Free and open source software advocates are attempting to use next week’s European elections to further their cause.
The Free Software Pact wants candidates to pledge their support for the principles of free software and for voters to weigh up candidates views on software when making their choice.
So far two UK Green Party candidates, Caroline Lucas and Derek Wall, have joined 107 other candidates from France, Spain, Italy and Belgium in signing the pact.
The European Parliament is an important venue for talks concerning free software, including software patents, interoperability and net neutrality.
This makes it important to show election candidates why they should support, and sign, the Free Software Pact, said Mark Taylor, the coordinator for the Free Software Pact in the UK. "The current UK Government is embarrassingly behind the rest of Europe in formulating public policy on the use of free software,” said Taylor.
“Across the rest of the continent we see significant adoption and political support for free software. The Free Software Pact is therefore an ideal way to draw attention to the reform the UK public sector needs and the enormous cost savings yet to be realised.”
Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, also backs the initiative.
A list of UK MEP candidates and their contact details can be found at here.