Center for Corporate Auditing, Responsibility and Management policy Authoring/General open standards and free software policy

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General open standards and free software policy[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This policy is meant to be complemented by specific policies for national economies and fields of endeavour. A general policy cannot address all special cases found under specific circumstances.

Obviously not all hardware has to be open hardware. One might be grateful if 3D printers cannot be used to make weapons without any limitations, for instance. On the other hand there are open standards one can easily recognize as useful and desirable for the end customers. This policy is meant to affirm that a company vouches to support an adequate level of open standards, neither more nor less.

The implementor should also affirm to endorse open standards, to contribute to open standards and to embrace a degree of cooperation (coopetition) within reasonable business strategies, excluding, for instance, the goal to establish monopolies (a goal that is denied by most legislations anyway).

As a general rule one of the problems of open and free software is that it is not labour market neutral and every use of open source software supports a system that, even if used labour market neutrally, should be assumed to have a negative impact on the labour market elsewhere through uncritical adoption. Thus the user of open source software has to make macroeconomic considerations far beyond his or her expected use case for a specific software, which could be seen to strictly require promotion for a set of policies surrounding the use of open source software.

A metaphor in open source itself would be "a code that tells you what you cannot make use of". Another metaphor would possibly be that of an "unverified code" as a "missing code of conduct", because "one cannot predict the results". One could also metaphorically relate open source to metaphysics (the verification being beyond the understanding of most users) and to code that would require certification and encryption (being readable "like source code" without encryption of the machine code or byte code). An emergent conclusion would be: One cannot (generalization) make use of open source as long as the metaphor(s) mean something, which is when the code of conduct for its use is still missing. The trivial code of conduct for academic users (where open source originated) would be that it is by the academic community and for the academic community, which theoretically should rule out commercial application. A trivial code of conduct for commercial users would be to use only verified code that has a license contract and some kind of certification and/or a support offer from a trusted entity.

Corporate citizenship[edit | edit source]

  1. The company must implement the Supporting the state of rights policy. Failure to do so should be seen as a complete failure to implement this policy.
  2. The company must have a Social contract policy

Co-determination[edit | edit source]

  1. The employer must have a co-determination policy. A failure to implement any co-determination policy should be seen as a complete failure to implement this policy.
  2. The employer must implement a set of policies that regulate and monitor adequate levels of participation in the production of open software, including to refrain from contributing to software that does no meet the criteria for such contribution.

Continuing education[edit | edit source]

  1. The employer must implement a policy on teaching economic ethics and macroeconomic understanding to employees concerned with the production of open source software.

Co-regulation and public sphere[edit | edit source]

  1. The company must ensure that its policies, criteria and products are adequately publicly communicated, preferably by cooperating with business associations.
  2. The company must ensure that an annual report is published.
  3. The company must invite the general public to participate in formal co-regulation bodies directly with the company and in the form of business associations.

Certification[edit | edit source]

  1. The company should aim to provide certification and code-signing for software products where adequate.

See also[edit | edit source]