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Open source programmes and competition

From April 2004 issue of Norden - the Top of Europe: 

Nordic institutions should use open source IT programmes and work with 
the Nordic states to guarantee a level playing field for open source 
software and commercial products. 

Purchasing policies should be used to help generate free competition, 
freedom of choice and independence in terms of products and suppliers, 
the Nordic Council has proposed.

"Our proposal is based on the premise that it is desirable, not least 
from a democratic point of view, that all citizens should be able to 
communicate with public institutions irrespective of the type of 
software they use," said the Norwegian politician Raymond Robertsen, 
one of the architects behind the proposal for a new Nordic policy for 
open source and open standards.

"It is also important that the proposal promotes competition and seeks 
to eradicate the monopoly situation we face today. We believe that open 
standards and programmes promote IT R&D," he said.

A large number of institutions and other Nordic bodies have already 
benefited from the savings made by switching to open source programmes. 
The Nordic Council would like to spread information about their 
experiences and make the Nordic Region one of the leading centres for 
the research into, and use of, new technological standards.

The Nordic Council has proposed the establishment of a Nordic Centre of 
Excellence similar to the Netherlands Open Source Centre (ososs.nl) to 
provide advice on the purchase and/or use of open source programmes, 
and to develop best-practice models. NordicOS has been suggested as a 
possible starting point for such a centre, and the IT industry is 
expected to participate both in order to gain expertise and to obtain 
financial benefits. An IT network in the non-commercial sphere between 
universities, interest groups and others has also been suggested as 
another means of supporting the continued development of open sources 
and standards.

Further info from Raymond Robertsen on mobile tel.: +47 908 37 137

Further info on-line at: [in Danish] 

About Nordic Council: 

- Knut Yrvin
Project manager Skolelinux Norway

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