[Fsfe-ie] OpenIreland.org

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Thu Jan 22 16:27:49 CET 2004

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:

> James Heald writes:
>>Are we in touch with these people ?
>>	http://www.openireland.org/
> yes, I met them a week ago.  They're not politically active and don't
> have a position on software patentability.

Um, of course they're politically active.

The whole reason for their existence is to persuade governments, opinion 
formers and the media of the value of open-source solutions; and along 
the road, fight off FUD from the likes of Microsoft and other antis.

Sure, they have *different* political priorities.  Their prime goal, 
understandably, is to sell more open source product.   If taking on 
"conraversial" legislation does not advance that goal, if instead it 
distracts from it, then obviously it's not something they'll want to 
take a lead role in.

But promotion of the usefulness of Free Software is definitely a key 
objective of IFSO, so to push ahead on this track, if no other, it would 
be very useful to have a good formalised relationship and co-recognition.

Secondly, having IFSO as a member should provide Open Ireland with a 
very important input of the sensitivities of non-commercial parts of the 
open community over issues which otherwise OI might not grasp the full 
tenderness of -- cf Open Forum Europe's blunder over swpat, and the 
vitriol and antagonism that brought down on them.

OFE has never recanted its software patents position.  OpenIreland may 
even be able to have some sisterly influence on OFE, even if swpat was 
never a formal OI campaign issue.  The better our links with OI, the 
more the informal meeting of minds we might be able to promote.

Finally, OFE has very good political contacts (and OI will be working 
similarly).  The more we are plugged into that sort of network of 
informal intelligence and advanced information about what is coming down 
the track, the better.

OI and IFSO are very different organisations, with different goals.  But 
IMHO there is a very strong case for the closest links -- eg IFSO 
membership of OI and vice-versa.

All best,


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