Spain: Basque Country embraces exclusively open source software

The Basque Country ruled that all the software applications made for the public utility and government must be open source: the autonomous community, located in Northeastern Spain, will push for “code sharing” between institutions, organizations and individual users publishing the FOSS software on its own Internet portal.

The “Irekia project”, as the local government calls it, “is underpinned by the conviction that any product generated by the administration using public resources must be able to be used freely by and at no cost for the citizens”. Therefore, “commitment toward open source software” is the way to go for the future.

The Basque Country expressly cites existing free software like the Linux-based operating systems, relational databases (PostgreSQL, CouchDB and Elastic Search), programming/scripting languages (Ruby) and web servers (Apache), saying that software produced within the “OpenIrekia” initiative will be developed and released under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL).

The new open source policy will comprise exceptions, of course, but they will need a valid explanation: the “special” cases where software code should remain closed include development of commercial software in partnership with public authorities, like a private company researching and making a software to ease the burden of chronic illness for a local hospital.

Source: Irekia web site.

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11 Comments

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goofyinthehead said,
hope they have good tech support for this

A university in Australia observed that you paid more money in technical support/administration than you did in licensing software such as Windows.

Irony amirite?

articuno1au said,

A university in Australia observed that you paid more money in technical support/administration than you did in licensing software such as Windows.

Irony amirite?

While that might be true, you are also spending money on support and administration in addition to licenses.

The infamous OSS migration project at Munich that some people like to point out as a failure reported this year that they have already saved 4 million euros in licensing, while also reducing the number of support calls.

'PostgreSQL'
Ewww ;(.

'CouchDB and Elastic Search'
Wow, I'd never heard of either, just looked them both up and they look awesome, in fact I might try putting them into the site I'm slowly working on


the “special” cases where software code should remain closed include development of commercial software in partnership with public authorities, like a private company researching and making a software to ease the burden of chronic illness for a local hospital.

That doesn't make much sense. Why would making the software closed be of any use? It just sounds like a clause inserted on behalf of closed source, proprietary software vendors.

simplezz said,

That doesn't make much sense. Why would making the software closed be of any use? It just sounds like a clause inserted on behalf of closed source, proprietary software vendors.

Because "researching" that particular software costs money to the private company making it, and the research costs ain't gonna pay for themselves with an open source release...

simplezz said,

That doesn't make much sense. Why would making the software closed be of any use? It just sounds like a clause inserted on behalf of closed source, proprietary software vendors.

As stated above, some public research projects are done in collaboration with private entities who provide all or part of the funds.

That doesn't inherently mean that the project results are going to be always closed, but that's up to the private part of the partnership and the Government is not going to force their choice.

As pointed in the article, the idea is that products generated with public funds should come at no extra cost for citizens. Research partnerships with private entities are funded with private money, so they fall out of the scope of the ruling.

TrOjAn. said,
The source provided, euskadi.net, has a language 'EU', is that Esperanto?

Nope, that's Basque which is written Euskara in it.