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. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

    As shown in the charts above (updated an hour ago), the relative share of ‘Linux’ Foundation (LE/LF; same thing, same office) in the capsules’ certificates has decreased over time; more and more (in terms of proportion) capsules choose to sign their own certificate/s; the concept of ‘fake security’ (centralisation and consolidation) should be rejected universally because it leaves nobody safe except plutocrats



  2. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC



  3. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

    The 'Ministry of Truth' of the patent world is turning the EPO's Web site into a propaganda mill, a misinformation farm, and a laughing stock with stock photography



  4. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

    Microsoft boosters such as Bogdan Popa and Mark Hachman work overtime on distraction from the failure Vista 11 has been (the share of Windows continues to fall relative to other platforms)



  5. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

    Links for the day



  6. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  7. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  8. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  10. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  11. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  12. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  13. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  14. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  15. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  16. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  17. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  19. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  21. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  22. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  23. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  24. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  25. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  27. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  28. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  29. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  30. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close


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