Free Software and Business/Administration (Was:Re: Italian e-govt investment and aid)

Georg Jakob jack at
Tue May 14 16:13:38 UTC 2002


On Tue, 14 May 2002, Karin Kosina kindly wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> ### Georg Jakob [Tue, May 14, 2002 at 02:27:47PM +0200]
> > Wrong - Local communities are the most 
> > important way to get into the market.
> I am aware that this is the way to do it, but I am astonished that this
> should be so easily possible. (If it is, I am of course pleasantly
> surprised.)

Easy it is not, Jedi. Very powerful the dark side is. 

> Is this just the webserver that is running on a free system, or are they
> actually using GNU/Linux internally for their administration? 

As of now, it's the webserver and only the webserver. But since the city 
senate's protocols are available via the web, they  consider it part of 

There was (and still is) quite heavy  competition between Free Software 
based solutions and proprietary ones, the reason why ours won is that it 
*works*. An awareness of Licensing issues is only beginning to grow, like 
a precious little flower, very sensilbe and shy.

And you have to compromise: In June, they will get a GNU/Linux based 
messaging server. So, the OS is free, the messaging software not. It was 
either this or they would have bought an MS Exchange Server. Period.

> That's
> hard to believe for me after the experiences I've had with governmental
> and administrative institutions...

Free Software:
1.) works
2.) is more secure than what MS offers
3.) creates a strategic alternative if one day MS might overdo it's 
    licensing policy.

in that order. Anything else is irrelevant at the moment - for customers.

I know that this sounds like open source speak, but I think that's exactly 
why we *need* the FSF - to talk about freedom, to create awareness. If you 
talk about freedom in a sales presentation, you'll be laughed out of business 
quicker than you can say "GNU". 

But the FSF (*not* the OSI) gives us the possibility to change that.

Beware the dark side...

kindest regards,                   University of Salzburg
Georg Jakob            Department for Law and Informatics
jack at                 ++43-(0)662-8044-3559
key ID 1ADA7E2C

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