Legal aspects on free software in public administrations: hands on

10 years on, we are back in Torino (Italy) to discuss about the same topic: free software in public administrations.

For a long time, Free and Open Source Software has been more a “potential” rather than a reality in Public Administration, dominated by large private sector IT contracts. Although internally, many administrations have been using free and open source software quite happily, and in fact quite a lot of software has been released by administrations such as ESA, NASA, CERN, and several national and local governments. In the last few years, however, Public Administrations around the world have really started to take FOSS seriously on a formal basis, with significant initiatives (such as laws fostering free software adoption or distribution by Public Administrations, and the EU “Join-Up” program).

Even more important, things start to happen practically, through the administrations’ own software projects being opened to the public, tenders where FOSS has been mandated or given a preference, and the building of competence centres focussing on technical, organisational and legal aspects of creating, implementing and managing public IT systems based on free and open source software.

This year’s EOLE conference, held in association with CSI Piemonte, will focus on the current legal issues of creating and using free and open source software in public administration, from a practical perspective: what is really being done in practice, what legal issues are posing challenges, how are these being dealt with, and what are the practical recommendations for administrations and other stakeholders (open source projects and private sector) for not just dealing with free and open source in the public sector, but promoting it as an efficient, trusted and legitimate solution.

Issues that will be debated include:

  • free and open source software in public tenders and bids and public contracts
  • licensing of public administration code
  • legal structures and processes for sustaining public FOSS projects and communities around them
  • public sector collaborations around FOSS projects
  • open source and research centers & Open Science
  • warranties and liability for the public sector, using or distributing free and open source software
  • legal skills for FOSS competence centers and training for the public sector

The CFP is closed !