Free Software and Proprietary Software cause a face-off in a meeting of the National Assembly

This is one of the headlines of the First page the Venezuelan Newspaper “El Mundo” on its edition of May 23, 2006. The article refers to a discussion between the Member of Parliament, Luis Tascon, and the Ex-Minister of Planning, Felipe Perez Marti during the re-drafting of the Venezuelan Information Technology Bill. The discussion was caused by disagreements in the content of Article 75 (the one that originally said that the Public Administration would use preferible Free and Open Source Software F/OSS). While Felipe Perez Marti and other advocates of F/OSS argued that the Law should give preference to the use of F/OSS because it would allow Venezuela to achieve technological independence, the advocates of proprietary software and Luis Tascon alleged that the Law should be neutral to allow all users to benefit from using proprietary software. The future of the Bill is uncertain as there are some groups interesting in halting the discussion and re-drafting a new Bill from Scratch.

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