[FSFE PR][EN] German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free Software?

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Wed May 11 22:45:38 CEST 2011

= German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free
Software? =

[Permant URL http://fsfe.org/news/2011/news-20110511-01.en.html ]

Berlin 11. May 2011. In the case of the Foreign Office turning away from
Free Software, the German Government is entangling itself in
contradictions. The reaction of the Government to an inquiry by "Bündnis
90/Grüne" has led to more pending questions than answers.

"Many replies show that the government either doesn't understand
important aspects of Free Software or is deliberately offending Free
Software in general as well as Free Software companies in particular"
says Matthias Kirschner, Germany coordinator of Free Software Foundation
Europe (FSFE).

The government argues that the developments in the Foreign Office
constitute a "turning away from the policy of exclusively using open
source software." At the same time, the government has confirmed that
they will migrate to Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010.

"The statements that Free Software would be worse to use, would cause
additional expenses on hardware, and that a lack of warranty would exist
are imaginative perceptions rather than fitting into a serious reply
from the government" said Elmar Geese, president of the "Linux-Verband".

Furthermore the response of the German Government has raised new
questions. The government mentioned that 4.3 million Euro have been
spent on a Free Software federal GNU/Linux distribution which apparently
has never been finished. "We wonder what has happened to that project
and what the money has actually been spent on" said Matthias Kirschner.

The FSFE and the "Linux-Verband" will work on an analysis of the reply
together with those who are interested.

- The reply of the German Federal Government (German)
- Some comments in a blog entry (German)
- Public plattform to comment the questions (German)

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.


  Contact: Matthias Kirschner, Free Software Foundation Europe,
  Linienstr. 141, 10115 Berlin, t +49-30-27595290, m +49-1577-1780003

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