Giving Away Open Source On USB

Slashdot points to an article from ZDNet Australia which outlines an open source initiative sponsored by the greater district of Paris.

To help make kids aware of alternatives to proprietary software, the Ile-de-France, the political district of greater Paris, will give 175,000 school children and apprentices USB keys loaded with open-source software.

And the paragraph I really like:

The project will “represent for students a tool of freedom and mobility between their school, cybercafes and their home or friends’ PCs,” the council said. The operation will cost US$3.38 million (2.6 million euros).

Mobility and freedom: these are certainly important attributes of the open source software culture, and an important endorsement for teen culture. This is especially true in light of the latest Windows (Vista) release this week and criticism regarding its effect on digital freedoms.

The freedom of expression that was once available to users of the Internet Protocol is being stripped away. Our freedom to play, experiment, share and seek inspiration from the creative works of others is increasingly restricted so that large companies can lock our culture down for their own profit.

Now how do we get an initiative like this in Canada or the US? We need to act soon and thoughtfully to halt the decay of these important creative freedoms.

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