[FSFE PR][FR] COVID-19 Hackathons: Only Free Software creates global solutions

press at fsfe.org press at fsfe.org
Wed Apr 8 06:22:59 UTC 2020

 = COVID-19 Hackathons: Only Free Software creates global solutions =

[ Version en ligne: https://fsfe.org/news/2020/news-20200408-01.fr.html ]

Currently we see a lot of hackathons to find tools that help tackle the
crisis of pandemic COVID-19. More and more governments and
administrations are hosting or funding such hackathons. To make sure
that the results of these hackathons can be used globally and adapted
locally - that the software can be used, studied, shared and improved
everywhere - the FSFE asks to publish the outcomes under a Free Software

Breaking the chain of COVID-19 infections and alleviating its dramatic
impacts are of top priority within our societies. Software is inherently
connected to achieve these goals, from 3D printing ventilators to
tracking potential outbreaks or organising solidarity within
communities. During the last weeks we have seen virtual hackathons being
organised to help find and fund solutions that tackle the COVID-19
crisis. For the time being only some of them are published under a Free
Software licence, also called Open Source Software or Libre Software
licence, meaning that these solutions can be used, studied, shared and
improved by everyone around the world.

Meanwhile, more and more European governments and administrations are
hosting virtual hackathons to help develop new tools. While some of them
are explicitly supporting Free Software solutions only, like the
WirVsVirus [1] hackathon others are not mentioning their licence at all
- like EUvsVirus [2] initiated by the European Commission or Global Hack
[3], funded by StartUpEU, making it difficult or impossible to reuse the
software in other parts of the world.

In a time when humanity needs to work together to find solutions for a
crisis, we cannot afford to reinvent the wheel again and again for
software that helps us tackle the spread of COVID-19. Global problems
need global solutions! It is Free Software that enables global
cooperation for code development. Any proprietary solution will
inevitably lead to countless isolated solutions and waste energy and
time which we as humanity cannot afford in such a critical situation.

Besides global cooperation, Free Software licences allow sharing of code
in any jurisdiction. Solutions developed in one country can be reused
and adapted in another one. International development agencies and
humanitarian movements can help to contain the spread of COVID-19 in any
country around the world with the availability of Free Software

Already before this crisis hundreds of organisations and tens of
thousands of people demanded that publicly financed software developed
for the public sector must be made publicly available under Free
Software licences [4]. It is now even more important than ever before to
tackle this crisis.

 == Get involved ==

 1: https://wirvsvirushackathon.org/international/
 2: https://euvsvirus.org/
 3: https://theglobalhack.com/
 4: https://publiccode.eu/
 5: https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/Hackathons4Freedom

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to
  control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our
  lives; and it is important that this technology empowers rather than
  restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use,
  understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other
  fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

  The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free
  Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.
  It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software
  adoption, encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and
  provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software
  in Europe.


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