[clug] What sort of OSS legislation would you like to see

Simon Haddon simon at sibern.com.au
Mon Aug 11 10:46:47 EST 2003

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

On 8/08/03, 4:25:03 PM, Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog at svana.org> wrote 
regarding Re: [clug] What sort of OSS legislation would you like to see:

> On Fri, Aug 08, 2003 at 01:06:18PM +1000, Carl Jackson wrote:
> > A second issue I'd like to throw open to the forum - if a pro OSS bill
> > goes through the Assembly - what would you like it to be? What key
> > wording in particular.  From a practical point of view I'm fairly
> > certain that an absolute OSS mandate bill would not get the numbers.

> Is an OSS mandate really a good idea? A government is in the business of
> making its people happy, not to espouse our ideological point of view.

I think that a bill for Open standards and cross platform capability is a 
good argument.  I don't believe that a bill putting OSS above any other 
software would be in the communities best interest.  I feel that open and 
closed source both have their place.  

If some companies are not able to compete due to restrictions on the OS 
or proprietary standards then that is their problem to fix.  It is 
however probably not right to make OSS the "right" option to use just 
because it is OSS.  All software should be able to play evenly.  If it so 
happens that OSS is better at following standards and keeping OS neutral 
then so be it.

> > Whats more even if it did get up it would have no chance of being
> > adopted as model legislation for a federal bill, which is where the real
> > action is.    I've read the Texas and Oregan bills and they seem good if
> > a little soft - however my personal view is I'd like to be tough about
> > Desktop OSs and Office packages, and my view as a lobbyist is that is
> > not impossible to sell to the MLAs.   As a minimum language such as

> I'd be in favour of initially skipping "open source" and focussing on 
> formats". It's a much easier sell with much more obvious benefits. There 
> such thing as too much regulation.

I agree

> I recently saw a comment about how the US IT industry made a mistake 
> the DoJ on Microsoft. Up until that point the Govt had stayed away from
> regulating the industry.

> > "fair and equitable consideration must be give to OSS alternatives in
> > all purchasing decisions" in clearly necessary.  My current thinking is
> > something that makes OSS options the "default" solution, and puts an
> > onus on the Public Service buyer to prove that the default is not viable
> > if he wishes to buy a proprietary product - what does the list think of
> > that?

> IMHO, you don't want to force it down people. That just gets people 
> Better start simple and obvious and work your way up.

I agree.  We are not trying to ram OSS down any bodies throat.  We are 
just trying to say to Government. Stick to open standards and cross 
platform compatability.

> --
> Martijn van Oosterhout   <kleptog at svana.org>   http://svana.org/kleptog/
> > "All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good
> > men to do nothing." - Edmond Burke
> > "The penalty good people pay for not being interested in politics is to 
> > governed by people worse than themselves." - Plato

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