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Letter to European Commission Warns Against Open Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the set-phasers-to-fud dept.

145

An anonymous reader writes "TechWorld is reporting that they have a leaked copy of a letter written to the European Commission detailing the extent of lobby pressure coming from proprietary software groups working against open source software. From the article: 'Lueders sent the letter [PDF] on 10 October to leaders of the Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, in response to an EC-commissioned study into the role of open source software in the European economy (referred to by Lueders as Free/Libre/Open Source, or FLOSS). In the letter, he criticised the study as biased and warns that its policy recommendations, if carried out, could derail the European software economy.'"

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Not Personal (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476751)

I wouldn't take it too personally. Anyone who's ever been in the consulting business can tell you that the government is the bread and butter of many-a-company. Anything - and I do mean *anything* - that threatens that revenue stream is considered bad. The companies that have managed to survive through government contracts become quite good at playing the political game. So you can be sure that they're the force behind the lobbying group.

The scary part is that a lot of these companies simply can't survive on the open market, so they turn to the government looking for a "me-too" handout. Unfortunately, they often get it. All they need to do is promise high and deliver low. For a humorous example of this, check out the Virtudyne sage over on The Daily WTF:

Virtudyne: The Founding [thedailywtf.com]
Virtudyne: The Gathering [thedailywtf.com]
Virtudyne: The Savior Cometh [thedailywtf.com]
Virtudyne: The Digital Donkey [thedailywtf.com]

BTW, I love this line: "The limited window with which we and others have had to comment clearly has hampered a more comprehensive reply."

Translation: "You didn't give us enough time to buy off the politicians."

Re:Not Personal (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476785)

s/sage/saga/g

Re:Not Personal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477635)

Somebody please send Europe copies of this letter [linuxtoday.com] ,
the one that Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nunez made Open, to the people of Peru, April 8, 2002. His arguments are still unbeaten, and most still apply to any democratic government.

You just slashdotted thedailywtf (2, Funny)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476991)

I bet the owners of thedailywtf.com are saying "wtf?" right about now.

Mircrosoft is behind this (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482257)

The pressure group that sent the letter are a Microsoft funded group, not just "any old company"

fp (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476753)

I very much doubt OSS will derail the EU software economy. It's barely made a dent in the US one so far...

Re:fp (OT) (0, Offtopic)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476795)

I failed it. :S

Re:fp (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476893)

I very much doubt OSS will derail the EU software economy. It's barely made a dent in the US one so far...

Sources?...

There's more to software than Windows+Office vs. Linux+OpenOffice you know. The server market and the embedded devices make heavy use of open-source software, and I doubt its impact is insignificant.

At any rate, I'm sure the Windows operating system would be more expensive if Linux and OSX (yes, it's OSS) weren't the vaguely looming threat to Microsoft that they are. Microsoft might also be a lot more rabid against pirates and illegal users if they had a complete monopoly. If nothing else, I'm convinced the mere existence of OSS actually makes a huge difference in the economy, albeit its effect is indirect.

Re:fp (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477261)

At any rate, I'm sure the Windows operating system would be more expensive if Linux and OSX (yes, it's OSS)...

Well, Darwin is OSS, but OSX as a whole isn't. I mostly say this as a preemptive strike, because I know someone is going to say it, but it doesn't void what you're saying. OSX server and OSX desktop both rely on a lot of open source. It would have taken Apple far longer to bring it to market if they had started from scratch, and it's benefitting by updates to it's open source components all the time. Therefore, Apple would have a much harder time making their OS competitive if not for the effect of OSS.

I, too, am convinced (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477277)

I'm convinced the mere existence of OSS actually makes a huge difference in the economy, albeit its effect is indirect.

Economically speaking, software is weird. It seems like it should fit well enough into the established concepts of wealth, but because of the near-zero cost of duplication and distribution, it just doesn't behave the way other forms of wealth behave.

How do you quantify something that can instantly be everywhere if simply left alone in the hands of the consumer?

Traditionally, taking goods without paying for them is harmful because it leaves the provider physically starved of raw materials. Not so with software. Traditionally, the fact that money saved on stolen goods would be spent on something else was NOT an actual benefit to the economy (because of the high cost to the producer). Not so with software (quite the opposite in fact..."stolen" software doesn't deprive the producer of resources at all, and still leaves the consumer with money to pump into the economy elsewise).

How many tech jobs are really grand demonstrations of the broken windows fallacy (no pun intended), and as such potentially economically harmful even though they seem to be boosting the GDP?

Does anyone REALLY believe that making software free (as is the case with open source) will suddenly leave our economy starved of new software? I really have yet to hear a sound argument as to why OSS is economically bad. The jobs it would eliminate are simply artificial "broken windows" type jobs that shouldn't be there in the first place.

Ok I'm done.

Re:I, too, am convinced (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477629)

Does anyone REALLY believe that making software free (as is the case with open source) will suddenly leave our economy starved of new software?

Doesn't it seem like obsoleting most successful software business models all at once, making it harder to make a living as a programmer, would lead to a net loss in software development? Obviously there would still be software, and there might be a long-term gain in pushing towards all software being open-sourced over time, but it's not a simple issue.

Re:I, too, am convinced (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16479451)

"Doesn't it seem like obsoleting most successful software business models all at once, making it harder to make a living as a programmer, would lead to a net loss in software development?"

Only if you assume there wouldn't be other successful software business models under the new game rules.

Also, a net loss in software development in a scenario where licensing limits distribution is of course hardly the same
as an equal loss in a scenario where distribution is, say, completely unlimited.

Re:I, too, am convinced (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481637)

It would cut down on the type of programmers who only ever think of the money. People who learn a language as quickly and hap-hazardly as they can, just because of the money, and then go on to do as little work as possible while maximising income.
You'd still have the kind of programmers who enjoy programming, and write software for personal achievement.
You'd also still have service or hardware driven companies employing programmers to write support software for their hardware (drivers etc, which are usually given away for free) and support customers of outsourced services. companies like Sun, Intel and IBM.
The business model of selling software will be rendered invalid, as it should be, any industry where you can produce infinite product for little or no cost is utterly ridiculous.

In fact, any industry where production costs are disproportionately small relative to the sale cost is ridiculous... And requires anti-capitalist enforcement to maintain, otherwise the natural progression of capitalism will result in third parties providing the goods at a far more reasonable cost (such behaviour is unnaturally branded as "piracy" or "counterfeiting" by those anti-capitalists)

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

orcrist (16312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481753)

This is a great summing up! Mods, please mod up!

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

naich (781425) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481785)

"Doesn't it seem like obsoleting most successful software business models all at once, making it harder to make a living as a programmer, would lead to a net loss in software development?"

That's OK. All those unemployed programmers now have more time to code for OSS projects :)

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482149)

Not really. IBM, Sun, Oracle and the like have been making much more money out of support contracts rather than software licensing for years now.

In case you didn't already know, a large chunk of genuinely active opensource projects have at least one regular contributor who's being paid to contribute by their employer - check the changelog of the Linux kernel and you'll see scores of people with @ibm.com, @redhat.com email addresses.

Re:I, too, am convinced (0, Flamebait)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477807)

Well, playing Devil's advocate here, I am yet to see multiple solid innovations originate in OSS.

This usually goes the other way, with Sun or Apple (or even Microsoft) coming up with something neat, then the OSS community copying that.

For-profit companies have a lot more resources to look for, recognize, and eventualy implement a great idea.
So in that respect, going completely OSS (without say, our tax dollars picking up the lack of funding) would stiffle such innovation.

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478353)

I think I'll feed the troll (either troll, or just plain wrong, sorry): off the top of my head, look up Croquet (the 3D operating environment, if there's any confusion). Look at tabbed browsing, which originated from Mozilla, any of a bunch of other innovation courtesy of Firefox, a bunch of features present in Gnome and KDE that were there before Windows and Mac OS X, though some of those come from earlier software if you'd like to nit pick (like virtual desktops), and kioslaves (not sure about OS X there). Look at Bittorrent, you may have forgetten that, but it accounts for most of the internet's bandwidth (a feature! lol), and it is of free software origins.

Besides, the "going completely OSS" wouldn't remove funding from commercial software, people would still be free to spend/waste their money on it, the idea is that the government would commit to using it, because it is the only way they would have the freedom and access to be able to assure support for the the things they use the software for. Going proprietary gives up some control of this stuff, once a company decides to stop supporting you, you can't support yourself, you don't have a license to modify the software.

A third point is that FOSS does the opposite of stifling innovation, by allowing people to build on other people's ideas without having to reimplement closed source software, or wait 20 years for a patent to expire. Complaints about DRM restricting copyright expiration also apply to software. There are plenty of old games and other applications that people can no longer use because the source isn't available, and either the game itself is unavailable, or the game runs on a platform that is also unavailable. This is analogous to old music that the copyright has expired, but, hypothetically, the music is locked behind DRM and thus not freely available, even though it is in the public domain. Closed source software is in the same situation, only the "DRM" in this case is the destruction of information when source code is compiled. The irony about patents is that they are designed to promote innovation by putting ideas out in the open, yet that seems lost on today's politicians. The free software philosophy puts everything out in the open, allowing anyone to contribute ideas and coding, which then are available to anyone with a computer (and supported platform ;). It sounds to me like that's software communism, only it's all the good stuff about communism, with none of that icky dictatorship stuff. Amazing how greed will cause people to argue that FOSS is anything but beneficial to society.

Re:I, too, am convinced (2, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478587)

Look at tabbed browsing, which originated from Mozilla,

Poor example. Opera was the source of tabbed browsing, not Mozilla. (Opera wasn't the first, but was the most influential.)

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478657)

Hmm, your examples are wrong I believe:

Tabbed browsing: 1994: Opera and InterWorks browsers (both closed-source, developed independently).
Croquet 3D: looks like 3DNA Desktop, which was out in 2002.

Of course you might mention innovations in BSD, but that just reinforces my larger point: we need someone to foot the R&D bill, be it a large University, a Government, or a Software Sales department.

Current FOSS model for home users is not sustainable unless they figure out a better way to bring in the cash.

Perhaps OSS should not be Free (as in beer)?

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16479427)

Perhaps not - but users shouldn't have to pay in order to license a copy that was copied for free. Valid forms of payment are things like paying for support services, paying for development under contract, donations, and possibly government grants, though that sort of falls under contract work.

Re:I, too, am convinced (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482315)

Does anyone REALLY believe that making software free (as is the case with open source) will suddenly leave our economy starved of new software?

Nope.. I always believed in using the right tool for the job. If OSS does not provide new software, then commercial interests will make it and sell it because there is a market.

There will always be a market for custom applications. The market is shrinking as there is more general purpose software that can cheaply be adapted for many custom applications reducing the need for expensive solutions. Look at the embeded market for expamples. What software runs on your router, print server, PVR, etc.? More often than not, it's Linux.

Re:fp (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482261)

If nothing else, I'm convinced the mere existence of OSS actually makes a huge difference in the economy, albeit its effect is indirect.


I agree. I built my kids PC. Loaded Ubuntu. The money saved from not buying XP and Office went directly into buying a NAS* box which runs Linux. I'm sure if the NAS box ran MS software, it would have been more expensive.

The difference in the economy is less money is spent on software leaving more money for other things.

*(Network Attached Storage)

Re:fp (4, Interesting)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477017)

I'm not sure that I agree. OSS has certainly changed the economic landscape...at least for developers...and, by extension, the people that we serve.

Many commercial products (and frameworks) have gone belly up in the face of OSS competition...while others have lost market share...and the future continues to look rough for folks who make their living selling development tools, libraries, and frameworks. It's tough to compete with legions of altruistic neckbeards.

Hey...how many folks here still use JBuilder, Cafe, PowerJ, CodeWarrior or one of the many other Java IDEs that dominated 5 or 6 years ago? I fight an uphill battle to buy IntelliJ for each one of my projects...and Eclipse makes it tougher everyday. My last project is currently undergoing a migration from WebLogic to JBoss...and my current project is just now adopting OSS Jasper Reports...unlike my last project, which paid over 20k for licenses for a reporting framework. Yes, Oracle may serve most large sites, but Postgres, MySQL, and others are most likely affecting their bottom line. We are certainly using them whenever we can.

It's not clear to me how the OSS movement affects the economy. It certainly does, I'm just not sure what the net effect is. It certainly hurts some people while befitting others...but, as a developer, I find it hard to believe that legions of folks giving away their labor helps enhance my bottom line. It may, but it is a very complex equation. That said, I find that writing custom software for enterprises is a heck of a lot safer than working for a software product company...and OSS has a lot to do with that situation in my opinion...and I liked working for product companies.

Re:fp (3, Insightful)

bnenning (58349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478117)

It's not clear to me how the OSS movement affects the economy.

It benefits the economy, just as a cheap, abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy source would benefit the economy. Specific industries might be harmed, but society as a whole benefits. To argue otherwise is the inverse of the broken window fallacy. And in the case of software, I'd argue that developers are helped more than harmed. What would the demand for web sites be if Apache and PHP cost $1000/seat?

Re:fp (1)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480643)

Bold claim...and vague since you say that it "benefits the economy", but you do not qualify that statement with whose economy it benefits.

How about Oracle, Microsoft, and a legion of other US-based commercial product vendors who are losing sales due to OSS? The net effect may be positive for the world, but are you positive that the net effect is also positive for the US? How about vastly reducing the cost for folks around the world (private citizens and corporations) to enter and compete in the software development field. Does that increased competition benefit the US? Clearly, there are other factors at play that also motivate globalization, but you make a pretty bold claim with no supporting facts.

I do not see how anyone can make a snap judgment on this one either way. It's not unlike the internet. Does it benefit society? Sure...in numerous ways. Does it harm it? Well, perhaps, with increasing estimates of online addiction, porn addiction, and estimates of American office workers spending 20% of their work day (1.86 hours) surfing the web for non-work-related functions.

These equations are complex...and judging their net effect is not trivial. On the other hand, judging their affect for company X is far easier to determine...especially if company X sells an application server or an RDBMS. ;-)

you blind or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16481657)

"a free energy source benefits the economy". Did you miss that bit? OK, I can see how a free energy source would help the economy (in fact, all attempts at new energy is predicated on making cheaper energy).

Can you tell us how free energy would hurt the economy?

Also, if a database cost thousands per month, then any program based on a database would be enterpise only. There aren't a lot of enterprises, so your market for such a program would be worse.

PHP/MySQL/Apache has enabled shops to go online for very little. Something that would NOT be possible if cheap PC's (that affected the mainfram bottom line) didn't happen, and would not have been cost-effective to bother if there hadn't been free software. Shareware/freeware if closed source would not have done, because there is a very much more limited development effort, unlike is possible (or feasible, even) with OSS.

Lastly, who would X sell to? companies who could afford it. However, MySQL is free and this allows many more companies (y,z,a,b,c,....) to exist using MySQL as their database, This may be seen by X as a replacement for their DB product however, almost all those companies would not buy the product because the cost did not justify the risk to promote the market.

Re:you blind or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16482101)

"Can you tell us how free energy would hurt the economy?"

Free energy would hurt the economy by eliminating a huge market segment, leading to reduced GDP, increased unemployment, and a slew of other effects associated with completely killing off a significant part of the economy.

"in fact, all attempts at new energy is predicated on making cheaper energy"

Contrary to what you may believe, this is not because people researching new energy sources believe that free/cheaper energy is somehow better. Rather, it a direct result of economic truth: given a choice between paying 5 cents per kilowatt hour and 10 cents per kilowatt hour, 90% of the population will pay the 5 cent price without even giving it a second thought. The ONLY way to develop a new energy source is to make it cheaper than the currently dominant form on the market - otherwise noone will pay for it and your shiny new company goes belly up.
That said, the energy market is actually rather unique, in that energy is energy, and once produced, energy produced by burning fossil fuels is indistinguishable from that produced by wind power or cold fusion or whatnot. Thus, energy is a perfectly substitutible service, which means that the *only* provider that will survive in any market is the one that can provide it for the lowest price, and multiple providers will exist only as long as the leading provider cannot fulfill all of the demand. This is actually not how the software market operats so the energy comparison is ultimately not very valuable when applied to the software market

Re:fp (1)

neonmagic (532879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480167)

Adapt or die. It's that simple.

Dave

Re:fp (2, Informative)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480669)

"as a developer, I find it hard to believe that legions of folks giving away their labor helps enhance my bottom line."

It's quite simple really.

Less than 2% of software development is for packaged sofware.

The other 98% is custom software.

It was bound to happen really. Look at how the bar is being raised with time and operating systems today include software that would have never made it 3 years ago.

In the 1970s a licence for a database for an IBM mainframe would cost thousands of dollars per month. Nowadays you can get one free. It goes beyond a matter of cost; it's that the knowledge behind this software itself becomes commoditized.

And yet, you think that writing packaged software today is more difficult than in previous times? In previous times, before the internet, these markets didn't even EXIST, so what point would writing software have if you couldn't get anyone to buy it? Not to mention that there were many kinds of software that either were not thought of or were computationally impossible to have around.

Seriously, if you write packaged software you know that you're up against competition, and your product might be gone today just as much by a FOSS project than by a competitor that made a better product at a better price. You play the game by the rules; I won't be sorry for you if you lost everything because you gambled against the free market.

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16482029)

It's not clear to me how the OSS movement affects the economy.

The primary immediate effect is a reduction in prices of goods and services that require some amount of computational power to produce/deliver, due to reduced costs of acquiring said computational power. The secondary immediate effect is the shrinking of the local software industry, as fewer paying jobs are available, having been displaced by OSS. Given the current supply-demand dynamics of the software developer talent pool, this is likely a very minor factor, however, as more programmers enter the market this is likely to both slow the rate of growth and lower the potential maximum available number of software development jobs.

The reduction in price will have a tiny counter-inflationary effect, although any direct benefit is likely to be offset as the money that would've been used to purchase these goods and services will likely be spent on alternate leisure goods.

The reduction of the software industry is likely to have a larger impact on the economy, especially as society transitions to more information-worker based economies, leading to higher dependencies on imported software, trade deficits, and so on. Unemployment would be slightly higher than otherwise, due to some people being unemployed who otherwise would have been programmers, or who were displaced from their jobs by ex-programmers.

In any case, entire books could be written about the precise effects, which I don't feel like doing right now, but you can apply similar reasoning to specific questions you may have. Personally, I do believe that if all software were developed by OSS methods it'd have a drastically chilling effect. In the current market situaton, however, I don't think OSS has sufficient penetration to make any significant difference, although OSS will clearly reduce GNP, proportionally to how much it displaces commercial software vendors. At the current levels, reduction in GNP is probably worth the added intangible benefits, although this will differ from country to countery. Also note that since the bulk of the software development economy is currently located in the US, Europe has more incentives to promote OSS, as it would reduce its dependence on US software, as well as the flow of capital westward across the Atlantic. Conversely, the US benefits from promoting proprietary software, leading to an influx of capital from the rest of the world. Of course, completely eliminating proprietary software isn't in Europe's interests either (see reduced GNP/employment/economy discussion above), so ultimately Europe would want to shrink the US-based proprietary software market, while growing the Europe-based proprietary software market. OSS can certainly help with the former, but in doing so, it only makes the latter that much more difficult to accomplish. This may in fact be the reasoning for the present arguments before the EC: software vendors are likely to prefer only a single direct battle against US software manufacturers, rather than an indirect battle by virtue of supporting OSS followed by a battle against a much more decentralized opponent (OSS) who at that point would've already displaced a commercial market, making the emergence of a Europe-based software economy that much more difficult to accomplish.

Only the lonely... (2, Insightful)

JTD121 (950855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476759)

What the hell are they talking about? It's all just FUD, but still...One of these days the people that come up with the ideas for just this kind of tomfoolery will be fired, and then they will have to switch careers.

Look at the funding (5, Insightful)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476783)

"...Microsoft-funded pressure group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development."

Say no more.

Re:Look at the funding (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476963)

Don't stop. I think you'll find that there are a lot more greedy companies [softwarechoice.org] out there than just Microsoft. For example, what is Intel (primarily a hardware manufacturer) doing on that list?

And the plot thickens...

Re:Look at the funding (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477265)

Hardware requires software in the form of firmware, drivers, user programs, training program, etc. Not hard to produce a lot of software when you produce a large variety of hardware.

Re:Look at the funding (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481281)

Most of which is simply tools to enable the selling of more hardware...
Giving this away usually increases adoption of the hardware, just look at intel's video drivers.

Re:Look at the funding (2, Interesting)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477521)

For example, what is Intel (primarily a hardware manufacturer) doing on that list?

Because projects like Arduino [arduino.cc] show that Open Source can also work on the hardware side of business.

Re:Look at the funding (2, Interesting)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16479217)

OSS has the potential of transferring the massive wealth from the few MBA types,
back to the coders and grunts on the front lines.

Companies really don't need 265 different applications to get their job done.

A lot of the closed source out there could be written into modules that plug into
a front end, and make it open source and transparent.

That is what terrifies companies like M$, and the others.

OSS has the potential to end their business model.

Piling up billions at a few dozen companies will be replaced , by more workers
and coders which is really what software/hardware support is about.

Ppl that know code, fix code, know hardware, fix hardware, and those
who network it all together.

We don't need Dilbert Pointy Haired Bosses dragging us thru some Office
Space altered reality to know, that is why dilbert and office space are
so funny to those who have lived through the idiocy of non tech ppl running the show.

I'd rather see those Mega-billions back in the hands of the workers and software recipients
vs. the MBA capitalists.

Bloatware like Vista simply is not needed to run a database, a web server, a file server,
a printer server, or photoshop, or Acad.

Lean and efficient does a better job.

Bloated OS's sell more hardware, thus part of Intel's concern...

Re:Look at the funding (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480131)

OSS has the potential of transferring the massive wealth from the few MBA types, back to the coders and grunts on the front lines.

Nonsense. "MBA-types" would still be needed to run companies if all software was open source. They can work with "support" or "solution" companies instead of retail software. Programmers won't have nearly as much opportunity to make money. Sure, some companies like Red Hat might hire them, but most software companies rely on the proprietary model and it's hard to programmers expecting to be paid to compete with ones who work for free. Most independent developers, who I often find make the best software, would not be able to make money.

As for your comment about bloat, that occurs in open source software also.

Re:Look at the funding (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481303)

Why would this concern the EU anyway?
Most of these large software companies are foreign, so money paid to them is being exported from the EU.
Isn't it advantageous for EU companies to be paying less money to foreign corporations, and hiring more local staff instead? Local european companies can support open source just as well as any american company, and this is something the EU should be promoting in the interest of it's citizens.

encouragement - funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16481859)

And look at this : "too much encouragement" ==> "funding"

In other words, keep them starving. If EU makes the huge -accodring to MS- mistake of funding the FOSS thing, it will flurish and it will get such an advantage against MS, that it will not be possible to buy a survey that proves that "vista is better"; even the dubest lusers will be able to see that the FOSS alternative is marginally superior

Economy? (4, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476807)

In the letter, he criticised the study as biased and warns that its policy recommendations, if carried out, could derail the European software economy.
But what about the benefits to other parts of the economy?

Re:Economy? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476917)

Or the benefits to the European software economy.

If there weren't economic benefits, why do you think IBM, Oracle, Sun, Google and even Microsoft (yes, Microsoft!) all have their hands dipped into the OSS marketplace? In particular, IBM is betting the farm on open source.

The money to be made in open source is in integrating all the disparate components...not just what Red Hat does with Linux distros, but true systems integration. And if IBM weren't making boatloads off this model, they would've just bought out The SCO Group instead of fighting them in court all this time (yes, it's still going!)

Re:Economy? (1, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477023)

If there weren't economic benefits, why do you think IBM, Oracle, Sun, Google and even Microsoft (yes, Microsoft!) all have their hands dipped into the OSS marketplace? In particular, IBM is betting the farm on open source.

Indeed, one should remember that Microsoft don't have any moral qualms about exploiting OSS when it suits them. Their first TCP/IP implementation was swiped straight from BSD, something they're not in a hurry to remind anyone. As for Hotmail, unless things have changed, last I heard, the servers run on BSD too because Windows is too unstable. They hardly walk their talk...

Re:Economy? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477073)

The widespread adoption of BSD's TCP/IP implementation probably has more do to with how poorly the protocol is documented rather than compainies' inablity to do it on their own.

Re:Economy? (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477719)

The Protokoll is poorly documented?! What have you been smoking? The RFCs are out there, with a full documentation of each and every single possible bit.

Re:Economy? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481157)

Each and every single possible bit is documented? I must have been wrong. Everybody knows that if the bits in a protocol are defined than no further documentation is required. It's not as if there's any non-static issues to consider.

Re:Economy? (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477531)

As I recall, Microsoft took over Hotmail in a buyout, then converted the systems over to Windows.

Re:Economy? (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481351)

Their first conversion attempt failed miserably, windows simply couldn't cut it even when they multiplied the number of servers by 4 compared to the original (FreeBSD) servers they had...
After that they tweaked the front end servers to *look* like windows, when in reality they were still BSD... Things like changing the Apache banner, but it was still clearly apache (some error messages, the ordering of some of the headers etc)...
When they tried again, they managed to migrate the frontend servers over, but they had to use far more machines and they even documented the process and all the difficulties they had in a report meant for management, which later got leaked.. It did a good job of pointing the deficiencies of windows, and pointed out that it wasn't a financially viable migration, and was only done for political motivations, even taking into consideration the fact they didnt have to pay for any of the software and had the highest possible level of vendor support.

Re:Economy? (3, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477245)

"IBM is betting the farm on open source."

Changing from Unix to Linux and throwing a few old bones to the OSS crowd isn't "betting the farm". IBM is still very committed to its proprietary software products. For example a few years ago IBM acquired Rational. Immediately afterword they discontinued the popular Visual Test product because it competed with more expensive products IBM owned. They won't sell you a license for it and they won't convert it into an open source project.

IBM's commitment to OSS is very shallow and if OSS disappeared tomorrow IBM would keep right on rolling' like a Hummer running over a dead mouse.

I think you mis-read it. (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476833)

Letter to European Commission Warns Against Open Source

No, no no. It warns against open sores. This is the continent that was decimated by the black plague, remember?

Damaging our ecosystem??? (3, Funny)

usurper_ii (306966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476857)

The proprietary software fiasco has led companies to slant their advertising towards telling us to buy more closed-source software to save the environment; Nonsense! According to this scenario, open source software binary digits migrate into the upper atmosphere and destroy the ozone, but proprietary binary digits are heavier than air and cannot get from the ground to the upper atmosphere. This has led scientist to believe that open source software may actually be a danger to our ecosystem.

The funny thing is that if you look at the authors, these people aren't even scientists!

Usurper_ii

IMHO this is FUD (1)

DarthChris (960471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476879)

From the PDF:
The ISC is concerned that the report's approach fails to consider the achievements of [non-FLOSS]. This is to some extent understandable as the report is a study primarily on the FLOSS model.
In other words: we know that this report was specifically on F/OSS, but we want you to mention how well we non-F/OSS companies have done anyway.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16476885)

What's up with the guy with the uni-brow in the dice banner ads? Man, that's creepy.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16478469)

Banner ads? I don't see any?

In search of Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16476919)

Someone tell me if Adobe use libz, that would be too funny.

strings FLOSS-letter-ISC.pdf | grep FlateDecode
<< /S 62 /Filter /FlateDecode /Length 23 0 R >>
<< /Length 36 /Filter /FlateDecode >>
<< /Length 36 /Filter /FlateDecode >>
<< /Length 36 /Filter /FlateDecode >>
<< /Length 36 /Filter /FlateDecode >>
<< /Length 36 /Filter /FlateDecode >>

...or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16476943)

If you bother to open the pdf instead of running strings, the original letter is just scanned.

Re:...or not (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478137)

I think you missed the point... "Flate" is just Adobe's way of saying the following binary stream is compressed with the info-zip "flate" compression algorithm -- what most people know of as "zip" compression. The GP was saying it'd be funny if the library Acrobat Reader used to deflate flated content happened to be the common open source one.

heh heh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476925)

In the letter, he criticised the study as biased and warns that its policy recommendations, if carried out, could derail the European software economy.

He then proceeded to explain how cracking a fart in parliament at the wrong time could cause a hurricane that would pitch us into the next ice age.

Eleven comments and ... (1)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16476933)

... slashdotted...

Re:Eleven comments and ... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477051)

Leaked letter warns of open source 'threat to eco-system'
Microsoft-funded lobbyist lambasts European Commission.
Matthew Broersma, Techworld
16 October 2006

A leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread adoption of open-source software.

Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development.

Any action by the EC would "disrupt the entire software eco-system" and the report itself looked "more like a marketing document than a serious survey", according to the letter - written by Hugo Lueders, director of the European branch of the ISC, addressed to Mrs Francoise Le Bail, the deputy director general of the European Commission's industry arm, and provided to Techworld.

You can view the entire letter here [pdf] [1].

The ISC is an organisation created to oppose government efforts in Europe, the US, South America and elsewhere, to give preference to open-source or open standards-based systems. According to critics such as Bruce Perens, the ISC largely pursues a pro-Microsoft agenda, though the group itself emphasises that it has more than 300 members.

Lueders sent the letter on 10 October to leaders of the Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, in response to an EC-commissioned study into the role of open source software in the European economy (referred to by Lueders as Free/Libre/Open Source, or FLOSS).

In the letter, he criticised the study as biased and warns that its policy recommendations, if carried out, could derail the European software economy. The report, titled "Study on the Economic Impact of Open Source Software on Innovation and the Competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Sectors in the EU", found that open source plays a positive role in the economy and recommended its development be encouraged through measures such as tax credits.

Biased?

Lueders said the report seemed biased, since it paid little attention to the non-open source economy. "Balance in this regard is missing... making the study look more like a marketing document than a serious survey," he wrote.

The EU shouldn't encourage open source development, he argued. First of all, it's unnecessary, since open source is already successful - the report notes that 40 percent of companies are using open source, a figure expected to grow by 20 percent a year. In any case, if open source isn't more widely used, it isn't for the Commission to say that that is a bad thing, since the market should be left to make its own decisions, according to Lueders. "In practice the market so far has largely opted for the proprietary model, a choice which should not be ignored, regardless of the purported advantages that the FLOSS system offers," he wrote.

Those in favour of encouraging open source say that market decisions aren't enough to result in a healthy economy, since proprietary software often locks users into particular choices.

Lueders argued that open standards - those that don't require a licence to implement - aren't necessarily such a great thing. Rather, "a variety of different standards" should be maintained for the market to run most efficiently. That includes both "licensed and non-licensed (FLOSS-friendly) standards (i.e. non-RAND standards)". Any action that could dislodge non-open-source-friendly standards "would significantly disrupt the entire software ecosystem", Lueders argued.

The RAND issue

The issue of standards licensed under RAND (reasonable and non discriminatory) terms has been key to the ongoing Microsoft anti-trust negotiations with the Commission. As part of its anti-trust remedies, Microsoft has been required to license Windows communications protocols, and so far has only licensed them under RAND terms, meaning they can't be implemented in open source projects such as Samba. Open source groups and the Commission have been pushing Microsoft to use non-RAND terms.

Lueders said the report's recommendation to use tax credits to encourage open source development "seems extreme", since it would distort the market and would be difficult to enforce. In any case, open source developers get enough economic encouragement as it is, he wrote, since, as the report notes, more than half of open source developers now earn income from their open source activities.

"With this in mind it is hard to see the need for considering the development of FLOSS as a 'charitable donation to society', as suggested by the report," Lueders wrote. Instead, the ISC Europe recommends allowing developers using public funds to choose what type of licence to use.

Like proprietary standards, intellectual property rights (IPR) shouldn't be tinkered with, Lueders said. "Many of the proposed policy recommendations as identified within the report could further weaken IPR throughout Europe, potentially deflating venture capital levels and EU innovation," Lueders wrote.

All lobbyists are not the same

ISC shares its physical address - 6 Rond Pont Schuman in Brussels - with another lobbying group, CompTIA, which was one of the main groups lobbying for the controversial patent directive thrown out by the European Parliament last year. CompTIA has also lobbied against measures in favour of open standards and anti-trust measures against Microsoft[2]. Lueders is also European head of CompTIA.

CompTIA justified its support for the failed patent directive on the grounds that it would only make minor adjustments to the European patent system, such as making it more consistent. Critics of that directive said it would have made software patents widely enforceable in Europe, leading to US-style software patent warfare. The Commission is currently pushing a measure called the European Patent Ligitation Agreement (EPLA) that critics say would have a similar effect. CompTIA is in favour of the EPLA [pdf][3].

In the ISC letter, Lueders criticised the Commission for giving the ISC only 10 days to respond to the report. "From this, one might surmise that the Commission is intolerant to opposing comments," he wrote. He accused the Commission of engaging in a "closed process" that limits input from dissenting points of view: "We perceive this ironic lack of transparency - i.e., open source but closed process - as becoming more widespread."

[1] http://www.techworld.com/cmsdata/news/7109/FLOSS-l etter-ISC.pdf [techworld.com]
[2] http://www.techlawjournal.com/atr/20001128.asp [techlawjournal.com]
[3] http://www.comptia.org/issues/docs/Community%20Pat ent_CompTIA%20submission_Final%2018%20April.pdf [comptia.org]

EUSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477003)

The EU is becoming a mirror image of the good ol' USA! Maybe the EU can get their own PATRIOT ACT going too!!!

Check out what X-Box hacker "bunnie" has to say about the future of technology abroad in the new documentary ALTERNATIVE FREEDOM. Also features Lawrence Lessig, Richard Stallman, Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley, rap superstar Doseone, and EFF attorney Jason Scultz...

Get the DVD/Soundtrack now!!

http://alternativefreedom.org/ [alternativefreedom.org]

Not only that, but you can't print the letter (2, Informative)

pridkett (2666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477065)

Larry Lessig notes that you can't print the letter [lessig.org] , thanks to the wonders of the rights management in Acrobat. When combined with the fact that the letter is scanned in, it makes it rather difficult to quote or distribute portions of the letter without sending the whole thing -- either that or we go back to the bad old days where everything needed to be retyped, bringing the possibility of typos and all that. Fortunately, for us Linux geeks (and I'd imagine the rest of the world that installs the software), pdftops will happily convert it to a postscript for easy printing. This is despite the fact that neither Acrobat nor Evince will print the pdf. I'd imagine that XPDF suffers from the same issue.

Re:Not only that, but you can't print the letter (2, Informative)

RedStar (86424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477237)

In fact if you try to change the security settings for the document you'll notice it can be changed to 'no security'. No password will be asked for as it is blank ! The documents original security settings don't make much sense.

It makes sense... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477431)

Using the proprietary Adobe Reader, you don't have access to the security settings to change them to allow you to print it.

Re:Not only that, but you can't print the letter (1)

ChodeMaster (773739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477287)

If you're just looking to print the letter, you can use GSView http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/ [wisc.edu] to nicely avoid the print restrictions you find in acrobate etc. (or at least the windows version of GSView does in my experience).

Re:Not only that, but you can't print the letter (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477463)

Larry Lessig notes that you can't print the letter, thanks to the wonders of the rights management in Acrobat.
Xpdf doesn't seem to have any problems printing the letter. It must be a bug in Acrobat Reader </humor>

Re:Not only that, but you can't print the letter (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480045)

I printed under various OS's
I looked at its souce security, not set dissallow printing

Re:Not only that, but you can't print the letter (2, Funny)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482363)

I printed under various OS's
I looked at its souce security, not set dissallow printing


Offtopic..

I wonder if he sells printers and is looking to boost ink sales by getting everyone to try to print it?

Sorry about the offtopic comment.

oss wrecked the software business for everybody (2, Funny)

zitintheass (1005533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477069)

new gpl'ed zombies are raised on daily basis now, every other student is now participating encouraged by their school-loser employed leads, but dont forget, MSFT is the leader of the market, some days is even stronger then S&P500 and Nasdaq100, supporting oss you are not undermining other software businesses, but America itself.

I'd mod you funny if I could. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477123)

You say "gpl" like it's a bad thing. Sure, I personally prefer the BSD license, but still...

Re:oss wrecked the software business for everybody (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477491)

LOL!! your argument is simply laughable.

"supporting oss you are not undermining other software businesses, but America itself"

Last time I checked, America had this thing called a constitution, which states something about 'freedom' in there, somewhere.

If American corporations are free to expand their business using the 'free trade' or 'globalization' model, who is really undermining America? The software businesses who are run by 2-3 American citizens using OSS? or the Lawmakers who allow these corporate lobbyists to do whatever they wish (for the right price), regardless of the implications.

This whole issue will pan-out to lobbyism, just as the war in Iraq, and most every other law being passed.

Business model (2, Funny)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477071)

From the letter:
It must be reiterated that FLOSS is merely a business model for distributing software, just like many other software business models including hybrid and proprietary software

Is that so?
What percentage of the projects on Sourceforge would describe themselves as "businesses"?

"IPR has evolved over centuries" (5, Interesting)

openright (968536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477075)

Sure.

1500's The Stationers had a publishing monopoly. ... for 130 years
corruption and suppression occured ...
1700's
Start over with a 14+14 year copyright monopoly limit.
1900's
US copyright monopoly limit extended to 14+28 years.
US copyright monopoly limit extended to 28+28 years.
US copyright monopoly limit extended to Life+50/75 years.
US copyright monopoly limit extended to life+70/120 years.

The last time copyrighted material was released into the public domain was 1977. (non-renewed material - 1991)
The next possible time for new material to enter the public domain is 2048.
That is a huge period of information suppression.

"Open Source"/"Creative commons" picks up where the "Public Domain" stopped.

Other things to note:
  Source Software is near obsolete in 30 years, but still possibly useful.
  Binary Software is obsolete in 10 years.

If the copyright monopoly limits were more aligned with innovation, perhaps Open source/Creative commons would not exist. (And neither would drm).

Re:"IPR has evolved over centuries" (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478815)

US(and EU) really should do something about copyright. In my opinion most problems can be solved by reasonable copyright expiration dates (14 years sounds about right). -enough for the companies and business to reap profits, but not enough to transform them to monopolistic parasites exploiting old ideas .

Re:"IPR has evolved over centuries" (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16479243)

Binary Software is obsolete in 10 years.
ask microsoft... they declare their software "obsolete" 4 years after release...

Re:"IPR has evolved over centuries" (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482389)

Binary Software is obsolete in 10 years.
ask microsoft... they declare their software "obsolete" 4 years after release...


Which is why my newest machine has Ubuntu instead of obsolete XP. I got tired of my kids machine joining botnets.

Re:"IPR has evolved over centuries" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16480093)

Youtube
Gnutella
Gnutella2
Ed2k
Shareaza
Bearshare
Kazaa/Lite
Bittorent Protocol
ABC
UTorrent
BitTornado
Bittorent Client
Google
Google Video
Peerguardian
Proxomitron
Firefox
WASTE
WinMX
Napster
IRC
ICQ
MSN Messanger
Skype
Teamspeak
Ventrillo
NewsGroups ...

Information wants to be free like a window wants to be transparent. If you believe copyright has anything to do with the current stranglehold they happen to have, I would suggest your understanding of reality is rather whimsical. Diebold can no more stop the leaking of internal documents than can a central bank, the GOP, or the federal US government. Percieved power is achieved power, and the only thing they have right now is a weak perception of power and achieved power which barely allows them to stop the challenging of their power by outside influences.

bizn4tZch (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477111)

Progrees. Any raise or lower the grandstanders, the From one folder on

This report... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477137)

...keeps telling us how bad FLOSS is but I always thought flossing was good.

Re:This report... (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481185)

I did some research into secret governmental documents and found out that this study was actually supported by the Norwegian wooden tooth-pick industry.

Dear EC (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477183)

Our business model is dependent on the non-existence of this other business model. Please outlaw the other one.
Sincerely, Lawl Kathaxbie.

Open Source Warning (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477259)

WARNING:

The hazardous effects of using open source software include the following:

Suddenly having the urge to not pay Microsoft for that shit they call an operating system.

Actually being able to communicate with other people not using propritary formats (PDF of open formats included for your benefit) No Virsuses or malware.

Having complete control of your system

Not being able to play games (keep your employees on task)

Hurting cute and innocent companies like Microsoft and Adobe.

Saving money

Having an army of people fixing bugs, for free!

Free tech support on FreeNode.

Not using Internet Explorer

Let's Form an Anti-Lobby Group Lobby Group (1)

Zarniwoop_Editor (791568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477263)

Perhaps the only solution to all these highly paid lobby groups is to form an anti-Lobby Group lobby.
I can't believe I just said that.
Eck.. One should never search for lobby groups in google.
http://www.circinfo.net/anti_circ.htm [circinfo.net]
All Hail our new Lobby Group overlords

Re:Let's Form an Anti-Lobby Group Lobby Group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16478583)

Circumsision is pretty nasty and should be banned. Cutting of someone's foreskin without them even knowing what it is used for is a pretty nasty thing to do.

FRIST PSOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477357)

it Ra break, i7 FreeBSD project, conversation and hype - BSD's

Page 4, Second Paragraph Heading (1)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#16477675)

The definition of what an 'open standard'/'FLOSS' was barely discussed

Heh, they could at least proofread their fancy letter before sending it.

Check out Microsoft's wrongdoing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16477769)

It's here: http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

The telling part is that .... (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478051)

... this effort is going behined closed doors... not public until someone finds out and leaks it.

In the public interest......means open to the public to know in such matters as this.

As such it should be made to back fire.

What about Hugo Lueders and Microsoft? (1)

stefaanh (189270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478345)

Googling for "Hugo Lueders" Microsoft gives 917 results
Googling for "Hugo Lueders" -Microsoft gives 663 results

Biased? Com' on!

USA DOD Open Technology Development more than OSS (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16478737)

I am sure the EU will recognise the more robust economic model "Open" provides to the world economies with which we all compete for market share.

The USA Congress and GWBush may not understand "Open" economics and basic S&T+R&D to future market products; So, the rest of the world will bury the USA economy in about 10 or 20 years.
Who gives a shit (not polticians, televangelist, fools ...), I have no kids, and I'll be dead of old age in another 20 years; So, I no longer give a shit how US citizens vote ... It is all a big fucking joke on US).

!HAVEFUN!

http://www.opentechdev.org/index.php/Open_Technolo gy_Development_Roadmap [opentechdev.org]
http://www.acq.osd.mil/actd/articles/OTDRoadmapFin al.pdf [osd.mil]
http://www.washingtontechnology.com/news/1_1/daily _news/28963-1.html [washingtontechnology.com]
http://www.businessreviewonline.com/os/archives/20 06/07/open_source_in.html [businessreviewonline.com]

OH21 - Reality is self-induced hallucination.

"European Software Economy"? (0, Flamebait)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16479519)

Now what would that be, exactly? The Global software economy is Microsoft. You're either Microsoft or you're prey for Microsoft. Apple and Google might be able to mount a challenge to the great evil but I don't see anyone other than OSS who can even hope to.

If you want to get a software economy going in another country you could do worse than mandating open source software for government operations and then contracting programmers to write custom code (to be placed in the creative commons) for tasks that don't currently have OSS code. Custom programming is where pretty much all the work is if you're a software engineer and not employed by Microsoft, Google or Apple.

MS competes with OSS, OSS doesn't compete with MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16481717)

And that is part of the problem for MS with killing FOSS: they don't care if they make 10% penetration this year, ten years' time or never.

MS cares if they drop even 1% now, next year or any time.

biased? (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16479845)

he criticised the study as biased
unlike the MS-funded studies he represents, huh?

Lueders Does Not Get It (1)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16480969)

Lueders is fatally wrong in stating FLOSS is fundamentally a business model. Sure businesses can be built around FLOSS, but at its heart FLOSS is a freedom movement. There is no way to beat a freedom movement by saying it threatens someone economically. It would be like preventing peace to keep the arms dealers in the black.

Could derail the typewriter manufacturing business (1)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481563)

You might as well say 'Personal Computers could derail the typewriter business'.

So what if people choose to spend their money on something else ? All the typewriters that are going to be sold have already been sold. Nowadays, a typewriter development and manufacturing business is not viable. Intelligent corporations try something else.

It's called 'progress'.

The myth of the broken window all over again... (2, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16481759)

Right now many firm have to fork $/ for microsoft and other proprietary software. They are NOT investing it in their own line of work, and they are not giving value added to their shareholder. Sure the software and PC revolution changed many of this industry forever, but right now this looks more like a tax than a value addition (think : difference of productivity between a worker using windows XP and windows Vista : NIL).

In other word this is the myth of the broken windows all over again : this consulting firm speaks of loosing value and strength in the economy, but in reality the money saved from paying the software would have been more likely to be reinvested into something else. And since msot big software as far as I can tell are US centric, many local economy in the world (i.e. : EU) would ON THE CONTRARY benefit by having the money reinvested locally into something else, instead of giving it away to the other side of the atlantic.

Hold on a second (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482217)

From the FA

Any action by the EC would "disrupt the entire software eco-system" and the report itself looked "more like a marketing document than a serious survey", according to the letter - written by Hugo Lueders, director of the European branch of the ISC,

and then we have this

In the ISC letter, Lueders criticised the Commission for giving the ISC only 10 days to respond to the report. "From this, one might surmise that the Commission is intolerant to opposing comments," he wrote. He accused the Commission of engaging in a "closed process" that limits input from dissenting points of view: "We perceive this ironic lack of transparency - i.e., open source but closed process - as becoming more widespread."

So can we conclude that Mr. Lueders is not the brightest lightbulb on the EU lobbyist scene, since he believes that 10 days is not adequate to read a marketing document?

This Thursday evening in London (2, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#16482397)

If you are in London tomorrow evening can I encourage you to turn up at this meeting that I am chairing:

MEETING TO DISCUSS UKUUG INVOLVEMENT IN LOBBYING

All are invited to an informal meeting on

THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER 2006

18:30 - 20:30

Tudor Room, The Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB

The purposes of the meeting are

  1. To continue the discussion following the AGM prompted by Leslie Fletcher's presentation, to allow members more time to give their views and ask questions on what has been done so far and what is planned. An extended version of the presentation is available at http://www.ukuug.org/events/agm2006/leslie.pdf [ukuug.org]
  2. To confirm, or not, the impression that members want UKUUG to be involved in lobbying and advocacy and are happy to see their membership dues spent in support of it. Council is looking to decide within the next month whether this is an appropriate activity for UKUUG to continue with so members views are crucial
  3. To discuss a possible role for UKUUG in coordinating the response of the UK FLOSS community to UK and EU funding, promotional and marketing opportunities. There is concern that this is being compromised by dissension and disorganisation within the community.

Speakers will be Leslie Fletcher and Eddie Bleasdale.

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