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Dutch government formation: open letter on Free Software and Public Money? Public Code!

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The Dutch government is about to form itself and setting up goals for the next term. With an open letter, the FSFE urges the coalition parties to implement the "open, unless" policy of 2020 and thus the principle of Public Money? Public Code!

Free Software gives everybody the right to use, study, share, and improve software. This right helps support other fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy. With the principle of "Public Money? Public Code!" implemented, the government will improve the transparency and digital sovereignty.

Symbol of Public Money, Public Code

Also it will help educational institutions with digital skills, information literacy, and improving the privacy of students and staff. At the same time it will stimulate the IT market and thus others like the labour market. Open code encourages cooperation with governments at home and abroad.

First attempts to promote Free Software among public bodies, like the "open, unless" policy of 2020, need to be followed, implemented, and extended. We urge for legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free Software license. Code paid by the people should be available to the people!

You can read the full open letter in Dutch and in English.