german parliament

'Free software' questions for federal and local candidates

free and open source software in government

See the FSFE's 'free software' questions for federal and local government at the Ask your candidates campaign page.


The Free Software Foundation Europe published its free software-related election questions (in German) for this fall's elections to the German parliament, which will take place on September 22. All political parties have responded to the questions, which cover issues like users' control over their electronic devices, the release of publicly funded computer programs as Free Software, and software patents.

From the responses, it's clear that most parties now know more about Free Software than they did in the past. Below is the translation—done by FSFE volunteers—of FSFE's summary and an evaluation of the complete answers. In addition, FSFE encourages Free Software activists to use these questions as an inspiration for their own questions to candidates on federal and local level.

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German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software

patent reform

On Friday June 7, the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents (see English translation by BIKT). The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents. The only exception where patents should be allowed are computer programs which replace a mechanical or electromagnetic component. In addition the Parliament made clear that governmental actions related to patents must never interfere with the legality of distributing Free Software.

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