Public Money - Public Code: Helping with the campaign

hellekin how at
Fri Aug 25 17:59:02 UTC 2017

> * Erik Albers [2017-08-01 14:09 +0200]:
> [...]
> we are preparing a campaign named "Public Money Public Code". The aim of this
> campaign is to ask all the public authorities in Europe that develop software
> inhouse or that pay external software development and finance or co-finance
> the development with public funds, to release the software under a Free
> Software licence.
> Along with the other PR-instruments we in particular like to underfed the
> campaign with data and knowledge about the use / misuse of public fundings for
> software development. We like to shed light on the best and the worst cases.

Hi Erik, Mathias, all,

I've been working on a philosophical argument that distinguishes free
technologies from proprietary technologies on a technical basis.  This
offers a foundation to argue, along with the PMPC campaign, that
European institutions, and more generally public institutions, should
prefer open technical systems to closed technical systems
(respectively: free software to privative software) not for ideological
reasons, but on technical grounds. Petites Singularités already
successfully used that argument to expel a proprietary software company
from an European consortium to the benefit of a free software project
(ongoing MURIQUI project, see [0]).

A first approach of this argument can be found in "Good bye
'open-source'; hello 'free software'" from January 2013, and was
discussed abundantly during the last Libre Software Meeting in
Saint-Etienne, France, the first week of July (RMLL 2017).  I'm
preparing a report on this covering interventions of Coline Ferrarato,
Stéphane Couture, Thiago Novaes, Natacha Roussel, and Yann
Moulier-Boutang. The conversation will continue in the form of articles
and hopefully a review on free technologies.

I would like to propose that this effort is linked to the PMPC campaign
so that when the EU software project coverage is complete, the campaign
can evolve and push the technical argument. In a nutshell, French
philosopher Gilbert Simondon distinguished open and closed
technical systems that promote different ethics and aesthetics: the
former embrace diversity, evolution, perennity, and cooperation, while
the latter push univocity, control (vendor-lock), specialization. The
key argument is that the path taken to produce a technology conditions
the resulting technique.

This conversation will happen on the Petites Singularités discourse
platform [2], and I would like to invite people interested in the PMPC
to experiment with this platform as a campaign tool. I wish the FSFE
would provide support towards this endeavor: I can provide the platform
and sysadmin effort to sustain it (i.e. no FSFE sysadmin will be
required), but I can't otherwise spend more time organizing the
campaigning effort.

What do you think?  How can these two approaches (philosophical /
technical argument and EU assets identification with FOIA requests) can
create synergies to amplify the PMPC campaign?  Who would be interested
in supporting such an endeavor, and with which means?

Thank you for your attention,



hellekin <how at>

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