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22 May 2009, 15:01

Free Software becomes European Election issue

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With the launch of the Free Software Pact initiative the European Elections now have free software as an issue for candidates. The initiative will ask those standing for election to support free software in the UK. The Free Software Pact is a European project to bring the importance of the development of free software to the fore, especially as the European Parliament is where many discussions and decisions, regarding software patents, interoperability and net neutrality, are made.

The Free Software pact is supported by Richard Stallman who said "Big dangers threaten the freedoms of free software in Europe: software patents, Digital Rights Management (DRM), bundled sales and treacherous computing... I call on all European citizens who value free software to join this campaign, contact their candidates and have them sign the Free Software Pact."

The pact calls for the candidate to encourage all public services to "prefer free software and open standards", support policies in favour of free software and oppose discrimination against it, and to protect the rights of free software authors and users.

Mark Taylor, the co-ordinator for the initiative in the UK said "The Free software Pact is therefore an ideal way to draw attention to the reform the UK public sector needs and the enormous cost savings yet to be realised". The Free Software Pact UK page gives links to a list of MEP candidates and details on how to participate. The European Parliamentary elections are on June 4th.


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