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International Day Against DRM takes action for a Day Without DRM on September 18th

Mon, 17/09/2018 - 16:59

On Tuesday, September 18th, there will be two rallies in Boston – one from 12:00pm - 2:00pm at the Boston Public Library at 700 Boylston Street, and one from 6:00pm - 7:00pm in front of the Apple Store at 815 Boylston Street.

DRM is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media. DRM creates a damaged good: it prevents you from doing what would be possible without it. This concentrates control over production and distribution of media, giving DRM peddlers the power to carry out massive digital book-burnings and conduct large-scale surveillance over people's media viewing habits.

Organized by the Defective by Design team, IDAD has occurred annually since 2006. Each year, participants take action through protests, rallies, and the sharing of DRM-free media and materials. Participating nonprofits, activist groups, and companies from around the world include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Open Rights Group, Public Knowledge, the Document Foundation, and others (for a complete list, see: https://dayagainstdrm.org). These groups will share the message by writing about why DRM is harmful, organizing events, and offering discounts on DRM-free media.

"DRM is a major problem for computer user freedom, artistic expression, free speech, and media," said John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF. "International Day Against DRM has allowed us to, year after year, empower people to rise up together and in one voice declare that DRM is harmful to everyone."

This year's theme is A Day Without DRM – the FSF invites people around the world to avoid DRM for the day. DRM is lurking in many electronic devices we use, both online and offline, and you'll find it everywhere from media files to vehicles. Its impact is echoed in the fight for the Right to Repair and the fight for the right to investigate the software in medical devices. Examples of flagrant DRM abuses include:

  • In a classic example from 2009, Amazon remotely deleted thousands of copies of George Orwell's 1984 from Kindle ebook readers. Given this power, corporations like Amazon could fully disappear a book from existence if they chose, committing a massive digital book-burning. Amazon still has the power to do this, and has remotely deleted at least one user's library since then.

  • A US law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to remove DRM from media using widely-available online tools. These policies have a chilling effect among security researchers, those who wish to repair their devices, and anyone who wants to understand how their technologies work.

  • Media companies including Netflix pressured the World Wide Web Consortium to add DRM as a Web standard, normalizing DRM and giving it the opportunity to become even more prevalent.

DRM-supporting companies and device manufacturers claim it makes technology and media more secure, enhances user experience, and protects rights holders. In reality, the technologies behind DRM have been used as a vulnerability since 2005 to attack end-users' computer systems and devices. DRM limits what users can do with their media: access is limited by the whims of rights holders. Rather than protecting people who create media, it protects the interests of large companies that aggregate media.

For a thorough overview of DRM abuses, please visit the Defective by Design FAQ.

About Defective by Design

Defective by Design is an initiative of the Free Software Foundation. It is a participatory and grassroots campaign exposing DRM-encumbered devices and media for what they really are: Defective by Design. It works together with activists and others to eliminate DRM as a threat to innovation in media, reader privacy, and freedom for computer users.

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. 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

Eleventh annual LibrePlanet conference set for March 23-24, 2019

Mer, 05/09/2018 - 16:55

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

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software users and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For a decade, 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.

LibrePlanet 2019 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels, including newcomers. Sharon Woods, general counsel for the Defense Digital Service (US Department of Defense) said, “Last year was my first LibrePlanet... I walked away a complete believer in free software.” In just the last three years, over a thousand people from around the world have attended LibrePlanet, with many more participating online by watching the free software-powered livestream, joining the conversation on IRC, or viewing nearly 40 hours of archived video on the FSF's GNU MediaGoblin instance.

LibrePlanet 2019's theme is "Trailblazing Free Software." In 1983, the free software movement was born with the announcement of the GNU Project. FSF founder Richard Stallman saw the dangers of proprietary code from the beginning: when code was kept secret from users, they would be controlled by the technology they used, instead of vice versa. In contrast, free software emphasized a community-oriented philosophy of sharing code freely, enabling people to understand how the programs they used worked, to build off of each other's code, to pay it forward by sharing their own code, and to create useful software that treated users fairly.

"Every year, ideas are introduced, discussed, and developed at LibrePlanet that advance the free software movement and help technology and associated law actually serve the people using them," said FSF executive director John Sullivan. "People will leave the next edition doubly motivated to chart a path away from dependency on unfree software companies like Facebook, Apple, Uber, and Microsoft, and with new knowledge about tools to help them do so."

When he identified control over one's own computer as a requirement for ethical, trustworthy computing, Stallman anticipated some of the most toxic aspects of today's proprietary software-filled world, including Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), bulk surveillance, and Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS). With a new and growing generation of free software enthusiasts, we can take this conference as an opportunity to discuss both the present and the future of the free software movement. Using the Four Freedoms as a litmus test for ethical computing, we ask, "How will free software continue to bring to life trailblazing, principled new technologies and new approaches to the world?"

Call for Proposals

LibrePlanet 2019's talks and hands-on workshops can be for developers, young people, newcomers to free software, activists looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, policymakers, hackers, artists, and tinkerers. Potential talks should examine or utilize free software, copyleft, and related issues.

"Each year, newcomers and longtime free software activists of all ages surprise us with unique ideas they propose to explore at LibrePlanet," said Georgia Young, program manager at the FSF. "We are excited to see what trailblazing talk and workshop possibilities people bring to the conference for 2019."

Submissions to the call for proposals are being accepted through Friday, October 26, 2018 at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC).

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 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. 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

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542-5942
campaigns@fsf.org

FSF job opportunity: Business operations manager

Gio, 09/08/2018 - 20:36

This position, reporting to the executive director, works as part of our operations team to ensure the organization's financial, human resources, and administrative functions run smoothly and in compliance with all legal and policy requirements. We are looking for a hands-on and detail-oriented professional who is comfortable working independently and with multiple teams, including some remote coworkers. Ideal candidates will be proactive and highly adaptable, with an aptitude for learning new tools and coming up with creative solutions. Applicants should have at least three years of experience with bookkeeping and nonprofit operations; human resources experience a plus.

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

  • processing accounts receivable and payable, bank deposits, and monthly financial reconciliation,

  • preparing annual budget and regular financial reports for management, helping the organization maintain its fiscal health and excellent four-star rating on Charity Navigator,

  • assisting management with the annual audit,

  • working with the operations team to ensure that GNU Press (https://shop.fsf.org/) continues to support fundraising efforts,

  • purchasing for operational and programmatic purposes,

  • coordinating ongoing vendor review,

  • administering the FSF's payroll and benefits programs,

  • providing administrative assistance to management during hiring, onboarding, and offboarding,

  • monitoring legal and regulatory landscape for changes that may impact the FSF, and

  • pitching in to help with organization-wide projects, like our major fundraising activities and annual LibrePlanet conference.

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 thirteen, 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. 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 "Business Operations Manager." A complete application should include:

  • cover letter,
  • resume, and
  • two recent references.

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. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by August 26, 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.

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.

FSF Job Opportunity: Copyright and Licensing Associate

Mon, 09/07/2018 - 21:38

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 Copyright and Licensing Associate.

This position, reporting to the executive director, works as part of our licensing and compliance team to protect and promote the use of freely licensed works of software and documentation. For over twenty years, the FSF's Licensing and Compliance Lab has been the preeminent community resource for information about free licensing. From enforcement of the GNU General Public License, to certifying software and devices as fully free, to the writing and distribution of licensing-related educational materials, the team does work vital for the free software movement.

For this position, we are looking for a strong writer who is familiar with free software copyright licenses, and understands the basics of how software is written, compiled, and distributed. Neither a legal nor computer science education is required, but both would be a plus. Ideal candidates will also have experience with administrative tasks and record keeping.

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

  • diligent and careful filing, archiving, and recording of all the FSF's copyright assignment data (both electronic and paper),

  • daily correspondence with GNU and other free software developers from around the world,

  • reviewing hardware devices for our Respects Your Freedom certification program,

  • investigating violations of free licenses on FSF-copyrighted works,

  • public speaking as an FSF representative,

  • writing articles and materials on licensing-related issues and news,

  • helping to organize and facilitate educational licensing events both online and in-person,

  • working with volunteers and mentoring interns, and

  • pitching in to help with organization-wide projects, like our major fundraising activities and the annual LibrePlanet conference.

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 thirteen, 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 $53,268.80/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include:

  • full individual or family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield's HMO Blue program,
  • 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 through TIAA with employer match,
  • yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines),
  • healthcare expense reimbursement budget,
  • 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 "Copyright and Licensing Associate". A complete application should include:

  • cover letter,
  • resume, and
  • a published writing sample.

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. To guarantee consideration, submit your application by July 20, 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.

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.