[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Fsfe-uk] portugal and free software

From: Graham Seaman
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] portugal and free software
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:52:29 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 (Windows/20040207)

*Hi all,
Portugal and the UK always seem to be the two laggards in Europe when it comes to free software use in the state. The Portuguese Parliament just passed this (it's advisory to the government, not law) - it was proposed by the Communist Party but got support from all parties, including Socialists and both Conservative parties. Unfortunately they seem to have rejected a second resolution against software patents, which was IMO more important.

*So here's the translation. It's largely a remix of the Peruvian themes (yet again) with a few additions - such as the increased emphasis on education, textbooks etc. Would be nice to be able to expand on this list - I'm starting to realise that making the output of government contracts free software is as important as the license of the pre-existing software the government uses.*



*Draft resolution no. 255/1X*
*Recommends that the government take measures to develop Free Software in Portugal*

  1. Software plays an ever more pivotal role in administrative,
     political, and economic activities. As such it is essential to
     guarantee that these activities - which are fundamental for the
     development and sovereignty of the country - should not be subject
     to a monopoly of private bodies, and that it should be possible to
     guarantee the independence of the state in relation to proprietary
     formats and software suppliers who may close or discontinue their
     software at any moment.
  2. The concept of Free Software is based on four fundamental
     principles of freedom for the user, defined by the 'Free Software
     Foundation' in the following way:
         * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
         * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to
           your needs.
         * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your
         * The freedom to improve the program, and release your
           improvements to the public, so that the whole community
           Access to the source code is essential to make these four
           freedoms possible.
  3. Free Software, insofar as it guarantees access to the original
     source code, not only allows this independence but also brings
     significant savings when used in public administration, since it
     does not require the payment of licences for its use. It also
     allows it to be verified without question that the software
     fulfills only the tasks for which it was designed, with no hidden
     functions which might place at risk either sovereignty or the
     national economy.
  4. Adaptation of the various resource centres for information
     technology, in the framework of the public educational network, to
     permit the mandatory availability of Free Software solutions for
     students and teaching staff.
  5. Inclusion of material relating to Free Software in the definition
     of the various curricula and programmes for teaching of
     information technology in primary and secondary education,
     identifying in the curricula and programmes any currently existing
     references to products or trade names of commercial software, with
     the aim of their compulsory substitution by corresponding generic
  6. Establishment of research grants and support programmes for
     research and development projects; translation into Portuguese
     (converting into Portuguese the technical and scientific
     terminology involved); and application of Free Software solutions,
     in the area of higher education and research or scientific
  7. Integration of the Free Software field in programmes for
     encouragement and support for technological change, especially for
     SMEs, as well as in initiatives for publicizing information
     technology to the associational movement (youth, culture, sport,
     recreation etc).
  8. Interoperability between different computing applications is
     essential for the proper functioning of the state, and it is
     essential that these are not dependent on the proprietary formats
     of private companies. The initiative of the European Commission
     for the electronic exchange of information between administrations
     (IDA) gives especial relevance to the use of Free Software in this
     activity, having even created a Free Software Observatory.
  9. The 'eEurope 2005' programme of the European Union recommends the
     use of open source software in various sectors, in particular
 10. As well as take-up by public administration, it is also desireable
     to motivate private companies to use this software model, as a way
     of energizing the national economy and making it independent of
     private monopolies.
 11. Free Software is a source of work for Portuguese programmers as it
     is for the micro, small, and medium portuguese computing
     enterprises; not only at the level of software development but
     also in providing technical support for these and other
     applications which have the same philosophy of implementation and
 12. The use of Free Software in teaching not only allows a reduction
     of costs in the use of information technology, but also allows
     access to detailed information on the inner workings of the
     software used by computing students, guaranteeing an quality of
     opportunity in access since the student is not compelled to pay a
     licence for its use outside the school environment. It also
     ensures that the student does not become a mere operator of
     applications from any multinational company, but becomes a skilled
     technician, an essential factor in the development of the country.
 13. Free Software allows the easy translation into Portuguese of
     existing programmes, since the translation is not dependent on the
     good will of the supplying companies, or limited by any kind of

Therefore, taking into account the reasons laid out above, Parliament resolves, under the terms of clause 5 article 166 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, to recommend that the Government carry out the following measures:

  1. Assembly of a 'White Book of Free Software in Portugal', which
     (among other aims) evaluates the current personnel, surveys trials
     in progress, and defines scenarios and lines of intervention.
  2. Development of a programme of definition and staffing of pilot
     projects for reference use of Free Software in public
     administratrion, in particular within the scope of the Unit for
     Information and Knowledge (UMIC), and of the Ministries of
     Culture, Education and Science, and Higher Education.
  3. Creation of a support service, staffed by UMIC, for technical
     support to the implementation of Free Software solutions in public
  4. Integration of the field of Free Software in the area of
     incentives and programmes of support for administrative
     modernization of local councils, including in particular technical
     support, logistics, and training.
  5. Establishment of mandatory access to source code and data formats
     in the acquisition of computing solutions destined for use by
     public administration and other government bodies, for the
     exercise of sovereign functions and other areas of strategic
  6. Development of an 'online library' which systematizes and brings
     up to date information on the range of Free Software solutions and
     applications, with particular attention to those in the Portuguese
  7. Adaptation of the various information technology resource centres
     in the public schools network with the aim of compulsorily making
     available Free Software solutions to students and teaching staff.
  8. Inclusion of material relating to Free Software in the definition
     of the various curricula and programmes for teaching of
     information technology in primary and secondary education, while
     identifying currently existing references in these curricula and
     programmes to trade names and products of commercial software,
     with the aim of their mandatory replacement by corresponding
     generic descriptions.
  9. Establishment of research grants and support programmes for
     research and development projects; translation into Portuguese
     (converting the technical and scientific terms involved to
     Portuguese); and application of Free Software solutions, in the
     area of higher education and research and scientific institutes.
 10. Integration of the Free Software field in programmes encouraging
     and supporting technological change in companies, especially SMEs;
     as also in initiatives to encourage information technology in the
     associationist movement (youth, culture, sports, recreation, etc).

*Assembly of the Republic, May 26 2004
Translation: Graham Seaman (graham at theseamans dot net)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]