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Free Software Pact

#ECS21 – the campaign that did not happen

The economy of knowledge in the 21st century

Our economic and social development has always been based on the freedom to use, study, share and improve common knowledge and information. Since entering the digital era, the freedoms to access and use knowledge is strongly linked with the access to technology and software. Furthermore, access and use of our cultural heritage, economic development, as well as our social and political organisation, is increasingly based on technology and software. In the 21st century, access to software determines how we can participate in our society.

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This is the introduction text of a campaign I wanted to run for the upcoming General Elections in Spain, accompanied with some theory, how Free Software increases autonomy and helps to grow local economy. Following this background, in the very heart of the campaign there are some clear demands, a “Freedom Pact”, that should help to put theory into practice. Candidates that run for office can sign this Freedom Pact to show that they care and to promise to

  • promote the use of Free Software in all areas of public life, public administration, and public education
  • promote legislation to make Free Software the first choice in public procurement
  • promote policies in favour of Free Software and oppose policies that discriminate against it
  • ensure a legal requirement, that all software developed with public funds is released as Free Software, so other administrations, and the public, can benefit from it
  • promote the widest possible use of Open Standards in the public sector, as well as the publication and archiving of all public data and documents in formats based on Open Standards

The concept is in the family of other Ask Your Candidate campaigns like the European Free Software Pact or the Swiss FreedomVote.

01 eibarUnfortunately, the campaign never came alive and given that the elections will already happen in 4 weeks, the campaign will not get alive for the 2015 elections. However, I think the work that has been done is worth sharing and that is why I aset put a simple wp-page that includes the pact, the campaign texts and the translations we have done:

http://ecs21.3rik.cc

This way, I hope it inspires someone else in the wild to take it up and run a campaign, to share it, to talk about it or to simply do whatever you like. Everything public domain (CC0). The text is available in Spanish, Gallic, Catalan and English.

Finally, I especially like to thank Juan Antonio Zaratiegui Vallecillo for working on the multilanguage page that never went online, to Eukelade for the translations and for Asa Ritz for his contributions.

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The Free Software Pact for the European Elections 2014

The French Free Software Association April is running its “Free Software Pact” campaign again for this years European Elections. Aim of this campaign is to enlighten candidates for the European Elections 2014 about Free Software by signing a “Free Software Pact” at the same time. Core demands of this pact are:

[…] I therefore undertake to:

  • Encourage all administrations, all public or local services to prefer Free Software and open standards in their choices, purchases and own developments;
  • Support active policies in favour of Free Software, and oppose any discrimination against it ;
  • Stand up for Free Software authors’ and users’ rights, especially by requiring the modification of any legal text currently weakening those rights, and opposing any legal project that would lead to such consequences.

In the past, April was very successful with this campaign. For the last European Elections, 2009, they have been able to collect 231 signatories out of 10 different countries. Unfortunately, this time there have been some starting problems, that is why time is already running short. The more urgent it is to become active immediately. This blogpost is supposed to help you in becoming active.

Template for re-use

I just started today to contact the list of candidates of the conservative party CDU here in the state of Berlin, Germany. In the following you will find the text that I have been using until now. Maybe it can be helpful for one or the other in phrasing his own text. Anyway, you are free to use this text in a whole, in part or as an inspiration for your own activity.

Dear Sir/Madam [Name]

I am a [ member / engaged / volunteer …] of the Free Software Foundation Europe and I am writing you today because you are running for office in the name the of the [name of party] for the European Elections 2014.

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Der Freie Software Pakt zur Europawahl 2014

Die französische Freie Software Organisation April hat dieses Jahr zur Europawahl wieder einmal ihre Kampagne “The Free Software Pact” gestartet. Ziel dieser Kampagne ist es, Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten zur Europawahl 2014 für die Thematik Freie Software zu sensibilisieren indem sie zugleich einen “Freie Software Pakt” unterzeichnen. Die Kernforderungen dieses “Paktes” sind:

[…] Deshalb verspreche ich

  • alle Behörden, öffentliche Einrichtungen und lokale Dienste zu ermutigen, Freie Software und offene Standards in ihrer Auswahl, ihren Anschaffungen und ihren eigenen Entwicklungen vorzuziehen;
  • aktive Richtlinien zugunsten Freier Software zu unterstützen, und jede Diskriminierung gegen sie abzulehnen;
  • mich für die Rechte von Urhebern und Nutzern Freier Software einzusetzen, vor allem durch das Einfordern von Änderungen an allen Gesetzestexten, die diese Rechte derzeit schwächen, sowie die Ablehnung aller Gesetzesvorhaben, die zu solchen Folgen führen würden.

April hat in der Vergangenheit mit dieser Kampagne schon beachtliche Erfolge erzielt. Zur letzten Europawahl, 2009, gelang es 231 Unterschriften aus 10 verschiedenen Ländern zu sammeln. Leider gab es dieses Mal kleine Startschwierigkeiten, weshalb die Zeit inzwischen schon etwas knapp geworden ist. Umso dringender ist es also am besten sofort aktiv zu werden. Dieser Blogpost soll euch eine Hilfe dazu sein.

Zunächst gilt zu beachten, dass wir im Rahmen dieser Kampagne zwar nach Unterschriften von individuellen Kandidaten suchen, dass aber nach deutschem Europawahlrecht jeder Bürger eine Stimme zur Verfügung hat, mit der er jedoch keine Kandidaten direkt wählt sondern lediglich Parteilisten. Das hat einen Einfluss auf die empfohlene Kommunikation, siehe unten.

Vorlage zum Weiterverwenden

Ich habe heute angefangen die Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten der Landesliste Berlin der CDU anzuschreiben. Im Folgenden der Text den ich bisher verwendet habe. Vielleicht hilft er ja dem Einen oder Anderen bei der Formulierung seines Textes. Es steht dir jedenfalls frei den folgenden Text komplett zu übernehmen oder in verändert Form weiter zu verwenden.

Sehr geehrte/-r Frau/Herr [Name],

ich bin [Mitglied / Ehrenamtlicher / Engagierter …] der Free Software Foundation Europe und ich schreibe Ihnen heute in Ihrer Funktion als Kandidat /-in der [Parteiname] für die Wahl des Europäischen Parlaments 2014.

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