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International Day Against DRM, Friday December 4th, 2020

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Friday December 4th, 2020, is the international day against DRM, or IDAD, organized by the Free Software Foundation through its Defective by Design campaign.

The 2020 IDAD will focus on streaming services' unjust use of DRM. The Free Software Foundation calls on it's supporters to challenge themselves to go a day (or even longer!) without DRM, and to share the experience on social media with the hashtag #IDAD or #DayAgainstDRM.

Free Software Strategy of the European Commission : "Think Open" But Not Too Big

Press Release. October 26, 2020.

The European Commission released it's Free Software strategy for the 2020 – 2023 time period. Apart from a few reminders of how important free software has become, it lists few concrete objectives, and we are far from an actual priority to free software. The main measure it outlines: the creation of an "Open Source Programme Office" within DG DIGIT (Directorate-General for Informatics), but without going into any details regarding either the budget or manpower to be allocated to the office.

Geoffrey Knauth Elected Free Software Foundation President; Odile Bénassy Joins the Board

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced Geoffrey Knauth's nomination as the new president. The FSF also welcomes a new member to it's board of directors ; Odile Benassy, long time member of April. Odile proudly wears an April t-shirt on the FSF's announcement page. Congratulations to both Geoffrey and Odile. April will gladly keep working with the FSF, as it has been doing since it's creation

Rothschild Patent Imaging vs GNOME: a Particular Patent Dispute Resolved, But No Case Law Established

The GNOME Foundation settles a patent issue, and receives a release and covenant not to be sued. Further, a release and covenant is granted to any software that is published under an Open-Source-Initiative-approved free software licence. Contrary to the initial announcement, the GNOME Foundation didn't go to court to have this patent invalidated.

Unitary Patent, When the House of Cards (Finally) Comes Tumbling Down


On March 20, 2020, the German constitutional court upheld the claim that the German ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) was unconstitutional. This isn't a trivial decision; it could well mean the end of the line for the "Unitary Patent Package": German ratification was one of the requirements for the agreement to enter into force, and the agreement, in turn, was a prerequisite for the regulation implementing the unitary patent system to come into force. A real house of cards.

An Important CJEU Ruling That Will Soon Affect a Case of a Free License Violation?

The CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) has made an important ruling regarding noncompliance with the terms of a software license. This ruling also applies to the breach of a free software license. It will most likely be a key element in the ongoing litigation between Orange and Entr'ouvert, the company editing the free library Lasso.

April Supports the GNOME Foundation Fighting Back Against Patent Trolls

Patent illustration image
Image from Marco Verch is available under Creative Commons 2.0 (CC BY 2.0).

The GNOME Foundation was hit by a patent troll 1 and decided to fight back in court. Not only to defend itself, but to defend free software communities againts the abuses of the patent system. April supports the Foundation's action and calls on its supporters to make a donation to the GNOME patent troll defense fund.

  • 1. Patent trolls is a categorical or pejorative term applied to a person or company whose sole business model is through licencing and litigation over patents.

Richard Stallman resigns from the Free Software Foundation

On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned both as its president and from its board of directors.

His resignation followed the publication of e-mails discussing an MIT academic linked to Epstein. The Guardian explains what happened.

Poland brings the fight against upload filters to the European Court of Justice

Poland is challenging in the European Court of Justice (EUCJ) the legality of article 17 of the copyright directive, which was voted in March 2019 by the European Parliament. More specifically, the Member State is arguing that the provisions imposing upload filters are contrary to article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

A Dark Day for Online Freedoms: Members of the European Parliament Vote for Generalization of Automated Filtering

Press Release. Thursday, September 13, 2018.

Wednesday, September 12, was a dark day for online freedoms and for all those laboring on a daily basis for the defense and promotion of a free, open, neutral and decentralized Internet. The European Parliament voted 438 to 226 for generalization of the automated filtering of uploads. This is a serious blow, but April will keep on campaigning in the lead up to the upcoming trialogue negotiations, and to the final vote in Parliament, which should occur at the beginning of 2019.

Copyright Directive: Implementation of Generalized and Automated Upload Filtering on the Internet; Decisive Vote in July

Press release, June 20th, 2018

On June 20th, The Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee adopted the Draft Copyright Directive, including its Article 13 that imposes the implementation of generalized and automated upload filters by hosting platforms. While free software development platforms are exempted from this filtering obligation, the very idea of it is disastrous. April calls on Members of the European Parliament to reject this draft directive in its entirety during the July plenary.

« The Microsoft Cyber Attack » : a German Documentary from the ARD on Relations Between Microsoft and Public Administration Now Available in English.

On February 19th, 2018, the German public broadcaster (ARD) aired a documentary on Microsoft relations with public administrations. Part of the inquiry is about the Open Bar agreement between Microsoft and the French ministry of Defense, including interviews of French Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Leïla Miñano, a journalist, and Étienne Gonnu of April.

Over 145 organisations ask Council to STOP a rushed EU Copyright Reform

Over 145 organisations representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders,including April, join forces to call upon the EU Member State Ambassadors to continue technical discussions on the copyright reform and to not grant the Bulgarian Council Presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament

Save Code Share! Sign the Open Letter

Save Code Share banner

Free software development as we know it is being threaten by the proposed review of the European Copyright Directive. After many delays, the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament will vote in June 2018 (20 and 21).

The Microsoft Dilemma, Software Colony Europa: a News Report on German Television February 19, 2018

Update, February 19, 2018 : the TV report is now online (only in German yet).

The French Supreme Body of Financial Control Approves the Use of Free Software by Government Services

In its 2018 Public Annual Report, the Cour des Comptes (the French supreme body of financial control) approved the strategy of the DINSIC (Interdepartmental Directorate of Digital Technology, Information and Communication System), particularly its strategy on the use of free software, and recommends that it be amplified and extended throughout government services.

Open Bar Contract between Microsoft and the French Ministry of Defense: April Calls on Senators to Support a Motion for the Creation of an Investigation Committee

Press release, Octobre 18th, 2017.

On Monday, October 16th, 2017, a few days after renewal of the Microsoft/Defense “Open Bar” agreement had been confirmed for yet another four years, Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, the Secretary for the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee, submitted a “motion for a resolution to create an investi

Savecodeshare : a Campaign to Protect Collaborative Software Development Platforms and Free Software Communities

The FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) and the OFE (Open Forum Europe) have launched the Savecodeshare campaign to raise awareness of the risks the current Copyright reform poses to free software and developper communities.

April Joins 30 Other Organisations in Support of the "Public Money ? Public Code !" Campaign

The FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) launched on september 13, 2017, it's "Public Money ? Public Code !" campaign, with the support of 30 organisations including April. A campaign fully consistent with April's main objective : priority to Free Software and open formats in public administrations.

Open Bar: The Ministry of Defense Persists in Its Bad-Faith Strategy

In its response to Written Question 24267, by Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, the Ministry of Defense mentioned the existence of a “risk-opportunity assessment” that was the rational basis for the Open Bar agreement with Microsoft.

Public Consultations Based on Free Software : Proposal Ranking 4th Among the Most Supported

The online public consultation on the bill “generalizing online public consultations”[fr], and launched by representatives Luc Belot and Patrice Martin-Lalande, ended Tuesday, January 17, 2017. April had taken advantage of the opportunity presented by the consultation to reiterate that only platforms based on free software, which are inherently democratic, can achieve the asserted goal of the bill “ to rebuild the trust between citizens and their representatives”.

Two Members of Parliament Ask for Transparency in the "Open Bar" Agreement between the Ministry of Defense and Microsoft

Two members of Parliament, Isabelle Attard, unlisted deputy from Calvados, and Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, right-wing senator for French citizens living outside of France, from two different chambers and political affiliations, asked the minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian - in writing - about the "Open Bar" agreement binding the ministry of Defense to Microsoft since 2009.
See below for our translations of these questions.

Open Governement in France : an Empty Promise?

As France is about to host the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, a number of Civil Society Organizations point out the inconsistencies of the French government. Some have decided not to attend.

Promulgation of the Digital Republic Act - Free Software - April's Campaign

The Digital Republic Act n°2016-1321 was promulgated and officially published on October 7th, 2016. This law confirms that source codes of publicly financed software programs are to be made accessible by default; it, however, still leaves accessibility restricted by a very broad exception in the case of a risk "to the security of the information systems of administrations", and adds an explicit provision that free software

April joins the advisory board of KDE

April announces that the association is joining the KDE Advisory Board.

Europe : An Overlayer of Retrograde Rules Instead of an Actual Reform of Copyright Law

After months of consultations and announcements about the implementation of a « Digital Single Market » and the modernization of the European copyright law, the Commission offers only to patch up a fifteen-year-old system. A real reform of the actual legal framework based on the 2001/29/EC directive, which dates back to 2001, was expected; instead, the text would only be marginaly amended by the

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