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Meeting between Ségolène Royal and Richard Stallman

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Jun 29, 2006 06:43 PM
Paris, June 28 2006

(translated from the French)

Ségolène Royal met with Richard Stallman today as Stallman was making a stopover in Paris. Their meeting dealt with the importance of software in all of today's social, cultural and economic activities.

Free software has already deeply transformed the way we work, learn and live. The internet depends, essentially, on free software. Computer and internet users currently use free software on their computers (browsers, office packages, etc.) or, often unwittingly, access free software on the Internet.

Ségolène Royal and Richard Stallman agreed on the essential character of the four fundamental freedoms which are the foundations of free software: the freedom to run the program, for all uses; the freedom to study and to improve the program; the freedom to redistribute copies; the freedom to publish the improved versions.

Open standards (like Open Document Format) and the use of free software contribute to the independence, quality and effectiveness of public agencies and local communities. Developments funded by public authorities for their own needs should, as a general rule, be free.

Public authorities in France and Europe should promote a legal framework which favors both freedom to use software and the participation of all users in innovation.

Policies for research and technological innovation in computing could benefit from from using concepts originating from free software.

The education system must teach digital literacy. This education should be based on free software.

Beyond software, public authorities must promote "informational public property" in the sciences. They are calling for the implementation of the Berlin declaration and of the recommendations of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) in regards to open access to scientific information.

By giving a privileged legal status to digital restrictions (DRM), the bill "copyrights and related rights in the information society" (DADVSI) is going in the wrong direction. It will thus be necessary to examine from scratch the legal framework created by the DADVSI law at the French level and to contribute to the development of a European and international legal framework more favorable to the sharing of works and knowledge.

by Ségolène Royal and Richard Stallman

About Richard Stallman : Richard Stallman is the founder of the free software movement. A computer scientist at MIT, he announced in 1983 the development of a free operating system called GNU. Shortly thereafter, he created the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In 1985, Stallman published the GNU Manifesto, which stated the motivations and the objectives of the project and called for support from the world computing community.

Ségolène Royal: Ségolène Royal is a prominent French politician and a member of the Socialist Party. She is the president of the region of Poitou-Charentes and deputy of the Deux-Sèvres département.

The Berlin Declaration: The Berlin conference on Open Access to knowledge in the sciences and the humanities concluded with the drafting of a declaration in support of the international movement in favor of open access to scientific journals and archives.

WSIS Declaration of Principles and Action Plan:

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