FC: French MPs propose open source software law, access to source code]
jmontgomery at hotbot.com
Tue Apr 25 08:51:22 EDT 2000
I beleive this is actually in response to a problem the French Government had with a software vendor. Some company bid really low to redesign their systems, and won the contract. Months later when the government wanted to modify something, they had to go back to the same company - it was proprietary code - and the company charged them an arm and a leg.
I suppose there is no better way for a government to learn than having first hand experience with something.
When will this happen to the US Gov't?
On Mon, 24 Apr 2000 23:34:52 Michael Thomas wrote:
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: [sungroup] FC: French MPs propose open source software law,
>access to source code
>Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 15:49:12 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Paul Jones <pjones at metalab.unc.edu>
>french socialists press for open code. will all documentation be
>to be bilingual as well? this is quite a turn for a country that
>in supporting "artists' moral rights" to works even after the works have
>been sold and resold several time.
>Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 13:45:29 +0200
>From: Jean-Yves Le Diaut <jy at ledeaut.org>
>Subject: [PR] French MPs propose to generalise the use of open
>access to the source code and introduce the 'right to develop compatible
> French MPs propose to generalise the use of open standards, access
> the source code and introduce the "right to develop compatible
> Paris, 4/21/2000
> For immediate release
> Paris, 4/21/2000 - Jean-Yves Le Diaut, Christian Paul & Pierre
> 3 socialist French MPs belonging to the governmental majority, are
> proposing a law in order to "increase liberties and consumer
> protection, and improve economic competition in the information
> society". This law requires the use of open standards as well as
> software which source code is accessible in all public
> and organisations. Moreover, this law guarantees the possibility for
> anyone to freely develop, publish and use compatible software, even
> the case a patent or a trademark was filed for some communication
> This law is based on 5 historical, juridical or constitutional
> principles: free access to public information, retrievability of
> public data, national security, consumer security and
> The principle of free access to public information requires that
> whenever digital data is exchanged with citizens or between public
> administrations, the way this data is encoded and exchanged should
> depend on the technology of a single vendor but rather use public
> encoding techniques and protocols, also known as open communication
> standards. Therefore, Article 1 states that "whenever exchanging
> digital information, public administrations, organisations and
> agencies are required to use open communication standards, based on
> public rules and processes to exchange digital data."
> The principle of retrievability of public data requires that digital
> data created and archived by public administrations should be
> retrievable in its original form at any point in time, even after 10
> or 20 years, even if the software which was used to create this data
> is no longer maintained by its vendor. The only way to guarantee
> is to use software which source code is available. Moreover,
> considering the recent advances of the Echelon digital intelligence
> system, access to the source code is also required for national
> security in order to ensure that software used by public
> administrations and organisations do not include security holes.
> Therefore, Article 2 states that "public administrations,
> organisations and agencies are required to use software which source
> code they can access."
> In order to raise the level of competition in the information
> this law guarantees the right to develop compatible software. This
> protects commercial publishers of proprietary software and developer
> communities of free software against anticompetitive strategies by
> enforcing in a practical matter the interoperability principle
> introduced in the European software directive of 1991. Therefore,
> Article 3 states that "any individual or moral person has the right
> develop, publish and use an original software which is compatible
> whith the communication standards of another software."
> More competition means more choice for the consumer, thus more
> security. And, as it has been proven lately, more competition from
> free software means more open standards and higher privacy because
> free software can be freely adapted, redistributed and modified to
> each customer's needs. As a consequence, this law tends to increase
> liberties and consumer protection in the information society.
> This law can be implemented immediately because most software
> publishers are ready to adopt open communication standards such as
> those defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the
> Engineering Task Force (IETF). Most publishers of proprietary
> software, including Microsoft, have also publicly stated that they
> ready to grant the French administration access to the source code
> their products.
> This law reminds that, in a market economy, States can play a
> significant role on the economy and preserve the public interest.
> Constitution frangaise -
> Directive de 1991 sur le logiciel -
> Application de l'Article 19 du code des marchis industriels -
> Code de la propriiti intellectuelle - Article L122-6-1 -
> About Jean-Yves Le Diaut, PhD
> Jean-Yves Le Diaut, 55, is a socialist member of parliament elected
> the Meurthe-et-Moselle prefecture (Lorraine). He is the chairman and
> co-chairman of the Office of Technology Assessment. He is author of
> reports on nuclear energy, waste, geneticaly modified organism, AIDS
> and research policy. As a professor of University, he is national
> delegate for technologies at the French Socialist Party.
> About Christian Paul
> Chistian Paul, 40, has been a socialist member of parliament elected
> in the Nihvre prefecture (Bourgogne) from 1997. He is in charge of
> research group on new information and communication technologies at
> the national parliament and organised the first French Days on
> Internet. He is national secretary for agriculture and rural
> development at the French Socialist Party.
> About Pierre Cohen
> Pierre Cohen , 40, has been a socialist member of parliament elected
> in the Haute Garonne prefecture (Midi Pyrinies) from 1997. He is
> responsible for research for the social group at the national
> parliament and, together with Jean-Yves Le Diaut, wrote a report on
> the French Research Policy which was provided in 1999 to the French
> Prime Minister.
> Press Contact
> Jean-Yves Le Diaut
> Phone: 01 40 63 88 10
> Email: jy at ledeaut.org
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