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<title>FSF Europe - Recommendation for the 6th EU Framework Programme</title>
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<h3>Hamburg, April 30th, 2002</h3>
of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe)<br />
and supporting parties<br />
for the<br />
<b>Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the
Council concerning the rules for the participation of undertakings,
research centres and universities and for the dissemination of research
results for the implementation of the European Community framework
programme 2002--2006</b>
<br />
<a href="recommendation.pdf">Download as PDF; 126k</a>
<br />
[ Recommendation | <a href="reasoning.html">Reasoning</a> | <a href="supporting-parties.html">Supporting Parties</a> ] [ <a href="more-support.html">More Supporting Parties</a> ]
<br />
<p>Free Software is a concept that has fundamentally changed the way some
parts of the IT sector are working towards a more stable, lasting and
sustainable approach with higher dynamics and increased efficiency. It
is obvious that the first region to adopt and support this principle
on a larger scale can profit enormously and get a head-start in the
information age.</p>
<p>This document explains some of the reasons why Free Software should be
included in the considerations on the <em>6th European Community
framework programme 2002-2006</em> and gives input on how this could be
<p>Free Software -- sometimes also referred to as ``Libre software'' or
``Open Source Software'' -- is best defined by the following four
<li>1. freedom: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.</li>
<li>2. freedom: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it
to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.</li>
<li>3. freedom: The freedom to redistribute copies.</li>
<li>4. freedom: The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community
benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.</li>
<p>For reasons that can be found online<sup><a NAME="ref1" HREF="#fn1">1</a></sup>, this document will
use Free Software as the preferred term.</p>
<p>The ability of any region, country or person to participate in the
information age will be largely determined by access to and control
over key technologies and networks.</p>
<p>As a result of the proprietary software model, we are currently in a
situation where almost the whole European information technologies
industry is dependent on an oligopoly of U.S. software companies.
Viewed from the European perspective, such a situation is highly
unstable and unfavorable.</p>
<p>Not coincidentally, the only true exception to this, the internet, is
largely run on Free Software.</p>
<p>Recognising the usefulness and importance of Free Software for the
future of Europe, the Information Society Technologies (IST) research
programme of the European Commission has shown increasting interest in
Free Software over the past years. An example of this was the ``2001
action line Free Software development: towards critical mass'' within
the 5th European European Community framework programme.
Consequently, Free Software is also found in the ``Work Programme
2002'' of the IST.</p>
<p>Free Software provides an alternative model for information technology
with significant advantages for numerous objectives and areas
specified in the Proposal for the <em>6th European Commission
framework programme</em>.</p>
<p>Even if these are sometimes hard to quantify, it is clear that Europe
could greatly benefit from increased employment of Free Software in
terms of</p>
<li> Greater independence</li>
<li> Increased sustainability</li>
<li> Freedom from foreign mono- and oligopolies</li>
<li> Alternative hard- and software possibilities</li>
<li> Strengthened domestic market and local industries</li>
<li> Better cooperation between research and economy</li>
<li> Encouraged transdisciplinary research</li>
<li> Better protection of civil rights</li>
<p>Free Software is clearly a model of the future and Europe already has
an increasingly vibrant Free Software scene unrivaled anywhere in the
world. This gives Europe a very unique chance to capitalise on the
benefits of Free Software and get a head-start into the knowledge
<p>For a more detailed and explanatory reasoning, please see section
<a href="reasoning.html">Reasoning</a>.</p>
<p>We<sup><a NAME="ref2" HREF="#fn2">2</a></sup>
recommend that for all activities within the <em>6th European
Commission framework programme</em>, Free Software becomes the preferred
and recommended choice.</p>
<p>We suggest that the programme and projects should monitor and report
on the share of the funding used for results released under a Free
Software or Free Documentation license. In certain areas like the IST
programme or fundamental research, the objective must be set that this
share is at least 50% of the budget used to produce software or
disseminable documentation.</p>
<p>As other ways of increasing the European edge, we furthermore
<h3>Dedicated calls</h3>
<p>In some areas -- ``eEurope'' or fundamental scientific research being
two examples -- it would be advisable to enforce the advantages
offered by Free Software by explicitly and exclusively calling for
projects that will release their results under a Free Software and/or
Free Documentation license.</p>
<h3>Preference in evaluation</h3>
<p>As a general criterion it would be in the interest of Europe that
projects making their results available under a Free Software (and --
possibly -- Free Documentation) license<sup><a NAME="ref3"
HREF="#fn3">3</a></sup> should receive a positive score in the
evaluation process, giving them an advantage over comparable projects
not offering this increased European value.</p>
<p>Additional positive scores in the evaluation process should be
granted to projects employing ``Copylefted'' Free Software<sup><a
NAME="ref4" HREF="#fn4">4</a></sup> and projects taking steps to
ensure the enduring availability and legal maintainability of the Free
Software created through copyright assignments<sup><a NAME="ref5"
HREF="#fn5">5</a></sup> to appropriate institutions.</p>
<p>The preference and recommendation for Free Software should be added in
the guidelines for evaluators, the policy documents and the documents
explaining the rules of participation for project applications.</p>
<p>Although Free Software is per se available to any organisation, person
or company, the European Commission should seek to inform and
encourage local companies about and to Free Software, building up the
expertise fundamentally necessary for the information age.</p>
<hr />
<dt><a NAME="fn1"></a><sup>1</sup>
Please see <a
<dt><a NAME="fn2"></a><sup>2</sup>
The Free Software Foundation Europe and parties supporting
this recommendation. Information about the FSF Europe and the list
of supporting parties can be found <a href="supporting-parties.html">here</a>.</dt>
<dt><a NAME="fn3"></a><sup>3</sup>
See <a href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html">http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html</a></dt>
<dt><a NAME="fn4"></a><sup>4</sup>
Copylefted Free Software not only offers the four freedoms quoted
above, it also protects them. The most successful and best-known
Copyleft license is the ``GNU General Public License'' of the Free
Software Foundation, under which more than 50% of all Free Software
is being released.</dt>
<dt><a NAME="fn5"></a><sup>5</sup>
Transferral of exclusive exploitation rights in countries following
the ``Droit d'Auteur'' tradition.</dt>
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