Talk: The water in which we swim - Policy issues around Free Software

Free Software in Politics
Saturday 12th of November, 2011

by Karsten Gerloff

Free Software does not exist in a vacuum. Whether it's patents, standards or procurement, laws and policies create the conditions under which Free Software developers, users and companies work.

With the recent patent sales by Novell and Nortel, software patents have become a key issue for competition policy. At the same time, the European Union is working to introduce a unitary patent that could make the danger of software patents in Europe even more acute than it already is.

Citizens, Free Software companies and strained national budgets would all benefit from more Free Software use in the public sector. Yet public buyers too often skirt the rules in order to stick with proprietary systems.

The talk will provide an overview of current policy issues related to Free Software in Europe and internationally, and will highlight different ways to get involved in creating an environment where Free Software can thrive.

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