Why Free Software Should be Included in the Considerations for the 6th European Community Framework Programme

This document explains why Free Software should be included in the considerations for the 6th European Community framework programme 2002-2006 and provides input on how this could be done. The document defines Free Software as a concept that has fundamentally changed the way some parts of the IT sector are working towards a more stable, lasting and sustainable approach with higher dynamics and increased efficiency.

It explains why access to and control over key technologies and networks is crucial for participation in the information age and how proprietary software model has led to an oligopoly of U.S. software companies, which is highly unstable and unfavorable from the European perspective. The document highlights the benefits of Free Software for the future of Europe, including increased employment opportunities, a vibrant Free Software scene, and the ability to capitalize on the benefits of Free Software and get a head-start into the knowledge economy. It recommends that for all activities within the 6th European Community framework programme, Free Software becomes the preferred and recommended choice. The document also provides specific recommendations for monitoring and reporting on the share of funding used for results released under a Free Software or Free Documentation license, enforcing the advantages offered by Free Software in certain areas, and giving positive scores in the evaluation process to projects making their results available under a Free Software (and possibly Free Documentation) license. The document concludes with information about the Free Software Foundation Europe, which is a charitable non-governmental organization dedicated to all aspects of Free Software in Europe.