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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2017-06-13">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>New European Interoperability Framework calls on public sector to contribute to Free Software</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>New European Interoperability Framework calls on public sector to contribute to Free Software</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">The revised "new"
  9. <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/isa2/eif_en">European Interoperability Framework</a> (EIF),
  10. adopted by the European Commission on 23 March 2017, gives specific guidance
  11. on how to set up interoperable digital public services, and offers public
  12. administrations concrete recommendations on how to improve interoperability
  13. of their e-services.</p>
  14. <p>The FSFE <a href="https://fsfe.org/news/2016/news-20160624-01.en.html">participated</a>
  15. in the public consultation round on the draft version of the revised
  16. EIF (published in 2016). The "new" EIF includes significant improvements
  17. in alignment with our answers and in contrast to the draft version and
  18. the previous <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/isa2/sites/isa/files/isa_annex_ii_eif_en.pdf">EIF v.2</a>.
  19. However, the European Commission (EC) has not sufficiently addressed
  20. the risks that a FRAND-based standardisation policy pose to Free Software.</p>
  21. <p>In alignment with our <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/os/eif-v3.en.html">answers</a>
  22. to the public consultation, the new EIF includes the principle of openness
  23. that was absent from the draft version. Furthermore, the principle of
  24. openness according to the new EIF requires public administrations to
  25. actively consider using Free Software when offering their public services:</p>
  26. <blockquote>
  27. <p>Recommendation 3: Ensure a level playing field for open source
  28. software and demonstrate active and fair consideration of using open
  29. source software, taking into account the total cost of ownership of
  30. the solution.</p>
  31. </blockquote>
  32. <p>Furthermore, according to the new EIF public administrations should
  33. not only use Free Software but <strong>"whenever possible contribute to the
  34. pertinent developer communities"</strong>. Free Software is also called
  35. <strong>"an enabler of the underlying EIF principle on reusability"</strong>.
  36. This is a significant improvement in comparison to both previous
  37. <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/os/eifv2.en.html">EIF v.2</a>
  38. (published in 2010) and the <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/files/57b2ecd5-effa-4594-9ef2-47e7ecc67047">draft</a>
  39. version that was open for public consultation. The need for more Free
  40. Software when offering e-services was also <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/isa2/sites/isa/files/eif-public-consultation-factual-summary-en.pdf">expressed</a>
  41. by majority of citizen respondents to the public consultation, and it
  42. is plausible to see that the EC included the wishes of the EU citizens
  43. to the new EIF. </p>
  44. <p>Licensing policies of so called "open specifications" (the alternative
  45. term the European Commission uses for <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/os/os.en.html">Open Standards</a>)
  46. have also been revised for the better. The EIF v.2 based its appropriate
  47. licensing model on what is described as "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory"
  48. (FRAND)/or royalty-free terms, despite that FRAND <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/os/why-frand-is-bad-for-free-software.en">does not allow standards to be implemented in Free Software</a>.</p>
  49. <p>The new EIF gives a slight preference to the royalty-free licensing
  50. terms when it comes to licensing of "open specifications", which is an
  51. improvement to the previous version.</p>
  52. <p>However, the new EIF ignores the fact that "royalty-free" is not a
  53. sub-term of FRAND, and the way the new EIF is worded still gives a preference
  54. to FRAND terms, but just without royalties. This is extremely problematic,
  55. as the effects of FRAND do not solely come from royalty-related criteria,
  56. but also include several other restrictions that make FRAND incompatible
  57. with Free Software.</p>
  58. <p>Unfortunately, the way the new EIF is basing its licensing policies
  59. of open specifications can still prevent Free Software projects from
  60. offering their services to the public sector.</p>
  61. </body>
  62. <tags>
  63. <tag>front-page</tag>
  64. <tag content="DigitalSingleMarket">DigitalSingleMarket</tag>
  65. <tag content="policy">policy</tag>
  66. <tag content="EIF">EIF</tag>
  67. <tag content="OpenStandards">OpenStandards</tag>
  68. </tags>
  69. <author id="malaja"/>
  70. </html>