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Evolving government policies on the procurement and production of free software

Marc Jones

This presentation will review some of the policies that governments have adopted over the years regarding the production of free software. Historically, the free software community has focused on news items about larger users of free software, including a program in Munich. We now live in a world where everyone uses free software at least some of the time, and a large number of companies, even Microsoft, have even created policies on how they are participating. We are just starting to see governments considering their role in free software beyond consumers. In this talk, we will review some of the existing policies by both national and state governments that are embracing free licensing, and we will look at some recent proposed/enacted policies and laws. We will also briefly discuss the role that copyleft and permissive licenses can play in those policies, and what governments should consider when choosing a license.


6 years, 3 months ago

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LibrePlanet 2018 video · LibrePlanet 2018 · LibrePlanet · lp2018 · video

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LibrePlanet 2018 Videos and Slides (libreplanet)


CC BY 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.