Wikileaks has leaked a draft of a report by an OSS working group representing industry. It appears to be a very divisive document, perhaps intended to fragment the global FLOSS community:
- The draft points out that EU has done a lot in FLOSS but US corporations are making the profits
- The draft points out that FLOSS cannot be zero cost. What has this to do with EU strategy?
- “There is no clear distinction between closed source and open source.”
- “Commoditization if the opposite of innovation.”
- “Open Source will never be THE solution which will modify the whole economy and the IT world.”
- “Why all the benefit from OpenSource is mainly for non-European countries?”
- “tenders preferring or mandating OpenSource software or narrowly defined open standards, according to the view of leading software trade associations, can be in violation of the same neutrality principles.”
It’s a long document, 37 pages, and while showing a discussion is happening contains such bizarre viewpoints (not unlike one of our commenters) that I do not see it contributing much towards establishing an EU policy on FLOSS. GNU/Linux is doing very well in EU and the divisive issues raised are typical strawmen in that they are essentially irrelevant to the adoption of FLOSS. That is, the cost of making GNU/Linux available to everyone divided by the potential number of installations (billions) is trivial in comparison to the cost of non-free software and the deadly weight of support it needs (anti-malware, licensing, lawyers, salesmen and techs). In my school, for instance, we were dead in the water with that other OS. Half the machines were not working. By adopting FLOSS, we can triple the number of existing machines, and increase the number of working machines five-fold with no increase in costs. GNU/Linux is also sustainable because the whole world shares in the cost of production and we are many.
I hope the final version of this report is reasonable but I am not optimistic. Fortunately, the EU is advancing in adoption of FLOSS faster than the writers of the report can revise.