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<nettime> Fwd: Public Money? Public Code! - Sign our Open Letter!
Carsten Agger on Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:27:03 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Fwd: Public Money? Public Code! - Sign our Open Letter!

Digital services offered and used by our public administrations are part
of the critical infrastructure of 21st century democratic nations. Due
to restrictive software licences, however, many public bodies do not
have full control over its digital infrastructure. And although sharing
publicly funded software under a free licence generates great benefits
for governments and civil society, policy makers are still reluctant to
improve legislation. It is time to change this. Since it is our public
money, it should be our public code as well!

Today the Free Software Foundation Europe publishes an open letter in
which we call for legislation requiring that publicly financed software
developed for the public sector must be made publicly available under a
Free Software licence. This will allow everybody to use, study, share,
and improve the software. 31 civil society organisations throughout the
EU have already signed it. Also Edward Snowden, President of Freedom of
the Press Foundation, supports our campaign, stating "Right now, the
blueprints for much of our most critical public infrastructure are
simply unavailable to the public. By aligning public funding with a Free
Software requirement -- "Free" referring to public code availability,
not cost -- we can find and fix flaws before they are used to turn the
lights out in the next hospital."

Now it is up to you! Please help and join us by signing this letter and
ask your friends and colleagues to do likewise:

* Sign the open letter: https://publiccode.eu/#action

Why is this important? Public institutions spend millions of euros every
year for the development of new software for them. But the public
sector's procurement choices play a significant role in determining
which companies are allowed to compete and what software is supported
with taxpayers' money. This means, that changing policies in public
procurement will have a huge positive impact on the Free Software

Great chances for improvement and synergies are missed when proprietary
licences restrict our freedom to use, study, share and improve publicly
funded software. Nowadays,  we often have the absurd situation that
public administrations on federal or local level have problems to share
code with each other - even if they funded its complete development on
their own. Without the option to run audits or other security checks on
the code, sensible citizen data may be at risk.

* That's why you should sign the letter: https://publiccode.eu/#action

Experience from many projects all over the world show that Free Software
and public administration can be a perfect match. Some EU member states
have taken initial legislative steps for supporting Free Software in
public administrations. With this campaign we reach out to those still
hesitating. Please help us, to make Free Software the new gold standard
in public procurement.

Matthias Kirschner, President Free Software Foundation Europe

PS: You can support this campaign as well by ordering and distributing
stickers <https://fsfe.org/contribute/spreadtheword.html#pmpc-sticker>,
by sharing the campaign video <https://publiccode.eu/#about> and by
using one of our web graphics or banners

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