08.22.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Leak: FSF/FSFE Trademark Dispute (FSF Demanding That FSFE Should Change the Organisation’s Name)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FSF, Law at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Using or misusing the FSF’s good name as a ‘cash machine’

Change

Summary: The FSF made demands for FSFE to change the name, the FSFE discussed the matter internally and Jonas Oberg, the FSFE’s Executive Director, wrote the leaked message (below) where he states: “So the framework agreement, as it stands, is not being honored from any side.”

SEVERAL months ago Richard Stallman told me that the FSFE’s relationship with the FSF was largely amicable. It was around this time that we also published FSF-Relationship-Framework.txt and explained why the FSFE taking money from Microsoft was potentially mean-spirited a move.

“…the FSFE taking money from Microsoft was potentially mean-spirited a move.”As it turns out, Stallman left out something that had happened 3 years earlier (and 2 years before he was pushed out, with the FSFE’s support for the coup).

Here is a letter from May 2017:

Subject: Re: FSF asking us to change our name II
From: Jonas Oberg <jonas@fsfe.org>
Date: 30/05/2017, 15:31
To: Bernhard Reiter <bernhard@intevation.de>
CC: ga@fsfeurope.org

Hi Bernhard,

I largely agree with you, but I would like to ask for a clarification on this part:

I don’t see why. We should ask them to establish the agreed cooperation.

If I take an honest look at the framework agreement, I believe it’s phrased rather favourable towards the FSF, and a lot of what we would like to see — such as joint decision making on important issues related to Free Software — isn’t actually in the agreement aside from an intent to develop such a way in some hypothetical future.

And I can truly see why the FSF believes we are in violation of the agreement, at least on parts. Our work on the Radio Directive and other policy work I believe is an example of work that according to the agreement should be carried out by the FSF, and not the FSFE.

Our work on standards for cloud services is close to what’s reserved for the FSF. On the other part, there are a number of activities envisioned from the FSFE which we don’t do, or never did: operate the GNU Business Network, develop new free software, translate FSF position papers, recruit more volunteers for the GNU project, resell FSF merchandise, and so on.

So the framework agreement, as it stands, is not being honored from any side. What I understand from you is that you think we can push more on this:

We intend, in the future, after we have gained experience working together, to develop a system wherein these decisions are approved jointly by a specific list of several major FSFs.

Essentially, our message could be that now, after 15 years, we have the experience of working together. It’s not been a pleasurable experience, but we now know what the current tensions and activities are, which makes this a good time to now negotiate what such a system for join decision making would look like.

Is that close to what you intend?

Sincerely,


Jonas Öberg, Executive Director
Free Software Foundation Europe | jonas@fsfe.org
Your support enables our work (fsfe.org/join)

A few days later the following message was sent from the FSF:

Subject: FSFE
From: John Sullivan <johns@fsf.org>
Date: 02/06/2017, 15:50
To: Daniel Pocock <daniel@pocock.pro>

Hi Daniel,

Congratulations on your election to FSFE’s general assembly!

I’m wondering, if as part of your new position, you have been briefed on the current issues between FSF and FSFE.

I have been trying to discuss them with Jonas and Matthias for the last several years, but have gotten nowhere, and in fact things are now much worse than they were before. They made it clear at our last in-person meeting in April that they do not intend to change anything.

In your post at <https://danielpocock.com/risks-of-using-proprietary-software>, you expressed some of the same concerns FSF has. So I’m reaching out to you in the hopes that we might be able to figure out a solution, and also to hear anything you can share about plans you have for trying to address
your concerns from your new position. We could arrange a call, or we could discuss by email, if you are open to talking. Will you be at Debconf in Montreal?

I am also attaching a copy of the agreement FSFE made with us in order to use the FSF name, in case you have not seen it.

-john



John Sullivan | Executive Director, Free Software Foundation
GPG Key: A462 6CBA FF37 6039 D2D7 5544 97BA 9CE7 61A0 963B
http://status.fsf.org/johns | http://fsf.org/blogs/RSS
Do you use free software? Donate to join the FSF and support freedom at <http://my.fsf.org/join>.

According to this, the FSF granted FSFE permission to use the name, based on the FSF-Relationship-Framework which we reproduced here a few months ago. In 2017, John Sullivan, the FSF’s Executive Director, sent an email to a newly-elected person from the FSFE’s general assembly describing how difficult it is to deal with people in FSFE. “It is clear from these emails that FSFE does not have the blessing of FSF to use the name,” the leak’s source tells us. Quite a few people seem to be familiar with this problem, which is somewhat of an ‘open secret’. The “FSFE has collected over 1 million euro of donations from Free Software supporters,” the source told us. “Using a name borrowed from FSF helped them get this money.”

“In 2017, John Sullivan, the FSF’s Executive Director, sent an email to a newly-elected person from the FSFE’s general assembly describing how difficult it is to deal with people in FSFE.”And it meanwhile looks like in Wikipedia FSFE’s self-promotional page has become a candidate for deletion, with the following anonymously stated reason: “Page replicates the organization’s own view of itself, almost transplanted verbatim from its own web site. Staff and members of the organization have been actively editing the page (see Reinhard Müller, Mxmehl). Name of the organization is in dispute, as they borrowed the name from FSF. The organization has less than 30 members, as listed on their own People page. Demographic data released by the last elected Fellowship Representative shows that interest in the organization is very limited outside Germany. Much of the organization’s work appears to be ambush marketing, for example, a city converts their computers to Free Software and the FSFE makes a lot of publicity trying to associate the decision with one of their campaigns, even if they were never involved. It is not clear what original work they have done themselves and therefore, without being either very big or having done some outstanding work of their own initiative, they are not particularly notable. If the page remains, it needs substantial work to include the history of the organization, how it has interacted with other organizations, volunteers and sponsors (Google) but there are not many Reliable Sources, as required by Wikipedia, to document those facts objectively.”

In recent years the FSFE has had a number of scandals for positions it took and decided to broadcast out in the open. Seeing that even the FSF is not happy with the FSFE’s stance, with hard evidence to prove it, seems reasonably newsworthy.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  3. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  5. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  6. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  8. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  9. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  10. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  11. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  12. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  13. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  14. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  16. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  17. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  18. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  20. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  22. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  23. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  24. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  25. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  26. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  27. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  29. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  30. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts