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Re: [Fsfe-uk] [Fwd: Software patents]

From: Ian Lynch
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] [Fwd: Software patents]
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 22:36:01 +0100

On Thu, 2004-07-22 at 21:07, Philip Hunt wrote:
> On Thursday 22 July 2004 11:04 am, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > On Thu, 2004-07-22 at 10:58 +0100, Ian Lynch wrote:
> > > This seems to be a standard letter sent out by Arlene McCarthy. Is it a
> > > softening of her position or is it a distortion to try and curry favour?
> >
> > It is bizarre and strange. She will defend Parliament's position?! I
> > hope so, but I don't believe it.
> Perhaps, as an MEP, McCarthy is annoyed with the way the CoM has blatently
> ignored the elected parliament. Perhaps also, this issue is more important 
> to her than the issue of software patents.
> (I've no idea if any of this is true; I'm just guessing).
> > I think it's more encouraging text than I've seen from her in the past,
> > but I'm not convinced it necessarily counts for anything at this point.
> I agree; it's too earlyb to tell whether this is a significant shift from
> her.

I just got a letter to-day acknowledging a reply to a letter from Ivan
Lewis the schools minister and signed by the Head of Infrastructure for
ICT at the DfES who I also E-mailed on a separate occasion. At worst it
shows they are taking some notice, they haven't just ignored it. Maybe,
just maybe the tide is beginning to turn (eternal optimist :-) ). 

It says the matter is under consideration and they'll send me a full
reply by the 11th of August. So maybe they are going to think about it.

If anyone wants to see the letters I sent I can E-mail them. Bit
difficult to do their reply as it came by snail mail but you'd probably
get the gist from the two letters I sent. 

If anyone has time to E-mail address@hidden and ask why
the government is supporting proprietary licensed software with £100m
plus of Government money annually and investing nothing in community
development for education by way of commissioning FLOSS applications it
might be useful. Best to spread this out a bit rather than all mail him
as soon as you see this. eg choose a random number from 1 to 50 and post
after that many days. If there is a steady flow of fairly random
correspondence of this type it will be noticed and passed on to the
Minister - there is an election coming up. Be polite, something like "as
a life long Labour voter I'm surprised that..."

Doesn't have to be long short, polite and to the point is better. 

A key issue is that the gov. has an inclusion policy so getting kids to
use OpenOffice.org at home and having it at school helps because we
aren't accentuating the digital divide by putting up the cost of ICT for
home users by only having MSO at school. Its really a no brainer.
GNU/LinuX is more complicated and can get bogged down in TCO arguments.
There really is no such argument with an office suite that is highly
compatible with MSO. If we can win that battle we can then take the next
step. All I'm suggesting is that the DfES publicises the viability of
this strategy initially. Let's sound ultra reasonable and make it very
difficult to turn us away.

Ian Lynch <address@hidden>

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