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Peru Passes Free Software Law - That's Free as in Free Speech
Monday, September 26 2005 @ 07:55 PM EDT

Peru has passed its law encouraging procurement of Free Software by the government. Please note that the law is about Free Software, not Open Source, as opposed to proprietary software, distinguished by license. Here's an English translation published by the Asociación Peruana de Software Libre, and here is the law itself [PDF]. Technically, it's not official until it is published in the official Peruvian daily newspaper, but that is pretty much certain at this point. Note that the version Slashdot links to on OSI is not, I don't think, the final version. It's a useful translation, but be aware that certain articles in that beta version are not in the final version.

The law defines free software and proprietary software by means of the licenses, as per my own translation:

1. Free Software: is software whose license guarantees the following: unrestricted use of the program for any use; unrestricted right to study the code and figure out how the program works; to make and distribute copies of the program; to modify the program and freely distribute the modifications under the same free conditions as the original program.

2. Proprietary software: is software whose license does not permit you to do all or any of the things listed in the above definition.

As you can see from the flavor, so reminiscent of the freedoms guaranteed under the GPL, the stress is on free as in freedom.

Here it is in Spanish, from the law:

Software libre: Es aquel cuya licencia de uso garantiza las facultades de: - Uso irrestricto del programa para cualquier propósito; - Inspección exhaustiva de los mecanismos de funcionamiento del programa; - Confección y distribucion de copias del programa; y, - Modificación del programa y distribución libre tanto de las alteraciones como del nuevo programa resultante, bajo estas mismas condiciones.

2. Software propietario: Es aquel cuya licencia de uso no permite ninguna o alguna de las facultades previstas en la definición anterior.

And here is the translation from the Asociación Peruana de Software Libre:

1. Free Software That which licence garantees the following things: - Unlimited use of the program for any purpose; Inspection of the working mechanisms of the program; Free distribution of copies of the software, Modification of the program and free distribution both in the new program, as on the old one, under the same conditions.

2. Propietary software. It is that which license does not permit all of any of the faculties defined above.


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