|FROM ||Dave Williams
|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] Embrace and...
On Sat, 2003-06-14 at 08:28, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Looking at this article from March, I see it does not specifically
> refer to Stanco's conference. I had the impression that this had
> been announced by Microsoft at the conference, but the article
> doesn't say so.
> Was it so?
> Can anyone send me the text o the article by Mary Jo Foley that
> it refers to? Can anyone send me a copy of the license itself?
> >From this description, it sounds like a free software license.
> I hesitate to think that is true, but I should check it myself
> and see.
I think Ruben's point was that the conference resulted in more press for
Microsoft than any benefit to OSS, which was an argument he made before
What I find troubling right now is Tony's reaction to the recent
announcement from the government of Brazil. They publicized a three
year pilot program to convert 80% of their systems to Open Source, and
Tony released the following statement on a variety of sites. He has
already announced your appearance at GWU -- perhaps you can address this
unfortunate opinion of his in your speech. He claims to be an advocate
of OSS, but he barely qualifies as a supporter. And we're not even
talking about Free Software! David Sugar has already weighed in with
his disgust, but no doubt Bruce Perens has something conciliatory to say
about it, even though it contradicts his previous public stance (at
events such as the San Francisco march, for example).
Opinion on Brazil making
Open Source mandatory in
Fri, 13 Jun 2003
According to the report below, Brazil is making Open Source mandatory for 80%
of all computers in state institutions and businesses, setting up a "Chamber
for the Implementation of Software Libre."
While I think that Open Source in government is a good thing and have been
working towards that goal for many years, making it mandatory is an industrial
policy that may not succeed, which will hurt Open Source in the long run.
It is much better for governments to set up a real level playing field in
procurement policy and then let the market decide on merit. If a product can't
make it in the market without government mandates, then history has shown that
it won't make it with government mandates either. Brazil would have been
better off to have a policy to buy the best software for its technical needs,
whether it is Open Source or proprietary. In my opinion, Open Source would
succeed on the merits in most cases without the market distortions that
government preference programs cause. Ironically, if Brazil buys Open Source
just because it is Open Source rather than the best product, their citizens
will likely suffer long term.
If governments want to create a culture of Open Source in their country to
create an indigenous software industry (a noble goal), they are much better
off working in the area of Education Policy, rather than Procurement Policy.
To use a sports metaphor, Procurement Policy should be a race where the best
win, so it needs to be a scrupulously fair competition for all. Whereas
Education Policy is the practice and training exercises for the big race.
Using Procurement Policy for Open Source, ensures that Open Source wins
because they "knee cap" the competition, a morally unsatisfying "win". Using
Education Policy for Open Source ensures that Open Source wins because it
produces the best developers and software product.
Brazil should reconsider it strategy.
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