EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Huge 180 in Favour of Free Software and ODF in the UK

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law at 5:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US and UK flags

SEVERAL READERS urged us to mention the big news from the UK. This comes as a great surprise given the government's attitude towards Free software.

Here is the source of the news where Free software affinity is shown (they call it “open source”).

Open Source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades: it has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations; it has shown how giant corporations themselves, and Governments, can become more innovative, more agile and more cost-effective by building on the fruits of community work; and from its IT base the Open Source movement has given leadership to new thinking about intellectual property rights and the availability of information for re–use by others.

Coverage we were able to pick up is as follows.

OSI: UK Government Getting Real About Open Source

As billions of bail-out dollars become trillions, it is clear that we need to be realistic about the nature and the solutions to our world-wide software crisis. Today the world spends more than $3T USD per year on systems that are largely based on vendor lock-in, not value and not free and fair competition. What is most shocking about the $3T USD number is not its sheer size alone, but the fact that fully $1T USD of that number is written off ever year when people are forced to abandon their projects before putting them into production. The place to fix that problem is not in any specific piece of software (most of which has 20-30 defects per 1000 source lines of code), but in the fundamental system of competition that is responsible for ensuring that malignant software can be successfully removed in the first place. The UK Government’s decision is a strong step in the direction of properly restoring the right kind of competition in the marketplace. The days of rewarding past performance, especially the performance of amassing billions of dollars based on strategic lock-in, must be put behind us. And we should treat any use of such funds for furthering vendor lock-in as extremely suspect and worthy of an immediate and full investigation.

Computer Weekly (UK): Government pushes open source with 10-point plan

The government is getting serious about using open source as a building block in systems development.

Yesterday its top IT policy-making body, the CIO Council, published a10

point action plan that frees central and local government departments to use open source systems where possible.

IDG: Open Source? Labour’s Working on It

There’s no doubt that in the UK the winners so far have been the Conservatives, who have seized on open source as a stick with which to beat the current government’s miserable record on large-scale IT projects, most of which have been way over budget at best, and utter failures at worst (with some managing both).

This has understandably put pressure on Labour to come up with a riposte, and yesterday it was unveiled in the form of something called “Open Source, Open Standards and Re–Use: Government Action Plan” (there’s a handy version from WriteToReply here, where you can add your comments.

BBC: UK government backs open source

The UK government has said it will accelerate the use of open source software in public services.

Tom Watson MP, minister for digital engagement, said open source software would be on a level playing field with proprietary software such as Windows.

Advogato: Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use: UK Government Policy

The UK Government has made it clear that Open Source and Open Standards, with a focus on re-use of software development and deployment, is to clearly and unequivocably be part of the decision-making for UK Government I.T. procurement and contracting. Also part of the policy is a clear committment to engage with the Free Software community and to actively encourage the development of “Government-Class” Free Software products.

Alan Lard: UK Government: Starts The Push For FOSS?

Whoa! This comes from the Chief Information Office Council. Yes, the Government is so big they can’t have just one CIO like even the biggest Enterprise, they have to have a whole council of them ;-)

Jupitermedia: Is the UK going open source?

The new UK initiative however is not a wholesale rip and replace of the proprietary tools it already uses. It does not restrict the use of proprietary software either, but rather ‘supports’ open standards over closed proprietary lock-in.

Simon Phipps (Sun): UK Government Endorses Open Source and ODF

Late today (UK time), the British Government issued a bold new strategy for use of open source software – and open standards – in Great Britain. In Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use, the government’s Minister for Digital Engagement (yes, really, and he’s on Twitter too) significantly revised the brave but toothless policy of 2004 “that it should seek to use Open Source where it gave the best value for money to the taxpayer in delivering public services”. This is fantastic news – the digital tipping point is at hand. (The publication is also progressive in having nominated use of the tag “#ukgovOSS” in comment and coverage so it can be found and aggregated).

The Register: Government publishes open-source strategy

The announcement follows a recent declaration by shadow chancellor George Osborne that the Conservative Party favours the greater use of open source and would take action to prove a “level playing field”.

VNUNet: Government publishes open-source strategy

Heise: UK Government policy update supports open source

Torygraph: Labour disingenously adopts Tory position on open source software

There will surely be plenty more in days to come. Since the UK is one of the countries closest this Microsoft, this is pretty major. Microsoft partners like Fortify [1, 2] will soon try to rain on this parade or maybe even 'pull a Quinn' on the CIO in charge.

“[W]hat things an app would do that would make it run with MSDOS and not run with DR-DOS. Is there [sic] feature they have that might get in our way?”

Bill Gates

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Jose_X said,

    February 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm


    I’ll quote a pessimistic interpretation from irc:
    “Open Source, Open Standards and Re–Use: Government Action Plan” – - >
    “Shared Source, OOXML, and reuse Windows: Government Buyout Plan”

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 27, 2009 at 1:10 am


    180 degree change on my part from my prior comment/view.. because now I actually read the news story. It seems FOSS companies will (in theory) almost be guaranteed to win contracts because the UK has properly based their requirements on maximizing value, which is where FOSS excels.

    See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7910110.stm

What Else is New

  1. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  2. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  3. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  4. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  5. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  6. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  7. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  8. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  9. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  10. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  11. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  12. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  13. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  14. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  15. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  16. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  17. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  18. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  19. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  20. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  21. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  22. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  23. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  24. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  25. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  26. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  27. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  28. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  29. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  30. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts