Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by takyon on Tuesday November 15 2016, @08:10AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the free-vs-paymerican dept.

Legislators have drafted a bill [PDF in Russian] that will boost Free Software on multiple levels within the Russian Federation's public sector.

The draft, approved by the Russian Federation's Duma (lower chamber) in mid-October, requires the public sector to prioritise Free Software over proprietary alternatives, gives precedence to local IT businesses that offer Free Software for public tenders, and recognises the need to encourage collaboration with the global network of Free Software organisations and communities.

[...] Another interesting aspect of the law is how the authors of the bill have made an extra effort to ensure the language used in the draft are correct. For one, only software carrying licenses that allow the four freedoms may be legally labelled as "Free Software":

Source: Free Software Foundation Europe


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @08:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @08:35AM (#426899)

    Rms has got it made, with genius grants, speaking fees, and all the bodily excretions he can eat.

    Of course any dirt poor young coder who wants to follow in the footsteps of the great RMS is royally fucked, because the starving hacker lifestyle isn't sustainable unless you're an international rockstar freedom evangelist who doesn't even write code anymore.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @08:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @08:45AM (#426901)

      Gonna pay you a basic income for having a GitHub account! Plus a bonus for every contribution you make on GitHub! We can do this, bros! The future of geek domination is here! Grabbing the World by the Pussy!!!

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @09:28AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @09:28AM (#426905)

        Like the GNU Manifesto says

        All sorts of development can be funded with a Software Tax:

        Suppose everyone who buys a computer has to pay x percent of the price as a software tax. The government gives this to an agency like the NSF to spend on software development.

        s/NSF/GitHub/

        And so Stallman's Utopia becomes reality.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @10:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @10:16AM (#426910)

          Holy saint dicknucius, tough moderation, might as well have called rms a filthy nigger.

          Nigger, nigger, nigger!

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @03:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @03:52PM (#427009)

      sounds like another whore making excuses to me.

  • (Score: 2) by deimios on Tuesday November 15 2016, @10:18AM

    by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 15 2016, @10:18AM (#426911) Journal

    Well if Microsoft/Oracle stops winning all the tenders they will just "correct" the definition of Free Software so it applies to their products. Wouldn't be the first time (see OOXML) and I'm sure Oracle would just love to somehow spin MySQL as free software with paid support.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @12:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @12:20PM (#426921)

    Let us know when Putin actually passes it and it doesn't get mutated from "free software a public priority" to "russian government mandated software a public priority" somewhere in the middle, keeping its original title, of course.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pTamok on Tuesday November 15 2016, @12:35PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Tuesday November 15 2016, @12:35PM (#426928)

    While this is a straw in the wind, the end-run around the four freedoms is provision of Software as a Service (SaaS). When the software you run is owned and operated by someone else on a server (in the cloud) that they own, and you are 'simply' buying the service from them, the niceties around the four freedoms no longer apply.

    It means that a public organisation need not purchase the software, so the rules about buying only libre software no longer apply. So governments use Google Docs, Office365 etc. If you are lucky, someone will mandate that the data is accessible in open formats: but even then Microsoft got OOXML certified as an open international standard ( http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/ [iso.org] - see ISO/IEC 29500 ), and all bets are off if data is held in a database.

    It is also not difficult to manufacture technical standards that require the use of certain proprietary software. The "where no suitable alternative exists" is a gaping loophole in such legislation.

    So, it is a nice gesture, but in commercial terms, it is unlikely to have a great deal of effect.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by requerdanos on Tuesday November 15 2016, @01:19PM

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 15 2016, @01:19PM (#426938) Journal

      the end-run around the four freedoms is provision of Software as a Service (SaaS).

      The Affero GPL [gnu.org] is the answer to this, though whether such a nuanced requirement would make it into such legislation is anyone's guess.

      The "where no suitable alternative exists" is a gaping loophole in such legislation.

      The Free Software Foundation recognizes this, of course, and works constantly [fsf.org] (if slowly) to develop "suitable alternatives" to nonfree software that stops people from being able to use all free software.

      in commercial terms, it is unlikely to have a great deal of effect.

      You may well be right, but mindshare is also important, and every little bit helps.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @01:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @01:40PM (#426946)

        The "where no suitable alternative exists" is a gaping loophole in such legislation.

        The Free Software Foundation recognizes this, of course, and works constantly (if slowly) to develop "suitable alternatives" to nonfree software that stops people from being able to use all free software.

        The problem is with the definition of "suitable". For example, if you define "suitable" software to require support for some proprietary data format that requires patent-encumbered technologies to process, then Free Software already is out, even if it would have solved the actual task as well as or better than the proprietary competitor. One area where this matters is media players; I'm sure the big media associations will make sure that "suitable" implies "supports and enforces DRM", again excluding Free Software.

        • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Tuesday November 15 2016, @02:06PM

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 15 2016, @02:06PM (#426953) Journal

          if you define "suitable" software to require support for some proprietary data format that requires patent-encumbered technologies to process, then Free Software already is out... I'm sure the big media associations will make sure that "suitable" implies "supports and enforces DRM", again excluding Free Software.

          Quite true; this illustrates the importance of mindshare.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @02:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @02:19PM (#426959)

          In the Russian Federation according to article #1350 of the Civil Code the following are not patentable:

          • scientific theories and mathematical methods;
          • rules of games and methods of playing;
          • intellectual and economic activity;
          • software for computers.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @06:17PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15 2016, @06:17PM (#427084)

            In the Russian Federation according to article #1350 of the Civil Code the following are not patentable:

            [...]
                    rules of games and methods of playing;

            Ah, now I understand what the point of gamification is. "No, we didn't violate any patent, because any patent that might apply must be invalid. You see, our company employs gamification; instead of having workers that build cars, we've got paid players who compete in a game of building cars. The process we used was part of the rules of the game and the methods of playing it. And rules of games and methods of playing are not patentable."

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday November 15 2016, @05:44PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday November 15 2016, @05:44PM (#427065)

      Essentially, SaaS misses the boat on freedom 0: The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose

      If a SaaS solution were "fully free" it would be free to duplicate on your own hardware (freedom 2), and free to migrate the data from the SaaS provider to either your own hardware or another SaaS provider's system.

      Freedom and business interests rarely align.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Wednesday November 16 2016, @04:36PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday November 16 2016, @04:36PM (#427590)

      SaaS is not an end run around the four freedoms, it's an end run around the GPL and many other licenses, which imperfectly implement the ideology espoused by the four freedoms.

      I like to think of it in comparison to the sages who advised against actually writing down laws in the ancient past - the reasoning being that once the laws are actually written down, criminals will use them as a tool to escape punishment by finding loopholes that allow them to commit their crimes in a technically legal fashion... which is pretty much exactly what has happened (whether it's actually an improvement or not... well that's another discussion).

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday November 16 2016, @04:40PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday November 16 2016, @04:40PM (#427594)

        Hmm, actually that should be:
        ...which imperfectly safeguard the ideology espoused by the four freedoms.