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French Parliament Votes To Give Priority To Free Software

Soulskill posted 1 year,19 days | from the with-liberty-and-justice-for-all dept.

Open Source 98

An anonymous reader writes "The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. [Advocacy association April], after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognizing the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favor of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilized and contacted the Parliament Members."

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98 comments

About time (4, Insightful)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234841)

Priority is nice, though mandatory would be even better.

Re:About time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235069)

This is good news. One less countries economy to have to worry about over taking ours.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235439)

What little economy is left after Wall Street is done with us.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235981)

How so? Keeping their IT spending local is likely to improve their economy, at the expense of foreign countries that they would previously have bought software from...

Free or open source? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235101)

I read the sentiments, and given the current situation in the USA *close* source software from US companies is a no-no. But 'free' as in beer is how they word their statement, which would include stuff like Skype.

Quite frankly, anyone using Skype at this point is an idiot, the likely business model for Skype is likely "get idiots to use it / sell private conversation access to NSA/ Profit".

Is that a mismatch between English and French? Liberty vs Gratis? Did they mean free as in what USA used to be, vs free as in beer? Open source free vs close source pay and spy?

Re:Free or open source? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235169)

Free software = logiciel libre. Libre => liberté.
In French, there is no ambiguity between libre and gratuit.

Re:Free or open source? (1)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238635)

Interestingly, at gas stations, "libre-service" means self service.

Re:Free or open source? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238917)

I use "libre-sex" all the time.

Re:Free or open source? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | 1 year,19 days | (#44241821)

Quite not. French people use the English wording "Self-Service". Libre-service means that it's gratis.

Re:Free or open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235209)

> But 'free' as in beer is how they word their statement

Where do you get that from? The English version as usual is ambiguous (but I certainly can't see what you claim), but the french says "inscrire [...] dans la loi la priorité au logiciel libre". "libre" clearly does not mean without cost, so it definitely would not include Skype.

Re:Free or open source? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235991)

The business model of skype all along has been to get people locked in and dependent on the service, and then work out ways to make money from it... Wether that means jacking up prices, selling user information, or bombarding users with advertisements.
Either way, skype is a return to monopoly telco networks from years gone by, a huge step backwards.

Re:Free or open source? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | 1 year,19 days | (#44237063)

Either way, skype is a return to monopoly telco networks from years gone by, a huge step backwards.

Not really. Nothing prevent me from using the exact infrastructure I use for Skype (my PC and ithernet connection) for other similar services. And with IPv6 implemented, all that will be needed is a directory service, because every device on the internet will have a unique IP address, fully enabling point to point communication. The current model where everything has to go through central servers will be obsolete. Of course Skype will want to be the directory service of choice, but anybody can build one. And they will.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235199)

Indeed, lets take away choice in the name of freedom!

Re:About time (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235269)

Ah, fellow naturalists, hark the shrill cry of the proprietary software apologist. It's an all too common feral creature around here, barely camouflaged in the detritus beneath the understory of Slashdot's troll layer. It uses its paradoxically nonsensical twirps to bewilder the unwary and confuse them into wasting precious resources and time.

Avoid it at all costs. While it's not really dangerous, it is VERY silly and annoying.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235295)

Oh please. Come off it already.

Just like banning sex slavery removes choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236129)

Just like banning sex slavery removes choice for people to become a sex slave, right?

Re:Just like banning sex slavery removes choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44246319)

This is the third time in three weeks that I've seen someone compare running non-free software to sexual victimization and I think that the equivocation is fucking disgusting, distrespectful and misogynistic. You are an asshole.

Actually, it's the wrong thing. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235223)

If open source is so much better, it ought to win on merits. Of course, in civil service merits usually don't count, which is why they have lots of rules, and ultimately the whole doesn't achieve much of anything. So much so that bureaucracy is a byword for exactly that.

An example of how to do it is the LiMux project. There, the city of Munich stuck out its head, made a plan, adjusted as necessary (because, due to scope turning out much larger than expected, they needed a much longer timetable), and now has a rock-solid integrated software suite to do most if not all their many, many little departments' bidding. As a side effect, they have a clear picture of what sort of thing is in use, where previously that was a complete unknown (and turned out to be much more disparate than expected). That suite is made up out of many open source parts integrated with their own glue.

Real results always beat legislation that say someone else should something. This legislation will cause a lot of arsecovering and tickboxing and ultimately make the notion of open source part of the rules establishment, of an obstacle to be skirted, not part of the solution. And that is really quite sad, seeing its strong "scratch an itch" genesis.

Thus I predict that French governments will not see serious open source adoption for decades to come, if ever.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235427)

If open source is so much better, it ought to win on merits.

It does. Proprietary software wins on lock-in, licensing and legacy.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235663)

... and frequently bribery ... I mean marketing.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235887)

It also wins on ass-covering, which is a real benefit in business nad government. If there are issues with a well known piece of proprietary software, you can always blame the software vendor or even the implementer. If a FOSS-based project fails, you take the fall for taking a chance on "some free crap developed by a bunch of hippies", even if the project is implemented by a 3rd party. It's the old adage: no-one has ever been fired for choosing IBM. Proprietary software is a safe choice.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235923)

And just as importantly, it gives you someone to sue if it breaks down horribly.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (5, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | 1 year,19 days | (#44236013)

No it doesn't, the license agreement on proprietary software provides no warranty whatsoever on the software, you have exactly the same ability to seek redress from the vendor as you do with open source - none.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238247)

The reverse is not true: when others are seeking redress, using open source may make you more vulnerable. For example: software may infringe on someone else's IP, and a lawsuit ensues. With proprietary software, the vendor will be sued. If they are forced to recall their product, you may even sue them successfully for damages because you can no longer use their software. But if you use open source, the IP holder may very well be coming after your ass, and win. Happened to a client of mine. That's the main argument I hear from legal departments in companies contemplating the use of FOSS products: not the FOSS licenses are the issue, but the fact that IP holders can (and successfully have) sued users (rather than the authors) of FOSS for infringement.

In some cases you can stick a vendor (or FOSS "reseller") like RedHat in the middle, which provides some protection against this.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44239811)

but with Open Source, you have the ability to fix it.
you have no such option with closed source.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236175)

Did you completely miss companies like Redhat or are you deliberately ignoring them?

Their whole point is to provide said ass-covering for businesses when using open-source software.

Which means your already dumb argument completely falls apart.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238295)

RedHat and such only protect against lawsuits targeting (users of) FOSS products. They do not offer much protection against your manager's wrath when he finds out you choose "cowboy software" over "reputable products", which is sadly still how many managers see things.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236785)

Proprietary does NOT win on ass-covering.

Nobody ever sued IBM and won - (not even SCO). Nobody ever sued Microsoft and won. "Not being fired for buying IBM" has nothing to do with blaming the vendor - it is merely the legacy argument. So many others uses IBM - at least we will not be worse off than them! Only a covard would actually use the legacy argument though. Using it implies that they are not capable of judging what software will fit their business best. So they loose out on any opportunity for something better.

You can't blame the vendor, for their EULA says that "their software is not useable for any purpose and there is no guarantees." How very reassuring! You can't sue because windows crashed so you lost money. So come again - why trust in proprietary??

You can get free software with a guarantee - Bernstein did pay the one who found a security flaw in his free software. See any proprietary vendors doing that?

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238119)

My comment was not about suing, but about making excuses to your manager.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44247623)

They're doing this because of the recent NSA spying scandal. It has little to do with everything else.
I can see it now. Open-source 10 years from now, moving at a much faster pace, but every submission "watched" by agencies from every country all over the world.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235445)

It wins on not-having-backdoors-for-foreign-governments.

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236115)

Thus I predict that French governments will not see serious open source adoption for decades to come, if ever.

Your prediction is already false. The Gendarmerie Nationale switched to open source long ago, for example. Here. [slashdot.org] .

Re:Actually, it's the wrong thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236289)

They didn't need legislation that said "somebody (else) do something!", now did they?

Re: Actually, it's the wrong thing. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,19 days | (#44236299)

"If open source is so much better, it ought to win on merits"

You mean barring Microsoft and other Gorillas to pump dozens of millions in lobbying? I'm all for it.

Re:About time (1)

Toni Gilham (2857263) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235705)

Yeah, it's one thing to make it into law, it's another to actually enforce it.

Re:About time (1)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,19 days | (#44237169)

NSA the gift to FOSS that keeps on giving. You will see a lot of priority given to software that countries can more readily audit and control, rather than one particular brand of software that only the NSA gets to dick around with. M$ should seriously consider sending a multi-billion dollar bill to the NSA for the permanent harm done to M$'s cash cows windows and office. The NSA single handily will have done more to kill them than any other 'single' group, company or country - 'OUCH'.

Re:About time (1)

jsepeta (412566) | 1 year,19 days | (#44237367)

because free software is better? not always. sometimes it's shite.

Re:About time (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | 1 year,19 days | (#44241777)

Software freedom has nothing to do with convenience, I believe RMS broadcasts the message enough so that everyone should know.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44243927)

As is proprietary software. At least with free software one can fix or fork it.

Makes sense (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234849)

Free, open source software is much more educational by its very nature than closed source shit. One can't learn from source that one can't read.

Re:Makes sense (2)

Fab774 (2977619) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234973)

This is valid only for computer science students. Apart from them, who is going to read the source code of the software they're using ?

Re:Makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44234991)

Your comment only makes sense outside of the bubble-of-basement-dwellers of Slashdot.

Re:Makes sense (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235045)

No. It only makes sense if you're hawking proprietary software and want to hide how it works.

Re:Makes sense (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235037)

Who cares?

Even if it's available to the merely curious, at least it helps demystify some of the most ubiquitous tools of our time. Children should be encouraged to know what's happening behind the scenes as well as how to use their apps.

Kids don't magically morph into CS students overnight.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235673)

In College, the worst CS students were those that didn't know squat from before, thus had to study everything. They learnt the theory the same as the rest of us, basically, however when it came down to actually programming very few could adapt quickly enough to get very good at it in just 3 years. Those who knew programming from before had a big advantage as they didn't need to do multiple paradigmshifts during each semester just to keep up.

In worklife, the worst programmers are usually the types who only "learnt" it in school. You don't learn an entirely different way of thinking in school, so they kept sucking at it I guess. Some made it through just from schooling though, but they had to work extremely much harder than most to get there, both in school and in worklife, and grease some palms of course, which is more important in worklife than actually producing great results.

Re:Makes sense (4, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | 1 year,19 days | (#44236071)

The root cause of this is that those who learned to program before college did so because they were interested in the subject and usually sought out the information themselves...
Those who first learn in college generally have no personal interest in the subject beyond getting a job, and so they invest the minimum required effort in order to get paid and not fired, same as anyone else who's doing a job they don't enjoy.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235119)

Every one that desperately need some nonexistant feature - or have some else read it for them

Re:Makes sense (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235801)

That's a different, and much more valid argument. When has anyone ever rolled out a piece of software across a business and not found either a bug or a missing feature that affects them? Unless you're a really huge company, Microsoft or Oracle won't even take your money to fix it in a timely fashion, but if it's open source then there are a lot of small companies (and big ones, like IBM or Red Hat) that will be more than happy to write the code that you need in exchange for some financial incentive.

Re:Makes sense (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235251)

The guy you hire to maintain the software and fix a bug that is causing accounting errors - he will read it.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235289)

This is valid only for computer science students. Apart from them, who is going to read the source code of the software they're using ?

Whoever has a mission-critical project stopped dead in its track while on a timeline. I've analyzed and patched binaries in that situation (if they are not written by expert assembly language programmers, it's usually feasible to squeeze bug fixes in with the code). Having the source makes things much easier.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Bert64 (520050) | 1 year,19 days | (#44236057)

On the contrary, basic (as in simple, not the language) programming should be taught to all students at a young age... It will help them understand logic and how computers work at a lower level. Computers influence virtually every aspect of our lives today, so it makes sense that everyone should have some level of understanding as to how they work.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Fab774 (2977619) | 1 year,19 days | (#44240993)

This is an instance of the classical: "I like X, and I think children should be taught X at a young age". I am personally not interested in knitting and glassblowing, but I can certainly find people who are passionate about this and possibly pay them to do something for me. My sister has been using the 7th layer of the OSI model for 18 years. Does she really need that piece of information ?

So why does it have copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236195)

Since copyright is to improve the public domain, but you're insistent that the public don't care about software source code, why does software have copyright? The public don't care about it, so therefore it shouldn't be there, right?

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236897)

Open source is useful for much more than learning. Open source means you can have any customization you like. This may be easiest for those with programmers in-house. But even those without, can hire a contractor to customize their open software. It is a simple cost-benefit: will we save/earn more on the customization, than the contractor says he will charge for implementing it?

You can't do that with proprietary stuff.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44240491)

Software security people?

Re:Makes sense (2)

RoboJ1M (992925) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235307)

I think they mean that Open software guarantees that, no matter what, any student will be able to afford access to required software.
Not just people whop can afford Winows/OSX/Office/etc.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236045)

This is an obvious troll post, but on Slashdot it gets modded "+5 Insightful".

What about on its own merits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44234897)

Very bad. This is a akin to affirmative action. Everything should win on its on merits

Re:What about on its own merits? (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234971)

Good point. BUT, I think that is exactly the case. They are just saying that do not want the MS type ppl running around lobbying and buying their pols. Considering that MS and others have worked closely with NSA, and very likely that are loads more backdoors inside windows, it would make sense.

Re:What about on its own merits? (2)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235149)

Also, due to limited budget, some police stations have Word installed on some computers and Excel on others.
Want to copy/paste? Too bad.

Re:What about on its own merits? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235735)

If they switch to open source, I hope they'll set aside some fraction of the money they currently use on licensing to fund further development.
You often see this kind of initiative ending with everyone switching back after a couple of months because the new software couldn't support some specific use case, seemingly without considering one of the great benefits of open source: the wide range of options you have for getting the problem fixed yourself.

Re:What about on its own merits? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235255)

You don't even need a door in Windows - you just need a brick (script kiddie) to smash it.

Re:What about on its own merits? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235411)

Back doors inside windows... I'm sure there's a joke there I'm missing...

Re:What about on its own merits? (1)

alci63 (1856480) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235109)

Sure. This is only a legal expectation: use an open-source license. That said, anybody can compete, and win on its own merit.

Proprietary doesn't allow choice on merit (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235277)

Very bad. This is a akin to affirmative action. Everything should win on its on merits

Which is exactly what FOSS will allow them to do, choose between alternatives on merit alone.

Proprietary software doesn't allow winning on merit, because salesmen/lobbyists for business interests ensure that comparison on merit is replaced by whatever it takes to seal a deal, from simple bias and misrepresentation to backhanders and other shady dealing or worse. There is no shortage of evidence for that.

And then in later years, again it's not possible to win on merit because the proprietary software creates lock-in, whereas open source allows a different supplier to be chosen at any time.

For governments, proprietary software never has a benefit unless there is no open source package for the job, in which case proprietary wins not on merit but on mere existence. In all other situations, it's a costly liability.

Re:What about on its own merits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236241)

Yes, it would be similar if white people paid businesses not to employ minorities, paid off researchers to put out reports that black employees will collapse your business, can and will force a huge pay increase for white people if the company hires a minority, and resumes have been replaced with checks.

Re:What about on its own merits? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,18 days | (#44248123)

What if being "open" is a merit that is usually overlooked? Then this is forcing things to be measured on their own merits. But then, that is the point of AA.

Hoooray! (2)

ikhider (2837593) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234949)

Now for the rest of the world! Unfortunately North American governments will probably embrace this last because of corporate control and mass ignorance. Meanwhile, Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free. Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free. Hoarders can get piles of money, That is true, hackers, that is true. But they cannot help their neighbors; That's not good, hackers, that's not good. When we have enough free software At our call, hackers, at our call, We'll kick out those dirty licenses Ever more, hackers, ever more. Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free. Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

One nice thing that might come out of the NSA .... (2)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234965)

stuff, is that Windows and perhaps OSX will die and open source will take off on the desktop. A number of nations will be thinking that if MS works closely with NSA, than they certainly have a back door there.

What changed (2)

fazey (2806709) | 1 year,19 days | (#44234967)

I wounder what changed. First the no more internet cutoffs for piracy, and now this...

Re:What changed (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235035)

What changed is that the PS (left-wing) won the presidential elections against UMP (right-wing). Democracy works sometimes...

Re:What changed (4, Informative)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235049)

Not so long ago corporate shill Sarkozy was voted out and leftist Hollande was voted in.
In some countries a change of government does mean a change of policy.

Re:What changed (1)

RoboJ1M (992925) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235315)

*cries into his ballot box*

Re:What changed (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235433)

Not so long ago corporate shill Sarkozy was voted out and leftist Hollande was voted in.
In some countries a change of government does mean a change of policy.

He's probably from the US so he's excused for being unfamiliar with the concept.

Re:What changed (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235103)

They got a socialist president. Not saying the guy alone changes everything, but it's a sign of a shifting mentality: they had it with Murrica trying to boss them around, and just don't give a fuck anymore.

Change of party (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235147)

Sarkozy is a mix of democrate/republicain : on the right side of the political scale. And yes, democrate are definitively on the right side too. Hollande came in which is on the left side (socialist). So the political really changed, not like in the US where both right side only differs ind etail implemnentation really. Plus ,no offense , but the french constitutional council isn't ike your high court where political influence (i am looking at you scalia for example) can lead Supreme court judge to vote against the repelling of an obvious anti consitutional law due to politics. The french constitutional council judge usually care much less for the politics and much much more to really maintain consitution. Thus repeal of part of hadopi among other constitutional works.

Also what might have influenced this is the fact which is known now that microsoft knew about a backdoor in skype (closed source) and this throw in a very very bad light *ANY* closed source US software.

Re:Change of party (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235609)

Not forgetting the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy is a criminal.This should be a mandatory reminder every time his name surfaces somewhere.

Re:Change of party (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235757)

Not forgetting the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy is a criminal.This should be a mandatory reminder every time his name surfaces somewhere.

He's in good company with the other criminals namely Blair, Bush Jr, Cheney and Obama.

Logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44234977)

As it has been proven that companies behind closed source software can not be trusted this choice makes perfect sense.

Nevertheless, French Army confirmed MS contract (5, Insightful)

alci63 (1856480) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235139)

A few weeks before this vote, the French Army confirmed a global contract with Microsoft, despite advise not to do so by a security commission, for technological and strategical independance reasons. Lobbies are still here, be reassured !

Re:Nevertheless, French Army confirmed MS contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,16 days | (#44266033)

Ah, the military! Always at the cutting edge of development! Too bad brains are more important today than muscles...

War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military.
                -- Clemenceau

Words, but also actions? (4, Interesting)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235157)

The Dutch government has put all kinds of open-source-friendly laws into place as well, but does not even abide their own laws, especially when it comes to open source software. So I am waiting for the news that the French actually DO switch to open source software instead of just saying they will.

Re:Words, but also actions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236311)

"Open Source" DOES NOT equal "free."

We all need to be better with our definitions.
To Russia, MS-Windows is "open source" - Microsoft provided the source code to win a contract - they did not include the right to modify, patch, fix, correct, re-release anything - just to look. What use is that?

"Free software" might be fine for end-users, but for larger organizations with expertise, it is a terrible model. What happens if the person or persons working on the software decide tomorrow they want to charge $1M/ea for a license? Perfectly legal and there might be terrible bugs in the old version of the code that cannot be allowed. Businesses can be formed (and have) to hold other enterprises and governments hostage for outragious license fees. I once had to approve a $200K budget to modify an existing interface between half (just 1 program) of the interface to be modified. We didn't have any choice. We just wanted/needed the data to be put into an XML format going forward. The data interface was already in a structured format - similar to XML but 20 yrs older. As a former C/C++ developer, it looked like 3 weeks of effort for 1 dev to me - that was being extremely generous - really I thought 3 days.

F/LOSS is what these governments need to specify. Support companies can only earn money on support and modifications, not licenses, restricting licenses, or preventing modification.

To most end-users, the ability to modify software doesn't appear to provide any more freedom, they miss the point. It isn't about what they can do alone, it is about what large numbers of skilled people and/or governments can get accomplished. If somone, anyone, can modify the code, then everyone can benefit.

Re:Words, but also actions? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,19 days | (#44237989)

True. I may be a geek, so I read "free software" as in speech. The French government probably reads it as in "lunch". Even then, I can imagine that commercial software would be offered free of charge, but with the condition that the company gets tax benefits or other financial "stimuli" to get paid behind the back. Like getting a "free" mobile phone with your subscription.

Oops (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238089)

Trop long, pas lu. I just read that the original text says "libre".

Re:Words, but also actions? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,19 days | (#44238131)

The actual quote is "Les logiciels libres sont utilisés en priorité.", which is unambiguously referring to free as in speech. Most languages don't have the very annoying ambiguity English does with regards to "free" as in freedom vs no cost.

Laughable, hollow vote-winner (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | 1 year,19 days | (#44235485)

....that won't change the commercial market place (or the number of government systems that run under MS).

Of course, the back-doors are a hot-potato - at least, they are to anyone that hasn't been aware of them since NT4.

Re:Laughable, hollow vote-winner (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236055)

Would you mind listing said backdoors with verifiable, independent proof that they indeed work?

one word (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44238995)

Stuxnet...

4 zero day exploits.

Fuck that

Re:one word (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44241207)

A zero day exploit is not a backdoor. Try again.

Intentions, not reality (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44235847)

It's total bullshit. It's a legislation requiring to "prefer" open source, it's no legal obligation. And with alluring Microsoft offers, these laws are usually blatantly ignored. As there are often discreet corruption cases or conflicts of interest, it's just meaningless not to enforce open source usage.

"Free Software" is NOT enough, F/LOSS is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236163)

"Free Software" is NOT enough, F/LOSS is needed.

Just because something is free, that doesn't mean you can do whatever you like with it inside your business or home.

F/LOSS changes that. Even OSS and FOSS aren't enough.

We need to do a better job of explaining the limitations these other - seemingly "free" - offers place on all of us when we accept anything less than F/LOSS. This is critical for governments - who might need/like to modify the software slightly for specific reasons. "Free" in cost doesn't convey the rights necessary to modify. For example, Microsoft might give free licenses to France for 2 yrs, then decide that was a bad business choice - change the price in France to $5000/ea. Now France has to either immediately change (1 day) or pay those fees as the change to some other software occurs over 1-3 yrs. See the issue?

Free of cost is NOT "free."

Re:"Free Software" is NOT enough, F/LOSS is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44236291)

That's only confusion due to some aspects of the English language. Free as in Freedom ('libre') and Free as in Beer ('gratuit') are completely different words in French, where this mixup just doesn't exist. The original text uses the Freedom ('Libre') term.

  Les logiciels libres sont utilisés en priorité. --> "Free/Open Software is to be given priority"

Re:"Free Software" is NOT enough, F/LOSS is needed (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | 1 year,19 days | (#44237445)

Microsoft might give free licenses to France for 2 yrs, then decide that was a bad business choice - change the price in France to $5000/ea.

While you main point is valid (F/LOSS is needed and free of cost is not free), the example you give indicate a total lack of contact with the business world.
If contract people are as incompetent as you seem to think, they get what they deserve. Any (potentially) long term contract would include restrictions on price increase. For an online service it would also include agreements on phase out.
Also, apart from Office365, Microsoft sells perpetual licenses, so if you stop paying (lots of companies run MS without a SA), you can continue running what you have. No hurry in changing software.

Re:"Free Software" is NOT enough, F/LOSS is needed (1)

russejl (746370) | 1 year,19 days | (#44243369)

I think I'm deviating from the thread but while I personally love & admire FOSS I think that the law is discriminatory toward non-free software which might offer a worthy product albeit lack of source code is disappointing. It'd be better to see them put FOSS at an equal footing with closed/proprietary. That's my idealistic thinking anyhow.

It's a trap!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44237875)

I just know it. I can feel it in my bones. Something will go horribly wrong and the French will surrender to Windows/Apple/Oracle cabal.

Well Shit! (1)

tgeek (941867) | 1 year,19 days | (#44242353)

We can forget about such similar legislation ever passing in the US . . . ain't no way in hell we're gonna (knowingly) follow France in anything!
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