Death (and resurrection?) of Free Software in French schools

 

  • Priority given to Free Software in French school definitely buried

On June 25 the French Senat voted the final version of the law on education, accepting a governmental amendment weakening the bill’s Free Software provision. Procurement for e-learning services now has to “consider Free Software and open format offers, if any”. No more priority given to Free Software solutions, unfortunately.

 

  • Higher education bill: Free Software returns!

Like a zombie rising up from its grave, the prioritisation of Free Software has come back! Thanks to an amendment introduced last week in first reading by the Senat, section 6 of the draft law on Higher Education now states that

the public service for Higher Education prioritises the use of “Copyright-free software”.

We can assume that the wording is just a mistake and will be corrected (all software, including Free Software, is copyrighted; only public domain software is not). In the official explanation of why he introduced the amendment, Senator Le Scouarnec is clearly talking about Free Software and not “Copyright-free software”, as April reports.

A commission composed of members of the Senat and of the National Assembly is meeting this afternoon -probably right now- to write a common new version of the bill. Will it include the Free Software amendment voted by the Senat? Answer in the next episode.

Following April’s call for action (FR), I spent the whole morning calling and writing emails to members of this commission. It would have been nice to coordinate better and earlier; FSFE and its French fellows could have helped!

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