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
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