[FSFE PR][EN] Free Software Foundation Europe Celebrates Eighth Birthday

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Mar 11 11:36:37 CET 2009

For eight years now, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been 
working tirelessly for basic rights and freedoms in an increasingly 
software-driven society. The 11th of March 2009 sees another major 
milestone passed, with its 2^3 (eighth) birthday being celebrated by 
its friends, Fellows and associates.

"The world of Free Software has developed dramatically since FSFE was
founded, and FSFE was a core part of that change," Greve observes. 
"Free Software has won its first antitrust action. We helped to bring
issues of interoperability and standardisation to the forefront of the
debate, with OOXML being the culmination of this debate. As a 
consequence, more governments and public institutions have begun to 
ask questions about the sovereignty of their software and data."

In the fast-moving Free Software world, FSFE has often found itself in 
at the forefront of new developments. While public campaigns like the 
annual Document Freedom Day and the recently launched pdfreaders.org 
campaign have been the most visible aspects of FSFE's work, many other 
activities have received less publicity because of their inherent 
behind-the-scenes nature.

Over the course of the last eight years, FSFE has been working 
intensively at the United Nations, has promoted Free Software interests 
at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), contributed to 
the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), taken part in discussions at the 
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and taught project 
managers of the World Bank about Free Software. FSFE has worked with the 
European Commission not just as part of its antitrust work, but also 
through research and development funding under the framework 
programmes, been directly involved in these projects, and has assisted 
the Commission by offering input into policy-setting initiatives.

Work in international policy-setting fora always involves a conflict 
between getting the word out and affording the confidentiality 
necessary to the process involved. Proclaiming victory publicly can 
often mean bringing about defeat, and a carefully maintained reputation 
is the key to being able to convey the right message, in the right 
place, at the right time.

From assisting in legal matters through its Freedom Task Force (FTF) and 
overseeing the development of Internet regulation, to ensuring 
interoperability and keeping software patents at bay, FSFE has played an vital 
role in shaping the future environment for Free Software.

In 2005, FSFE initiated its community programme, the Fellowship, which 
besides being a major source of funding for FSFE has grown to be a 
highly successful independent network in its own right, with projects, 
meetings and celebrations taking place in several countries. Matthias 
Kirschner, Fellowship Coordinator for FSFE, explains that the 
Fellowship has chosen to mark the 2^3 birthday event with a special 
edition of the Fellowship Interview series, in which Georg Greve 
explains the history behind FSFE and how he came to found it. The 
interview is available at http://fellowship.fsfe.org/interviews/greve/.

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these
  issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving
  people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
  central issues of the FSFE.

You will find further information about the work of the FSFE at 

More information about the Press-release mailing list