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Sunday, December 4th, 2005, 3:54 am

France to Ban Open Source Software?

PenguinsThe answer is actually rather complex.

The Free Software Foundation in France argues that the French government considers a ban on free software. Taking into account the possible implications (namely controversy), I initially believed this to be an overstatement or a case of quote-mining.

Will the French be forced to use Internet Explorer (bearing in mind that Opera is now free)? I am not sure what the motive of the government actually is, but I can only speculate. Perhaps it is shielding people’s jobs — primarily in the software industry, that is. Maybe it is the realisation of that DRM and the like suffer from OSS (if not vice versa).

Clarifications soon emerged in a newsgroup that I regularly read (posted by 7):

What they are trying to say is that a new law passed in France will allow those that publish any software to access protected content will face prosecution from those that are harmed by that software. Because any software can become a target, even free software is also a target.

It seems fatally flawed, because you could publish it as two separate modules and have the thing working only when they are brought together by the user as happens now with certain codecs.

In any case, the whole world is running away from DRM because it denies mind share and contributes to elimination of public interest in a companies product, and thus eliminate their revenue!

The day is coming when DRM is burned along side the word hate in the public’s mind.

And nobody will want to touch it and instead opt to go with sharing friendly companies that allows media to be downloaded and stored permanently and transferrably on hard disks and players.

In other (and better) news, the 2008 Olympic Games aim for an Open Source migration.

Contextually-related : No Software Patents in Europe

3 Responses to “France to Ban Open Source Software?”

  1. Firefox Says:

    France to Ban Open Source Software?
    Complications as only the French can imagine….

  2. tomdeb Says:

    It’s really odd …
    the fsf france website is down,
    From all the websites of the main newspapers in france, none of them seem to be very interested about this. Once again this is not worthwhile for journalists.
    Please help and sign the petition
    I couldn’t find any translation but don’t hesitate to mail me if required

  3. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    The media is very rarely concerned when it comes to software which does not run on a PC (read: does not run under Windows). Papers whose readers follow the flock do not give equal ‘air time’ to all sides unfortunately.

    Thanks for the petition link and let us hope for a full and successful OSS migration in Paris.

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