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EU Funding Could Hurt Open Source Licensing, Critics Say

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The Pirate Party's representative in the European Parliament has warned that a new European Union funding package for IT innovation could seriously damage open source licensing.

The European Commission unveiled the Horizon 2020 funding plan on Wednesday, including €13.7 billion (US$18.3 billion) for innovation in key areas such as information and communication technologies, nanotechnologies, biotechnology and space.

However, the proposal effectively states that any resulting product must be promoted in Europe first. Article 41 of the proposal states that "with regard to results which are generated by participants that have received E.U. funding, the Commission may object to transfers of ownership or to grants of an exclusive licence, to third parties established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020."

This renders open source licensing impossible, said Member of the European Parliament Christian Engstrom.

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