08.24.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

Potentially Illegal Exclusion of Free Software in European Governments

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

House of Lords

Summary: News from the UK and from Romania seems to suggest that there is unfair marginalisation of software the public can access and in Romania this may also be illegal

A few days ago in The Register, a criticism of the British government for ignoring Free/libre software was published. We included that in the daily links. But much better coverage comes from Mark Ballard, who alleges that the “Cabinet Office builds open source strategy on proprietary software”. Quoting his interpretation of the situation: “The Cabinet Office has chosen a proprietary software system to implement the keystone of its policy to create a level playing field for open source.

“They discovered the same problems that inspired Cabinet Office open source policy hindered their bidding for its own work.”
      –Mark Ballard
“Under pressure to fulfil the government’s election promise to eradicate systemic bias against open source software, the Cabinet Office rushed through a procurement for an asset register last month. But it raised hackles among open source suppliers it invited to bid. They discovered the same problems that inspired Cabinet Office open source policy hindered their bidding for its own work.”

When it comes to the public sector, we recently compared to the situation in the UK to that of Romania. A European Union-funded research site, OSOR, has caught up with the absurdities in Romania which seem like they may be illegally anti-competitive. To quote:

Experts on procurement involving open source software doubt the validity of a tender published by the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) in July, in which it bans solutions based on open source licences. The ministry’s justification of the ban “seems to be odd and not convincing and that makes me wonder if it would stand in court”, comments for instance Mathieu Paapst, an open source and software procurement specialist at the Dutch university of Groningen.

“The ministry’s ban may reflect a lack of understanding of open source”, tentatively supposes Patrice-Emmanual Schmitz, a Brussel-based specialist on the European Union’s open source licence, the EUPL, working at IT firm Unisys (and one of the consultants involved in the OSOR). “It is a very surprising prohibition.”

This is probably not the end of it. Techrights got the attention (links) of many Romanians after it had posted a couple of articles about this issue. These issues must be pointed out in order for change to happen.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 9/12/2021: Pgpool-II 4.3.0 and European Commission Releases Free Software

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 08, 2021



  3. Microsoft Corporation is Still Protecting a Violent Criminal Who Assaults Women (Employing Him as Manager, Protecting Him From Arrest, Paying Him a Salary)

    Ahead of court and amid arrest warrant Microsoft still deems this a good idea? Then again, this same company works for ICE, helping to kidnap babies from their mothers...



  4. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  5. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  6. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  7. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  8. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley (Updated)

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  10. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  12. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  13. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  14. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  15. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  17. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  18. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  19. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  20. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  23. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  24. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  25. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  26. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  27. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  28. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  30. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://


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