European Parliament 2009 elections : a pact to support Free Software
France, Italy, 31 March 2009. Free Software advocacy associations April (France) and Associazione per il software libero (Italy) have launched a joint campaign aimed at the European Parliament elections in early June. The campaign invites citizens to ask candidates to sign the Free Software Pact.
The Free Software Pact is a simple document with which candidates can inform the voting public that they favor the development and use of Free Software, and will protect it from possible threatening EU legislation.
The Free Software Pact is also a tool for citizens who value Free Software to educate candidates about the importance of Free Software and why they should, if elected, protect the European Free Software community.
Free Software is worth protecting because it offers a way for European computer users to reclaim the essential freedoms that proprietary software denies them. There are four of these freedoms: to run the program as you wish, to study the source code and change it to do what you wish, to redistribute copies, and to distribute your modified versions. With these freedoms, the users are in control of the program. Without them, the developer controls the program, and indirectly controls its users.
Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, declares: " Big dangers threaten the freedoms of Free Software in Europe: software patents, DRM, bundled sales, 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. "
A European website and a wiki will provide anyone who wants to join the campaign with all the necessary tools and information. Pease visit http://freesoftwarepact.eu/
About the Free Software Pact
Since 2007, French association April has sensitized candidates to political elections about Free Software related issues through the Candidats.fr initiative. The Candidats.fr initiative was part of the presidential and legislative campaigns in 2007, and continued during the 2008 campaign for city and department elections. Today 72 signatories are members of the French National Assembly.
Associazione per il software libero started the campaign in 2006 The campaign was first updated in occasion of the 2008 political elections and further in 2009 in occasion of the Sardinia regional elections.
The European Parliament is the venue for crucial talks for Free Software, from software patents to interoperability, through the neutrality of technology and networks. It is therefore vital to convince candidates in the 2009 European elections to sign the Free Software Pact.
Through civic initiatives and the Free Software Pact, and with the help of the mobilization of many members of the community, we aim to persuade candidates to make a commitment in favor of Free Software, and ensure that the next European Parliament will defend it.