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<h1>Bundestag election: The parties' positions on Free Software</h1>
<h1>Bundestag election: The German parties' positions on Free Software</h1>
<p newsteaser="yes">
Today, the Free Software Foundation Europe publishes its
Free Software related "Wahlprüfsteine" for the Bundestag election on
September 22, 2013. All parties listed therein have taken a stand on the
questions. These questions covered topics like the necessity to publish
publicly funded software under a Free license, the ElsterFormular
Free Software related "Wahlprüfsteine" for the German Bundestag election on
September 22, 2013. All parties listed therein have taken a stand on
questions covering topics like the necessity to publish
publicly funded software under a Free license, the ElsterFormular tax
software, control over mobile devices, Secure Boot, royalty-free licensing
of standards, advertisement for proprietary software on websites of the
public administration and software patents.
<!-- Gollo: This sentence is much too long (in German *and* English) -->
<!-- MK: as it is a listing I do not see a problem with it -->
Fortunately, the parties have clearly improved their knowledge about Free
Software since the preceding elections.
</p>
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<p>
First, something pleasant: SPD, the Greens, the Pirate party, the Linke and
the Free voters want software ordered by the public administration to be
the Free Voters want software procured by the public administration to be
published under a free licence. The SPD states that "publicly funded software
should be available to the general public as far as possible". The Greens
demand the publication as Free Software in their manifesto (see <a
@ -72,11 +73,11 @@
</p>
<p>
The <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?p=1031">retention of the
Elsterformular software (German)</a> encounters a lack of understanding,
Elsterformular tax software (German)</a> encounters incomprehension,
regret and criticism among the parties. The FDP points to the platform
independence of the upcoming version of Elsteronline, which will not need Java
to run. Still, they regret that the Elsterformular is not available in a
platform independent way. The Free voters perceive the given platform
platform independent way. The Free Voters (Freie Wähler) perceive the given platform
dependency as incomprehensible in view of system security. The fixation to a
single operating system development company is unacceptable for the SPD and
they want to engage to "make according software available for alternative
@ -84,16 +85,17 @@
the Elsterformular for users of Free operating systems. Distinct criticism is
passed by the Linke: "The provision of the Elster-Formular solely for
Microsoft Windows and the retention of GNU-Linux and Mac OS X versions by the
Bayerisches Landesamt für Steuern which is in charge of the development is not
Bavarian State office for taxes
(Bayerisches Landesamt für Steuern) which is in charge of the development is not
acceptable." The Pirates furthermore demand the publication of the software
and its documentation under a Free licence – even if it was of bad quality –
to allow others to further develop the software.
</p>
<p>
All parties agree that public authorities should demand all usage rights
(access to the source code, the right for further developments (also by third
parties), the right to distribute the software to others) when placing an
All parties agree that public authorities should demand all rights
(access to the source code, the right for further developments -- also by third
parties --, the right to distribute the software to others) when placing an
order for software development. The FDP states: "This creates independence
from the producer, planning reliability and freedom of choice when selecting a
service provider." SPD and the Greens mainly justify their demands from an IT
@ -104,7 +106,7 @@
Please improve this sentence --> The Pirates and the Greens point to the fact
that governmental usage rights are a necessary condition to publish software
of the public administration under a Free licence as demanded by the parties.
The Free voters state that they will consider fines for officials and
The Free Voters state that they will consider fines for officials and
employees who sign contracts without these usage rights.
</p>
@ -113,7 +115,7 @@
aspects of data protection. The SPD sees "challenges especially regarding the
right of informational self-determination". The Greens, Linke, Pirates and SPD
demand data protection-friendly technology as a basic adjustment ("Data
protection by technology"), while CDU/CSU, FDP and the Free voters target a
protection by technology"), while CDU/CSU, FDP and the Free Voters target a
better education of citizens. However, the parties do not answer the question
about the rights the users should have on the software on these devices – a
question that for example is asked by FSFE's <a
@ -123,14 +125,14 @@
<p>On the subject <a
href="/campaigns/generalpurposecomputing/secure-boot-analysis.html">"Secure
Boot"</a> all parties are in agreement: the <a
href="/news/2012/news-20121120-01.html">key issue paper of the federal government</a> contains important claims which they want to support and implement. "With the implementation of Secure Boot the owners of IT devices get limited in the possibility to entirely control contents and applications", so writes the Linke to the problem description. FDP wants to "assure that users can make an informed decision about their devices" and CDU wants to pursue the work on this issue on national and international level. In their detailed answer the Pirates write: "Systems which hinder the user to install specific software are on economic-political ground not acceptable. This inevitably leads to promotion of oligopolies or monopolies in the software market. But more important is the socio-political relevance of control over IT systems [....]". The Greens doubt how the federal government will implement the key issue paper "with the extensive bonds to Microsoft services" and SPD demands an "initiative on European level [...] to let these targets not only be a political declaration of intention, but to really stick to them."</p>
href="/news/2012/news-20121120-01.html">white paper of the federal government</a> contains important claims which they want to support and implement. "With the implementation of Secure Boot the owners of IT devices get limited in the possibility to entirely control contents and applications", so writes the Linke to the problem description. FDP wants to "assure that users can make an informed decision about their devices" and CDU wants to pursue the work on this issue on national and international level. In their detailed answer the Pirates write: "Systems which hinder the user to install specific software are on economic-political ground not acceptable. This inevitably leads to promotion of oligopolies or monopolies in the software market. But more important is the socio-political relevance of control over IT systems [....]". The Greens doubt how the federal government will implement the white paper "with the extensive bonds to Microsoft services" and SPD demands an "initiative on European level [...] to let these targets not only be a political declaration of intention, but to really stick to them."</p>
<p>Except for CDU and Free voters, all parties explicitly support the fee-less licensing of standards. The Greens point to their demand in the <a
<p>Except for CDU and Free Voters, all parties explicitly support the royality-free licensing of standards. The Greens point to their demand in the <a
href="http://www.bundestag.de/internetenquete/">Enquete Kommission
"Internet und Digitale Gesellschaft" (EIDG, commission of inquiry in internet and digital society)</a> where they want to place the public administration under an obligation to bring forward interoperability and sustainability of their IT systems "to be independent from interests of single market participants at the further development of the systems." Criticism of SAGA comes from the Linke and Pirates. The Linke see in the specifications without restrictions and licence fees no automatism for increased implementation of Free Software. "On this, active political will and proactive acting of federal government is required", so the Linke. The Pirates criticise that ODF in SAGA is only a recommended format what results to the fact "that non-free software and closed formats can still be used in administrative practice." By this, SAGA decays to a "paper tiger".</p>
"Internet und Digitale Gesellschaft" (EIDG, commission of inquiry in internet and digital society)</a> where they want to place the public administration under an obligation to bring forward interoperability and sustainability of their IT systems "to be independent from interests of single market participants at the further development of the systems." Criticism of SAGA comes from the Linke and Pirates. The Linke see in the specifications without restrictions and licence fees no automatism for increased implementation in Free Software. "On this, active political will and proactive acting of federal government is required", so the Linke. The Pirates criticise that ODF in SAGA is only a recommended format what results to the fact "that non-free software and closed formats can still be used in administrative practice." By this, SAGA decays to a "paper tiger".</p>
<p>Unfortunately the CDU sees no problem in <a
href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.html">advertisement on public administration's websites</a> for non-free software as long as it serves usability. The other parties reject this kind of advertisements and want to prevent those in future. The Greens refer in their answer to their request "Advertisement for proprietary software on websites of federal ministries and public administration" (printed matter 17/8951) in which they picked up on this issue, and to the following discussion of this subject in the IT planning council. The Free voters offered their help for solutions on municipal level.</p>
href="/campaigns/pdfreaders/pdfreaders.html">advertisement on public administration's websites</a> for non-free software as long as it serves usability. The other parties reject this kind of advertisements and want to prevent those in future. The Greens refer in their answer to their request "Advertisement for proprietary software on websites of federal ministries and public administration" (printed matter 17/8951) in which they picked up on this issue, and to the following discussion of this subject in the IT planning council. The Free Voters offered their help for solutions on municipal level.</p>
<p>The long-standing work against software patents shows effects: By now all parties on federal level agree on the issue software patents that patenting of software should be limited effectively. To this they refer to the <a href="/news/2013/news-20130612-01.html">inter-fractional request "save competition and dynamic of innovation in software sector - limit patenting of computer programs effectively"</a>.</p>
@ -140,7 +142,7 @@
schools and universities and thinks about releasing those games under a Free
licence. The FDP also has intentions in the education sector; They want to get
more children into programming and "take care that newly acquired learning
aids can be used platform independently". The Free voters want to further Free
aids can be used platform independently". The Free Voters want to further Free
Software in the communal sector. The Greens especially demand a consistent
procurement practice for software funded by the public, continue to criticise
regression like for example in the <a
@ -149,7 +151,7 @@
Free Software in the context of common property economics and thinks about
ways of funding, e.g. using parts of the broadcasting fees. The SPD wants to
primarily further Free Software in the administration and as already demanded
during the <strong>FIXME</strong>Sondervoten in der EIDG<strong>FIXME</strong>
during the seperate votes (Sondervoten) in the EIDG
"provide subsidies for usability analysis and the improvement of user
friendliness of selected projects".
</p>
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