[clug] Opensource legislation in ACT

Kim Holburn kim.holburn at anu.edu.au
Tue Sep 16 10:56:59 EST 2003

I just got this:
>From: Jeremy Dawson <dawson at ilkd.uni-karlsruhe.de>
>To: me
>Subject: Microsoft vs Open Source
>Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 15:22:11 +0200
>Dear all,
>I hope this is of sufficient interest interest to justify broadcasting,
>sorry if not.
>Welcome to the e-brief of Roslyn Dundas MLA, Leader of the ACT Democrats.
>Government Procurement (Principles) Guideline Amendment Bill 2003
>Introduced by me, This amendment mirrors legislation introduced by Democrats
>in parliaments across the country to force the Government to consider using
>Open-Source software. If successful, this legislation will save the
>government millions of dollars in software licenses and also help break the
>near-monopoly of Microsoft.

Now here is some text from the bill.  I'm a bit unhappy about the definition of proprietary software as "not open source" also slightly worried about the definition of open source software or maybe it's the emphasis on licensing rather than standards.  Lets leave the US spelling for now.

Section 4
Government Procurement (Principles) Guideline
Amendment Bill 2003
Authorised by the ACT Parliamentary Counsel-also accessible at www.legislation.act.gov.au
page 3

(1) In the procurement of computer software, a Territory entity should,
as far as practicable, prefer open source software to proprietary
(2) This is in addition to the procurement principles to be applied under
clause 6.
(3) In this clause:
distribute means distribute without charge or on payment of the
reasonable costs of distribution.
open source software means computer software that is the subject
of a licence granting a person-
(a) a right, without any limitation or restriction, to-
(i) use the software for any purpose; and
(ii) make copies of the software for any purpose; and
(iii) access or modify the source code of the software for any
purpose; and
(b) a right, without payment of a royalty or other fee, to distribute
copies of-
(i) the software (including as part of a total distribution of
computer software from several different sources); or
(ii) a derived or modified form of the software.
proprietary software means computer software that is not open
source software.
Worms, crashes, proprietary file formats, obfuscated communications
protocols...and you paid how much?!?

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