FSFE Raising Funds Through Cooking Show

Nov 18, 2009

Cooking shows are prime time on all TV networks, so the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is cooking up its own special program: "Freedom Food."

The FSFE finances its work to promote free software from donations. For its final fund-raising spurt for 2009, the foundation set the ambitious goal of 100,000 euros for the last quarter. That gives them about six weeks to make up the 82,000 euros still left to raise since their last donations quote of 18,000 euros since October 1. As an incentive, the free software activists are presenting a special opportunity: as a reward, the largest single donor will have a cook-off with FSFE president Karsten Gerloff and other foundation members.

The FSFE sees their initiative as thoroughly adhering to the principle of free software in that it and cooking "are both about creativity, skill and enjoying yourself." Gerloff explains: "Recipes can be used for any purpose, including sharing them with others, and making your own improvements. In these respects cooking is just like Free Software -- you have the freedom to use, study, share and improve."

The cooking session should also provide opportunities for shop talk concerning such pressing issues as closed standards and large enterprise lobbying. FSFE sees interoperability in the European public sector under special attack. Presumably this refers to the recent formulation of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) that is supposed to dilute significantly the interoperability definition that was set in 2004. Gerloff sees in the EIF yet another danger for authorities to backtrack on independence from specific vendors, and drafted a letter to the EU member states to suggest withdrawing the latest EIF revision (as OSOR news reports).

Apart from addressing such concerns, Gerloff sees his team as well armed from a culinary standpoint: "A lot of us at FSFE are passionate hobby chefs." The plan is to have at least two senior FSFE staff cook for up to four persons from the selected donor and then sit down with them for the meal. The FSFE website will publish the names of the three largest donors, with ongoing updates, along with the donation figures.

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