FLOK: Policy Paper on Free Software

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por Jenny Torres ([email protected])

IAEN-Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Quito, Ecuador


draft version [1] (April 2014)

Introduction and Focus: General Background

The idea of free software, formulated in the GNU project initiated by Richard M. Stallman, is defined as software that respects users' freedom and community (Mannila 2005). It suggests that the users have four freedoms:

  • to guarantee the freedom to run the program, for any purpose
  • to guarantee the freedom to study how the program works and to adapt it to one's needs
  • to guarantee the freedom to redistribute copies of the program
  • to allow for the improvement of the program and for the distribution of these improvements to the public, for the benefit of the entire community

Free Software has reached a large share of technical infrastructures and has an increasingly important place with regard to all information systems (DISIC 2012). Many software products are now, in fact, “commodities” with limited innovative value. Customers, in turn, are less willing to pay a high price for these commodities, or be bound to one provider.

Free software was originally fueled by a philosophy of openness and by "militant pioneers," that made institutional users, whether in the public or from the private sector, suspicious of their approach. Nowadays, the choice of Free Software, in public administration for instance, is not an ideological commitment, but the result of careful decision making. Indeed, Free Software enhances creative independence and competition. Its acquisition is simple even in the complex context of public procurement and it facilitates transformation in a digital workforce.

This movement has gained a lot of interest in the public sector, especially in Latin American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela. In many developing countries like Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Tanzania, it has been adopted as part of public policy in the context of ICT implementation programs. Public and governmental services have been the first large systems to officially use Free Software. Nevertheless, since proprietary software still has considerable influence, some countries have found it necessary to have an open national policy to promote the use of Free Software.

Free Software vs Open Source Software

The open source movement (OSM) was developed in the late 1990s, with the application of a unique business model and licensing practice. To this day, OSM relies on the work of the Free Software community, emphasizing the openness of software code as a method of design and development, and with a lower total cost of ownership for the user. Behind OSM there are two main ideas, freedom and openness. The first idea refers to the freedom of the user to use, distribute and modify software without any payment or additional licenses. The second idea refers to the openness or transparency of a given piece of software and means that the user is free to see how software works, what it does, and whether it does only what it is supposed to do.

Comparing the Free Software and Open Source movements, we might say that:

  • The Free Software movement is more a social and political movement, while the Open Source movement is pragmatically focused on the improvement of software, and the empowerment of users.
  • The Free Software movement is interested in creating a particular kind of community. The Open Source movement is interested in creating software in a particular way.

Put very simply, Free Software is a promising strategy for developing information societies because of inherent benefits particularly when compared to proprietary software. Due to the licensing and production model, Free Software is simply more cost-effective, more secure, of higher quality, and wide open to user modification.

Problems and Challenges

Among the main challenges driving a policy adoption concerning the implementation of Free Software is the issue of cost savings. The value of Free Software is its capacity to boost a country’s software exportation and extend computer access to low and middle-income families. In the current environment, however, the adoption of Free Software has had to struggle with different constraints related to digital rights. These restrictions are known as Digital Rights Management (DRM), and they impose proprietary restrictions controlling what users can do with digital media, and concentrating control over production and distribution. For example, DRM restricts program from copying, sharing a song, reading an e-book on another device, or playing a game without an Internet connection.

Additional constraints include patents that cover software techniques and ideas. Since a large software program combines thousands of ideas, if 10% of all the ideas are patented that means the large program is probably forbidden by hundreds of different patents at the same time (Adamson 2010), which implies that there could be possible lawsuits against the developer. This legal hazard applies to free software and proprietary software, where patent holders can threaten users.

Finally, another problem comes from hardware devices where the manufacturer sell the product, refuse to explain how to run it and instead, offers a proprietary program, which means not respecting freedom and preventing the user to have the control of the product.

Projects and Initiatives

Among the most important worldwide initiatives for free software is the Free Software Foundation (FSF)[1]. This organization is a non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman in 1985 to support the free software movement. Until the mid 1990s, FSF's funds were mostly used to employ software developers to write free software for the GNU Project. Nevertheless, since the mid 90s, employees and volunteers have mostly worked on legal and structural issues for the free software movement and the free software community. Building on this effort, many other initiatives were created in different countries (including Japan[2] and Romania[3], etc) with the same purpose in mind.

Currently, there are some interest groups focused on specific Free Software programs resulting in the emergence of a community-based development model. The most famous of these communities include GNU /Linux, Apache, Mozilla (Firefox, Thunderbird) and the Document Foundation (LibreOffice).

In Ecuador, some of the initiatives focused on free software are:

  • Ecualug[4]: Support and discussion forum for users of the GNU/Linux operating system
  • COPLEC[5]: Community of free software developers
  • SasLibre[6]: academic free software services
  • Ubuntu-EC[7]
  • Blender Ecuador[8]


The GNU General Public License (GPL), which grants users the freedom to use, modify and redistribute software (provided that the modified and redistributed versions are also licensed under the GPL) is the most widely used and the major legal and social innovation that has made Free Software development possible given the current copyright laws and their interpretation.

Most Free Software falls under a small set of licenses. The most widely used are:

  • GNU Lesser General Public License
  • BSD License
  • Mozilla Public License
  • MIT License
  • Apache License
  • Eclipse Public License

The FSF had defined licenses that comply with their own definitions of Free Software. However, the FSF list is not mandatory. Rather, it means that it is possible for a license to be free and not to be on the list. At the same time, software licensed under licenses that do not meet the Free Software Definition cannot rightly be considered Free Software. As an example, the Debian project is widely seen as useful guide as to whether particular licenses comply with Free Software Guidelines.

Additionally, the licenses mentioned are also classified according to the different categories of Free Software:

  • Public domain, the work was not copyrighted, or the author has released the software onto the public domain (in countries where this is possible). Since public-domain software lacks copyright protection, it may be freely incorporated into any work, whether proprietary or free.
  • Permissive licenses, also called BSD-style because they are applied to much of the software distributed with the BSD operating systems. These licenses are also known as copyfree as they have no restrictions on distribution[9]. The author retains copyright to disclaim warranty, require proper attribution of modified works, and permits redistribution and any modification, even closed-source ones.
  • Copyleft licenses, with the GNU General Public License, the most widely used license, the author retains copyright and permits redistribution under the restriction that all such redistribution is licensed under the same license. Additions and modifications by others must also be licensed under the same "copyleft" license whenever they are distributed with part of the original licensed product.

The Ecuadorian Political Framework

“We all need to adopt, both public and private level terms, free software. That way we will guarantee the sovereignty of our states, we will rely on our own strength, not of external forces in the region, we will be technology producers, not just consumers; we will own the source code; and we can develop many products that, even, with dovetail our efforts, may be very useful for public and private companies in the region” Rafael Correa – President of Ecuador.

The idea of implementing the use of Free Software in Ecuador emerged in december 2006 after a meeting held by president Correa and Richard Stallman, who was visiting the country (La Línea de Fuego 2013). After this first approach, in 2007 in response to the Latin American Festival of Free Software Installation (FLISOL), the largest Free Software dissemination event in Latin America, president Correa record a video encouraging and promoting to everybody the use of Free Software. After this two first approaches, in the same year, Ecuador created ASLE, the Association of Free Software of Ecuador.

In 2008, president Correa issued the Presidential Decree 1014, which adopted Free Software as a state policy and states:_ "To establish as public policy for the entities of the Central Public Administration the use of Free Software in their systems and equipment"_ (Correa 2008). With this decree, Ecuador became the third Latin American country, after Brazil and Venezuela, to deploy Free Software through its national policy.

According to the Secretariat for Informatics, the main results concerning the adoption of Free Software as a public policy in Ecuador were as follows (La Línea de Fuego 2013):

  1. After the suspension of the purchase of proprietary software, during the first year of adoption of this decree, the country had saved $15 million (USD).
  2. 90% of heads of systems in the government institutions received training.
  3. A new Law on Higher Education (LOES), established in 2010, states in the Article 32 that: "Institutions of higher education necessarily have to incorporate the use of Free Software programs." After this announcement, three years later, The State University of Bolívar became the first and only university migrating to Free Software.
  4. Until December 2010, Ecuador had 300 thousand users of GNU / Linux in public institutions, 90% of institutional portals and 70% of e-mail systems use Free Software.
  5. In 2012, there were already implemented two systems based on Free Software in public administration, Public Procurement portal and Quipux portal.
  6. Another project for distributing tablets equipped with Free Software for public schools was proposed.

The institution responsible for verifying the compliance of this Decree is the National Secretariat of Public Administration (SNAP). In the decree, there are three exceptions that allow the Executive to acquire proprietary software solutions: a) there is not a free software solution that meets the needs; b) there is a national security risk; and c) a cost-benefit analysis shows that the migration is neither reasonable nor desirable. Nevertheless, there is no procedure to verify any of the exceptions mentioned before, prior to the acquisition of proprietary software.

Despite all the efforts introduced after the instantiation of the Decree 1014 in 2008, there are still public institutions that use proprietary software and even require individuals to enter information in such formats, as well as the public procurement portal still registers many proprietary software procurement (with or without hardware). At the same time, Yachay, (City of Knowledge), considered the "flagship project" of the government, signed a macro agreement with Microsoft, which became public three months later, during the Campus Party 2013 in Quito, where Yachay and Microsoft also announce the execution of a "Technology Certifications Marathon".

Yachay, as a city of knowledge, should be addressing the problem of the technological dependence in Ecuador thorugh the implementation of Free software. This new university should be focusing on training people or looking for free software developers in the world to work together with young Ecuadorians seeking solutions to these problems. That would generate real technology transfer, technological sovereignty and local human talent, because of the sharing of knowledge.

Critique to Capitalist Models

The way the software industry functions today is an illustration of the inefficiencies of capitalism, where the primary goal is not serving the interests of society. Nowadays, developing, improving and distributing software takes place only where big profits can be made (Vanheuverswyn 2007), which stands in contrast to free software, where human knowledge and the produce of human labor is used to the advantage of all society.

A "software license" is a form of contract that has become the most common form of software distribution. Most closed software licenses merely give the user the permission to run software under a very specific set of circumstances. Here is where the distinction between licensing (renting) and purchasing (buying) software becomes important. People can not in fact “buy a copy of Photoshop". Rather, they can “buy a license to run a copy of Photoshop” provided that the person can meet all the criteria stipulated in the licensing contract. Free software represents a fundamental break with this closed model. Free software licenses are intended to empower the users of software, encouraging them to make copies of it, thereby positioning software as a public resource.

Large companies that privatize knowledge are often monopolizers of software but rarely innovators. Indeed, the task of protecting source code and concealing knowledge has become a big industry. Proprietary software can neither be studied nor modified by the public and gives software companies the power to maintain big monopolies against their competitors. Since source code is kept secret, the labor power of society is underutilized and other developers are forced to start from zero.

The collaborative process of free software has already proven its success by the number of people involved and the number of open source projects that have been produced. The most representative of these project is perhaps the Apache web server, which serves 50% of the Internet. In addition, software projects such as OpenOffice and Mozilla Firefox, support tens of millions of users worldwide (Vanheuverswyn 2007).

Beyond the retail market, the state is an influential player in software choices. If a government chose to promote free and open source software (FOSS), for example, it could potentially transform the software market entirely, even if the cost to switch from proprietary software was especially high. It is imperative to know that in a free software migration, potential savings occur only after migration costs are absorbed.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to FOSS is the ongoing political and ideological confrontation between free and proprietary software. Free software is believed to be able to change state structures and raise their output and for this reason many FOSS advocates believe that it can create conditions for freedom and wealth for developing countries. FOSS advocates argue that the use free software can assist in building a new, cost-efficient, and democratic state, independent of “rich developed countries”. However, FOSS can not raise output without a strong software industry infrastructure. Consequently, it becomes important to introduce laws or policies mandating the use of free and open source software.

Alternative Models

In the current milieu, network software like Apache, BIND and Sendmail form a remarkable portion of the Internet infrastructure. Indeed, since the 1980s, the FOSS movement has been creating free software for various purposes. The most famous example being the free operating system GNU/Linux, a set of free software with the Linux kernel as its core. Other well-known examples including those already mentioned, are the Mozilla and Firefox browsers, OpenOffice.org office package, and the MySQL database system. To better appreciate the embedded nature of FOSS projects, lets examine three case studies that illustrate the growing influence of this social and economic movement.

Case Study 1: LiMux Project

The most successful implementation of free software in public administration is Germany, where the project has lasted 10 years. As Peter Hoffman (citation) explains:

“The point of making the switch to open source was never about money, but about freedom” Peter Hofmann, the man leading the City of Munich's.

On December 11, 2013, the city of Munich had officially completed the extensive project, of workstations migration to Linux (LiMux project) (Chausson 2013), as well as the standardization of the open format ODF (Open Document), which had started 10 years ago. The project began in June 2004, when the council gave the go-ahead to begin the migration from NT and Office 97/2000 to a Linux-based OS, a custom-version of OpenOffice, as well as a variety of free software, such as the Mozilla Firefox browser, Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client and the Gimp photo editing software. It became known as the LiMux project. With this migration to open source, Munich saved more than €10m (Heath 2013).

One of the main goals of the migration was not money, but independence. Becoming independent meant Munich could free itself from proprietary software, more specifically the Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office suite, and a host of other proprietary technologies that the city relied on in 2002. Other aspects related to the migration was the fact that in 2002, the license used on 14,000 staff machines at the council, would soon run out. Consequently, a study of switching from XP and Office to a GNU/Linux OS and OpenOffice and other free software was done.


  • In August 2013 Munich said it had cost €23m to shift to LiMux and OpenOffice, which is far less than the estimated €34m it said it would have cost to upgrade to Windows 7 and newer versions of Microsoft Office.
  • By choosing to swap to LiMux and OpenOffice Munich was able to keep using its old PCs for longer, which would not have been possible if it had chosen some of the recent versions of Microsoft Office and Windows 7. Extending the lifespan of the PCs had saved the council about €4.6m.
  • Training thousands of the council's staff to use a new OS and software is another area where the council would have faced equivalent costs for both Microsoft and LiMux, claiming to set €1.69m regardless of the system.

In the end, the project finished the slow and steady migration with more than 14,800 staff migrated to using LiMux and more than 15,000 to OpenOffice. Undoubtedly, the complexity of moving from proprietary software might explain why more organizations haven't followed Munich's example. For instance, the German municipality of Freiburg have given up on their own shift to open source claiming it would have cost up to €250 per seat to resolve interoperability issues.

Interesting points to be highlighted from this study include:

  • One of the main complaints from Munich staff using Linux and OpenOffice is about incompatibilities with Microsoft Office. Documents, spreadsheets and other files display some fonts, pictures and layouts differently in OpenOffice than in Microsoft Office, and changes to some documents are not properly logged.
  • Windows has developed from a pure PC-centred operating system, to a whole infrastructure, which means that users are getting more overwhelmed to update and change the whole IT infrastructure in order to fit with Microsoft.
  • Free software was elected as the best choice by Munich's ruling body, because it would free the council from dependence on any vendor and future-proof the council's technology stack via open protocols, interfaces and data format.
  • The council established €6.1m for personnel to oversee the migration process. A Munich's estimation had established that this amount would have remained the same regardless of moving to LiMux or a future Windows OS.

Case Study 2: Latin America and the Caribbean

There are already countries in Latin America that have implemented laws or public policies oriented to other open movements like Brazil and its emancipation from Outlook, Argentina and legal support for open access, and Mexico and its national policy for open data through the National Digital Strategy. "If you switch to open source software, you pay less in royalties to foreign companies, and that can count for a lot in a country like Brazil, which still has a long way to develop in the IT sector" Sergio Amadeu, National Institute for Information Technology – Brazil

Since 2003 open source usage and the developer community in Brazil has been growing. In April 2004, the Brazilian government provided training for some 2,100 municipal, state and federal public employees in the implementation and management of open source platforms for government administration. By this time there were plans for at least 5 ministries in the federal government are to switch their Internet web servers and most desktop computers to free software. Nearly 12 government agencies had used free software on a trail basis. The main goal for Brazil for adopting free software was not only motivated by economic aspects, it was related also with (Paiva 2009):

  • reduction of costs
  • increase in competition
  • creation of jobs
  • development of knowledge
  • development of new products
  • distribution of knowledge
  • access to new technologies
  • development of software in collaborative environments

Talking about the saving, for every workstation, the government is currently paying Microsoft fees of around 1200 Brazilian reais ($500). In total, the government admits it could save around $120m a year by switching from Windows to open-source alternatives. These new alternatives had let the country to develop different projects related open-source based. Many organizations of the Brazilian government use Java as a primary development platform, for instance, at Brazilian Digital Television, the middleware responsible for the process of digital interactive TV, known as Ginga, was developed in Java. Also, since 1995 Brazil has been using electronic voting and 136.8 million people voted in the 2006 election. The next version of the voting machines will use GNU/Linux. In education, E-Proinfo is an e-learning project that has already trained 50,000 students. This public software was developed for the Secretariat of Distance Education and released under the GPL. The most critical factors in any implementation of open source include training, documentation, the definition of standards and the technical support.

“When one wants to get the state to function in a certain way it has to be said by law. What we want is the state to use free software, to promote it, to promote it in the education system, to prefer to use free and open formats instead of proprietary. Therefore, if it does not, it must be a very sound reason and will have to put in writing” - Daysi Torné, Uruguayan Representative – Uruguay

The Free Software and Open Formats law was approved in Uruguay in december 2013 (Wayer 2013). For several years they had outlined efforts to increase the use of free software in order to make a law, but it was not until late 2012 that the discussion took strength in the Science and Technology Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of Uruguay. The Law on Free Software and Open Formats contemplates that:

  1. The law provides that the State shall prefer the investment and development of free software free over proprietary software, except when it does not meet the technical requirements required.
  2. If the State decides to invest in proprietary software, it must justify the spending and argue the choice.
  3. The State must accept and distribute any information on at least one open, standard and free format.
  4. The exchange of information on the Internet should be possible in at least one program licensed as free software.

Among the different advantages the this law will bring there are:

  • Public spending: with the acquisition of free software, the state saves the public spending on expenditure on proprietary software licenses, which is a fiscal hole for government.
  • Security: using free software gives an alternative to avoid the use of proprietary software with backdoors.
  • Interoperability: the use of open formats and standards promotes interoperability among institutions and ensures efficient file sharing.
  • Transparency: the dissemination of public information in an open format allows citizenship transparency and open access to data. This could also be reinforced with an open data policy.

Case Study 3: Europe

"This is a great example of a simple measure that governments everywhere can take to gain control of their IT infrastructures". “Free Software lets government agencies reclaim their technological sovereignty, and helps them to make it harder for foreign spies to access citizen's data and confidential information. We encourage other countries in Europe and around the world to take a close look and learn from Italy” - Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President (Free Software Foundation Europe - Italy

The Italian government has made Free Software the default choice for public administrations in December 2013 (FSFE 2014; Troiano 2013). The original planning document was authored by the Italian Digital Agency (Agenzia per l'Italia Digitale 2013), which for the first time, implemented a consulting process involving representatives from the public sector, the Free Software community, and proprietary software makers, establishing that all government institutions in the country must consider using Free Software before buying licenses for proprietary programs.

Italy promote the government to give priority to free and open source software following a technical and economic comparative assessment (comparative evaluation) (Troiano 2013). In fact, one of the tasks of the Agency is indeed to establish procedures and criteria that will help to justify the choice in the acquisition of programs. According to the planning document, it sets out a detailed method which public bodies must follow to decide which software to use.

Among the solutions to be considered there are:

  • Software developed by the government (public administration)
  • Reuse of software or parts of it developed by the government (public administration)
  • Free software or open source
  • Combination of the above software solutions

Public administrators can consider acquiring non-free software only if no suitable programs of these types are available. However, instead of adquiring proprietary software, with this resolution the country is now giving priority and encouraging the development of domestic programs.

In order to ensure that this policy is followed, both, public bodies and the interested public will refer to the Italian Digital Agency to verify its compliance, in case of negligence, individual public servants may be held personally liable. Administrative courts can annul decisions that contradict these rules.

Preliminary General Principles for Policy Making

Framing the implementation of free software policies has already been proposed in many countries throughout Europe and Latin America. Among them, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela, have all established basic guidelines for implementing free software within public administrations. Based on their experience, we might conclude:

  • Free software does not mean zero cost, but is nonetheless often less expensive, which implies that the cost can be adapted depending on how critical the systems are, thus decreasing the production cost.
  • Free Software is driven by needs, thus minimizing upgrades. If proprietary vendors stop supporting a product, users can either use an unsupported version of the software, or upgrade it, which is not the case in for free software.
  • Free Software facilitates research and adaptation to volume of use, since the absence of royalties allow variations free of constraint.
  • Ensures user privacy. If users have no control over the software they are using, someone can easily spy on their activity. Signing a licensing agreement when buying proprietary software means that the user agrees that the vendor has the right to inspect content without warning.
  • Free software is auditable which is not the case n proprietary software where source code is not provided and there are restricted backdoors.
  • It is easier and cheaper to switch from one free software to another compared to switching proprietary software, which normally ties the user to any corporation.
  • Free software works in open standards.
  • Free software promotes social solidarity and represents society as a whole through sharing and cooperation.

Nevertheless, there are also some limitations that Free Software presents:

  • Poor quality end-user documentation.
  • Free software can change dramatically between updates, which will impact on common routines of established users.
  • Developers often overestimate the computer literacy of novice users.
  • The release of software rarely include budgeting for long term support and maintenance.

Policy Recommendations

Differents are the reasons that justify the implementation of FLOSS in public administration. The savings in license fees is one of them and has been an important factor in consideration of the use of FLOSS in public administrations since they are big software customers. Nevertheless, license fees is not the only cost to consider, since costs are divided into software, technical support and training. The most common assesment before migration is not only the technical, but the economic. Different reports argued that a migration to FLOSS is more expensive than staying with the existant propietary solution (Chausson 2013). However, migration costs are temporary costs that can be budgeted in one year while remarkable savings in the cost of propietary software products are long term.

With the advent of e-government a new challenge raises, related to the access of the population to information and services. The use of open formats, ensure the citizen access to information and services without having to purchase a particular application and its consequential costs of license, which means, ensuring the technological non-discrimination.

All the information that governments store have the need to be a long-term documentation and need to be accesible in the future. Nowadays, proprietary applications hide the contents on binary and closed document formats. Thus, the only way to access these files is to use the tool with which they were created, which eventually can be incompatible with previous versions. The use of open formats is the key to achieving interoperability and transparency improvement since the code can be subject to public scrutiny. An environment of free and open source software correctly configured is as safe as a proprietary software environment.

With the implementation of free software in public administration, the government promotes infraestructure maintenance, software development, security and specially, research. The development model followed by the FLOSS community is very close to academic and research model in universities, according to which the basis of innovation is to share information and cooperate in the development of work. Due to this model, innovation is not restricted to certain companies. This access to information and knowledge allows the development of local industry, which will benefitiate from this knowledge and contribute with it. In the case of FLOSS, the innovation is local and from bottom to top, versus the topdown proprietary software model, it means from the client to the company, for instance a request for some customization.

The most relevant information that should be gathered and analyzed, for instance through a survey, before considering the implementation of free software are:

  • the availability or not, of trained technical staff
  • level of knowledge of the technical staff about free technologies as well as administrative staff
  • overall penetration level of free software in public administration
  • a map of the most common applications and services already in use
  • inclination for the adoption of free software
  • establish common sources for training
  • open standards for publication of information on the Web, and the exchange of documents between government and citizens

Among the policy recommendations for the use of Free Software in public administration, we have:

  1. To make an assessment of the level of technical knowledge in the public institutions.
  2. Establish an assessment about the law enforcement and use of free software in public institution after the aplication of the Decree 1014.
  3. Establish a sequential migration plan for public administration.
  4. To establish/assign an institution for administrate/control the migration plan. Every institution should have internal committees for establishing migration strategies.
  5. Create specific work group for a sequential implementation of Free Software for manage the distribution of: a) open office and plugins associated to, b) data base and, c) applications.
  6. The software should allow the government to audit what are its actual effects and functions. Specifically, to avoid hidden doors without the knowledge of government imposed by suppliers or foreign agents.
  7. Massive short-term, high-impact pre-migration training.
  8. To select public administration Institutions to be used for pilot testing.
  9. To generate installation packages or all-in-one toolkits; and to write the proper documentation. The control institution should make them free available to citizenship and government entities with technical documentation.
  10. Proprietary software will be in use at least for several years, for instance, interoperability might interfere with the migration. Interoperability plans should be established inside and outside institutions, during and after the migration process. Standards should be established (open data).
  11. The government requires freedom of use, modification, and distribution of software, in order to accomplish computer literacy programs and technological inclusion for people using minimal resources. Free Software repositories should be established.
  12. To promote the Free Software philosophy in the education sector, public administration and sectors viewed as priority. Students in educational institutions shall be given the opportunity to learn about using free and open-source software as well as proprietary software. Different strategies should be established for covering training since the basic educational levels. Schools/Colleges/Universities.
  13. To establish an institution (laboratory) of Free Software, in partnership between experts in FOSS, universities and research centers. Those laboratories should expose contents/applications with free software to public entities and citizenship and present funding proposals to develop free solutions.
  14. When purchasing new software, free and open-source software and proprietary software need to be considered with the object of always selecting the most favorable purchase, as stated in Decree 1014.


[1] http://www.fsf.org/

[2] http://www.fsij.org/wiki/WikiStart.en

[3] http://ceata.org

[4] http://Wellingborough/

[5] http://www.coplec.org/

[6] http://saslibre.com/index.php/es/

[7] http://www.ubuntu.ec/

[8] http://blenderecuador.org/wp/

[9] http://copyfree.org/

  • Paiva, E. (2009) Use of Open Source Software by the Brazilian Government. Tecnology Innovation Management Review. Retrieved from http://timreview.ca/article/250
  • Wayer, F. (2013) El Estado deberá preferir la inversión y desarrollo en software libre sobre el privativo. Pulso ciudadano. Retrieved from [2]

  1. Copyright © Copyleft 2014 Jenny Torres: GFDL and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 GFDL: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be found at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html CC-by-sa: You are free to copy, distribute and transmit the work, to adapt the work and to make commercial use of the work under the following conditions: a) You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). b) If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. Full license conditions can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode.