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FSF adds Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions

Thursday 6th of December 2018 09:15:24 PM

The FSF's list showcases GNU/Linux operating system distributions whose developers have made a commitment to follow its Guidelines for Free System Distributions. Each one includes and endorses exclusively free "as in freedom" software.

After a thorough vetting process, the FSF concluded that Hyperbola, a long-term support simplicity-focused distribution based on Arch GNU/Linux, meets these criteria.

"In a world where proprietary operating systems continually up the ante in terms of the abuse they heap on their users, adding another distribution to the list of fully free systems is a welcome development. Hyperbola represents another safe home for users looking for complete control over their own computing," said John Sullivan, FSF's executive director.

"Hyperbola is a fully free distribution based on Arch snapshots and Debian development without nonfree software, documentation, or any type of support for the installation or execution of nonfree software. Unlike Arch, which is a rolling release distribution, Hyperbola is a long-term one focused on stability and security inspired from Debian and Devuan," said André Silva, Hyperbola co-founder and developer.

FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, added, "It was a pleasure working with the team behind Hyperbola throughout this process. They really go above and beyond in terms of looking out for the rights of their users. "

Hyperbola joins a growing list of distributions that users can trust. More information about Hyperbola, and how volunteers can get involved, is available at https://www.hyperbola.info/.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to run, edit, share, and contribute to computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without nonfree software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

Media Contacts

Donald Robertson, III
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre logo, Copyright 2017-2018 Hyperbola Project released under the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.

Free Software Foundation receives $1 million from Handshake

Monday 3rd of December 2018 06:10:00 PM

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, December 3rd, 2018 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced it has received several earmarked charitable donations from Handshake, an organization developing an experimental peer-to-peer root domain naming system, totaling $1 million. These gifts will support the FSF's organizational capacity, including its advocacy, education, and licensing initiatives, as well as specific projects fiscally sponsored by the FSF.

John Sullivan, FSF's executive director, said, "Building on the $1 million Bitcoin gift from the Pineapple Fund earlier this year, and our record high number of individual associate members, it is clear that software freedom is more important than ever to the world. We are now at a pivotal moment in our history, on the cusp of making free software the 'kitchen table issue' it must be. Thanks to Handshake and our members, the Free Software Foundation looks forward to scaling to the next level of free software activism, development, and community."

Rob Myers of Handshake said, "The FSF is a worldwide leader in the fight to protect the rights of all computer users through its support for the production of free software, including the GNU operating system and its campaigns to raise awareness such as Defective by Design. Handshake is proud to be able to support the FSF in its important work to secure our freedom."

These significant contributions from Handshake will fuel the FSF's efforts with activists, developers, and lawyers around the world. They include:

  • $400,000 for the FSF's organizational capacity, publications, licensing, and activist initiatives;

  • $200,000 for Replicant, the fully free mobile operating system based on Android;

  • $100,000 for GNU Guix and GuixSD, a package manager supporting transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and more, as well as a distribution of the GNU operating system using that package manager;

  • $100,000 for GNU Octave, a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations;

  • $100,000 to help the GNU Project address important threats like nonfree JavaScript; and

  • $100,000 for the GNU Toolchain, which provides the foundational software components of the GNU/Linux system and the Internet.

Replicant developer Denis "GNUtoo" Carikli said, "So far, Replicant development has been driven by very few individuals contributing to it in their free time. Donations have been used to enable Replicant developers to buy new devices to port Replicant on, and to enable new Replicant developers to work on already-supported devices. They were also used to enable developers to attend conferences to promote Replicant and try to find new contributors. The kind of amount we received will enable Replicant to fund development, first to fix the most critical bugs, and then to upstream most of its code, making it more sustainable, and also enabling other projects to reuse Replicant's work to improve users' freedom."

Guix developer and project committee member Ricardo Wurmus said, "This donation allows the GNU Guix project to guarantee its independence, invest in hardware, and develop new features to benefit all our users. We'll be able to grow the performance and reliability of our existing infrastructure. We also envision better support for new and liberating architectures, and more resilient long-term storage of binaries and source code. It will also allow us to continue our outreach efforts and attract new interns to further improve and promote the project."

John W. Eaton, original author and primary maintainer of GNU Octave, said, "We are grateful for such a generous donation. It is by far the single largest monetary contribution we have ever received, and we thank Handshake for including Octave in this select group. We have only begun to imagine how these funds might impact Octave, but given the size of the gift, we intend something transformational and previously impossible."

David Edelsohn, founding GCC Steering Committee member and GNU Toolchain Fund trustee, said "We are incredibly gratified by the confidence in and support for the GNU Toolchain demonstrated by this donation. This donation will allow the project to greatly expand its outreach to students and new developers. It allows us to move forward on a number of fronts with confidence that we have the resources to match our imagination."

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to run, change, share, and contribute to computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

FSF job opportunity: web developer

Friday 9th of November 2018 06:25:00 PM

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, 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. While the main duties will relate to the backend systems, frontend experience with templates, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and design tools will be a big plus. The web developer will help lead major projects, such as the relaunch of https://www.fsf.org and migration of https://audio-video.gnu.org to GNU MediaGoblin. They will also be part of the team running the annual LibrePlanet conference, and contribute to decisions about which new platforms to use or which existing ones to retire.

Examples of platforms maintained by the web developer include, but are not limited to:

  • CiviCRM
  • Drupal
  • MediaWiki
  • Plone / Zope
  • Ikiwiki
  • Request Tracker
  • Etherpad
  • CAS
  • GNU social
  • GNU MediaGoblin
  • Icecast

Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of fourteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston.

The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings. This position is also a good starting point for anyone who might be interested in other roles on our technical team in the future.

Benefits and salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF's downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $53,269/year, and is non-negotiable. Benefits include:

  • fully subsidized individual or family health coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield;
  • partially subsidized dental plan;
  • four weeks of paid vacation annually;
  • seventeen paid holidays annually;
  • weekly remote work allowance;
  • public transit commuting cost reimbursement;
  • 403(b) program with employer match;
  • yearly cost-of-living pay increases based on government guidelines;
  • health care expense reimbursement;
  • ergonomic budget;
  • relocation (to Boston area) expense reimbursement;
  • conference travel and professional development opportunities; and
  • potential for an annual performance bonus.
Application instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "web developer." A complete application should include:

  • resume;
  • cover letter; and
  • links to any previous work online.

All materials must be in a free format. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls or paper applications, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by Friday, November 30, 2018.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace. Women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at https://www.fsf.org and https://www.gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Keynotes announced for LibrePlanet 2019 free software conference

Thursday 18th of October 2018 07:05:00 PM

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, October 18, 2018 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced all four keynote speakers who will appear at the 11th annual LibrePlanet free software conference, which will take place in the Boston area, March 23-24, 2019.

Keynote speakers for the 10th annual LibrePlanet conference will include Debian Project contributor Bdale Garbee, free software activist Micky Metts, physician Tarek Loubani, and FSF founder and president Richard Stallman.

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software users and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For ten years, LibrePlanet has brought together thousands of diverse voices and knowledge bases, including free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who have just begun to learn about free software.

Bdale Garbee has contributed to the free software community since 1979. He was an early participant in the Debian Project, helped port Debian GNU/Linux to five architectures, served as the Debian Project Leader, then chairman of the Debian Technical Committee for nearly a decade, and remains active in the Debian community. For a decade, Bdale served as president of Software in the Public Interest. He also served on the board of directors of the Linux Foundation, representing individual affiliates and the developer community. Bdale currently serves on the boards of the Freedombox Foundation, the Linux Professional Institute, and Aleph Objects. He is also a member of the Evaluations Committee at the Software Freedom Conservancy. In 2008, Bdale became the first individual recipient of a Lutece d'Or award from the Federation Nationale de l'Industrie du Logiciel Libre in France.

Micky Metts is an owner of Agaric, a worker-owned technology cooperative. She is an activist hacker, industry organizer, public speaker, connector, advisor, and visionary. Micky is a member of the MayFirst People Link Leadership Committee, and is a liaison between the Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) and the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC), with an intention to bring communities together. Micky is also a founding member of a cohort that is building a new Boston public high school based in cooperative learning: BoCoLab. She is a member of FSF.org and Drupal.org, a community based in free software. She is a published author contributing to the book Ours to Hack and to Own, one of the top technology books of 2017 in Wired magazine.

Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency physician who works at the London Health Sciences Centre in Canada and at Al Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. He is a fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation, where he focuses on free software medical devices. His organization, the Glia Project, develops free/libre medical device designs for 3D printing, in an effort to help medical systems such as Gaza's gain self-sufficiency and local independence.

"This year's keynote speakers reflect the breadth of the free software community and its impact," said FSF executive director John Sullivan. "If you attend LibrePlanet or watch our free software-based livestream, you will have the opportunity to hear from dedicated contributors, activists, and people who saw an important need in our world and met it using free software."

As he does each year, FSF president Richard Stallman will present the Free Software Awards and discuss opportunities for, and threats to, the free software movement. In 1983, Stallman launched the free software movement, and he began developing the GNU operating system (see https://www.gnu.org) the following year. GNU is free software: anyone may copy it and redistribute it, with or without modifications. GNU/Linux (the GNU operating system used in combination with the kernel Linux) is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award, and the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several doctorates honoris causa, and has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

The call for proposals is open until October 26, 2018. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registration are also open.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. Over the last decade, LibrePlanet has blossomed from a small gathering of FSF members into a vibrant multi-day event that attracts a broad audience of people who are interested in the values of software freedom. To sign up for announcements about LibrePlanet 2019, visit https://www.libreplanet.org/2019.

Each year at LibrePlanet, the FSF presents its annual Free Software Awards. Nominations for the awards are open through Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 23:59 UTC.

For information on how your company can sponsor LibrePlanet or have a table in our exhibit hall, email campaigns@fsf.org.

LibrePlanet 2018 was held at MIT from March 24-25, 2018. Nearly 350 attendees came together from across the world for workshops and talks centered around the theme of "Freedom Embedded." You can watch videos from last year's conference, including the opening keynote, an exploration of the potential for the free software community to last forever by maintaining its ideals while also welcoming newcomers, by Deb Nicholson, who is now director of community operations for the Software Freedom Conservancy.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at https://www.fsf.org and https://www.gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Molly de Blanc
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542-5942
campaigns@fsf.org

Photo of Richard Stallman by by Adte.ca. This image is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Photo of Tarek Loubani by Tarek Loubani. This image is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Photo of Bdale Garbee by Karen Garbee. This image is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Photo of Micky Metts by Micky Metts. This image is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.

FSF statement on Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network

Thursday 11th of October 2018 01:13:55 AM

Microsoft's announcements on October 4th and 10th, that it has joined both LOT and the Open Invention Network (OIN), are significant steps in the right direction, potentially providing respite from Microsoft's well-known extortion of billions of dollars from free software redistributors.

These steps, though, do not by themselves fully address the problem of computational idea patents, or even Microsoft's specific infringement claims. They do not mean that Microsoft has dismantled or freely licensed its entire patent portfolio. The agreements for both LOT and OIN have substantial limitations and exclusions. LOT only deals with the problem of patent trolling by non-practicing entities. OIN's nonaggression agreement only covers a defined list of free software packages, and any OIN member, including Microsoft, can withdraw completely with thirty days notice.

With these limitations in mind, FSF welcomes the announcements, and calls on Microsoft to take additional steps to continue the momentum toward a complete resolution:

1) Make a clear, unambiguous statement that it has ceased all patent infringement claims on the use of Linux in Android.

2) Work within OIN to expand the definition of what it calls the "Linux System" so that the list of packages protected from patents actually includes everything found in a GNU/Linux system. This means, for example, removing the current arbitrary and very intentional exclusions for packages in the area of multimedia -- one of the primary patent minefields for free software. We suggest that this definition include every package in Debian's default public package repository.

3) Use the past patent royalties extorted from free software to fund the effective abolition of all patents covering ideas in software. This can be done by supporting grassroots efforts like the FSF's End Software Patents campaign, or by Microsoft directly urging the US Congress to pass legislation excluding software from the effects of patents, or both. Without this, the threats can come back with a future leadership change at Microsoft, or with changes in OIN's own corporate structure and licensing arrangements. This is also the best way for Microsoft to show that it does not intend to use patents as a weapon against any free software, beyond just that free software which is part of OIN's specific list.

The FSF appreciates what Microsoft joining OIN seems to signal about its changing attitude toward computational idea patents. Taking these three additional steps would remove all doubt and any potential for backsliding. We look forward to future collaboration on fully addressing the threat of patents to free software development and computer user freedom.

The FSF will also continue to monitor the situation, for any signs that Microsoft intends to still continue patent aggression, in ways permitted by the terms of LOT and OIN. We encourage anyone who is a target of such patent aggression by Microsoft to contact us at campaigns@fsf.org.

Media Contact

John Sullivan
Executive Director
+1 (617) 542-5942
campaigns@fsf.org

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

FSF job opportunity: program manager

Wednesday 10th of October 2018 08:35:00 PM

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a motivated and talented Boston-based individual to be our full-time program manager.

Reporting to the executive director, the program manager co-leads our campaigns team. This position develops and promotes longer-term resources and advocacy programs related to increasing the use of free software and expanding and advancing the free software movement. The program manager plays a key role in external communications, fundraising, member engagement, and special events.

Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead the planning and successful implementation of most events, such as our annual LibrePlanet conference;
  • Develop and maintain longer-term free software resources, such as the High Priority Projects list;
  • Coordinate two annual fundraising appeals, including goal setting, strategy, and working with outside contractors;
  • Implement the FSF's communications and messaging strategy, including serving as a primary point of contact with press and the external public;
  • Write and edit for FSF blogs, external periodical publications, and both digital and print resources;
  • Assist with planning and execution of issue campaigns, working in concert with the campaigns manager;
  • Occasional conference travel and speaking as an FSF representative.

Ideal candidates have at least three to five years of work experience with project management, fundraising, events management, and nonprofit program management. Proficiency, experience, and comfort with professional writing and media relationships preferred. Because the FSF works globally and seeks to have our materials distributed in as many languages as possible, multilingual candidates will have an advantage. With our small staff of fourteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment at an office located in the heart of downtown Boston. The FSF is a mature but growing organization that provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings.

Benefits and Salary

This job is a union position that must be worked on-site at the FSF's downtown Boston office. The salary is fixed at $61,672/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include:

  • Fully subsidized individual or family health coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield;
  • Partially subsidized dental plan;
  • Four weeks of paid vacation annually;
  • Seventeen paid holidays annually;
  • Weekly remote work allowance;
  • Public transit commuting cost reimbursement;
  • 403(b) program with employer match;
  • Yearly cost-of-living pay increases based on government guidelines;
  • Health care expense reimbursement;
  • Ergonomic budget;
  • Relocation (to Boston area) expense reimbursement;
  • Conference travel and professional development opportunities; and
  • Potential for an annual performance bonus.
Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line "Program Manager." A complete application should include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two recent writing samples

All materials must be in a free format. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will probably be overlooked. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law. We value diversity in our workplace.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. We are based in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

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