[Help Needed] Writing a proposal to support Free Software

Hello everyone,

I come here, because I am currently writing a formal proposal for some association active in the spectrum of EU-political education to support and make use of Free Software as one priority to reach our goals. If all goes well, a second proposal specifically targets supporting PMPC.

I already convinced my regional chapter, however we now want to take it a step further on national level.

What I am looking for is good points for using Free Software that convinces people that are not into IT and tech in general. Also, rather than personal reasons, I need points that target “the bigger picture”, especially on an economic and political level (PMPC is already a good direction in that regard).

So far, I collected a lot from FSFE’s and FSF’s sites as well as the main points of PMPC. But maybe the community also has ideas and points that should be mentioned? Maybe you also convinced some association or group of using and supporting Free Software. Do you have any tips?

Points I already have in mind:

  • What is Free Software to begin with? (4 Freedoms, Recipe-Example)
  • Software-Owners vs Software-Users and the relations of power
  • Proprietary software and monopolies, Free Software and free markets
  • Minorities and dependence on software-owners, non-colonialism aspect of FS
  • Participation and right of free speech
  • security and trust in FS (public audit)
  • reliability and survival of projects (even if authors descend)
  • software as central tool of democracy

Thanks in advance,
Jan

To be clear, you mean you’re interested in arguments about abstract/general benefits for society in economical terms, rather than arguments which can appeal to the self-interest or pragmatic benefits to the specific entity/person? I see for instance in your example you talk about “free market” rather than “good value for money [for your own software needs]”.

It’s always useful to start from what the audience understands best, from an example close to their heart and mind. For instance what’s good in some free software they already use, or what’s bad about some proprietary software they rely on. For economists, a cautionary tale is the famous M$ failure in an Alesina paper, while a positive message can be the reproducibility made possible by a series of freely licensed R tools. https://replicationnetwork.com/2017/06/14/hou-xue-zhang-replication-controversies-in-finance-accounting/

To be clear, you mean you’re interested in arguments about abstract/general benefits for society in economical terms, rather than arguments which can appeal to the self-interest or pragmatic benefits to the specific entity/person? I see for instance in your example you talk about “free market” rather than “good value for money [for your own software needs]”.

Precisely! Good value for money might be a very good case, though.

An argument one could make is, that with Free Software one is not bound to one specific developer. With FS, I can buy from some business / instruct some business to develop software for me and then let someone else extend it later, without any issues.

It’s always useful to start from what the audience understands best, from an example close to their heart and mind. For instance what’s good in some free software they already use, or what’s bad about some proprietary software they rely on. For economists, a cautionary tale is the famous M$ failure in an Alesina paper, while a positive message can be the reproducibility made possible by a series of freely licensed R tools.

Thank you very much! I myself am a useR, so this is an example close to my heart. However I fear the target audience in this association/NGO is mostly non-technical, so I need to find something else. But this is very good advice, thank you very much and thank you for the article!

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