[clug] Open Source Legislation

Carl Jackson carl at videohost.com.au
Mon Jul 7 17:49:25 EST 2003

Hi All,

      I'm Carl Jackson, this is my first post to the list.

      I run my small Canberra company that writes software on Debian

      I've joined to see if any of the members would be interested in
helping to lobby our local political reps regarding Open Source
software - its a critical moment right now and I'm hoping that there are
some people on this list that feel strongly enough to make their voices

      I'm pretty nervous about bringing this up even with a Linux group
that should in theorey be right behind it - my experience with my fellow
IT ppl and political issues is that they not very focussed on the
"common interest"  and are more interested in expressing their quirky,
individualistic and disparate views in a way that often undermines any
attempt to form a united front. But to achieve anything like this a
united front is just what is required - numbers matter more than ideas
in politics.

       You may have noticed that Open Source Legislation has been in the
news in the last week - its being considered in SA and by NSW Labor.
Canberra has a healthy self interest in this - if, for example, the
assembly passed a bill to nudge the territory public service towards
considering OS favourably  in all tenders, then that could act as a
model for a Federal bill which would in turn take a lot of money
currently going to vendors of proprietary software in the US and divert
it to OS companies in Canberra.

      I'm looking for letter writers, people with personal contacts in
the Libs or Labor, and any info that might help as a lobbying weapon -
particularly uses of Open Source in US Governments - federal or state.
Heavy lobbying against any pro-OS legislation has already begun by a US
funded group representing proprietary software interests - a strong
grass roots campaign will be required to beat it.   This is THE  chance
to win this debate - once policies have been released by the parties
things will get much trickier.

     I believe early positions will be formed by both major parties in
the next 2-3 weeks - if you want to make a difference now is the time.

    Please contact me me off list if you want to help.

Carl Jackson

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