to one recent
patients found that they could only get the results they needed by
utilizing software that circumvents the Digital Restrictions
Management (DRM) on the device. In the meantime, other patients have
that their CPAP machines are spying on them: tracking when they're
using the machine and sending the information not just to their
doctors, but also to the manufacturer and the health insurance
company, who may refuse to fund the machine if the patients do not use
the machine exactly as directed.
Molly de Blanc: Free software superstar
From November 27 by Deb Nicholson
FSF campaigns manager Molly de Blanc has been working in free software
for four years, and involved for ten years -- plus she is the driving
force behind the individual super-donor part of Conservancy's year-end
donation match. Molly and several other outstanding individuals are
joining Private Internet Access and a big anonymous donor in offering
a total of $90,000 in matching funds to the Conservancy for their
continued work to provide both a "back-office" for free software and a
clear voice in favor of community-driven licensing and governance
New free software swag from the GNU Press Shop
Treat yourself or a freedom-loving friend to the All Things Emacs
bundle, which includes the new Emacs manual, an Emacs Quick Reference
Card, an Emacs "Auto-Fill Mode" mug, and plenty of stickers! And don't
forget to shout your free software pride with our new BASH logo and
Emacs sink icon stickers.
Introducing Jake Glass, FSF campaigns and licensing intern
From November 13
Hello software freedom supporters! I am Jake Glass, and I will be
interning for both the campaigns and the licensing teams this
fall/winter. I like to quickly describe my internship as copywriting
and copyrights! I?m excited to explore the legal and ethical questions
concerning computing while building my writing and analytical skills
through a organization contributing to global good.
Alyssa Rosenzweig's summer internship wrap-up
From November 5
As you already know if you read my introductory blog
over the summer, I interned with the Free Software Foundation tech
team. A free software enthusiast, I joined the FSF in order to grow my
appreciation, to work on interesting free software projects for which
I normally would not have the opportunity, and to meet other free
software supporters. My dreams were exceeded!
The completion of David's internship work on the Free Software Directory
From November 8
One of the main projects of my internship has been importing
information about free software extensions for Mozilla-based browsers
on the Free Software Directory based on data from
addons.mozilla.org. I call this project FreeAMO (AMO stands for
addons.mozilla.org) and it exists as part of the directory package on
Savannah. After many weeks of work, it generates usable directory
entries. I learned a great deal from my internship and from working
with the FSF staff: Ian Kelling, Andrew Engelbrecht, and Donald
Robertson. After taking some time off, I hope to continue contributing
to the Directory.
Reproducible Builds joins Conservancy
From November 8 by Software Freedom Conservancy
Reproducible Builds is a set of software development practices that
create an independently-verifiable path from the source code to the
binary code used by computers. This ensures that the builds you are
installing are exactly the ones you were expecting, which is critical
for freedom, security, and compatibility, and exposes injections of
backdoors introduced by compromising build servers or coercing
developers to do so via political or violent means. The Reproducible
Builds project, which began as a project within the Debian community,
joins Conservancy's other adjacent work around this distribution, such
as the Debian Copyright Aggregation Project.
Conservancy adds Dr. Laura Fortunato and Bdale Garbee to its board of directors
From November 1 by Software Freedom Conservancy
As the Conservancy continues to grow, it makes sense to draw on a
wider field of expertise to inform their work. Tony Sebro, former
Conservancy staff member and now Deputy General Counsel at the
Wikimedia Foundation, joined their board at the beginning of the
year. This month, Conservancy brought on two brand new board members,
one an academic with interests in reproducibility and open research,
the other a longtime free software activist and expert. Dr. Laura
Fortunato is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at the
University of Oxford, where she researches the evolution of human
social and cultural behavior, working at the interface of anthropology
and biology. Bdale Garbee, who will also be a keynote
speaker at LibrePlanet 2019,
has been a Debian developer since 1994, and has worked to further free
software in many capacities, both technical and strategic.
Join the FSF and friends in updating the Free Software Directory
Tens of thousands of people visit directory.fsf.org each month to
discover free software. Each entry in the Directory contains a wealth
of useful information, from basic category and descriptions to version
control, IRC channels, documentation, and licensing. The Free Software
Directory has been a great resource to software users over the past
decade, but it needs your help staying up-to-date with new and
exciting free software projects.
To help, join our weekly IRC meetings on Fridays. Meetings take place
in the #fsf channel on irc.freenode.org, and usually include a handful
of regulars as well as newcomers. Freenode is accessible from any IRC
client -- Everyone's welcome!
The next meeting is Friday, December 7, from 12pm to 3pm EST (17:00 to
20:00 UTC). Details here:
LibrePlanet featured resource: ReverseEngineering
Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is
interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.
For this month, we are highlighting ReverseEngineering, which
provides information about prioritizing which hardware should be
reverse-engineered in order to free it, and gathers information about
items currently being worked on. You are invited to adopt, spread and
improve this important resource.
Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us
know at email@example.com.
GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 18 new GNU releases!
(as of November 27, 2018):
For announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu
mailing list: https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/info-gnu.
To download: nearly all GNU software is available from
https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/, or preferably one of its mirrors from
https://www.gnu.org/prep/ftp.html. You can use the URL
https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/ to be automatically redirected to a
(hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.
This month, we welcome Adam Bilbrough as the new maintainer of mcron.
A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a
whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see
https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you'd like to
help. The general page on how to help GNU is at
If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like
to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see
As always, please feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.
GNU Toolchain update: Support GNU Toolchain
Donate to support the GNU Toolchain, a collection of foundational
freely licensed software development tools including the GNU C
Compiler collection (GCC), the GNU C Library
(glibc), and the GNU
Richard Stallman's speaking schedule
For event details, as well as to sign-up to be notified for future
events in your area, please visit https://www.fsf.org/events.
So far, Richard Stallman has the following event this month:
We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation,
and we'd like to give special recognition to the folks who have
donated $500 or more in the last month.
This month, a big Thank GNU to:
- Aaron Grothe
- Adam Lewis
- Alessandro Vesely
- Alex Diaz Garcia
- Alison Chaiken
- Andrew Khosravian
- Charles Birk
- Christopher Marusich
- Elyse Grasso
- Etienne Grossmann
- Julio Claudio Matus Ramirez
- Matteo Frigo
- Michael Lalumiere
- Michael Lewis
- Plamen Ivanov
- Puduvankunnil Udayakumar
- René Genz
- Rob Vens
- Roland Pesch
- Thomas Hahn
You can add your name to this list by donating at
GNU copyright contributions
Assigning your copyright to the Free Software Foundation helps us
defend the GPL and keep software free. The following individuals have
assigned their copyright to the FSF in the past month:
- Daming Yang (glibc)
- Fran Burstall (Emacs)
- Fredrik Noring (Binutils) (GCC) (glibc)
- Magnus Nyberg (Emacs)
- Miha Pe?nik (GnuCOBOL)
- Mike Gulick (GDB) (GCC)
- Nathaniel Nicandro (Emacs)
- Oliver Delzeith (GNU sed)
- Tobias Gerdin (Emacs)
Want to see your name on this list? Contribute to GNU and assign your
copyright to the FSF.
Take action with the FSF!
Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's
work. You can contribute by joining at https://my.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 always looking for volunteers
(https://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 campaigns section
(https://www.fsf.org/campaigns) and take action on software
patents, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), free software
adoption, OpenDocument, Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA), and more.
Copyright © 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit