Richard Stallman: Free Software Supporter (Newsletter)

Richard Stallman

Free Software Supporter

Issue 52, July 2012

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update — being read by you and 59,294 other activists. That's 1,101 more than last month!

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  • FSF announces winner of Restricted Boot webcomic contest
  • Show your support for the FSF with our new knife and cybertool
  • FSF Bulletins are on the way!
  • Guide to DRM-free Living gets a big update!
  • Compliance Lab in the news
  • The solution to Posner's patent problem
  • Five-part interview with Richard Stallman on Restricted Boot and more
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Wiki Helpers
  • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 21 new GNU releases!
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Thank GNUs!
  • Take action with the FSF!

FSF announces winner of Restricted Boot webcomic contest


The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the winner of its Restricted Boot webcomic contest. The winning entry comes from Erik Steinmann, and will be featured on the front page of for the month of July, in addition to being used in other materials published by the organization. Since the comic is freely licensed, the FSF is encouraging others to share it on their own sites as well.

The FSF also recently published a comprehensive assessment of the issues posed by both Secure Boot and Restricted Boot for GNU/Linux and other free software operating system distributions at, specifically addressing announcements made by Fedora and Ubuntu.

Show your support for the FSF with our new knife and cybertool


The Free Software Foundation shop is now offering a portable toolkit suitable for both IT professionals and at-home computer users. Perfect for the GNU/Linux sysadmin, this 3.5-inch Victorinox/Swiss Army Cybertool 29 features the Free Software Foundation logo in white lettering on a red translucent background.

FSF Bulletins are on the way!


If you're a member, you'll be receiving your copy of the FSF Bulletin soon. Please let us know when it arrives! Last Friday, we mailed out several thousand issues of the FSF's biannual Bulletin to members and supporters around the world. It includes new articles about important free software topics like ebook DRM and advocacy strategies, as well as updates on what the FSF has been up to since November.

Compliance Lab in the news


Josh Gay and Donald Robertson were recently interviewed for an article by Bruce Byfield, “The FSF Compliance Lab Doubles.” Bruce shares our our excitement in super-charging our ability to help the free software community with licensing issues. Byfield discusses how our expanded capacity means that we are better able to make use of the volunteers we have, as well as to recruit new members to our licensing team.

Guide to DRM-free Living gets a big update!


We've just finished a major update of the Guide to DRM-free Living with dozens of new places to get ebooks, movies, and music without DRM and a page of worst-offenders. There have been some exciting developments in the realm of DRM opposition on ebooks, like Tor/Forge dropping DRM on ebooks, and we wanted to spruce up the guide to reflect all the progress that's been made. The suggested additions came from the LibrePlanet Wiki where you can submit new items for the guide for us to review. With so many new additions, we've also had to reorganize the guide into more sections that should make it easy to find what you need.

The solution to Posner's patent problem


Richard Posner, a very influential US judge, has written an article about the current patent system’s problems and their causes. The article provides useful support for many software patent abolition arguments. He unfortunately closes with suggestions which are unhelpful or even counter-productive. In particular, his suggestion of giving more resources and power to the patent office would be a catastrophe. What we really need is to rein in the patent offices and remove their power to grant software patents.

Five-part interview with Richard Stallman on Restricted Boot and more

Richard Stallman is interviewed at length on the show TechBytes, discussing many issues of concern to the free software movement, from the Secure Boot vs. Restricted Boot conundrum to software patents and online surveillance. You can listen in Ogg Vorbis format or read the transcripts.

The last part will be published in a few days.

LibrePlanet featured resource: Wiki Helpers

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 the LibrePlanet Wiki Helpers. They are experienced Semantic MediaWiki users who build and organize the LibrePlanet wiki and team pages. If you or your team need any help editing the wiki, just get in touch and they can teach you what you need to know.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 21 new GNU releases!

New GNU releases as of July 30, 2012:

aris-1.8 grep-2.13 linux-libre-3.5-gnu automake-1.12.2 guile-2.0.6 mpc-1.0 bison-2.6 help2man-1.40.11 mpfr-3.1.1 gama-1.12 icecat-13.0.1 nettle-2.5 gcc-4.5.4 libmicrohttpd-0.9.21 source-highlight-3.1.7 gnujump-1.0.8 libobjc-1.6.1 xorriso-1.2.4 gnutls-3.0.21 librejs-4.8 zile-2.4.8

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: Nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors ( You can use the url to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month we welcome Tassilo Horn as a new co-maintainer of auctex, and Graham Percival as a new co-maintainer of Lilypond.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at To submit new packages to GNU, see

As always, please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

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 .

Richard Stallman has the following events in August:

Thank GNUs!

We appreciate everyone who donates to the Free Software Foundation, but 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:

  • Bernie Innocenti
  • Okunev Dmitry

You can add your name to this list by donating at

Take action with the FSF

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at 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 signature like:

I'm an FSF member — Help us support software freedom!

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers ( 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 ( and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


Copyright © 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

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