Archive for September 1st, 2002

More on Venezuela goes Open Source: The juicy details…Dream On confirmed

September 1, 2002

Well, as the details of the Government’s announcement are better known the more I reinforce what I said in the last post: Dream On. Moreover the Minister of Planning has left himself open for a fierce attack by all sides as two of the permanent advisors to his Ministry on the subject, have very strong Linux commercial interests.

The Announcement:

1) All information published by the State has to follow an international standard with at least one free implementation.

2) All projects for software production financed by the State have to be done on free and open software.

3) All Government databases must be convertible into other databases in transparent form, without any additional cost.

4) All purchases have been suspended and current licenses will not be renewed.

In the presentation the Minister said: “The bases for everything is cooperativism, free software is based on true love ” Note the quotes……He also said “Free software up to where it is possible, proprietary software when it is indispensable”…..Ummmm, do I see a hole here?

Well, given 4) I am sure the inefficient Venezuelan Government is going to become even more inefficient soon. Maybe it is irrelevant, it takes months anyway to get a passport or driver’s license or national ID card, all of which are issued on Windows based systems.

To complete the circle, the Ministers has three advisors. One of them is the owner of Corvus Latinoamerica a company that represents Open Linux, Caldera and Red Hat  according to today’s paper (They at least support RedHat, I haven’t been able to confirm they represent it). A second one owns a company called Linux Systems in Venezuela. I can’t imagine what this company sells. Thus there appears to be at least a strong conflict of interest, good message to start fighting corruption.

Get the feeling this project is starting with the wrong foot. To implement 4) the only possibility is simply to continue using software licenses illegally, but Venezuela has signed the WTO agreement. As usual in Venezuela, stay tuned….this does not end here.