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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2016-11-10">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Russian Bill makes Free Software a Public Priority</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Russian Bill makes Free Software a Public Priority</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">
  9. Legislators have drafted
  10. <a href="$File/1187178-6.PDF?OpenElement">a bill</a>
  11. that will boost Free Software on multiple levels within the Russian
  12. Federation's public sector.</p>
  13. <p>The draft, approved by the Russian Federation's Duma (lower chamber)
  14. in mid-October, requires the public sector to prioritise Free Software over
  15. proprietary alternatives, gives precedence to local IT businesses that offer
  16. Free Software for public tenders, and recognises the need to encourage
  17. collaboration with the global network of Free Software organisations and
  18. communities.</p>
  19. <p>The text enforces prioritising Free Software over proprietary alternatives
  20. by requiring public administrations to formally justify any purchase of
  21. proprietary software. The purchase will be considered unjustified if a
  22. Free Software solution exists that satisfies the list of technical specifications
  23. and standards. In addition, all IT purchase agreements in the public
  24. sphere must be registered in a dedicated registrar and detail the overall
  25. quantity and price of both purchased proprietary and Free Software.</p>
  26. <p>In order to encourage local businesses, IT companies that distribute
  27. and provide Free Software products and services will by default receive
  28. bonus points in public tenders. With this measure, legislators intend to
  29. reduce the administration's dependency on foreign IT providers of proprietary
  30. software.</p>
  31. <p>Despite the above, the bill also recognises the universality of Free
  32. Software. As the legislators acknowledge in explanatory notes appended
  33. to the text, the concept of "Russian Free Software" is meaningless due
  34. to the global nature of Free Software. The text recognises the need to
  35. support Russian Free Software companies in order to better integrate into
  36. global Free Software communities.</p>
  37. <blockquote>
  38. <p>"[...]законопроект предлагает тем самым уйти от понятия «российское СПО»,
  39. поскольку наборы программных кодов, открытых по разного вида свободным
  40. лицензиям, представляют собой по сути единую мировую платформу[...]"</p>
  41. <p>English translation:</p>
  42. <p>[...]the draft bill suggests to withhold the concept of "Russian Free
  43. Software", because the source code available under different open licences
  44. represents in essence one global platform[...]</p>
  45. </blockquote>
  46. <p>Another interesting aspect of the law is how the authors of the bill
  47. have made an extra effort to ensure the language used in the draft are
  48. correct. For one, only software carrying licenses that allow
  49. <a href="">the four freedoms</a>
  50. may be legally labelled as "Free Software":</p>
  51. <blockquote>
  52. <p>"Свободное программное обеспечение (СПО) - программное обеспечение,
  53. имеющее открытый исходный код и распространяемое по открытым лицензиям на
  54. условиях специального лицензионного договора, на основании которого пользователь
  55. получает неограниченное право на его установку, запуск, а также свободное
  56. использование, изучение, распространение и изменение (модификацию) по своему
  57. усмотрению в любых, не запрещенных законом целях."</p>
  58. <p>English translation:</p>
  59. <p>"Free Software - software which is open source and distributed under
  60. open licences based on special licensing contract terms, allowing a user
  61. unrestricted right to install, run, use, study, distribute and modify it
  62. freely, according to one's needs and for purposes that are not restricted
  63. by law."</p>
  64. </blockquote>
  65. <p>Secondly, every time the bill text refers to the most famous free operating
  66. system, it refers to it as "GNU/Linux", not simply "Linux". This indicates
  67. an awareness not commonly found amongst authors of national legislations.</p>
  68. <p>"The bill is an example of public software procurement done right." says
  69. Polina Malaja, Policy Analyst and Legal Coordinator at the FSFE. "The FSFE
  70. has long advised having all public administrations prioritise Free Software
  71. and recommended that all software developed by and for the public sector
  72. be published under a Free Software licence. As the authors of the Russian
  73. bill have come to realise, without Free Software public administrations
  74. will never be able to claim they have real digital sovereignty. Other
  75. European administrations should take note."</p>
  76. </body>
  77. <tags>
  78. <tag>front-page</tag>
  79. <tag>Policy</tag>
  80. <tag>Procurement</tag>
  81. </tags>
  82. </html>