Feeds

French bid to boost open source

New license given cautious welcome

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

In a bid to boost the spread of open source software in France, a group researchers has announced a new software license which they claim is compatible with the Free Software Foundation's GNU general public license (GPL).

The authors, whose work has been funded by three government bodies, say the licence is necessary because of idiosyncrasies in French law. These mean consumer product manufacturers can't absolve themselves of total responsibility for their product, so open source writers often can't release code without exposing themselves to financial risk.

The new license, called CeCILL, includes a stipulation that the software is offered under license only to knowledgeable users, so limiting, but not eliminating, the liability of the distributors.

The Free Software Foundation, Europe, has reacted cautiously, saying it would need time to study the license carefully before it could say whether or not it was truly compatible with the GNU GPL.

FSFE president, Georg Greve, told The Register: "Attempts at writing national licenses always have a strong tendency at nationalization of Free Software, creating incompatible islands that will not be able to cooperate with each other, eliminating one of the most important advantages of Free Software."

He argued that the most sensible course of action for the FSFE would be to continue to work on making sure the GNU GPL reflected the needs of different countries, and invited the French government and European PArliament to work with the FSFE in this endeavour.

A full English draft of the license is available here.

In separate news, the French Ministry of Equipment announced that it is replacing its old Windows NT infrastructure with versions of Madrakelinux Corporate Server. The deal covers about 1,500 of the department's 2,000 servers from which it serves its 60,000 users. ®

Related stories

MS offers 57% price cut as Paris tilts to open source
Sun nabs AIB desktop contract
UK e-gov 'needs shaking up'

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.