The issue of Free Software has hit the run-up to the German elections. During a campaign launched by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) politicians from many parties have recognised the potential of Free Software and Open Standards for Germany. In response to questions from supporters of FSFE, they explain that Free Software equals more competition, promotes innovation and provides cost savings.
Free Software - such as the GNU/Linux operating system or the web browser Mozilla Firefox - can be used without restrictions, studied by anyone, be modified and passed on. "Free Software brings significant benefits for the economy" says Karsten Gerloff, president of FSFE. "On that basis Germany's small and medium enterprises are able to offer high quality services and create lasting value for our country. We are delighted that candidates are aware of this opportunity."
Free Software is also an important prerequisite for equal opportunities in education. "Software is the cultural technique of the 21st century, "says Matthias Kirschner, Germany Coordinator of FSFE. "Everyone should have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of this. It's good to see that FSFE's persistent work on this issue is paying off."
Nevertheless, the parties lack a comprehensive approach for making the best of Free Software for Germany's economy and society. FSFE provides an analysis of the parties' programmes, along with the questions answered by the candidates. FSFE will continue to serve as a competent partner of politicians and everybody interested in the potential of Free Software.