public money public code - supporting current FSFE campain


The FSFE has launched the following campaign:

I strongly believe that it's in GNOME's interest to co-sign the
following open letter. I've prepared a patch to have GNOME listed as
supporter. I intend to send the patch in a day or so. If you think we
shouldn't be supporting this effort, please speak up.

Open Letter

Publicly funded software has to be Free and Open Source Software. While
there are plenty of good reasons for this, many politicians don’t know
about them yet.

Free Software gives everybody the right to use, study, share and
improve software. This right helps support other fundamental freedoms
like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

This is where you can help! Sign the open letter to give our message
more weight. 6505 people and 38 organisations have already signed. We
will hand over the letter and signatures to your representatives and
make sure that they understand that: Public Money? Public Code!

    Public Money? Public Code!

    Digital services offered and used by our public administrations are
the critical infrastructure of 21st century democratic nations. In
order to establish trustworthy systems, public bodies must ensure they
have full control over the software and the computer systems at the
core of our state digital infrastructure. However, right now, this is
rarely the case due to restrictive software licences that:

        Forbid sharing and exchanging publicly funded code. This
prevents cooperation between public administrations and hinders further
        Support monopolies by hindering competition. As a result, many
administrations become dependent on a handful of companies.
        Pose a threat to the security of our digital infrastructure by
forbidding access to the source code. This makes fixing backdoors and
security holes extremely difficult, if not completely impossible.

    We need software that fosters the sharing of good ideas and
solutions. Like this we will be able to improve IT services for people
all over Europe. We need software that guarantees freedom of choice,
access, and competition. We need software that helps public
administrations regain full control of their critical digital
infrastructure, allowing them to become and remain independent from a
handful of companies. That is why we call our representatives to
support Free and Open Source Software in public administrations,

        Free and Open Source Software is a modern public good that
allows everybody to freely use, study, share and improve applications
we use on a daily basis.
        Free and Open Source Software licences provide safeguards
against being locked in to services from specific companies that use
restrictive licences to hinder competition.
        Free and Open Source Software ensures that the source code is
accessible so that backdoors and security holes can be fixed without
depending on one service provider.

    Public bodies are financed through taxes. They must make sure they
spend funds in the most efficient way possible. If it is public money,
it should be public code as well!

    That is why we, the undersigned, call our representatives to:

    “Implement legislation requiring that publicly financed software
developed for public sector must be made publicly available under a
Free and Open Source Software licence.”


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