I'm in complete agreement with Bruce that the ISC is a front to maintain the status quo. It's the very lobbying response to legislation favoring open source that I feared in my original posting on the subject.
It is true that I disagree with the idea of legally mandated open source, because I do believe that decisions should be made on a product's merits. There's some great proprietary software out there as well as some great open source software. I've always thought that open source should be sold on its merits, just like any other software (but so does Bruce), and my advocacy has been to trumpet those merits. But I'm all for the softer European version of some of this legislation, which gives open source a strong boost without mandating it. That gives the technical people in government some cover if they choose open source, and gives a reason for those who aren't considering it to take a closer look.
The reason I don't want to see legislators mandating open source is simple: if legislators can be persuaded to mandate open source, they can equally well be persuaded to mandate against it, and once that battle is joined, I'm pretty clear who will win. Most modern governments seem to be far too much under the sway of special interest money for me to want to see them getting involved in any issue where the other side has the dollars and the access to get their way. You have only to look at some of the absolutely insane legislation introduced on behalf of the RIAA and MPAA to see whether the public benefit or the power of special interests has more sway.
Of course, now that the battle has been foolishly joined, the ISC is not going to go away, and open source in government advocates are going to have to sup at the table they have set.
Now that the battle is joined, put me on the side of Bruce's sincere choice rather than proprietary vendors' so-called software choice.
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