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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