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Public Code

Is there such a thing as anticompetitive public code?

Currently we are working on a brochure for our Public Money? Public Code! campaign, that we like to use as a help for politicians and decision-takers. The brochure shall help to clarify common misunderstandings about Free Software, show positive use-cases and of course the multiple benefits of using Free Software. One of these pages shall counter the claim that private actors cannot compete against Free Software published by the state, financed with public money. Find more information below or directly join the discussion in English or German on the FSFE Mailinglists.

One of the pages in our brochure about Public Money? Public Code! shall be dedicated to the topic “market distortion / anticompetition”. The point is that a main argument against publishing publicly financed software developments under a free licence is said to be “market distortion”. The argument says that private actors cannot compete against “software offered by the state free of charge” and therewith these publications are to be seen anticompetitive. On the other hand we use to argue that in fact Free Software fosters competition because there are a way less dependencies in the Free Software and Open Standards world.

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Free Software Assembly Europe at the 34C3 Chaos Communication Congress

This year, the assembly of the Free Software Foundation Europe will be integral part of the Cluster Rights & Freedoms. The cluster is formed together with our friends and other civil society organizations. During 4 days the FSFE will offer a public space for and by our members, friends and supporters to discuss, meet, hack and organise. Find an overview of our sessions and other specialties in this blog post. Always find the latest updates on our dedicated FSFE-assembly-page. Let’s put the hacking back into politics!

Location:

Location of the FSFE Assembly during 34C3 in Saal3 in the CCL.

The Congress Center Leipzig is huge! You will find our assembly in the Cluster Rights & Freedoms. The cluster itself is filling Saal 3 / Hall 3, which is split half/half into the stage area and the assembly area. You find the FSFE assembly in the assembly area.

On the right side you see a supervision of the cluster with the stage on top and the fsfe-assembly on bottom-left.

Saal 3 / Hall 3 is in the CCL-building, which is the “small” building on top-left in this graphic. In a side view, Saal 3 is on top right of the CCL-building.

Our sessions:

Please note that all sessions will happen on the stage in the Rights&Freedoms-Cluster in Saal 3 in the CCL-building (see above to find the location), except the Free Software song sing-along-sessions that will happen directly at the FSFE assembly and the workshops that happen in dedicated workshop-rooms.

Do not forget to check the the 34C3-wiki page for details and the latest updates!

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Push Free Software and Open Science for Horizon2020

Summary: please help us to get the idea about the importance of Free Software as a condition for Open Science into the mind of stakeholders and decision-takers of the Horizon2020 program. You can do so by participating in the interim evaluation and re-using FSFE’s position paper.

What came to my mind the first times that I read “Open Science” was that this term should not be necessary in the first place. In common understanding as well as in its self-conception, “openness” is the elementary part of all science. “Openness” in a sense that all scientific results shall be published publicly along with experimental settings, methods and anything else that leads to their results. It is exactly this approach that – in theory – gives everyone the chance to reproduce the experiment and get to the same results.

But although this approach of openness might still be the noble objective of any scientist, the general idea of a publicly available science is called into question since at least the de-facto domination of publishers over science journals and the creation of a profit-oriented market-design. It cannot be the point of this blogpost to roll out the problematic situation in that nowadays the consumers and the content creators both have to pay publishers for overpriced science journals, financed with public money. Instead, at this point, most important is that these high prices are contrary to the idea of universal access to science as they give access only to those who can afford it.

Send and receive Open Science?

Fortunately, Open Access came up to do something about this problem. Similar to Free Software, Open Access uses free licenses to offer access to science publications to everyone around the globe. That is why Open Access is an important step towards the universal access of science. Unfortunately, in a digital world, Open Access is just one of many tools that we have to use to achieve an Open Science. Equally important is the format and software that is used. Also, Open Access only covers the final publication and misses to cover the steps that lead to there. This is where Open Science steps in.

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Lerne ein Werkzeug für Freie Software kennen: FragDenStaat.de

Heute in einer Woche beginnt der Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) und die FSFE-Assembly bietet dir dieses Jahr 21 Sessions. Darunter ist auch Arne Semsrott von der Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, der dort das Portal FragDenStaat.de betreut und an unserer Assembly einen Informationsfreiheits-Workshop für Einsteiger anbietet.

Wie auf dem FSFE summit dieses Jahr vorgestellt, planen wir in etwa Mitte nächsten Jahres die Kampagne “Public Money – Public Code” zu starten. Wie Katharina Nocun auf dem Summit erklärt, steckt Im Kern der Kampagne die Forderung, dass mit öffentlichen Geldern finanzierte Software(-entwicklungen) wiederum der Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung gestellt werden.

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