About this page

Currently we see a lot of Hackathons being organised by diverse organisations to find solutions to tackle the crisis of pandemic COVID-19. More and more we see governments and state agencies that are hosting or funding such hackathons. Unfortunately, not all of them seem to understand that a global crisis needs global solutions. Solutions that can be rolled out seamlessly in any jurisdiction, that can be improved by a global community and that can be adapted to any local need. In short: Solutions that are licensed as Free Software, thus becoming a global public good.

At the FSFE we generally support hackathons to work on Free Software solutions. But now we ask in particular any such hackathon that is organised to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic to require any participant to publish their software under a Free- and Open-Source-Software-License. This is even more true for any publicly funded institution that is organising such a hackathon, since we want that any publicly funded code development must be available to everyone as public code.

What to do

Our idea is to support those hackathons that introduce global solutions by developing Free Software tools. Due to the current situation basically all of them are happening online. Therefore we collect a list of all those hackathons to help connect interested Free Software developers finding these events. Please help us to fill this list and spread the word about it.

On the other hand we like to convince those hackathons that do not yet set an open licensing mandatory for their participants. If you know about a hackathon you like to convince, we put together some tips below.

List of Hackathons

This is a list of hackathons that are in particular organised to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. It is split into those hackathons that serve as good examples and those who still need to be convinced:

Good examples

Wir vs Virus

Vence Al Virus

Hackathons that still need to be convinced

EU vs Virus

Hack The Crisis

Global Hack

How to Convince

Contact the organisers of a hackathon with a friendly email and let them know you care about the free licensing of their solutions because a global pandemic needs global solutions. You can direct them to our recent news-items about this topic or copy-paste arguments from there, but you could also use your own words. Please always stay friendly.

If you are a developer who would consider to take part, that is a good argument: Tell them you would participate if they make free licensing mandatory for participants.

You can also ping them on social media or other channels. If you convince them, please update this wiki page.

Here are some snippets you could you use for your communication on social media or your mailings:

"Global problems need global solutions and it is only #FreeSoftware that enables global code development cooperation in a legally safe environment. Any proprietary solution will lead inevitable to countless isolated solutions and waste energy and time.”

"Free Software licences allow sharing of code anywhere. Solutions developed in one country can be reused and adapted in another one. Please stop reinventing the wheel."

"In a time when humankind needs to work together to find solutions for this crisis, we cannot afford to reinvent the wheel for the tools, but share those under #FreeSoftware / #OpenSource licenses to increase cooperation."

You can also add this part if it is publicly financed software: "Publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well."

Please also use #PublicCode if possible.

These are just examples, please feel free to comment in your own words and share your experience with us.

Activities/Hackathons4Freedom (last edited 2020-04-07 12:50:40 by alex.sander)