Why Free Software? [EN]

In the digital era, where technology and software fulfill an increasingly important role within society, policy, and the economy, the four freedoms of Software Libre are more relevant than ever: The freedom to use software without unnecessary restrictions, to study how the software works, to be able to share it with whomever you wish, and the freedom to improve software to meet our own desires. Together, these freedoms offer access, participation, and self-determination for everyone. On a larger scale, for the state of Spain, these freedoms provide a framework for public administrations to achieve greater digital autonomy, encourage local economic growth, and the potential to transform Spain into a mastermind of the European process of digitalisation.

Software Libre is a powerful tool. Read how we can benefit from Software Libre to …

… strengthen our society

Releasing technology as Software Libre guarantees the right for everyone to use and share software with your neighbour, your colleague or anyone else. Each person or family, each institution, organisation or company, can benefit from the same cutting-edge technology without exclusion and without costs. From operating systems to the specialized application, people benefit from open access to technology.

When the state creates and publishes a Software Libre application, platform, or service, it also provides a way to give back to the public what the public has indirectly paid for. That is why it should be mandatory to publish publicly funded software as Free Software.

… increase our autonomy

The world of Software Libre is different. Software Libre is interoperable, its data is exportable and its source code is public. That reduces the chance for monopolies to form. The user and therefore the state gain autonomy through the removal of a technological monopoly and the associated dependencies for our critical communication technology infrastructure.

Given the interoperability of Software Libre, the state is free to switch suppliers and service providers instead of being tied to a client in a closed vendor solution. A public body can even develop software itself and, once developed, republish it as Software Libre to share it with other public institutions as well. A free license guarantees that the very same software is available to any other public institution without license-fees or any vendor dependency. This way, Software Libre offers the state the power to invest once, but benefit countless times.

Software Libre offers transparency through its public source code. Transparency of the source code helps its contributors keep the code clean. There is no way to insert “secret” code into the software. Transparency helps the security of the software and avoids unwanted malfunctions. Only Software Libre can offer such a high level of security and autonomy at the same time.

… develop our economy

Whenever the state buys a non-free solution, the money is most likely paid to global software monopolies from abroad. Software Libre, however, offers Spain new economic avenues because the money can be invested into its very own national Spanish IT economy instead. The interoperability of Software Libre gives freedom to the state to switch suppliers and service providers as they wish. There is no need for a special contract with a particular supplier from a particular country.

As everyone can access the source code and is free to use and improve the software, the Spanish state is free to hire local Spanish people or service companies to adapt existing software to its specific needs. Immediately, public administrations can offer jobs to the Spanish people to localize, maintain, develop and work on their very own interoperable and free operating system, including any applications that are needed. In this way, Software Libre offers the possibility to create national employment instead of paying companies from abroad.

Software Libre supports a decentralized economy that enables the distribution of wealth on local levels and brings employment directly to the people of Spain. The use and development of Software Libre offers Spain a path out of the crisis, and a chance to be at the forefront of the European knowledge and information society.

That is why

We ask the current and future government of Spain to rely on the flexibility, autonomy, freedom, wealth and transparency that Software Libre offers. And to migrate all state-run IT systems to Free Software, including public administration and education.

With a clear commitment of the Spanish government to use and develop Software Libre, the state of Spain can

  • maintain and develop state-run IT systems autonomously from foreign companies and instead hire local, Spanish people or companies that create, maintain, and adapt new or existing software for its very own needs
  • publish and share the software, so all public institutions and the people of Spain can capture the benefits of Software Libre
  • run secure and transparent software, instead of relying on non-disclosed software by foreign companies
  • localize and decentralize software into the diverse languages of Spain and the specific needs of autonomous communities in Spain

It should be mandatory that whenever a public body develops software, platforms and other digital resources with public money, it must be published as Software Libre.