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Encouraging FLOSS gets you blacklisted by the USTR? [22 Feb 2010|11:24pm]

This is really something -- arguing that countries whose governments have pro-FLOSS policies should go on the USTR's Special 301 list because such policies are bad for the software industry and its intellectual property.

Yes, the same "property" that exists only by virtue of artificial government subsidy via temporary monopolies granted through patents and copyright.

But don't you dare give a "subsidy" for a different model of software development; certainly not one that is pro-sharing, obviating the need for these ridiculous bureaucratic processes, and is actually consistent with democratic ideals, public interest, and government autonomy.

Oh, and right, FLOSS doesn't do anything for the software industry -- that's why nearly every (perhaps every) electronic thing that people have been excited about in the last 10+ years is built on a core of free software -- TiVo, your television, the Kindle, the iPad/iPhone/iEtc, Android phones, netbooks, this company called Google, this thing called Firefox, this web site called Wikipedia, this operating system called GNU/Linux. Not like whatever makes certain people the most money should determine international policy anyway, but you get my point -- leaving aside the obvious contributions of FLOSS, even things which appear proprietary depend on or were bootstrapped by FLOSS.

Countries with pro-FLOSS public policy should go on an honor roll, not a bully hit list.

Encouraging open source could land you in trouble « TechnoLlama

As an antidote, you might like to read the FSF's comment, which I helped a bit with, and also the one submitted by EFF and Public Knowledge.

Update 2010-02-26: A recent article in the Guardian about this has been getting a lot of attention.

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