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CONTACT: Patrick Ross
November 12, 2004
(202) 289-8928
The Progress & Freedom Foundation
Heads to Europe

Milan, Brussels Events on Open Source to Build on Aspen Success

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Progress & Freedom Foundation will bring together U.S. policymakers and European regulators at high-profile events in Milan and Brussels this February. The events will focus on interoperability and open standards, including consideration of the role of open source software in the ecosystem of interoperability. They will build on the ten years of success the Foundation has had in bringing bright minds of differing viewpoints together at its annual Aspen Summit. The European outreach is envisioned as the first of an annual series of events with European policy leaders.

The first major event will be February 11th in Milan, Italy. The Foundation has organized an all-day conference on interoperability and open standards. Co-hosted with Istituto Bruno Leone, it will include U.S. and European policymakers and high-tech executives. The conference will be held at the Grand Hotel Duomo, overlooking Milan's famed cathedral, the Duomo di Milano. This outreach comes as some European governments are grappling with problems of software interoperability and patent protection, and will address in part the possible adoption by governments of requirements for open source software, a move Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow James DeLong argues would be "extraordinarily unwise." DeLong, director of the Foundation's Center for the Study of Digital Property, will join Foundation President Ray Gifford and Senior Fellow Solveig Singleton at the Milan conference.

On February 15th DeLong, Gifford and others will co-host with the Centre for a New Europe a luncheon for European Parliament members and their staff. The lunch is one part of a larger outreach by the Foundation that will occur throughout that week in Brussels, as Progress & Freedom Foundation fellows meet with European officials and business leaders to discuss digital economy issues of central importance to both the U.S. and Europe.

"The issues of the digital age are inevitably international in scope," said Progress & Freedom Foundation President Ray Gifford. "By beginning a dialogue with European thought-leaders, we hope to enlarge our study and understanding of the internationalization of questions regarding intellectual property, standard setting and competition policy."

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation