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RE: [Fsfe-uk] portugal and free software

From: Dinis Cruz
Subject: RE: [Fsfe-uk] portugal and free software
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 00:06:45 +0100

Well done Portugal (it is not everyday that I am proud to be Portuguese) 


Dinis Cruz
.Net Security Consultant

> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden [mailto:fsfe-uk-
> address@hidden On Behalf Of Graham Seaman
> Sent: 28 September 2004 22:52
> To: address@hidden
> Subject: [Fsfe-uk] portugal and free software
> *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.*
> *cheers
> Graham
> *
> *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
>             neighbor.
>           * 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 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
>       descriptions.
>    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
>       institutions.
>    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
>       e-government.
>   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
>       distribution.
>   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
>       licensing.
> 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
>       administration.
>    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
>       importance.
>    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
>       language.
>    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)
> *
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