June in France

Two weeks ago I was writing about the French Government watering down a pro- Free Software amendment. This week brought some interesting news about France again:


  • Fleur Pellerin, a Free Software enthusiast?

At Mozilla’s official Paris headquarters’ opening, our Minister in charge of digital economy gave a nice speech (FR) celebrating Free Software.

Those [Mozilla and Free Software’s] values are access to knowledge for all, trust and amplification of the Internet’s general interest aspect. It is also social values: forwarding a virtuous, open, participatory model of society, where data is above all considered as a good accessible to the greatest possible number of people and a source of knowledge that anyone can use, improve and share.

She talked about how great Free Software is for innovation and economy, and stressed the work of the current government on the issue – especially with their 2012 memorandum (EN) about the use of Free Software in French public administration.

French Government and digital freedom, one step forward two steps backward (or the contrary…)?


  • What is MIMO …?

This week again, we discovered a blog post by the Document Foundation welcoming “MIMO” in its Advisory Board. MIMO seems to be an interdepartmental working group composed of representatives of 9 French ministries, working on “open office software” (bureautique ouverte).

Here is the only official page I could find about MIMO. Lovely design!

I don’t really get the idea. They made a CD to install (a special?) version 3.5  of Libre Office for Windows. They should also offer other Free Software for the administration, but I could not find much on their list.

According to the Document Foundation, MIMO is testing and approving one version of LibreOffice per year. They ensure that it is compatible with the IT infrastructure and processes of member ministries. They are said to have several working groups (cloud computing, the organisation and planning of IT systems, Open Source…) but have no official website. Intriguing..


  • A provision on unitary patent hidden in a draft law on Advanced Education and Research

Talking about intriguing things, April highlighted (FR) two interesting amendments to the draft law on Advanced Education and Research that will be discussed this week by the French Sénat in plenary session.

They would allow the ratification of the European agreement on unified patent jurisdiction. As the law is examined under an emergency procedure, it will only be discussed once in the Sénat. Nice way to put a highly controversial issue to vote.

The agreement on unitary patent gives a lot of power to the European Patent Office (EPO). And even if they are not supposed to exist in Europe, EPO has been granting software patent for years, calling them patent on “computer implemented inventions”.

Let’s see if it generates any debate in the French Sénat..


  • Priority to Free Software in education: second reading in the Sénat

The weak new version of the law will be discussed again on Monday 24, next week.

Busy time!