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[FYI] (Fwd) [Freesw] Public support of free software in Europe

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From:           	Nicolas Pettiaux <nicolas.pettiaux@linuxbe.org>
Date sent:      	Thu, 9 Nov 2000 05:03:58 +0100
To:             	openhealth-list@minoru-development.com
Priority:       	urgent
Subject:        	[Freesw] Public support of free software in Europe
Send reply to:  	freesw@conecta.it

Here is a very good news to me ...

Nice, 8 November 2000

The French city of Nice is hosting the 2000 edition of the European
Information Society Technologies conference (IST2000), a large event
attended by about 3500 people where status about the developpement and
support on the important subject of IST in Europe is stressed and

More info can be found on http://istevent.cec.eu.int/

This year event whose title is "The Information Society for All" was
introduced by Mrs. Nicole Fontaine, President of the European

In her opening speech (to be found in French at
http://istevent.cec.eu.int/sessiondocs/Summary_417_sumfr_pdf.pdf, see
end of page 6), Mrs Fontaine said : "With this intention, the role of
education will be essential, but it is necessary also that all the
Member States of the Union understand that it is in the interest of
their national cohesion, to multiply the convergent initiatives, and
in particular to develop the " free software " and the " sources open
" in particular within the public institutions, to exclude the
discriminatory accesses, to reduce the personal costs of access to
Internet, to accept the redistribution of the European funds which are
devoted to the assistance with the isolated areas, handicapped or in
difficulty of the economic situation, so that the company of
information is really accessible to all." (personnal translation)

This is quite a support for the free and open-source software

Further support and evidence of this was the fact that a plenary
session fully devoted to "Free / open source software" was organized
in the

The contributors were

Mr. Richard Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software

Mr. Guillermo Lozano, president of the Columbian association of
researchers for the advancement of sciences and technologies,

Mr. Mark Cathcart, Technology strategist from IBM Corporate Technology

Mr. Jesús M. González-Barahona, professor at Universidad Rey Juan
Carlos Spain, and

Mr. Erkki Liikanen, member of the European Commission for Enterprise
and Information Society.

(for more information see
http://istevent.cec.eu.int/en/details.asp?session=4&lang=eng )

The keynote speech, given by a Richard Stallman, provided an overview
of the state of the play in this area. He traced the origin, reasons
and characteristics of the free software movement, explained the
licenses that are a decisive key and alerted the audience about the
problem of software patents.

Guillermo Lozano gave an overview of the benefit of using Free/Open
software in developing countries, and explained why they can
contribute significatively to the developpement of these countries and
why, in this specific domain recongized for their importance in the
world, these "poor" countries can contribute to the wealth of the
world, and that this is exceptionnal.

Mr. Mark Cathcart gave us the point of view of a key private company,
IBM, showing why and IBM's implication was important and profound,
telling us that IBM is really building a strategy on Free/Open
software. About the question of software patent, Mark Cathcart told us
why IBM as a company needed sometimes to protect itself, that in the
present world there was sometimes few other ways than using patents
but also that IBM would probably seriously consider another way of
doing if it exists (that can encourage people to look and try to find
another better system)

Mr. Jesús M. González-Barahona explained the audience why learning
computer sciences with Free/Open software was better than with
proprietary software, allowing the students to use more the systems
they studied, to learn the foundation and building blocks of these
systems, and also learn the best way to contribute and write software
by reading and learning from the best contribution, in the very same
way a novelist learn by reading novels.

Finally commissioner Mr. Erkki Liikanen told us the importance of
Free/Open software for Europe, and presented some of the activities of
the European Commission has engaged in supporting and financing the
developpement and use of Free/Open software. He told us that more
would come with the next program. We are all expecting to see it.

Due to the bad weather that covered Europe on Monday, we could not
hear Mr. Thierry Carcenac, representative. Mr Thierry Carcenac is
member of parlemement French.  He is a also president of the general
Council of the Tarn and assistant Maire of Lescure-to Albigensian in
the Tarn. He is charged by the French government of a mission
concerning the use and basis of the information systems in the
administrations which will examine in particular the interest of the
Free / open software and the means of supporting them.

Finally, some members of the audience have commented that there were
law propositions in Europe and elsewhere (France, Belgium, Brazil)
about the use of open standards, for example in administration.

Nicolas Pettiaux
Avenue du Pérou 29 - B-1000 Bruxelles
Email: nicolas.pettiaux@linuxbe.org

Freesw mailing list
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