FSFLA News
Issue #18
January, 2007

1. Editorial: Balance of 2006, Perspectives for 2007
2. News and Events
3. Help wanted

1. Editorial: Balance of 2006, Perspectives for 2007

Last year was not as great as we'd hoped, but it was a great year nevertheless.

By the end of 2005, we were aiming at establishing ourselves juridically as a foundation in Argentina early in 2006. Unfortunately, it became clear to us that some circumstances would prevent us from operating in other Latin American countries, particularly Brazil, so we had to revisit our plans and our bylaws. We expect to publish soon a draft constitution for public review.

In late 2006, we unfortunately lost 3 valuable members, just when we expected to start reaching out to other Latin-American countries, with the (GNU)^2 initiative. This setback has slowed us down significantly while we redistributed our efforts and started looking for new members.

Our campaign against DRM, Entertained and Controlled, hasn't been launched yet. Even though the workgroup has come up with a great name and a great logo, and offered us the domain names, we need more volunteer work to set up the campaign web site and to create content for it.

Although we had some big setbacks, we've also collected many successes.

We've also been invited more and more often to speak about Free Software at conferences, and we've experienced growing interest in FSFLA's opinions in the news, both inside and outside Latin America. We spoke at most of the International GPLv3 Conference, having successfully organized one of them.

(GNU)^2 is picking up, even if slowly, but we already observe a significant growth in the number of people from several countries interested in participating in FSFLA and helping it grow and become stronger in this new stage of its history.

The campaign against "Softwares Impostos" in Brazil has reportedly been listened to and generated a lot of goodwill for the Free Software cause in various departments in the Brazilian federal government. Although no concrete actions have gone public yet, we expect major developments throughout the next few years in Brazil in this front, and we hope volunteers from other Latin American countries will help us line up similar campaigns in other countries.

We've got our first (informal) participation in a lawsuit in Brazil, when IBDI (Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law on Informatics) was formally accepted as Amicus Curiæ, taking FSFLA's voice to the court. As we establish juridic existence for FSFLA, expected in early 2007, we may get more direct participation in legal actions.

We intend to make progress on our ongoing campaigns, and to start or get involved in others.

We will keep on publishing articles on themes relevant to Free Software: there are two nearly ready, one on DRM, one on GPLv3. We hope to keep on being invited to conferences and publications to spread the word on Free Software, to defend users' and developers' freedoms regarding software, and to have more people on board and on more Latin American countries to pursue our mission.

If you'd like to help us to this end, join our mailing lists, introduce yourself, display consistent commitment, interest and participation, making yourself known to other volunteers, particularly board members, and you may eventually become a workgroup leader, a board observer and, if everything works out fine, a board member.

We thank all those that have supported us, helped us and donated time, effort and money to us.

We have no doubt that 2007 is going to be a great year for Free Software. Nevertheless, there are going to be great challenges, and FSFLA shall live up to them.

Happy GNU Year!

2. News and Events

Alexandre Oliva presented two virtual lectures at UMeet 2006. http://umeet.uninet.edu/umeet2006/english/prog.html has the logs.

He will participate in a panel on Free Software and DRM at SENID (National Digital Inclusion Seminar) as part of UNE's (National Students Union in Brazil) Biennial Conference, from January 28 to February 1st, 2007, in Rio de Janeiro. http://livre.une.org.br/ (in Portuguese) shall soon have the details. The official conference web site unfortunately requires and recommends proprietary software.

Fernanda G. Weiden and Alexandre Oliva published the article "DRM: Defectis Repleta Machina" in the December issue of the on-line magazine ComCiência. The article is being reworked into an official FSFLA statement for the Anti-DRM campaign Entertained and Controlled. http://www.comciencia.br/comciencia/handler.php?section=8&edicao=20&id=216 (in Portuguese)

In the same issue of ComCiência, an interview with Pedro A. D. Rezende covered Internet control, DRM and electronic voting. http://www.comciencia.br/comciencia/handler.php?section=8&tipo=entrevista&edicao=20 (in Portuguese)

FSFLA had a say in a news report about the revision of LPG-AP, a software license created for the Brazilian state of Paraná. http://trends.newsforge.com/trends/06/11/27/1756206.shtml?tid=147&tid=150

We thank the Argentinian magazine "Users Linux" for republishing some of our editorials, even if their magazine title calls the GNU operating system by the wrong name, and Franco Iacomella for having arranged it. We reaffirm the permission for anyone to republish our editorials, newsletters and articles, as per the policy set out in our web site.

3. Help wanted

FSFLA depends on voluntary work from Free Software enthusiasts. If you can and want to help, please join our workgroups listed at http://www.fsfla.org/?q=en/node/121. If you'd prefer to work on another workgroup we haven't set up yet, please bring it up at discusion@fsfla.org.

Copyright 2007 FSFLA

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