Free Software by Default

Published: Tuesday, May 5th 2020
Tags: software

The other day I noticed that the Free Software Foundation Europe had published a very positive piece of news. They reported that the Dutch minister of internal affairs had published a letter to the Parliament (which I interpret as a letter of intent) where he commits to working towards making sure the source code of government software is, by default, released as free and open software to the benefit of the general public.

In the footnotes of my Google translated version of the document, it also seems as if the Dutch cabinet has already a procurement policy of picking the open source option between otherwise equally suitable pieces of software.

I’m very much in favor of having publicly funded software released to the public under a free and open software license (as well as publicly funded research, reports, data, etc). It feels like most could agree that this should be the norm when it comes the fruit of our tax payer money, yet it’s far from true in most countries.

One small way of trying to change that is by supporting FSFE’s "Public Money, Public Code" campaign and sign their open letter. I’ve done so, and I encourage you to do so too.