20 February 2023
Article published by: Leah Rowe
Date of publication: 20 February 2023
You may recall last year’s article: New Hampshire (USA) may soon enshrine Software Freedom into law - a proposed bill, if it passed, would have provided official legal protections in favour of libre software in the state of New Hampshire, in the United States.
Last year’s bill didn’t pass, so Eric Gallager, the person behind it, started splitting it into smaller bills that are more likely to pass; this recently cultimated first in house bill 617-FN for which there was a hearing.
Now, there is another upcoming bill hearing: house bill 556-FN:
It is critical that as many people show up as possible, to defend the bill and advance the cause of software freedom.
New Hampshire residents: In addition to showing up on the day, you can also contact your house representative, and ask them to support this bill! This web page can let you find who your representative is:
That’s OK! You can still help. Please tell as many people about this as possible, and spread the news on as many websites/blogs as possible. Post it on your social media account, if you have one. Write to the media!
This bill’s hearing is on 21 February 2023 at 9AM in the Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State Ct., Concord, New Hampshire:
Please, please if you can, show up to the hearing! New Hampshire needs you. If this and similar bills pass, in New Hampshire, it will spread like wildfire to many other states, and countries, bringing us many steps closer to a world where everyone has the ability to use libre software exclusively - such is the goal of the movement, and that of the Libreboot project which is a part of said movement.
Eric Gallager is the representative in charge of the proposed bill, and you can contact him in the following ways:
Twitter page (use of Twitter is ill advised, due to its proprietary nature - use Mastodon or email if you can):
The actual text of the bill is provided here:
If passed, the New Hampshire Information Technology Council would then be required, by law, to promote software freedom to the Department of Information Technology Commissioner. This would include analysis of practical issues such as cost, and deployment strategies for libre systems to replace current proprietary systems; more importantly, it would require them to study ways of reducing (or eliminating) the need for citizens to use proprietary software for interactions with the state. The bill also promotes the principle of copyleft licensing, such as GNU GPL; regardless of how you feel about copyleft versus permissive (BSD-style) licensing, the advancement of any libre software on such massive scale will help the entire movement.
Although not mentioned in previous articles on this agenda, the New Hampshire court building provides live streams of hearings.
Link to New Hampshire courthouse youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@NHHouseofRepresentatives
The last few software freedom bills were streamed on this one:
House Executive Departments and Administration
Per the text of HB-556, the stream for that bill will be on:
Science, Technology and Energy
The links change, for each stream, so you should check them on the day.
Here’s a link to the New Hampshire court channel, on an excellent Invidious instance (excellent in terms of uptime, and speed):
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