Proposed French Law Would Mandate Free Software Use By GovernmentDec 23, 1999, 03:15 (22 Talkback[s])
[ Linux Today reader Jerome Alet writes: ]
In France, three months ago, three senators proposed a legislative bill (number 495), making it obligatory for the French government to use free software.
After recently completing public discussion of the proposed law, a new version (number 117) has been written, taking into account many comments from the free software community concerning the "logiciel libre" definition.
If this bill passes, all the branches of French government will have to use free software exclusively beginning January 1, 2002. They will be allowed to use non-free software only if no free software alternative exists. A "Agence du Logiciel Libre" (Free Software Agency) will be created in order to control the use of non-free software and help to seek for (and I hope fund) free software alternatives.
You can examine both the French Senate bill #495 and its new version #117 side by side, in French, on the French Senate website
Because this proposed law is short, Babelfish should translate it entirely.
This law also includes provisions about the use of electronic signatures and others.