Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Ahoy Me Hearties, We All Be Pirates!

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There’s a fantastic article in today’s Guardian (via Computer World Magazine) about the International Intellectual Property Alliance, who say that countries advocating the use of open source software should be put on a “Specialist 301 list” (ie a trading watch list) because open source “weakens the software industry” and “fails to build respect for intellectual property”.  The IIPA is an umbrella group for organisations like the RIAA and the MPAA, who are of course well-known for their open-mindedness and forward thinking.

Go read the articles, I’ll wait…

As well as the obvious lack of understanding of, well, anything, this is all quite bizarre. It implies disapproval of almost the entire internet infrastructure, as well as the big (US) players like Google. It shows a complete lack of understanding about companies (in the US) making a revenue from an open source business model, or even including open source software within their offerings. And how you can claim that the open source licenses somehow harm intellectual property is beyond me.

Oh well, I guess that puts the British Government on the watchlist, as well as the US government, and presumably the IIPA need to put themselves on if they use Apache at all…