[en] FSFLA News Issue #13

Beatriz Busaniche bea at fsfla.org
Tue Aug 1 12:51:27 UTC 2006

FSFLA news
Issue # 13
August 2006

FSFLA news
1. Editorial: The DRM threat
2. FSFLA in the media
3. GPLv3
4. SELF project
5. Events
6. Participate in FSFLA

1. Editorial: The DRM threat

DRM, Digital Restrictions Management systems, are already among us and
they are the most tangible threat to human rights, freedom and privacy
in digital environments.

What are they? DRM are technical measures of restricting access and
copying of works published in digital formats. There are various
technical applications of DRM, but in general, they share the following
common features:

* they detect who accesses the work, when and under which conditions,
and report this information to the work provider; 

* they authorize or deny, without possibility of appeal, access to the
work, according to conditions determined and modified unilaterally by
the provider, regardless of the rights that the law grants to the author
or the public. 

These technical measures find a repressive complement in laws and
agreements that criminalize some actions related with them, such as
writing programs that may evade the restrictions imposed through DRM,
investigate its inner working, reverse engineer it, or simply access the
content from some other device not foreseen by the content providers.
Laws such as the recently-approved DADVSI (Droit d'Auteur et Droits
Voisins Dans la Société de l'Information) in France and the older DMCA
(Digital Millenium Copyright Act) in the US are part of the judiric
offensive by the DRM promoters. These legislative landmarks enable
criminalization of Free Software construction that eases access to
contents under these systems.

In Latin America, this kind of rules arrive by means of the Free Trade
Aggreements with US that, at the very least, requires the parties to
sign - and therefore to commit to abide by - the WIPO Copyright
Treaty[1] and the WIPO Performance and Phonographs Treaty[2], both dated
1996, that include these obligations to its signers. Just as an example,
it's worth pointing out chapter 15 of the Free Trade Agreement of
Central America and Dominican Republic with US (CAFTA)[3], that
explicitly requires criminalization of escaping these technical
measures, including whoever builds, import, distribute products or
components, or offer to the public or provide services to the public
that make it easier for the public to escape the technical protection

These treaties do not mention the impact that these measures, both
technical and juridic, have on human rights. They don't say that DRM
violates recognized principles of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, such as the Right to Free Access to Culture (Art. 27), the Right
to Privacy (Art. 12) and the Presumption of Innocence (Art. 11).

With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[4] in mind, FSFLA wrote a
position statement[5] that lets people know what DRM is, where it can be
found, who controls it, how they negatively impact the development and
dissemination of FERe Software, which human rights they infringe and
which actions are underway to resist the worst threat to privacy and
freedom in digital environments.

At FSFLA we are already working on different strategies of
dissemination, public awareness and resistnace to DRM in our mailing
list http://www.fsfla.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/anti-drm and we have
a wiki with resources in Spanish and Portuguese at
http://wiki.fsfla.org/wiki/index.php/Anti-DRM . 

Besides, we invite readers to sign the letter that Free Software
Foundation and its campaign Defective By Design will send Bono, U2's
lead singer, to join our fight for freedom and privacy in digital
environments. http://defectivebydesign.org/petition/bonopetition 

We need to reach for the citizens. Only with information and public
awareness about this problem can we resist its technical and juridic
imposition. To this end, we've worked on dissemination texts, graphical
campaigns, radio ads and interviews in the media that enable us to
publicly denounce the DRM threat.

DRM watch us, control us, censor us, limit our freedom, violate our
privacy and are fundamentally incompatible with the Free Software

[1] http://wipo.int/treaties/es/ip/wct/index.html
[2] http://wipo.int/treaties/es/ip/wppt/index.html
[3] Capítulo 15 - CAFTA -
[4] http://www.un.org/spanish/aboutun/hrights.htm
[5] http://www.fsfla.org/?q=es/node/99 

2. FSFLA in the media

During the Third GPLv3 International Conference, that took place in
Barcelona, the Groklaw portal interviewed Fernanda Weiden, Alexandre
Oliva and Federico Heinz. The interview done by Sean Daly with 3 FSFLA
members is published at
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060708010316170 and discusses
legal matters, particularly those related with legislations of Free
Software adoption in public administration in various Latin-American
countries. Also, the interview starts an interesting debate on
violations of the GPL license and about gender issues within our

On his part, professor Pedro Rezende published a full article entitled
"Windows WGA, a Microsoft online com você", where he profoundly analyses
the workings of such systems and its implications to privacy for people
who use Microsoft operating systems. The article is a resource that
serves as a valid example of the new mechanisms of Digital Restrictions
Management (DRM) implemented in these proprietary operating systems. The
portuguese version of the text is available at
while FSFLA's translators team is working on a Spanish translation at

Beatriz Busaniche showed up a few weeks ago at the technology portal
Canal-ar, where she analized the problems related with the record label
companies, the P2P networks and she took the time to bring attention of
the readers about the DRM threat at

Enrique Chaparro visited FM LA Tribu one more time. On Saturday, July
1st, the program Rebeldes Stereotipos devoted almost all of its air time
to analise the implementation of DRM systems with a complete interview
in which Enrique analised the current copyright regime, the implications
of the free trade treaties and the expansion of legislations such as
DMCA besides the direct consequences DRM will have over freedom and
privacy for people in digital environments. The complete audio of the
interview of Enrique Chaparro to FM La Tribu is published under an
Argentinian Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license at
http://www.puertorock.com.ar/FM_La_Tribu_RS_20060701.ogg - It is worth
pointing out that the weekly show Rebeldes Stereotipos has a stable
section devoted to free software and culture. We specially thank the
Ututo Project for replicating and distributing this material in various
servers https://www.ututo.org/www/modules/news/news.php?ID_news=117

Alexandre Oliva was interviewed about sotware patents and DRM as a
complement to an interview with Richard M. Stallman about Free Software
and Digital Freedom. RMS's and Alexandre Oliva's opinions are published

3. GPLv3

The fourth and last international GPLv3 conference will be made between
the 23th and 24th of August of 2006 in Bangalore, India. The
coordination of the event, that will count with the presence of Richard
M. Stallman, is in charge of FSF and FSF India, sister organizations of

For those who wish to participate in the license update process, they
can do it through this web site http://gplv3.fsf.org dedicated to inform
on the process, to disclose discussion resources and to facilitate the
reception of comments from whoever want to contribute to the update of
the most popular Free Software license.

Meanwhile, the FSF already published the second draft of the GPLv3
license and the first draft of the update to the third version of the
LGPL. A complete guide to analyze the drafts is in

FSFLA maintains an updated information page on the process of GPLv3 in

4. SELF project

Fernanda Weiden and Federico Heinz participated in the official launch
of the Self Project in Holland. SELF - Science Education and Learning in
Freedom - it is an European Union project which aims to develop a
platform of educative materials on free software and open standards and
to facilitate its access to educative institutions, universities,
training centers, companies and free software communities.

The launch of the project, developed under the coordination of Internet
Society Netherlands and other organizations related with Free Software,
is an excellent opportunity to gather the contributions of Professor G.
Nagarjuna (president of FSF India), Georg Greve and Jonas Oberg (of FSF
Europe) along with Fernanda Weiden and Federico Heinz (of FSF Latin

This way, organizations of Europe, Asia and Latin America are united to
divulge the philosophy and to foment the access to free software in a
frame of Cooperation and joint effort. More information on this project
in the official site in http://www.selfproject.eu/

5. Events

During the Monthly Meeting of CaFeLug (Free Software User group of
Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina), Beatriz Busaniche offered a
speech on DRM and the current actions to resist this threat. The event
took place on Saturday 22th of July in the "FM La Tribu" auditorium,
communitarian radio that offers permanent support to activities related
to Free Software and whose computer infrastructure already was released
by CaFeLug volunteers. 

From the 24th to the 26th of August, Alexandre Oliva will be present in
the III Fórum de Software Livre of Bahía, in Brazil. Alexandre will
present two lectures: "As Ações Mais Legais da FSFLA: Fundação Software
Livre América Latina" and "O Poder Liberdador do Segundo Dedo". More
information on this event at http://festival.softwarelivre.org 

On the 29th of August, Federico Heinz and Beatriz Busaniche will
participate in the “Animation 3D with Software Libre” event that will be
made jointly by the Blender Foundation, the Plumíferos project and the
Foundación Via Libre. The event will take place in the "Sala
Solidaridad" of the Centro Cultural de la Cooperación, starting at 19
hours in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event will count with
the presence of the producers of Plumíferos (the animated Argentine film
with Free Software applications) and members of the Blender Foundation,
producers of Elephants Dream (short film distributed under a Creative
Commons By license). More information on the latter one that will be
displayed in the event in http://orange.blender.org/ and on the
Plumíferos project in http://www.plumiferos.com/ 

6. Participate in FSFLA

If you are interested in Free Software and you wish to make some
contribution, do not hesitate to visit
http://www.fsfla.org/?q=es/node/78 and join the team of your

FSFLA is constructed with voluntary work in different areas: press,
education, translations, specific campaigns, legal subjects and others.
Join the FSFLA! 

Beatriz Busaniche
Consejera FSFLA                             http://www.fsfla.org
Fingerprint    57F9 21EF B0C3 2A69 9EA0 D698 28D6 B8AE 2A7D 7321
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