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Free Software Law in Peruvian Congress

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the god-bless-the-grass dept.

GNU is Not Unix 436

An Anonymous Coward writes "There is a story on oreillynet.com on the response by a Peruvian Congressman to Microsoft's letter opposing a proposed Free Software Law. Here's the translated letter and this is the original letter that Microsoft submitted in response to the proposed law. It's always cool to see governments trying to enact these kinds of laws and watch the Microsoft backlash against them :)."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463712)

this might not be fp, but it will be in my heart

does anybody have any more lotion?

CHERISH MY BALLS

Re:fp (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463721)

Zionism is racism. Sharon is a filthy liar. Israel is the clear aggressor.

NOOOOO!!! (2, Funny)

tempest303 (259600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463713)

This will DESTROY their IT infrastructure! Their economy will collapse! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!

Or... maybe businesses and gov't down there can stop spending tons of $$$ on software, and spend it on improving their products/services instead...

On second thought, nah... that could never work!

Re:NOOOOO!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463880)

Yeah given all the trouble the Peruvians have had from the Shining Path guerillas you'd think they'd want nothing to do with Linux.
After all, Linux use is just an endless process of "downloading communism".

Re:NOOOOO!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463898)

Great... now the next counter-insurgency group will call themselves Pantalla Azul de la Muerte. .

article-timesaver (slightly redundant) (2, Interesting)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463716)

It's always cool to see governments trying to enact these kinds of laws and watch the Microsoft backlash against them :)."


Not Cool. Very uncool

OTOH, Here's the summary of the big long letter:



From reading the Bill it will be clear that once passed:
-the law does not forbid the production of proprietary software
-the law does not forbid the sale of proprietary software providing that the source code is included with the purchase
-the law does not specifiy which concrete software to use
-the law does not dictate the supplier from whom software will be bought
-the law does not limit the terms under which a software product can be licensed, providing that the entire source code is included with the product.


What the Bill does express clearly, is that, for software to be acceptable for the state it is not enough that it is technically capable of fulfilling a task, but that further the contractual conditions must satisfy a series of requirements reguarding the license, without which the State cannot guarantee the citizen adequate processing of his data, watching over its integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility throughout time, as these are very critical aspects for its normal functioning.

He then goes on to describe the advantages of open sourced software. Everybody on Slashdot has heard these arguments, so there's not really much to read. The above quote, however, describes the law, so I figured you might look at that.

Re:article-timesaver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463728)

> Everybody on Slashdot has heard these arguments, so there's not really much to read.

No, it's not much of a read because you pasted 50% of the article in your post.

Re:article-timesaver (slightly redundant) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463741)

What was meant was that it is cool for government to try to use free software and watch microsoft react. not that it was cool that microsoft opposed it

Uncool? How's that, again? (3, Insightful)

Selanit (192811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463786)

I don't see why this is uncool.

Note: I don't know how accurate your summary is, because the letter was already slashdotted. Because you sound reasonable, I'm assuming you made a good faith effort at accurate summation.

>-the law does not forbid the production of
> proprietary software

Fine. The law should not have anything to say about how you or a company chooses to produce software. We share our code by choice -- the instant the government says "Share your code or you're going to prison," that government has become a dictatorship. Suggesting that proprietary software should be outlawed is precisely the same as suggesting that *Open Source* software be outlawed.

> -the law does not forbid the sale of proprietary
> software providing that the source code is
> included with the purchase

This is another thing the law should not address. In fact, I'm actually rather surprised about the source code provision, which basically makes it impossible to sell proprietary programs, because some coder might well take the code, alter it, and release the alteration under the GPL. So, the law actually is producing conditions in which proprietary code is *effectively* banned even if it isn't explicitly banned.

> -the law does not specifiy which concrete
> software to use

Nor should it. Imagine you're an IT admin working for the Peruvian government, and they send you a memo saying "As per law X, you must use Red Hat Linux, Apache, and MySQL." But the department you work for doesn't has no need for Apache or MySQL, so they wind up with some useless programs cluttering up their drives. The IT admin of each department should be free to choose the appropriate tools for their department's objectives.

If you mean that the government should create a list of "kosher" software that's approved for use, fine; but that list should NOT be encoded in the law itself. Laws are hard to change, but licensing arrangements change all the time. So, you create a law saying "Software has to meet the following requirements . . ." and then later you make a list of software that meets those requirements. The list can be changed a heck of a lot more easily than the law.

> -the law does not dictate the supplier from whom
> software will be bought

Man, this is getting repetitive. Do you really want management (or government, in this case) telling you the details of how to do your job? It sure sounds like it.

> -the law does not limit the terms under which a
> software product can be licensed, providing that
> the entire source code is included with the
> product.

This sounds an awful lot like your first point. And again, forcing a company into a particular licensing scheme -- dictating their choice of license -- is not the action of a democratic government.

I wholeheartedly approve of the Peruvian government's move to embrace open software -- the article I *was* able to get to on O'Reilly made it pretty clear that "free as in speech" is every bit as important to the creation of this law as "free as in beer." More power to them!

Re:Uncool? How's that, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463809)

In fact, I'm actually rather surprised about the source code provision, which basically makes it impossible to sell proprietary programs, because some coder might well take the code, alter it, and release the alteration under the GPL.


I'm assuming you mean "release the altered code under the GPL". How could they possibly do that? The GPL is a license granted by the copyright holder - so "some coder" can't just take their code and whack a license on it, GPL or anything else.


And again, forcing a company into a particular licensing scheme -- dictating their choice of license -- is not the action of a democratic government.


This isn't dictating a license - requiring that the workings of the code can be inspected is not a license. The source code is subject to copyright, same as the binaries.

Re:Uncool? How's that, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463850)

"And again, forcing a company into a particular licensing scheme -- dictating their choice of license -- is not the action of a democratic government."

It is too, if the net effect is promote democracy. That's we make laws in the first place.

Re:Uncool? How's that, again? (0, Troll)

IHateUniqueNicks (577298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463811)

For god's sake, do not mod this drivel up. The point's he's taking offence with are IN the letter we're talking about, and it is NOT saying that these things SHOULD be in the law, it is saying this is why MS's arguments are rather irrelevent. Read the material first!

Okay, my bad. (2)

Selanit (192811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463837)

Ah! I posted too soon. b_pretender, I owe you an apology. It was not clear to me that your post was a quote from the letter. When I posted, I hadn't read the letter because the server was already down. However, somebody posted it in full in another message, so now I realize my mistake.

Sorry!

Re:Okay, my bad. (2)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463900)

You don't owe me an apology. I should have been more clear about where that came from. Upon further consideration, I realize that I am wrong in stating that the rest of the article is typical OSS drivel. The remainder of the letter approaches OSS from the side of a public institution and it is *very* intelligently written. The author does a good job of debunking some of the MS arguments and using other MS arguments against closed-source software.

I was too worried about getting FIP (First Intelligent Post) to carefully read the remainder of the article. Upon second reading, I realized this and I owe the /. community an apology.

Sorry /. community.

Re:article-timesaver (slightly redundant) (-1, Redundant)

anonymous cowfart (576665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463862)

I may get moderated down for this, but Micro$haft really sucks donkey balls. What business it it of theirs to dictate what kind of software a nation uses. This is jus the kind of shit everybody hates Mickey$oft so much. Haven't they learned anything from the trials in USA? People don't like their practices.

I am glad that more and more governments are turning to Linux and other free (as in speech) alternatives when searching for software. If Microshit doesn't want this to happen, they have to radically change their direction. Instead of adding more features to their software, they should concentrate more on making their software secure. Windows - the Swiss cheese of Operating systems. What would be better advertising than "We have concentrated on security to keep your computer from getting infected by all kinds of malware. We have consulted several security experts that have analyzed our software thorougly." And actually doing it as well. Of course anyone can make good-looking slogans, I just did ;-), but to really do it. That defines good software. Not that I actually read the article, but let's how much cock the moderators have smoked today. Microsoft: Please do us all a favor and make your software secure. That way everybody wins. Tha customers are happy and willing to buy more of your products.

Linux: The choice of the GNU generation.

gfdsfgfdsgfdsgfdshlkgshosahfsahflskhflh (-1, Offtopic)

Cubeman (530448) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463717)

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formkeys (-1, Troll)

Cubeman (530448) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463726)

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I think my E-meter is broken. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463718)

I really hope the Peruvian legislature doesn't get bought/murdered by MS goons.

Mirror (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463723)

Sorry for this long post, but I get the feeling slashdot has better hosintg than gnu.org.pe.

Lima, 8th of April, 2002.

To: Señor
JUAN ALBERTO GONZÁLEZ
General Manager of Microsoft, Perú

Dear Sir.

First of all, I thank you for your letter of March 25 2002 in which you state the official position of Microsoft relative to Bill Number 1609, Free Software in Public Administration, which is indubitably inspired by the desire for Peru to find a suitable place in the global technological context. In the same spirit, and convinced that we will find the best solutions through an exchange of clear and open ideas, I will take this opportunity to reply to the commentaries included in your letter.

While acknowledging that opinions such as yours constitute a significant contribution, it would have been even more worthwhile for me if, rather than formulating objections of a general nature (which we will analyse in detail later) you had gathered solid arguments for the advantages that proprietary software could bring to the Peruvian State, and to its citizens in general, since this would have allowed a more enlightening exchange in respect of each of our positions.

With the aim of creating an orderly debate, we will assume that what you call "open source software" is what the Bill defines as "free software", since there exists software for which the source code is distributed together with the program, but which does not fall within the definition established by the Bill; and that what you call "commercial software" is what the Bill defines as "proprietary" or "unfree", given that there exists free software which is sold in the market for a price like any other good or service.

It is also necessary to make it clear that the aim of the Bill we are discussing is not directly related to the amount of direct savings that can by made by using free software in state institutions. That is in any case a marginal aggregate value, but in no way is it the chief focus of the Bill. The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law, such as:

Free access to public information by the citizen.

Permanence of public data.

Security of the State and citizens.

To guarantee the free access of citizens to public information, it is indespensable that the encoding of data is not tied to a single provider. The use of standard and open formats gives a guarantee of this free access, if necessary through the creation of compatible free software.

To guarantee the permanence of public data, it is necessary that the usability and maintenance of the software does not depend on the goodwill of the suppliers, or on the monopoly conditions imposed by them. For this reason the State needs systems the development of which can be guaranteed due to the availability of the source code.

To guarantee national security or the security of the State, it is indispensable to be able to rely on systems without elements which allow control from a distance or the undesired transmission of information to third parties. Systems with source code freely accessible to the public are required to allow their inspection by the State itself, by the citizens, and by a large number of independent experts throughout the world. Our proposal brings further security, since the knowledge of the source code will eliminate the growing number of programs with *spy code*.

In the same way, our proposal strengthens the security of the citizens, both in their role as legitimate owners of information managed by the state, and in their role as consumers. In this second case, by allowing the growth of a widespread availability of free software not containing *spy code* able to put at risk privacy and individual freedoms.

In this sense, the Bill is limited to establishing the conditions under which the state bodies will obtain software in the future, that is, in a way compatible with these basic principles.

From reading the Bill it will be clear that once passed:
-the law does not forbid the production of proprietary software
-the law does not forbid the sale of proprietary software
-the law does not specifiy which concrete software to use
-the law does not dictate the supplier from whom software will be bought
-the law does not limit the terms under which a software product can be licensed.

What the Bill does express clearly, is that, for software to be acceptable for the state it is not enough that it is technically capable of fulfilling a task, but that further the contractual conditions must satisfy a series of requirements reguarding the license, without which the State cannot guarantee the citizen adequate processing of his data, watching over its integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility throughout time, as these are very critical aspects for its normal functioning.

We agree, Mr. Gonzalez, that information and communication technology have a significant impact on the quality of life of the citizens (whether it be positive or negative). We surely also agree that the basic values I have pointed out above are fundamental in a democratic state like Peru. So we are very interested to know of any other way of guaranteeing these principles, other than through the use of free software in the terms defined by the Bill.

As for the observations you have made, we will now go on to analyse them in detail:

Firstly, you point out that: "1. The bill makes it compulsory for all public bodies to use only free software, that is to say open source software, which breaches the principles of equality before the law, that of non-discrimination and the right of free private enterprise, freedom of industry and of contract, protected by the constitution."

This understanding is in error. The Bill in no way affects the rights you list; it limites itself entirely to establishing conditions for the use of software on the part of state institutions, without in any way meddling in private sector transactions. It is a well established principle that the State does not enjoy the wide spectrum of contractual freedom of the private sector, as it is limited in its actions precisely by the requirement for transparency of public acts; and in this sense, the preservation of the greater common interest must prevail when legislating on the matter.

The Bill protects equality under the law, since no natural or legal person is excluded from the right of offering these goods to the State under the conditions defined in the Bill and without more limitations than those established by the Law of State Contracts and Purchasing (T.U.O. por Decreto Supremo No. 012-2001-PCM).

The Bill does not introduce any discrimination whatever, since it only establishes *how* the goods have to be provided (which is a state power) and not *who* has to provide them (which would effectively be discriminatory, if restrictions based on national origin, race religion, ideology, sexual preference etc. were imposed). On the contrary, the Bill is decidedly antidiscriminatory. This is so because by defining with no room for doubt the conditions for the provision of software, it prevents state bodies from using software which has a license including discriminatory conditions.

It should be obvious from the preceding two paragraphs that the Bill does not harm free private enterprise, since the latter can always choose under what conditions it will produce software; some of these will be acceptable to the State, and others will not be since they contradict the guarantee of the basic principles listed above. This free initiative is of course compatible with the freedom of industry and freedom of contract (in the limited form in which the State can exercise the latter). Any private subject can produce software under the conditions which the State requires, or can refrain from doing so. Nobody is forced to adopt a model of production, but if they wish to provide software to the State, they must provide the mechanisms which guarantee the basic principles, and which are those described in the Bill.

By way of an example: nothing in the text of the Bill would prevent your company offering the State bodies an office "suite", under the conditions defined in the Bill and setting the price that you consider satisfactory. If you did not, it would not be due to restrictions imposed by the law, but to business decisions relative to the method of commercializing your products, decisions with which the State is not involved.

To continue; you note that:" 2. The bill, by making the use of open source software compulsory, would establish discriminatory and non competitive practices in the contracting and purchasing by public bodies..."

This statement is just a reiteration of the previous one, and so the response can be found above. However, let us concern ourselves for a moment with your comment regarding "non-competitive ... practices."

Of course, in defining any kind of purchase, the buyer sets conditions which relate to the proposed use of the good or service. From the start, this excludes certain manufacturers from the possibility of competing, but does not exclude them "a priori", but rather based on a series of principles determined by the autonomous will of the purchaser, and so the process takes place in conformance with the law. And in the Bill it is established that *no-one* is excluded from competing as far as he guarantees the fullfilment of the basic principles.

Furthermore, the Bill *stimulates* competition, since it tends to generate a supply of software with better conditions of usability, and to better existing work, in a model of continuous improvement.

On the other hand, the central aspect of competivity is the chance to provide better choices to the consumer. Now, it is impossible to ignore the fact that marketing does not play a neutral role when the product is offered on the market (since accepting the opposite would lead one to suppose that firms' expenses in marketing lack any sense), and that therefore a significant expense under this heading can influence the decisions of the purchaser. This influence of marketing is in large measure reduced by the bill that we are backing, since the choice within the framework proposed is based on the *technical merits* of the product and not on the effort put into commercialization by the producer; in this sense, competitvity is increased, since the smallest software producer can compete on equal terms with the most powerful corporations.

It is necessary to stress that there is no position more anti-competitive than that of the big software producers, which frequently abuse their dominant position, since in innumerable cases they propose as a solution to problems raised by users: "update your software to the new version" (at the user's expense, naturally); furthermore, it is common to find arbitrary cessation of technical help for products, which, in the provider's judgement alone, are "old"; and so, to receive any kind of technical assistance, the user finds himself forced to migrate to new versions (with non-trivial costs, especially as changes in hardware platform are often involved). And as the whole infrastructure is based on proprietary data formats, the user stays "trapped" in the need to continue using products from the same supplier, or to make the huge effort to change to another environment (probably also proprietary).

You add: "3. So, by compelling the State to favour a business model based entirely on open source, the bill would only discourage the local and international manufacturing companies, which are the ones which really undertake important expenditures, create a significant number of direct and indirect jobs, as well as contributing to the GNP, as opposed to a model of open source software which tends to have an ever weaker economic impact, since it mainly creates jobs in the service sector."

I do not agree with your statement. Partly because of what you yourself point out in paragraph 6 of your letter, regarding the relative weight of services in the context of software use. This contradiction alone would invalidate your position. The service model, adopted by a large number of companies in the software industry, is much larger in economic terms, and with a tendency to increase, than the licensing of programs.

On the other hand, the private sector of the economy has the widest possible freedom to choose the economic model which best suits its interests, even if this freedom of choice is often obscured subliminally by the disproportionate expenditure on marketing by the producers of proprietary software.

In addition, a reading of your opinion would lead to the conclusion that the State market is crucial and essential for the proprietary software industry, to such a point that the choice made by the State in this bill would completely eliminate the market for these firms. If that is true, we can deduce that the State must be subsidising the proprietary software industry. In the unlikely event that this were true, the State would have the right to apply the subsidies in the area it considered of greatest social value; it is undeniable, in this improbable hypothesis, that if the State decided to subsidize software, it would have to do so choosing the free over the proprietary, considering its social effect and the rational use of taxpayers money.

In respect of the jobs generated by proprietary software in countries like ours, these mainly concern technical tasks of little aggregate value; at the local level, the technicians who provide support for proprietary software produced by transnational companies do not have the possibility of fixing bugs, not necessarily for lack of technical capability or of talent, but because they do not have access to the source code to fix it. With free software one creates more technically qualified employment and a framework of free competence where success is only tied to the ability to offer good technical support and quality of service, one stimulates the market, and one increases the shared fund of knowledge, opening up alternatives to generate services of greater total value and a higher quality level, to the benefit of all involved: producers, service organizations, and consumers.

It is a common phenomenon in developing countries that local software industries obtain the majority of their takings in the service sector, or in the creation of "ad hoc" software. Therefore, any negative impact that the application of the Bill might have in this sector will be more than compensated by a growth in demand for services (as long as these are carried out to high quality standards). If the transnational software companies decide not to compete under these new rules of the game, it is likely that they will undergo some decrease in takings in terms of payment for licences; however, considering that these firms continue to allege that much of the software used by the State has been illegally copied, one can see that the impact will not be very serious. Certainly, in any case their fortune will be determined by market laws, changes in which cannot be avoided; many firms traditionally associated with proprietary software have already set out on the road (supported by copious expense) of providing services associated with free software, which shows that the models are not mutually exclusive.

With this bill the State is deciding that it needs to preserve certain fundamental values. And it is deciding this based on its sovereign power, without affecting any of the constitutional guarantees. If these values could be guaranteed without having to choose a particular economic model, the effects of the law would be even more beneficial. In any case, it should be clear that the State does not choose an economic model; if it happens that there only exists one economic model capable of providing software which provides the basic guarantee of these principles, this is because of historical circumstances, not because of an arbitrary choice of a given model.

Your letter continues: "4. The bill imposes the use of open source software without considering the dangers that this can bring from the point of view of security, guarantee, and possible violation of the intellectual property rights of third parties."

Alluding in an abstract way to "the dangers this can bring", without specifically mentioning a single one of these supposed dangers, shows at the least some lack of knowledge of the topic. So, allow me to enlighten you on these points.

On security:

National security has already been mentioned in general terms in the initial discussion of the basic principles of the bill. In more specific terms, relative to the security of the software itself, it is well known that all software (whether proprietary or free) contains errors or "bugs" (in programmers' slang). But it is also well-known that the bugs in free software are fewer, and are fixed much more quickly, than in proprietary software. It is not in vain that numerous public bodies reponsible for the IT security of state systems in developed countries require the use of free software for the same conditions of security and efficiency.

What is impossible to prove is that proprietary software is more secure than free, without the public and open inspection of the scientific community and users in general. This demonstration is impossible because the model of proprietary software itself prevents this analysis, so that any guarantee of security is based only on promises of good intentions (biased, by any reckoning) made by the producer itself, or its contractors.

It should be remembered that in many cases, the licensing conditions include Non-Disclosure clauses which prevent the user from publicly revealing security flaws found in the licensed proprietary product.

In respect of the guarantee:

As you know perfectly well, or could find out by reading the "End User License Agreement" of the products you license, in the great majority of cases the guarantees are limited to replacement of the storage medium in case of defects, but in no case is compensation given for direct or indirect damages, loss of profits, etc... If as a result of a security bug in one of your products, not fixed in time by yourselves, an attacker managed to compromise crucial State systems, what guarantees, reparations and compensation would your company make in accordance with your licencing conditions? The guarantees of proprietary software, inasmuch as programs are delivered ``AS IS'', that is, in the state in which they are, with no additional responsibility of the provider in respect of function, in no way differ from those normal with free software.

On Intellectual Property:

Questions of intellectual property fall outside the scope of this bill, since they are covered by specific other laws. The model of free software in no way implies ignorance of these laws, and in fact the great majority of free software is covered by copyright. In reality, the inclusion of this question in your observations shows your confusion in respect of the legal framework in which free software is developed. The inclusion of the intellectual property of others in works claimed as one's own is not a practice that has been noted in the free software community; whereas, unfortunately, it has been in the area of proprietry software. As an example, the condemnation by the Commercial Court of Nanterre, France, on 27th September 2001 of Microsoft Corp. to a penalty of 3 million francs in damages and interest, for violation of intellectual property (piracy, to use the unfortunate term that your firm commonly uses in its publicity).

You go on to say that: "The bill uses the concept of open source software incorrectly, since it does not necessarily imply that the software is free or of zero cost, and so arrives at mistaken conclusions regarding State savings, with no cost-benefit analysis to validate its position."

This observation is wrong; in principle, freedom and lack of cost are orthogonal concepts: there is software which is proprietary and charged for (for example, MS Office), software which is proprietary and free of charge (MS Internet Explorer), software which is free and charged for (RedHat, SuSE etc Gnu/Linux distributions), software which is free and not charged for (Apache, OpenOffice, Mozilla), and even software which can be licensed in a range of combinations (MySQL).

Certainly free software is not necessarily free of charge. And the text of the bill does not state that it has to be so, as you will have noted after reading it. The definitions included in the Bill state clearly *what* should be considered free software, at no point referring to freedom from charges. Although the possibility of savings in payments for proprietary software licenses are mentioned, the foundations of the bill clearly refer to the fundamental guarantees to be preserved and to the stimulus to local technological development. Given that a democratic State must support these principles, it has no other choice than to use software with publicly available source code, and to exchange information only in standard formats.

If the State does not use software with these characteristics, it will be weakening basic republican principles. Luckily, free software also implies lower total costs; however, even given the hypothesis (easily disproved) that it was more expensive than proprietary software, the simple existence of an effective free software tool for a particular IT function would oblige the State to use it; not by command of this Bill, but because of the basic principles we enumerated at the start, and which arise from the very essence of the lawful democratic State.

You continue: "6. It is wrong to think that Open Source Software is free of charge. Research by the Gartner Group (an important investigator of the technological market recognized at world level) has shown that the cost of purchase of software (operating system and applications) is only 8% of the total cost which firms and institutions take on for a rational and truely beneficial use of the technology. The other 92% consists of: installation costs, enabling, support, maintenance, administration, and down-time."

This argument repeats that already given in paragraph 5 and partly contradicts paragraph 3. For the sake of brevity we refer to the comments on those paragraphs. However, allow me to point out that your conclusion is logically false: even if according to Gartner Group the cost of software is on average only 8% of the total cost of use, this does not in any way deny the existence of software which is free of charge, that is, with a licensing cost of zero.

In addition, in this paragraph you correctly point out that the service components and losses due to down-time make up the largest part of the total cost of software use, which, as you will note, contradicts your statement regarding the small value of services suggested in paragraph 3. Now the use of free software contributes significantly to reduce the remaining life-cycle costs. This reduction in the costs of installation, support etc. can be noted in several areas: in the first place, the competitive service model of free software, support and maintenance for which can be freely contracted out to a range of suppliers competing on the grounds of quality and low cost. This is true for installation, enabling, and support, and in large part for maintenance. In the second place, due to the reproductive characteristics of the model, maintenance carried out for an application is easily replicable, without incurring large costs (that is, without paying more than once for the same thing) since modifications, if one wishes, can be incorporated in the common fund of knowledge. Thirdly, the huge costs caused by non-functioning software ("blue screens of death", malicious code such as virus, worms, and trojans, exceptions, general protection faults and other well-known problems) are reduced considerably by using more stable software; and it is well-known that one of the most notable virtues of free software is its stability.

ou further state that: "7. One of the arguments behind the bill is the supposed freedom from costs of open-source software, compared with the costs of commercial software, without taking into account the fact that there exist types of volume licensing which can be highly advantageous for the State, as has happened in other countries."

I have already pointed out that what is in question is not the cost of the software but the principles of freedom of information, accessibility, and security. These arguments have been covered extensively in the preceding paragraphs to which I would refer you.

On the other hand, there certainly exist types of volume licensing (although unfortunately proprietary software does not satisfy the basic principles). But as you correctly pointed out in the immediately precding paragraph of your letter, they only manage to reduce the impact of a component which makes up no more than 8% of the total.

You continue: "8. In addition, the alternative adopted by the bill (i) is clearly more expensive, due to the high costs of software migration, and (ii) puts at risk compatibility and interoperability of the IT platforms within the State, and between the State and the private sector, given the hundreds of versions of open source software on the market."

Let us analyze your stament in two parts. Your first argument, that migration implies high costs, is in reality an argument in favour of the Bill. Because the more time goes by, the more difficult migration to another technology will become; and at the same time, the security risks associated with proprietary software will continue to increase. In this way, the use of proprietary systems and formats will make the State ever more dependent on specific suppliers. Once a policy of using free software has been established (which certainly, does imply some cost) then on the contrary migration from one system to another becomes very simple, since all data is stored in open formats. On the other hand, migration to an open software context implies no more costs than migration between two different proprietary software contexts, which invalidates your argument completely.

The second argument refers to "problems in interoperability of the IT platforms within the State, and between the State and the private sector" This statement implies a certain lack of knowledge of the way in which free software is built, which does not maximize the dependence of the user on a particular platform, as normally happens in the realm of proprietary software. Even when there are multiple free software distributions, and numerous programs which can be used for the same function, interoperability is guaranteed as much by the use of standard formats, as required by the bill, as by the possibility of creating interoperable software given the availability of the source code.

You then say that: "9. The majority of open source code does not offer adequate levels of service nor the guarantee from recognized manufacturers of high productivity on the part of the users, which has led various public organizations to retract their decision to go with an open source software solution and to use commercial software in its place."

This observation is without foundation. In respect of the guarantee, your argument was rebutted in the response to paragraph 4. In respect of support services, it is possible to use free software without them (just as also happens with proprietary software), but anyone who does need them can obtain support separately, whether from local firms or from international corporations, again just as in the case of proprietary software.

On the other hand, it would contribute greatly to our analysis if you could inform us about free software projects *established* in public bodies which have already been abandoned in favour of proprietary software. We know of a good number of cases where the opposite has taken place, but not know of any where what you describe has taken place.

You continue by observing that: "10. The bill demotivates the creativity of the peruvian software industry, which invoices 40 million US$/year, exports 4 million US$ (10th in ranking among non-traditional exports, more than handicrafts) and is a source of highly qualified employment. With a law that incentivates the use of open source, software programmers lose their intellectual property rights and their main source of payment."

It is clear enough that nobody is forced to commercialize their code as free software. The only thing to take into account is that if it is not free software, it cannot be sold to the public sector. This is not in any case the main market for the national software industry. We covered some questions referring to the influence of the Bill on the generation of employment which would be both highly technically qualified and in better conditions for competition above, so it seems unnecessary to insist on this point.

What follows in your statement is incorrect. On the one hand, no author of free software loses his intellectual property rights, unless he expressly wishes to place his work in the public domain. The free software movement has always been very respectful of intellectual property, and has generated widespread public recognition of authors. Names like those of Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall, Miguel de Icaza, Andrew Tridgell, Theo de Raadt, Andrea Arcangeli, Bruce Perens, Darren Reed, Alan Cox, Eric Raymond, and many others, are recognized world-wide for their contributions to the development of software that is used today by millions of people throughout the world. On the other hand, to say that the rewards for authors rights make up the main source of payment of Peruvian programmers is in any case a guess, in particular since there is no proof to this effect, nor a demonstration of how the use of free software by the State would influence these payments.

You go on to say that: "11. Open source software, since it can be distributed without charge, does not allow the generation of income for its developers through exports. In this way, the multiplier effect of the sale of software to other countries is weakened, and so in turn is the growth of the industry, while Government rules ought on the contrary to stimulate local industry."

This statement shows once again complete ignorance of the mechanisms of and market for free software. It tries to claim that the market of sale of non- exclusive rights for use (sale of licences) is the only possible one for the software industry, when you yourself pointed out several paragraphs above that it is not even the most important one. The incentives that the bill offers for the growth of a supply of better qualified professionals, together with the increase in experience that working on a large scale with free software within the State will bring for Peruvian technicians, will place them in a highly competitive position to offer their services abroad.

You then state that: "12. In the Forum, the use of open source software in education was discussed, without mentioning the complete collapse of this initiative in a country like Mexico, where precisely the State employees who founded the project now state that open source software did not make it possible to offer a learning experience to pupils in the schools, did not take into account the capability at a national level to give adequate support to the platform, and that the software did not and does not allow for the levels of platform integration that now exist in schools."

In fact Mexico has gone into reverse with the Red Escolar (Schools Network) project. This is due precisely to the fact that the driving forces behind the mexican project used license costs as their main argument, instead of the other reasons specified in our project, which are far more essential. Because of this conceptual mistake, and as a result of the lack of effective support from the SEP (Secretary of State for Public Education), the assumption was made that to implant free software in schools it would be enough to drop their software budget and send them a CD ROM with Gnu/Linux instead. Of course this failed, and it couldn't have been otherwise, just as school laboratories fail when they use proprietary software and have no budget for implementation and maintenance. That's exactly why our bill is not limited to making the use of free software mandatory, but recognizes the need to create a viable migration plan, in which the State undertakes the technical transition in an orderly way in order to then enjoy the advantages of free software.

You end with a rhetorical question: "13. If open source software satisfies all the requirements of State bodies, why do you need a law to adopt it? Shouldn't it be the market which decides freely which products give most benefits or value?"

We agree that in the private sector of the economy, it must be the market that decides which products to use, and no state interference is permissible there. However, in the case of the public sector, the reasoning is not the same: as we have already established, the state archives, handles, and transmits information which does not belong to it, but which is entrusted to it by citizens, who have no alternative under the rule of law. As a counterpart to this legal requirement, the State must take extreme measures to safeguard the integrity, confidentiality, and accessibility of this information. The use of proprietary software raises serious doubts as to whehter these requirements can be fulfilled, lacks conclusive evidence in this respect, and so is not suitable for use in the public sector.

The need for a law is based, firstly, on the realization of the fundamental principles listed above in the specific area of software; secondly, on the fact that the State is not an ideal homogoneous entity, but made up of multiple bodies with varying degrees of autonomy in decision making. Given that it is inappropriate to use proprietary software, the fact of establishing these rules in law will prevent the personal discretion of any state employee from putting at risk the information which belongs to citizens. And above all, because it constitutes an up-to-date reaffirmation in relation to the means of management and communication of information used today, it is based on the republican principle of openness to the public.

In conformance with this universally accepted principle, the citizen has the right to know all information held by the State and not covered by well- founded declarations of secrecy based on law. Now, software deals with information and is itself information. Information in a special form, capable of being interpreted by a machine in order to execute actions, but crucial information all the same because the citizen has a legitimate right to know, for example, how his vote is computed or his taxes calculated. And for that he must have free access to the source code and be able to prove to his satisfaction the programs used for electoral computations or calculation of his taxes.

I wish you the greatest respect, and would like to repeat that my office will always be open for you to expound your point of view to whatever level of detail you consider suitable.

Cordially,

DR. EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NUÑEZ
Congressman of the Republica of Perú.

MOD THIS UP!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463774)

The site is down and this is the only full copy available for now....

Who modded this up? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463791)

Why must you ruin my page layout with this insanely large post when you could just link to Google's cache [216.239.39.100] of the page?

Please mod parent down and mod a post with a link to the cache up.

Re:Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463848)

OWNED!

Dr. Edgar David Villanneuva Nuñez, I salute you.
For your analytical skills, and for actually taking the time to slap down a weasel whose whole job it is to write such childish letters.

spy code (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463724)

To guarantee national security or the security of the State, it is indispensable to be able to rely on systems without elements which allow control from a distance or the undesired transmission of information to third parties. Systems with source code freely accessible to the public are required to allow their inspection by the State itself, by the citizens, and by a large number of independent experts throughout the world. Our proposal brings further security, since the knowledge of the source code will eliminate the growing number of programs with *spy code*.

So basically, they're concerned with closed-source programs being potential security problems, since they can't check the code for spyware...

Is GNU.org.pe down for everyone else, btw?

Cached Copy (2, Informative)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463732)

> Is GNU.org.pe down for everyone else, btw?

I got to it earlier, but it's Slashdotted now. Google's got it cached [216.239.51.100] though. Phhhhast.

Re:spy code (3, Interesting)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463847)

concerned with closed-source programs being potential security problems
Among other things, but that should grab the most headlines.
Even worse than being broken is being unrepairable. Closed source is fundamentally unrepairable by the victims.

Re:spy code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463931)

Is GNU.org.pe down for everyone else, btw?

Yeah, but it was up when I submitted this story THREE DAYS AGO. So if they'd posted it then, everyone could access the site and we'd be happy bunnies. But no!

Wrong Locale.... (-1, Flamebait)

benthesinister (574191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463725)

This is a very cool thing. Sadly, Peru has enacted this law, not a country that holds any sway in the IT world. Peruvians are busy trying to feed themselves and the government is busy trying the crush the Shining Path. My house probably contains more computing power than that entire country. While I like the action, it will accomplish very little. Kind've like DoS'ing a T3 with dialup.

Re:Wrong Locale.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463744)

No, just the opposite, this is the _perfect_ locale.

One small country sets an example, another follows suit, another follows suit... Enough small guys start to add up, and the big guys take notice.

Juuuust like open source...

nw

Re:Wrong Locale.... (1)

whoisjoe (465549) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463752)

I wouldn't be too disheartened. If this were an isolated incident, that would be another story. However, this is a trend--look at Germany and (until recently, I admit) Mexico.

Re:Wrong Locale.... (1)

thomasdelbert (44463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463767)

Doesn't India have a law that all financial software must be written in-house?

Re:Wrong Locale.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463792)

We just need more zombies.

Re:Wrong Locale.... (5, Informative)

gonta (258586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463821)

I really think you're out of line here (I say this as a Peruvian) This law will acomplish alot, the peruvian government currently spends millions of dollars paying Microcrap for Windoze and Office licenses. By passing this law Peru can use that money to help fight poverty and make life better for all the poor people. The implementation of free software will create many thousands if not millions of jobs for IT professionals in Peru. Peru is not like you paint it --> "My house probably contains more computing power than that entire country" Currently the company Impsat is implementing the first backbone in Peru. Internet became available to regular joes like you and me back in 1993. There is also a working Linux force here [linuxperu.org] there is also support for Conectiva's distro here [conectiva.com.pe] and for SuSE here as well [suse.com.pe]

Re:Wrong Locale.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463831)

Wrong, the PCP(SL) are going to crush the
government.
Down with the dictatorship!
Down with yankee imperialism!
Long live the peoples war!
Free Chairman Gonzalo!

Re:Wrong Locale.... (4, Informative)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463835)

Peruvians are busy trying to feed themselves and the government is busy trying the crush the Shining Path. My house probably contains more computing power than that entire country.

Have you been to Peru? Granted, it does have more poverty than the US, Canada, and Western Europe, but it isn't nearly as bad off as many third world nations. And it isn't the computerless wasteland you seem to think -- in the cities you'll find offices with LANs and computers not too different from those in the US.

I need a vacation ... now ! :) (1)

FullClip (139644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463733)

Can you imagine me sitting here,
pondering why they call Mr. Gates "_the_ Bill" ?

...

That's right.
I definitely need some fresh air. ;)

GNU.ORG.PE is down! (0, Offtopic)

madenosine (199677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463734)

LOL! Lets all make Apache jokes!!!

Re:GNU.ORG.PE is down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463832)

Incase you're realy this stupid: most slashdotings occur because of bandwidth bottlenecks, not server problems. So lets make peru internet infrasture jokes, their country is probably connected to the rest of the world via a 56k dialup connection, no wonder the site is down.

"Incase" you don't get the joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463918)

slashdot reading idiots (suck as you) often say "it must have been running IIS" when a site gets slashdotted.

It takes a real idiot to say what you said.

Scoreboard! (5, Interesting)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463735)

The author of this letter really goes for Microsoft's throat. Check out this paragraph:
The inclusion of the intellectual property of others in works claimed as one's own is not a practice that has been noted in the free software community; whereas, unfortunately, it has been in the area of proprietry software. As an example, the condemnation by the Commercial Court of Nanterre, France, on 27th September 2001 of Microsoft Corp. to a penalty of 3 million francs in damages and interest, for violation of intellectual property (piracy, to use the unfortunate term that your firm commonly uses in its publicity).

Yow! Where can I get an informed legislator like Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez to represent me?

Re:Scoreboard! (3, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463830)

Not to mention:

Thirdly, the huge costs caused by non-functioning software ("blue screens of death", malicious code such as virus, worms, and trojans, exceptions, general protection faults and other well-known problems) are reduced considerably by using more stable software; and it is well-known that one of the most notable virtues of free software is its stability.


You gottalovetha "blue screens of death" :-))

Simon

Licensing With a Raised Middle Finger (5, Informative)

Wintersmute (557244) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463853)

In response to some other comments about what this judgment in Nanterre was about...

Apparently Microsoft bought up this Canadian animiation company called SoftImage, who had previously worked out some licensing side-deal with these French programmers to use some of their code.

One Microsoft had SoftImage, though, it seems they ignored the deal with the French licensees - apparently assuming they owned the licensed software too. Funny, too, because you'd think Microsoft could either code around it or just buy them off. Maybe it was an honest screw-up. (Then again...)

I guess the French programmers sued, and the commercial court in Nanterre slammed SoftImage - then a wholly-owned Microsoft subsidiary - with about a half a mil (US$) in fines for piracy.

As if the French needed another reason to hate Americans. Thanks, Bill. Next time I get flak for trying to order a Big Mac in some Paris bistro, it's all on you, man!

Link on Microsoft Piracy Ruling (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463878)

News on French court ruling, here. [unlimited.net.nz]

Re:Scoreboard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463855)

In Peru.

Oh, you meant in the US? There are none. Sorry.

Re:Scoreboard! (1)

Sedated (165938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463871)

At the voting booth, in the next election.

Re:Scoreboard! (5, Funny)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463903)

Yow! Where can I get an informed legislator like Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez to represent me?

Masked Man #1: Good morning, Congressman.
Dr. Nunez: Eh? Donde estoy? Quien es?
Masked Man #1: Oh, Dammit. Does anyone here speak spanish?
Masked Man #2: Give him a moment for the sedative to wear off.
Dr. Nunez: Americans. You are here from the CIA, no doubt? This is a coup, heh? You people are amateurs, you know? I've seen -
Masked Man #1: No, no, mr. congressman. We're with the US special congressional appropriation mission, and we'd like to swear you in as soon as possible.
Dr. Nunez: Swear me where?
Masked Man #2: Into the US congress. We're terribly short of capable legislators, so we've been apropriateing people from y'know, other counties. Where is Peru, anyway?
Masked Man #1: East Africa, I think. Next to Georgia.
Dr. Nunez: You sound like CIA to me.
Masked Man #2: No, no. We're sorry to rush you like this, usually we give the new members a few days to recover from the tranq. dart, but you're chairing the house armed services committee, and we need you to get on the job quick before they appropriate any more money for missile defense.
Masked Man #1: The people of the state of arizona are lucky to have you, sir.

Re:Scoreboard! (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463909)

Yow! Where can I get an informed legislator like Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez to represent me?

In a country where the big businesses don't buy the legislature...

Re:Scoreboard! (1)

GeekBoy (10877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463933)

I second that! This is the most clued-in politician I have EVER heard!

Don't Be Hounded by MS! (-1, Redundant)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463736)

Microsoft will be on Peru's tail for centuries if this law is passed. Although I must say this will suck, the inevitable will happen: Microsoft will sue Peru so many times for petty things like copyright infringement for using an NTFS partition preloaded on a computer for 1 second or something that they will eventually have to give in. But I'll be optimistic. Go FreeBSD! RedHat! Run those M$uckers out of town!

newbie?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463746)

You must be quite new to Linux.

Re:Don't Be Hounded by MS! (1)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463759)

Not really... I have FreeBSD and RedHat on my older box, since my new one is an HP with that stupid restore partition that I can't change. But it's true that I do use it less than I would like to...

Re:Don't Be Hounded by MS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463772)

You might be more intelligent than average, but your two posts and sig make you seem like a complete moron.

Re:Don't Be Hounded by MS! (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463806)

"...Microsoft will sue Peru...."

_Sue_ them? ROFL. Peru is a _sovereign_ _nation_.
Only Peruvian courts have jurisdiction over what happens in Peru.

So is the US gonna bomb Peru (-1, Flamebait)

theolein (316044) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463749)

Will MS now accusse the peruvians of being unamerican? I don't see what MS could actually do to Peru in any case, since Peru is so poor that the BSA would shout halleluya if they found one actual MS licence in the country.

I was a tad confused... (2, Funny)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463762)

I started reading the translated letter and at first they kept talking about "the Bill." I thought perhaps due to some translation problems they were referring to Bill Gates. However, after reading more I realizer they were talking about the bill themselves.

It almost sounded as if they were referring to him as some sort of unhuman thing.

Re:I was a tad confused... (1)

FullClip (139644) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463771)

So you need a reboot, like I do.
Makes me wonder why I don't run a decent OS in my head ;)

These countries understand what the US doesn't. (4, Insightful)

mesozoic (134277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463763)

Free software is just the beginning of the next big evolution in computing technology. When you allow every single user of a system to improve the design of that system, you bring the network that much closer to the users. You allow so much more innovation and creativity with free software than with proprietary systems.

By placing free software at the center of all public technology efforts, you ensure that no matter what, the general public will be able to improve on the systems that its own government uses. Decades from now, it is my hope that free software will have transformed into the dominant force in the computing industry. We would have a world where every single computer user, no matter what their skill level, is able to contribute to the development and improvement of computing in general.

Imagine where all this could go in another few hundred years, once every person connected to the global computer network is able to improve on that network in every way possible. It could even be the next step in human civilization.

But that's distant future stuff, more rant than reality. The fact remains that making public technologies completely free, and completely open, is what is in the public's best interests. This is the future of technology, and it's sad that Peru has acknowledged it sooner than the US has.

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463861)

It's interesting how the US knows nothing about computers and economies and yet continues to be the economic leader of the free world.

Maybe the future of technology is for each person to become a specialist in a particular piece of the puzzle, and then we all work together plugging those specialities together into cohesive solutions to problems. Perhaps it's just you who hasn't figured this out yet.

Decades from now it is my hope that we aren't still trying to figure out how to print letters to a HP laser printer. Unfortunately if free software such as Linux becomes more dominant that's where we will be, because of the dreaded "Well it works on my desktop" syndrome.

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463882)

Nice troll.

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463913)

US knows nothing about computers

maybe the govt you're referring to, but 9 out of 10 of the best csci school are here in the states, along with anyone writing software or making hardware pretty much in the world, we're the best!

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (-1, Troll)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463887)

That's a fine fairy tale, but how are computer programmers going to EAT and pay rent/buy houses under such a system?

Anyone who says "service model" is still living in 1998/1999.

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (2, Interesting)

tve (95573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463927)

Uhm, who cares? Programmers don't have some unalienable right to make money.

Look at it this way: if the demand for a particular piece of software is high enough, somehow it will get written. Either some volunteer picks it up or some group or corporation that needs it badly enough will hire a professional programmer to do the job.

This may slow down innovation a bit in the short run (I think it won't), but the long-term benefits are obvious: a perpetually growing code repository that people can use to improve upon.

</non-sequiturs>

Re:These countries understand what the US doesn't. (-1, Troll)

madenosine (199677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463892)

1. Your post is almost completely offtopic, and is more flamebait than insightful

2. Your whole post is based on your clame that You allow so much more innovation and creativity with free software than with proprietary systems yet not only do you neglect to prove that it will add more innovation and creativity, but you also have no examples (any example would be based upon opinion anyways) but you aos neglect to say how this makes software better for the consumer.

I hate to start a flamewar (which I get the feeling will start anyways) but I also hate when people try to make their opinions seem like fact.

In my mind, your post amounts to "Open source is the wave of the future because it allows innovation and creativity"

(Spanish) Bill in Parliament 1609 - Slashdotted! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463765)

El Congresista que suscribe, EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NÚÑEZ, miembro del Grupo Parlamentario de Perú Posible en ejercicio de la facultad de iniciativa legislativa que le concede el artículo 107 de la Constitución Política del Perú presenta el siguiente

PROYECTO DE LEY DE SOFTWARE LIBRE

CONSIDERANDO:

Que, el artículo 14 de la Constitución establece que es deber del Estado promover el desarrollo científico y tecnológico del país.

Que, el artículo 44 de la Constitución señala que es deber primordial del Estado promover el bienestar general que se fundamenta en la justicia y en el desarrollo integral y equilibrado de la Nación.

Que, una de las claves para el progreso del país consiste en el desarrollo de la tecnología referente a los programas informáticos o software que se emplean en las computadoras u ordenadores.

Que, es necesario establecer la política del Estado con relación al desarrollo de la tecnología de los programas informáticos para uso propio.

Por los considerandos antes expuestos y en cumplimiento de lo dispuesto por el artículo 75 del Reglamento del Congreso de la República paso a desarrollar la presente propuesta:

EXPOSICIÓN DE MOTIVOS

En la época de globalización que vivimos uno de los factores claves para el desarrollo de los países es el dominio de la ciencia y de la tecnología.

Esto es especialmente cierto con relación a la informática que permite mediante programas o software procesar información necesaria para las distintas áreas del conocimiento. En la actualidad no existe prácticamente ninguna actividad que no este relacionada de una u otra manera con la informática y obviamente con los programas informáticos.

Esto crea una situación de dependencia en la que nos convertimos en consumidores de tecnología elaborada en otros países. Es más, esta tecnología se encuentra en constante desarrollo, y como consecuencia de ello lo que hoy es novedoso en poco tiempo se convierte en obsoleto; obligándonos así a tener que adquirir la nueva tecnología sino queremos quedar rezagados.

Esta carrera por no quedar atrasados resulta en elevados costos por pago del derecho de uso de esta tecnología informática. Esto es particularmente cierto en la administración pública, como en la actividad privada, en las que por concepto de licencias de software se debe abonar elevadas sumas de dinero cada año.

Esta situación ocasiona que muchas veces tanto el Estado como los particulares no tengan la capacidad para pagar el valor de las licencias. Prueba de ello la encontramos en los resultados que arrojan las intervenciones realizadas por INDECOPI que muestran como inclusive en las dependencias públicas se hace uso del denominado software pirata.

Este panorama hace necesario que el Estado se preocupe de dar alternativas de solución que permitan romper el círculo vicioso de dependencia tecnológica en el que nos encontramos, así como a los problemas que de ello se derivan.

Precisamente, la alternativa inteligente y viable a los programas informáticos o software comercial viene a ser el denominado software libre denominado así porque se basa en el libre empleo de los programas de computación.

El uso del software libre se basa en las siguientes premisas fundamentales, propuestas por la Fundación para el Software Libre:

Libertad para ejecutar el programa con cualquier propósito.
Libertad para modificar el programa con el fin de adaptarlo a sus necesidades.
Libertad para redistribuir copias, tanto en forma gratuita como a través del pago de un canon.
Libertad para distribuir versiones modificadas del programa, de tal manera que la comunidad pueda beneficiarse con sus mejoras

Este esfuerzo en pro del uso del software libre ha tenido como resultado que varias de las principales empresas de la industria se hayan adherido a estos principios.

Así por ejemplo, el sistema operativo LINUX -creado por el estudiante finlandés Linus Torvalds- es usado por millones de personas en el mundo entero, en forma libre, permitiendo un acceso masivo a quienes no pueden costear programas comerciales.

Cabe reiterar que debido a las ventajas que ofrece que los mismos usuarios creen soluciones propias, estableciendo sus propios patrones de seguridad hace que sean cada vez más el número de empresas y organismos que adopten el sistema de software libre, como por ejemplo el Ministerio de Defensa de Francia y la República Popular China.

Actualmente existen soluciones de software libre para instalar y usar en las siguientes funciones, entre otras:

Desktop en estación de trabajo
Infraestructura de red para máquinas con cualquier sistema operativo: Linux, Windows, Macintosh, Unix, etc.
Servidor de archivos.
Servidor de impresoras.
Servidor de correo electrónico, correo electrónico y comunicaciones en general.
Servidor del World Wide Web - WWW.
Servidor de acceso a internet y navegación.
Gestión de bases de datos.
Lenguajes de Programación - desarrollo de software.
Gestión de oficina - Ofimática (procesador de textos, hoja de cálculo, etc.)
Conversación en línea, voz, datos e imagen - Vídeo conferencia.

Otra ventaja es que la adopción de programas abiertos prolonga la vida útil de las computadoras toda vez que los requerimientos de nuevo hardware son menores, lo cual redunda en beneficio de la economía de los usuarios.

ANÁLISIS COSTO BENEFICIO

La adopción por parte del Estado del uso del software libre va a redundar en beneficio del proceso de reforma y modernización en que se haya inmerso debido a que este tipo de procesos requiere de la sistematización informática, de la pronta comunicación entre los diferentes componentes de la administración pública, de la uniformización de los sistemas operativos y de procesamiento de datos.

Todo este urgente y necesario proceso de modernización implica el uso intensivo de computadoras y redes de comunicación -sea intranet y/o Internet. Lo cual significa que de hacer uso de los programas informáticos comerciales se tendría que desembolsar ingentes sumas de dinero por concepto de licencias, actualización de programas y renovación de equipos.

Vale decir, el Estado ahorrará una considerable suma de dinero que puede dedicar a los programas de eliminación de la pobreza. Igualmente, al ser libre el software el Estado a través de sus técnicos desarrollará las aplicaciones que cada uno de los componentes de la administración necesita en función de sus requerimientos y necesidades, a la vez de establecer sus propios estándares de seguridad.

EFECTOS SOBRE LA LEGISLACIÓN

El presente proyecto no afecta ninguna Ley toda vez que no se ha legislado aún sobre la materia.

FORMULA LEGAL

DEFINICIONES

ARTÍCULO 1.- A los efectos de la presente Ley entiéndase por:

a)Programa o software, a cualquier secuencia de instrucciones usada por un dispositivo de procesamiento digital de datos para llevar a cabo una tarea específica o resolver un problema determinado.

b)Ejecución o empleo de un programa, al acto de utilizarlo sobre cualquier dispositivo de procesamiento digital de datos para realizar una función.

c)Usuario, a aquella persona física o jurídica que emplea el software.

d)Código fuente o de origen, o programa fuente o de origen, al conjunto completo de instrucciones y archivos digitales originales creados o modificados por quien los programara, más todos los archivos digitales de soporte, como tablas de datos, imágenes, especificaciones, documentación, y todo otro elemento que sea necesario para producir el programa ejecutable a partir de ellos. Como excepción podrán excluirse de este conjunto aquellas herramientas y programas que sean habitualmente distribuidos como software libre por otros medios como, entre otros, compiladores, sistemas operativos y librerías.

e)Programa o software libre, a aquel cuyo empleo garantice al usuario, sin costo adicional, las siguientes facultades:

e.1. Ejecución irrestricta del programa para cualquier propósito.
e.2. Acceso irrestricto al código fuente o de origen respectivo.
e.3. Inspección exhaustiva de los mecanismos de funcionamiento del programa.
e.4. Uso de los mecanismos internos y de cualquier porción arbitraria del programa para adaptarlo a las necesidades del usuario.
e.5. Confección y distribución pública de copias del programa.
e.6. Modificación del programa y distribución libre, tanto de las alteraciones como del nuevo programa resultante bajo las mismas condiciones del programa original.
Además, el costo de obtención de una copia del código fuente del programa por parte del usuario no podrá ser significativamente mayor al costo habitual de mercado en concepto de materiales, mano de obra y logística necesarias para la confección de dicha copia.

f)Programa o software no libre o propietario o comercial, a aquel que no reúna todos los requisitos expresados en el artículo 1 inciso 'e' de la presente Ley.

g)Formato abierto a cualquier modo de codificación de información digital que satisfaga las siguientes condiciones tales que:
g.1. Su documentación técnica completa esté disponible públicamente.
g.2. El código fuete de al menos una implementación de referencia completa esté disponible públicamente.
g.3. No existan restricciones para la confección de programas que almacenen, transmitan, reciban o accedan a datos codificados de esta manera.

ÁMBITO DE APLICACIÓN

ARTÍCULO 2.- Los Poderes Ejecutivo, Legislativo y Judicial, los Organismos Descentralizados y las Empresas donde el Estado posea mayoría accionaria, emplearán en sus sistemas y equipamientos de informática exclusivamente programas o software libres.

ARTÍCULO 3.- La autoridad de aplicación de esta Ley será la Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros.

EXCEPCIONES

ARTÍCULO 4.- En caso de no existir una solución que utilice software libre y permita satisfacer una necesidad determinada, los organismos estatales mencionados en el artículo 2 podrán adoptar las siguientes alternativas prelativamente:

a)En caso de inexistencia o indisponibilidad de software no libre que permita dar solución a la necesidad planteada, y que como consecuencia de ello se determinara la necesidad de su desarrollo, la solución técnica resultante deberá ser, en todos los casos, software libre, en los términos definidos en el artículo primero de esta Ley.

b)Si mediaran exigencias de tiempo verificables para la solución del problema técnico, y se encontraran disponibles en el mercado programas o software no libre o propietario, el organismo que lo demande podrá gestionar ante la autoridad de aplicación un permiso de excepción para la utilización de software no libre. La elección del producto deberá ser realizada de acuerdo al siguiente orden de preferencia:

b.1. Se seleccionará en primer término a los programas que cumplan con todos los criterios enunciados en el artículo 1 inciso 'e' de la presente Ley, excepto por la facultad de distribución del programa modificado. En este único caso, el permiso de excepción podrá ser definitivo.

b.2. Si no se pudiera disponer de programas de la categoría precedente, se deberán escoger aquellos para los que exista un proyecto de desarrollo avanzado, de tipo libre. En este caso, el permiso de excepción será transitorio y caducará automáticamente cuando el software libre pase a estar disponible con la funcionalidad que sea necesaria.

b.3. Si no se encontraren productos de estas condiciones, se podrá optar por programas no libres, pero el permiso de excepción emanado de la autoridad de aplicación caducará automáticamente a los dos años de emitido, debiendo ser renovado previa constatación que no exista disponible en el mercado una solución de software libre satisfactoria.

La autoridad de aplicación sólo otorgará un permiso de excepción si el organismo estatal solicitante garantice el almacenamiento de los datos en formatos abiertos.

ARTÍCULO 5.- Las Universidades Nacionales y toda otra entidad educativa dependiente del Estado podrán, además, gestionar un permiso de empleo de software no libre para su uso en investigación, siempre que el objeto de investigación esté directamente asociado al uso del programa en cuestión.

TRANSPARENCIA EN LAS EXCEPCIONES

ARTÍCULO 6.- Las excepciones emanadas de la autoridad de aplicación deberán ser fundamentadas y publicadas en los medios de comunicación que señale el reglamento.
La resolución que autoriza la excepción deberá enumerar los requisitos funcionales concretos que el programa debe satisfacer.

ARTÍCULO 7.- Si cualquiera de los organismos comprendidos en el artículo segundo fuera autorizado en forma excepcional para adquirir o utilizar programas o software no libre para almacenar o procesar datos cuya reserva sea necesario preservar, fueren confidenciales, críticos o vitales para el desempeño del Estado, la autoridad de aplicación deberá publicar en los medios de comunicación social que determine el reglamento, en forma adicional, un informe donde se expliquen los riesgos asociados con el uso de software de dichas características para esa aplicación en particular.
Quedan exceptuados de esta obligación los permisos de excepción otorgados a los organismos del Estado vinculados con la seguridad y defensa nacionales; así como aquellos que por la naturaleza de sus funciones la autoridad de aplicación estime necesario guardar reserva.

RESPONSABILIDADES

ARTÍCULO 8.- La máxima autoridad administrativa, junto con la máxima autoridad técnica informática de cada organismo del Estado comprendido en los alcances del artículo segundo de la presente Ley asumen la responsabilidad por el cumplimiento de esta Ley.

PLAZOS DE TRANSICIÓN

ARTÍCULO 9.- El Poder Ejecutivo reglamentará en un plazo de ciento ochenta días las condiciones, tiempos y formas en que se efectuará la transición de la situación actual a una que satisfaga las condiciones de la presente Ley y orientará, en tal sentido, las licitaciones y contrataciones futuras de programas o software realizadas a cualquier título.

Lima, 11 de diciembre de 2001.

Wow... (1)

kinko (82040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463766)

the congressman's reply to Microsoft is unbelievable. We need politicians like that in New Zealand! (And US, Aust, Europe...). Here's part of his rebuttal, in response to MS's claim: "4. The bill imposes the use of open source software without considering the dangers that this can bring from the point of view of security, guarantee, and possible violation of the intellectual property rights of third parties."
Questions of intellectual property fall outside the scope of this bill, since they are covered by specific other laws. The model of free software in no way implies ignorance of these laws, and in fact the great majority of free software is covered by copyright. In reality, the inclusion of this question in your observations shows your confusion in respect of the legal framework in which free software is developed. The inclusion of the intellectual property of others in works claimed as one's own is not a practice that has been noted in the free software community; whereas, unfortunately, it has been in the area of proprietry software. As an example, the condemnation by the Commercial Court of Nanterre, France, on 27th September 2001 of Microsoft Corp. to a penalty of 3 million francs in damages and interest, for violation of intellectual property (piracy, to use the unfortunate term that your firm commonly uses in its publicity).
I haven't heard about this - anyone know what they did in France for violating IP laws?

Re:Wow... (2, Informative)

demon93 (197176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463840)

Have a look here [unlimited.net.nz] for an article on the French ruling

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463901)


and here:
http://www.pcworldmalta.com/specials/MSPira cy/

MS Peru is every bit as evil as MS USA (5, Interesting)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463776)

The letter MS Peru wrote (If I get a chance, I'll post a translation later) regarding this bill uses all the tricks we've seen them use in the USA. The letter intentionally misunderstands provisions, disregards inconvenient legal precident when useful and adopts a hardline legalist (v. moralist) attitude when useful, and makes bombastic claims about the dire consequences of even considering OSS/Free Software.

Hopefully Microsoft's rather weaker hold on the Peruvian government will allow them to get some reasonable guidelines in place so they don't get screwed like the US government.

Good For Them (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463779)

Our proposal brings further security, since the knowledge of the source code will eliminate the growing number of programs with *spy code*.
Read: Windows

I couldn't find MS's letter, but part of it was quoted in the Peruvian's reply:
The bill makes it compulsory for all public bodies to use only free software, that is to say open source software, which breaches the principles of equality before the law, that of non-discrimination and the right of free private enterprise, freedom of industry and of contract, protected by the constitution.
ROFLMAO

This bill actually does work for "equality before the law" because now anyone can make software for Peru to use. It does not say it will only accept programs from a certain ethnic background, so it's not discriminatory. It also does nothing to private interprise--if they want, they can keep paying for MS products and downloading the daily patches, or switch to open source themselves.

Re:Good For Them (1)

TMLink (177732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463885)

It also does nothing to private interprise--if they want, they can keep paying for MS products and downloading the daily patches, or switch to open source themselves.

Wow. Allowing everyone to make a choice as to what they use that fits their situation and requirements the best. *gasp* What a concept. And to think, that came out of the mouth of someone on Slashdot. There ARE sane thinking people that post here!

Thanks for saying that. You made my day. :-)

Bill in Parliament 2344 - Mirror (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463784)

here (Spanish) [asesor.com.pe] or here (Google-fished) [google.com]

brilliant (1)

misterye (260449) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463785)

The letter responding to Microsoft is by far one of the most informed, logical arguments for "free" software I've ever seen. Instead of taking a self-rightous (*ahem...RMS*) road, the congressman actually outlines in reasoned terms why free software can actually be *better* for the economy.
People making well-reasoned arguments like this are what the free software movement needs to be able to effectively stand up to the lobbying power of Microsoft. Why can't we get legislators like this in America?

Re:brilliant (1)

Kindaian (577374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463860)

Because of money... something called "soft money"... which in some countries is called corruption (alongside loobieing - which is called passive corruption)...

Re:brilliant (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463877)

Actually, his arguments are mostly RMS-ish ones - we use free software for the freedom it provides.

MS's case is weak (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463787)

Just look at this quote from the Peruvian's reply:
Your letter continues: "4. The bill imposes the use of open source software without considering the dangers that this can bring from the point of view of security, guarantee, and possible violation of the intellectual property rights of third parties."

Alluding in an abstract way to "the dangers this can bring", without specifically mentioning a single one of these supposed dangers, shows at the least some lack of knowledge of the topic.

Overview.... (5, Interesting)

univgeek (442857) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463793)

This legislator seems to be the smartest one on the block....

The reasons he gives for the Peruvian govt. to go with Open Source rather than proprietary SW are to the point. He blasts each and every point made by the MS rep. The whole Bill is specifying the standards for purchase of SW by the govt. alone, and he uses that to cudgel MS completely.

The main points for the use of OS are...
Free access to public information by the citizen.
Permanence of public data.
Security of the State and citizens.

He then goes on to say how MS does not provide these and how OS is a better alternative. He makes it sound like a crime for a govt. to NOT use OS/open standard protocols.

The way he has used MS's points against itself and shown the contradiction between their various points was almost funny. It sounds like a school teached administering a sound whipping to a truant.

You have gotta read this....
Google cache [216.239.51.100] ....

A great read (5, Insightful)

oneeyedman (39461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463798)

I don't know when I've enjoyed reading a long, lawyerly letter so much. (I can't imagine that this was really written by a congressman, though it would be nice to think so.) An earlier poster commented that we have all heard these arguments before on Slashdot. Well, not necessarily. There is a big difference between advocates and insiders trading views they already share, and watching a masterful display of reasoned analysis about genuinely different viewpoints. The letter puts the official Microsoft position through the Bass-O-Matic by out-arguing it, not by shouting back or by storming off in a rhetorical huff.

If Microsoft's public statements were held to this level of logic and clarity more often, we would have a very different software market. Advertising and other sorts of propaganda are so pervasive that I think we tend to forget what a real debate looks like. This Peruvian congressman reveals just how shallow Microsoft's self-interested arguments against free software really are. It makes them look both stupid and shrill.

Good work!

Congressman Nunez is a true statesman (1)

AZPhysics (561228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463803)

Regardless of my support of his position, his reply was well crafted and very articulate. It wasn't the typical US 5-second soundbite, but a serious analysis of the issues. The entire world needs more men like him. Props to Dr. Nunez.

Microsoft should be worried (2)

nniillss (577580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463804)

Sure, Peru's budget is not of sufficient scale to directly impact Microsoft's business. But it's a step and it's not the only step. People (and governments) start reading EULAs and start asking themselves why a contract should give much more power to their supplier than to themselves. Given Microsoft's increasingly restrictive license policy, the dependency on proprietary file formats obviously becomes even more scary.

In Germany, Microsoft's products (in particular the OS) are just being replaced in several government agencies, within the police etc. Every time it's some 10000 seats. Microsoft should be worried. Maybe they've overdone it and should start respecting their customers.

It's about time (not that anyone disagrees) (2)

connorbd (151811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463807)

Smart move on Peru's part -- if this law passes they seem to have given some real thought to the repercussions of it.

Nice to see the Third World realizing they can take some initiative without asking "Uncle May I". Venezuela and Yugoslavia too -- their governments don't really like us much, but they're democratically elected, and Chavez in Venezuela has even come back from a possibly White House-backed (or at the very least consented) coup attempt. (He must be happy it's not 1985 -- if it was we'd already be down there with troops to "go after the Commies"...)

/Brian

Thoughts on "The Bill" (5, Funny)

Wintersmute (557244) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463808)

Everytime the letters refer to "the Bill," I thought, "yeah, buddy. I know all about The Bill. The Billmeister. Billinator." And then I thought, "oh no, not that Bill. The proposed law. Duh."

Hard to keep straight.

Re:Thoughts on "The Bill" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463823)

Uh... was that supposed to be funny?

Because, like, it wasn't.

Fuckwit.

He ripped them to shreds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463814)

He really ripped them to shreds. I wish our government believed in democracy as much as they do down in Peru..

By the way. most, not all, of those arguments can be re-used at your company.

Peace.

Re:He ripped them to shreds (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463827)

Zombo [loris.net]

u like it?

It makes me want to emigrate to Peru! (2)

Kindaian (577374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463841)

Is imigration laws hard in Peru?

Re:It makes me want to emigrate to Peru! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463869)

Not in the least, all you need is a bag of rice.

Re:It makes me want to emigrate to Peru! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463907)

When the hell will you open source advocates learn basic grammer and spelling?

Re:It makes me want to emigrate to Peru! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463920)

Same time you do.

Which would be damn fast considering english isn't my first language... but it is yours, and you suck at it.

Google cache of the English translation (1)

Turmio (29215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463843)

of the Microsoft's response is <a href="http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:http:// www.gnu.org.pe/resmseng.html">here</a>

Microsoft's letter - babelfish to English (1)

saphena (322272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463844)

San Isidro, 21 of March of 2002

Sir:

Edgar Villanueva Nuñez

Congressman of the Republic

Present. -

Dear Sirs:

Firstly, we want to thank for the opportunity to him that offered us to always inform to him how we come working in the Country in benefit from the public sector, looking for the best alternatives to obtain the implementation of programs that allow to consolidate the initiatives of modernization and transparency of the State. Indeed, fruit of our meeting today You know our advances international level in the design of new services for the citizen, within the frame of a State model that respects and protects the author rights.

This to drive, as we talked, it is part of a world-wide initiative and nowadays diverse experiences exist that have allowed to collaborate with programs of support to the State and the community in the adoption of the technology like an element strategic to hit in the quality of life of the citizens.

Of another side, as we were in this meeting, we attended the Forum made in the Congress of the Republic the 6 of March, with regard to the project of law that You lead, in where we could listen to the different presentations that today take to us to expose our position in order that You have a ampler panorama of the real situation.

The project establishes the obligatory nature of which all public organism must use free software exclusively, is to say of opened code, which trasgrede the principles of the equality before the law, the one of nondiscrimination and the rights to the free deprived initiative, freedom of protected industry and hiring in the constitution.

The project, when obligatory doing the use of software of opened code, would establish a discriminatory and noncompetitive treatment in the hiring and acquisition of the organisms public having contravened the principles of base of the Law 26850 of Hirings and Acquisitions of the State.

Thus, when forcing to the State to favor a model of businesses that would support exclusively the software of opened code, the project would be only discouraging to the local and international manufacturers that are those that truely they make important investments, create a significant number of positions of direct and indirect uses, besides to contribute to the GIP versus a model of software of open code that tends to have an economic impact every smaller time because it creates jobs mainly in good condition.

The law project imposes the use of software of code opened without considering the dangers that this can entail from the point of view of security, guarantee and possible violation of the rights of intellectual property of third.

The project handles of erroneous way the concepts of software of opened code, that not necessarily implies that it is free software or of cost zero, getting to make ambiguous conclusions on savings for the State, without no sustenance cost benefit that validates the position.

It is mistaken to think that Software de Open Co'digo is gratuitous. Investigations made by Gartner Group (important investigator of the technological market recognized world-wide level) have indicated that the cost of acquisition of software (operating system and applications) is reduced to only 8% of the total of costs that the companies and institutions must assume as a result of the rational and really beneficial use of the technology. Other 92% constitute it: costs of implantation, qualification, support, maintenance, administration and inoperatividad.

One of the arguments that they sustain the law project is the supposed gratuidad of the software of opened code, compared with the costs of the commercial software, without considering that exist modalities of licensing by volume which they can extremely be advantageous for the State, as it has been obtained in other countries.

Additionally, the alternative adopted by the project (i) is clearly more expensive by the high costs that a migration supposes and (ii) puts in risk the compatibility and possibility of interoperability of the computer science platforms within the State, and between the State and the deprived sector, given the hundred of versions that exist of software of code opened in the market.

The software of code opened in its majority does not offer the suitable levels on watch nor the guarantee of recognized manufacturers to obtain greater productivity on the part of the users, which has motivated that different public organizations have backed down in their decision to go by a solution of software of open code and they are using commercial software in his place.

The desincentiva project the creativity of the Peruvian industry of software, that invoices to 40 USS millones/año, exports USS 4 million (10mo. in ranking products of nontraditional export, more than crafts) and is a source of use highly described. With a Law that stimulates the use of software of opened code, the software programmers lose their rights of intellectual property and their main source of repayment.

The software of opened code, to the power to be distributed gratuitously, either does not allow to generate income for its developers by means of the export. Of this form, it is debilitated the multiplying effect of the sale from software to other countries and therefore the growth of this industry, when contrary the norms of a Government must stimulate the local industry.

In the Forum it was discussed on the importance of the use of software of code opened in the education, without commenting the full failure of this initiative in a country like Mexico, in where indeed the civil employees of the State which they based the project, today express that the software of open code did not allow to offer a experience of learning to students in the school, did not tell themselves on the qualification levels national level to give suitable support to the platform, and software did not count and it does not count on the levels of integration for the platform that exist in the schools.

If the software of open code satisfies all the requirements with the organizations of the State because it is required of a Law to adopt it? Would not have to be the market the one that decides freely which are the products that give to more benefits or value him?

I am thankful excessively of the attention lent to the present, we want to reiterate our interest to meet to him with you to be able to expose with more detail our points of view to the project presented/displayed by you, and to put us to its total disposition to share experiences and information that we are safe they will be able to contribute for a better analysis and implementation of an initiative that has by objective the modernization and transparency of the State, in benefit of the citizen.

Kindly

Juan Alberto González

General Manager

Microsoft Peru

Re:Microsoft's letter - link to original Spanish (1)

saphena (322272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463854)

Saphena hosted Spanish [lineone.net]

Richard Stallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463846)

Yo bitches free software is all good ya heard.

Translated Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463849)

The Congressman who subscribes, EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NÚÑEZ, member of the Parliamentary Group of Possible Peru in exercise of the faculty of legislative initiative that grants to the article 107 to him of the Political Constitution of Peru presents/displays the following
PROJECT OF LAW DE FREE SOFTWARE

CONSIDERING:

That, the article 14 of the Constitution establishes that is to have of the State to promote the scientific and technological development of the country.

That, the article 44 of the Constitution indicates that is to have fundamental of the State to promote the general well-being that is based on the justice and the integral development and balance of the Nation.

That, one of the keys for the progress of the country consists of the development of the technology referring to the computer science programs or "software" that are used in the computers or computers.

That, it is necessary to establish the policy of the State with relation to the development of the technology of the computer science programs for own use.

By the considerandos before exposed and in fulfillment of arranged by the article 75 of the Regulation of the Congress of the Republic step to develop the present proposal:

EXHIBITION OF REASONS

At the time of globalización which we lived one on the key factors for the development of the countries it is the dominion of science and the technology.

This is specially certain in relation to the computer science that allows by means of programs or "software" to process necessary information for the different areas from the knowledge. At the present time any activity does not exist practically that not this related of one or another way to computer science and obvious to the computer science programs.

This creates a dependency situation which we became consumers of technology elaborated in other countries. It is more, this technology is in constant development, and as a result of it what today he is novel in just a short time it turns obsolete; forcing to us thus to have to acquire the new technology but we want to be left stragglers.

This race not to be slow is in high costs by payment from the use right of this computer science technology. This is particularly certain in the public administration, like in the deprived activity, which by concept of licenses of "software" is due to pay to high sums of money every year.

This situation causes that often as much the State as the individuals do not have the capacity to pay the value of the licenses. Proof of it we found it in the results that throw the interventions made by INDECOPI that show as including in the public dependencies use becomes of denominated "pirate software".

This panorama makes necessary that the State worries to give solution alternatives that allow to break the vicious circle of technological dependency in which we were, as well as to the problems that of it are derived.

Indeed, the intelligent and viable alternative to the computer science programs or "commercial software" comes to be denominated "free software" denominated thus because it is based on the free use of the computation programs.

The use of free software is based on the following fundamental, propose premises by the Foundation for Free Software:

  • Freedom to execute the program with any intention.
  • Freedom to modify the program with the purpose of adapting it to its necessities.
  • Freedom to redistribute copies, as much free as through the payment of a canon.
  • Freedom to distribute modified versions of the program, in such a way that the community can benefit with its improvements.


This effort for the use of free software has had like result that several of the main companies of the industry have adhered to these principles.

Thus for example, operating system LINUX - created by the Finnish student Linus Torvalds- it is used by million people throughout the world, in free form, allowing a massive access to those who cannot pay for commercial programs.

It is possible to reiterate that due to the advantages that offer that such usuary they create own solutions, establishing his own patterns of security it causes that they are more and more the number of companies and organisms that adopt the system of free software, like for example the Ministry of Defense of France and the People's Republic of China.

At the moment solutions of free software exist to install and to use in the following functions, among others:

  • Desktop in workstation
  • Infrastructure of network for machines with any operating system: Linux, Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, etc.
  • File server.
  • Servant of printers.
  • Servant of electronic mail, electronic mail and communications in general.
  • Servant of the World Wide Web - WWW.
  • Servant of access to Internet and navigation.
  • Management of data bases.
  • Programming languages - development of software.
  • Management of office - Ofimática (text processor, spreadsheet, etc.)
  • Conversation in line, voice, data and image - Video conference.


Another advantage is that the adoption of open programs prolongs the life utility of the computers every time the requirements hardware are smaller again, which results in benefit of the economy of the users.

ANALYSIS COST BENEFIT

The adoption on the part of the State of the use of free software is going to result in benefit of the process of reform and modernization in which it is had immersed because this type of processes requires of the computer science systematization, of the quick communication between the different components from the public administration, of the uniformización of the operating systems and data processing.

All this urgent and necessary process of modernization implies the intensive use of computers and communication networks - it is Intranet and/or Internet.

Which means that to make use of commercial the computer science programs it would have to disburse enormous sums of money by concept of licenses, update of programs and renovation of equipment.

Bond to say, the State will save a considerable sum of money that can dedicate to the programs of elimination of the poverty.

Also, to the being it frees software the State through his technicians will develop the applications that each one of the components of the administration needs based on its requirements and necessities, simultaneously to establish his own standards of security.

EFFECTS ON THE LEGISLATION

The present project does not affect any Law every time it has still not been legislated on the matter.

IT FORMULATES LEGAL

DEFINITIONS

ARTICLE 1. - To the effects of the present Law it entiéndase by:

  • Program or "software", to any sequence of instructions used by a device of digital processing of data to carry out a specific task or to solve a certain problem.
  • Execution or use of a program, to the act to use it on any device of digital processing of data to make a function.
  • User, to that physical or legal person who uses software.
  • Source code or of origin, or source program or of origin, to the complete set of instructions and original digital archives created or modified by who programmed them, plus all the digital archives of support, like tables of data, images, specifications, documentation, and all other element that is necessary to produce the feasible program from them. As exception those tools and programs will be able to be excluded from this set that habitually are distributed like free software by other average ones like, among others, compilers, operating systems and bookstores.
  • Programa or free software, to that whose use guarantees the user, without additional cost, the following faculties:
    1. Unrestricted execution of the program for any intention.
    2. Unrestricted access to the source code or of respective origin.
    3. Exhaustive inspection of the mechanisms of operation of the program.
    4. Use of the internal mechanisms and any arbitrary portion of the program to adapt it to the necessities of the user.
    5. Preparation and copy public distribution of the program.
    6. Modification of the program and free distribution, as much of the alterations as of the new resulting program under the same conditions of the original program.
    In addition, the cost of obtaining of a copy of the source code of the program on the part of the user could not be significantly greater to the habitual cost of market for materials, logistic manual labor and necessary for the preparation of this copy.
  • Programa or software "does not free" or "" commercial" proprietor "or, to whom interjection does not reunite to all the requirements expressed in the article 1 ' é of the present Law.
  • Format opened to any way of codification of digital information that it satisfies the following conditions such that:
    1. Its complete technical documentation is available publicly.
    2. The code fuete of at least one implementation of complete reference is available publicly.
    3. Restrictions for the preparation of programs do not exist that store, transmit, receive or accede to codified data this way.


SCOPE OF APPLICATION

ARTICLE 2. The Decentralized Executive authorities, Legislative and Judicial, Organisms and the Companies where the State has majority shareholder, will use in their systems and equipment of computer science exclusively free programs or software.

ARTICLE 3. The authority of application of this Law will be the Presidency of the Cabinet.

EXCEPTIONS

ARTICLE 4. - In case of not existing a solution that uses free software and allows to satisfy a determined necessity, the state organisms mentioned in the article 2 will be able to adopt the following alternatives prelativamente:

  • In case of nonexistence or indisponibilidad of software it does not free that it allows to give solution to the raised necessity, and that as a result of it the necessity of its development was determined, the resulting technical solution will have to be, in all the cases, free software, in the terms defined in the article first of this Law.
  • If verifiable exigencies of time for the solution of the technical problem mediated, and programs were available in the market or software does not free or proprietor, the organism that demands it will be able to take steps to acquire before the application authority a permission of exception for the use of software does not free. The election of the product will have to be made according to the following order of preference:
    1. It will be selected in first term to the programs that fulfill all the criteria enunciated in the article 1 interjection ' é of the present Law, except by the faculty of distribution of the modified program. In this only case, the exception permission could be definitive.
    2. If it were not possible to be had programs of the preceding category, those for which a project of advanced development exists, of free type will be due to choose. In this case, the exception permission will be transitory and expire automatically when free software happens to be available with the functionality that is necessary.
    3. If will not be products of these conditions, it will be possible to be decided on nonfree programs, but the emanated permission of exception of the application authority will expire automatically to both emitted years of, having to be renewed previous establishment that does not exist available in the market a satisfactory solution of free software.


The application authority will only authorize an exception leave if the state organism applicant guarantees the storage of the data in open formats.

ARTICLE 5. The National Universities and all other dependent educative organization of the State will be able, in addition, to take steps to acquire a permission of use of software does not free for their use in investigation, whenever the investigation object is directly associate to the use of the program at issue.

TRANSPARENCY IN THE EXCEPTIONS

ARTICLE 6. The emanated exceptions of the application authority will have to be based and to be published in mass media that indicate the regulation. The resolution that authorizes the exception will have to enumerate the concrete functional requirements that the program must satisfy.

ARTICLE 7. If anyone of the organisms included/understood in the article second outside authorized one in exceptional form to acquire or to use programs or software does not free to store or to process data whose reserve is necessary to preserve, they will be confidential, critical or vital for the performance of the State, the application authority will have to publish in social mass media that determine the regulation, in additional form, a report where the risks associated with the use of software of these characteristics for that application in individual are explained. They are excepted of this obligation the leave of exception authorized to the organisms of the tie State with the national security and defense; as well as those that by the nature of its functions the application authority considers necessary to guard reserves.

RESPONSIBILITIES

ARTICLE 8. The Maxima administrative authority, along with the Maxima computer science technical authority of each organism of the State included/understood in the reaches of the article second of the present Law assumes the responsibility by the fulfillment of this Law.

TERMS OF TRANSITION

ARTICLE 9. The Executive authority will regulate in a term of one hundred eighty days the conditions, times and forms in which the transition of the present situation to which it satisfies the conditions of the present Law and will orient, in such sense will take place, the licitations and future hirings of made programs or software to any title.

Lima, 11 of December of 2001.

An exquisite argument (1)

Flarelocke (321028) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463886)

This letter is an excellent deliberation upon the virtues of free software in such a manner that not only does it embarass Microsoft, but the refutation is effectively apodictic. His elegance, grace, and accuracy in his comments assures that if his position is not irrefutable, a counter would fall short of Mr. Nunez's acme of debate.

IOW: MS, Nunez 0wns j00!

Does it apply if you take the software elsewhere? (1, Flamebait)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463894)

Free software in Peru? I wonder if you get software in Peru and bring it back here if it's still legal.

If so, a round trip ticket to Peru is cheaper than Visual Studio, so I know where I'm going for .NET.

You're all karma whores... (5, Insightful)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463896)

Don't chop off the letter. Let everyone read it in full. I was amazed by it, maybe you will be too. That letter is a flaming example of lucid thinking and straight talking... and it's from a politician folks. I wish I could vote for THAT guy to represent ME here in the US. When was the last time you heard an american politician talk about this issue at all? Hell, I've never heard an american politician even manage to take an important and complicated issue such as this and state it so clearly a teenager could understand it. Let's see M$ try to wriggle out of this response (hint: you'll not see it).

Now back to the U.S. What can we do to get OUR government to pass a bill like this? Any suggestions? I'm thinking about sending a letter to congressmen informing them of how free software is starting to be used in other countries and maybe even sending them letters like these as supporting evidence.

Re:You're all karma whores... (0, Flamebait)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463921)

You're a fucking idiot, aren't you?

Don't you understand the reason this can happen in Peru is that it's a povery stricken wasteland of a third world country? Here in the US, corporations have politicians in the backpockets with payoffs and bribes. That system doesn't work when everyone is poor you stupid balllicker. So go fuck your dad again.

Speaking of free software.. (1)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3463911)

What's with the "big brother" Sourceforge ads that keep appearing on Slashdot? The ads are fucking creepy and totally turn me off from using anything associated with Sourceforge.

What is good for States is also good for Companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3463916)

The same principles that make free software good for the state also make it good for companies and individuals.

What Microsoft is fighting here is the spread of these prinicples, they could careless about the purchases of the governement of Peru.

What should Microsoft's answer to free software be?

SELL SHORT

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