Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft CEO Might Try to Shoot Down Portugal's Open Standards Bill

In a previous and fairly recent post, the things Microsoft does in Portugal were summarised. This showed a ruthless response to the increasing adoption of Free software in that country. More recently we tried to explain why Microsoft's CEO is coming to Portugal and there was an ongoing discussion about it.



The relevant and corresponding reports are in Portuguese, but readers of this Web site who live in Portugal have helped. Listed below are two articles that may be handy for future reference. Both articles are in Portuguese, but we quote portions of their automated translation to English.

First article (English translation):

Draft Law No. 577 / X - open standards for computing the state



PCP presented in a draft-HR law for the adoption of open standards in systems of the state. For the CFP, public services - and public documents - can not use private formats (owners), coming from large corporations in computing. This project-law enshrines the protection of the freedom of citizens and technological organizations, the independence of the state before the multinationals and compatibility between systems.


Second article (English translation):

CFP presents draft law for the use of free formats in the State



The Portuguese Communist Party, through Mr Bruno Dias, Bernardino Soares, Miguel Tiago, Francisco Lopes, Agostinho Lopes, has submitted a draft law to the compulsory use of formats free and open systems in the state.

The following requirements are used to classify a CFP by an open standard format:

* is adopted and maintained by a nonprofit organization and its development stems from a decision-making process open, both in decision-making and the participation of all stakeholders; * the specification is available freely, without any restriction on their use, distribution and copy; * intellectual property rights and patents of the standard must at least be in the majority, publicly available on an irrevocable and irreversible; * there must be no restrictions on the reuse of the standard.


Our readers from Portugal, who are Free software-savvy, believe that Steve Ballmer is coming to Portugal in order to intercept these policy changes. "Look[s] like that open source law project is going to be applied soon in Portugal," said one of them just minutes ago, having researched the subject.

We may have seen this type of reaction before in the Philippines and in South Africa. There are other examples like China. Vigilance remains important.

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