The political decision to adopt and stimulate the use of open platforms and free software programs in Brazil has
already been taken and was reinforced by important Brazilian government officials at the opening of the seminar, "Free
Software and the Development of Brazil," on Tuesday (19), in Brasília.
Speaking on behalf of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the head of the Presidential Civilian Advisory Staff, José
Dirceu, defended the government's use of free software and announced that on August 25-26, his staff will conclude a
strategic plan for the implantation of the open system in the federal government.
According to the Minister, the adoption of the open system, more than a political decision, represents a strategic
decision for the development of the country, which will be able to produce goods with greater aggregate value and save on
royalty payments to owners of proprietary software. "Free software is here to stay," affirmed Dirceu, adding that the federal
government already has eight chambers to discuss matters related to information technology.
The president of the Senate, José Sarney, emphasized that the political alliance to implant free software in the country
already exists and that the National Congress is exchanging the conventional systems used in various departments for free systems.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Deputy João Paulo Cunha, affirmed that the Legislature supports the free
software movement, because it represents independence from the monopolistic solutions imposed by proprietary software firms
and an excellent route to digital inclusion. He availed himself of the opportunity to announce the formation of the
Parliamentary Free Software Bloc, which will be launched officially on Thursday (21), at the close of the event.
The Ministers of Science and Technology, Roberto Amaral, and Culture, Gilberto Gil, also argued for the use of free
software as a strategy for development and digital inclusion. For Amaral, this model provides incentives for government
technological development policies and cuts government costs on proprietary software. Gil affirmed that free software
represents a democratic model of liberty and autonomy in the digital world: "We can't remain content eternally paying royalties
to proprietary software firms," the Minister commented, emphasizing that Brazil has everything it needs to become an
important international pole for free software development.
According to specialists, since free software has an open source code, free of licenses and copyrights, it is an excellent
tool for the democratization of knowledge, foreign currency savings, and the optimization of institutional investments and
costs. The model also offers perspectives for Brazilian industries to research, create, and develop new free software programs.
"Restricted software is a trap that doesn't bring development to any country," underlined the president of the Free
Software Foundation, Richard Stallman. He pointed out that, with free software, users have the right to operate, modify, and
adapt programs to suit their actual needs. "Denying anyone this freedom is a terrible practice," he concluded.
The seminar that began on Tuesday is part of the Free Software Week in the Legislature program sponsored by the
National Congress. For three days, Brazilian and foreign specialists will discuss the applications and consequences of free
software in the country from the perspective of the State, private companies, universities, and non-government organizations.
The program also includes an exposition of solutions and initiatives based on free software, technical sessions on
environments built around free software, and a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies' Science and Technology
Commission to debate the mandatory use of free software by federal government agencies.
This article was prepared by Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency of the Brazilian government.
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