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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Munich, swpat and Linux - possible in UK

From: Ralph Janke
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Munich, swpat and Linux - possible in UK
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 17:08:33 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 (Windows/20040207)

Ian Lynch wrote:

On Thu, 2004-08-05 at 11:19, Chris Croughton wrote:
On Thu, Aug 05, 2004 at 02:00:49AM +0100, Tom Chance wrote:

After the recent news about the Green Party stirring the city of Munich into anti-software patent action [1],
I think anti-software sums it up.  It's a good example of people being
scared by SP issues, certainly, but putting the project "on hold" is not
something we want.  If the mayor's view has any effect then that will be
good (perhaps the German government is more responsive to their local
councils than the UK one, it could hardly be less).

it made me think: would this be remotely possible in the UK? Are there
any Government-related projects that use Linux
Are there any at all?  I suppose education is sort of "government
related", but not very.

Its very Gov related but fragmented. Schools are budget holders. That is
an advantage in getting minority products to those that know, but a
disadvantage in terms of using this as a lever with the DfES - at least
until there are a lot of schools doing it.

The problem are often the LEAs. I.e. in Birmingham the LEA has an organisation called EdIT which is requiring schools to have administrative software that currenntly runs only under MS and is also proprietory. In order to change that part of the schools, a alternative free software solution must be created and IT organisations that make LEA wide decisions must either be broken up or change their policies as well....

Otherwise I agree. The schools are the budget holders. However, the governors are the ultimate responsible. Maybe we should start some information distribution via the governor's network about solutions for schools using free software and the financial advantages of it. Since I am a governor in a primary school, and my wife is actually a saff-governor in the secondary school I work in, we can make sure such information is distributed among the governors in at least those two schools.

I will also soon be a strategical IT advisor in an umbrella organisation for lots of schools in the central Birmingham area. All such information might help to turn some opinions in such organisations as well...

Ralph Janke

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