The opening up of innovation in Europe

Although we have to face difficult times for the economy, we also have to think about the future growth of Europe. One of the aims of Innovation Union and its financial instrument Horizon 2020 is to boost Europe’s competitiveness via innovation.

As FSFE suggested in its position paper concerning Horizon 2020, education and developing future talent in Europe will be crucial for this.

First of all because technology literacy is essential to better understand and make better use of technology.

Second, while on other parts of the World following the logic of internet, universities are publishing not only lecture notes but also online courses, Europe should also support these activities.

Open Access to publicly founded research results is also essential for up-to-date knowledge and the development of new innovations.

Hungarian government sponsors development of ODF tools

FS news from Hungary 🙂

The Hungarian government is investing 370 million HUF (about 1,23 million euro) in a three-year project to improve applications which use the open document format (ODF). The funds are shared between the software engineering department at the University of Szeged and Multiracio, an open source IT specialist developing EuroOffice, office applications based on LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

Gijs HILLENIUS on April 25, 2012, European Commission- Joinup

University of Szeged, Institute of Informatics, Department of Software Engineering

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: combating attacks against information systems

A new EU legislative framework proposal was published some time ago amied at combating (large scale) attacks against info systems. Learning from major past criminal offenses  it is obviously in the interest of Europe to be prepared against such attacks and punish those who committed them. The emphasis on the last part of the sentence as one wouldn’t punish the “hammer maker if once another person breaks the window with the hammer.” Clear definitions are crucial for this case and we need a bit more here than correcting grammatical faults in amendments. When voting on the issue in plenary the EP should consider that Europe is and has to remain a place for innovative software development.

Document Freedom Day conference, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

28th of March we celebrated the DFD in the EP, where a conference took place on this occasion.

Karsten Gerloff, president of FSFE gave a speech on the subject from a historical perspective, through the evolution of books, printing until the period of eBooks. This explained to the participants how things evolved and how we all became sort of printing press with technical change.

Whatever change the digital age brought, books still matter and the access to knowledge, memories, still remains in the interest of everyone.

Here at this point to give more emphasis on the argument that we, readers need Open Standards to own our books and not to give the control over them to companies he took the DFD handcuffs. (see picture)

It was a successful & surprising wake up moment for the audience…

Why are Open Standards important for the ebook market?

The e-publishing sector develops rapidly and offers several business opportunities as well as comfortable solutions for the readers. However the question remains-to what extent will readers be able to really own their ebooks? And does the ebook market really offer the freedom of choice?

The answer relies on Open Standards which are essential for interoperability, users’ freedom of choice and in addition help to avoid vendor lock-in. Once we buy or write a book it’s natural to expect that we fully possess it, can enjoy its content everytime and everywhere and of course pass it to someone else if we feel like. Although unfortunately in the digital environment this is less evident.

Stressing the public interest in non-market sharing of ebooks doesn’t mean that Open Standards on the ebook market don’t offer business opportunities at all. There are several existing business models which by recognizing the needs of a wider public, try to ensure that the ebooks are enjoyable regardless of file format or publisher .