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[ba-unrev-talk] Re: Fwd: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this

>From: "Benjamin J. Tilly " <ben_tilly@operamail.com>
>Brian Behlendorf <brian@collab.net> wrote:
> > On Wed, 23 Oct 2002, Benjamin J. Tilly  wrote:
> > > http://newsvac.newsforge.com/newsvac/02/10/23/1247236.shtml?tid=4
> > >
> > > A Washington State senator is trying to make it government
> > > policy to not support research that produces GPLed
> > > software because the GPL is a license that "would prevent
> > > or discourage commercial adoption" of technologies.
> > >
> > > Yeah, right.
> >
> > Everyone knows my biases, but I think there's a pretty reasonable point
> > here.  A "university" license would, in my opinion, be the most
> > appropriate license for government-funded software to be released under.
> > Simply by virtue of being compatible with all other existing licenses,
> > Open Source or not, it makes the software more widely usable, and thus
> > more valuable to society as a whole.  Since a properly-formed university
> > license is compatible with the GPL, it would also not prevent government
> > funds from going to funds that are based on GPL software, for example the
> > Linux kernel.  If I were a senator I'd be tempted to sign onto such
> > legislation.  I'd look very closely, though, for any easter eggs left by
> > software vendors from Washington State.
>This movement is specifically aimed at keeping the
>government from distributing things like its security
>enhancements for the Linux kernel.  There are two issues
>  1) If the government wants to use open source
>     software, and that software does not meet the
>     government's needs, then it is reasonable for the
>     government to improve that software.
>  2) Governments are better suited than private
>     enterprise to address the tragedy of the commons.
>     Security in particular suffers from this, and
>     actions meant to improve computer security should
>     address popular software, regardless of license.
>Both of these are legitimate public policy concerns which
>make it appropriate for the government to do security
>work on open source projects like Linux and Apache.
>Microsoft doesn't want the government to do this work for
>the obvious reason that it legitimizes competition to
>Microsoft, and does it in an area where they are weak.
>As far as I am concerned, that is Microsoft's problem.
>When Microsoft sells to the government, they undoubtably
>are paid money for a contract that is contingent upon
>certain features being developed.  And the government
>spends money giving private companies - Microsoft
>included - feedback on security issues.  Why are these
>actions OK when a purely private interest (such as
>Microsoft) is the direct recipient of the public
>largess, but not when it is an open source community?
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