The Free Software Pact is also a tool for citizens who value Free Software to educate candidates about the importance of Free Software and why they should, if elected, protect the European Free Software community.
Free Software is worth protecting because it offers a way for European computer users to reclaim the essential freedoms that proprietary software denies them. There are four of these freedoms: to run the program as you wish, to study the source code and change it to do what you wish, to redistribute copies, and to distribute your modified versions. With these freedoms, the users are in control of the program. Without them, the developer controls the program, and indirectly controls its users.
Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, declares: "Big dangers threaten the freedoms of Free Software in Europe: software patents, DRM, bundled sales, treacherous computing ... I call on all European citizens who value Free Software to join this campaign, contact their candidates and have them sign the Free Software Pact."
We have a special platform that we are willing to leave at your disposal for the campaign management: GPT (Grassroot Platform Technology). It is packaged and ready for multilinguism. We also had the "Free Software Pact" translated into several languages so as to ease the job for anyone would like to use it. We also put online some guides to help you and your volunteers handle the campaign and the relationship with the candidates.
Since 2007, French association April has sensitized candidates to political elections about Free Software related issues through the Candidats.fr initiative. The Candidats.fr initiative was part of the presidential and legislative campaigns in 2007, and continued during the 2008 campaign for city and department elections. Today 74 signatories are members of the French National Assembly. Associazione per il software libero started the campaign caro candidato in 2006 The campaign was first updated in occasion of the 2008 political elections and further in 2009 in occasion of the Sardinia regional elections. Joining forces was a natural step for the 2 free software associations that offer their technological platform to allow the spreading of the campaign in other european nations