ASEAN Free Software Wishlist

ASEAN Free Software Wishlist

Brendan Scott May MMIX

If someone was throwing money around to support the Free, Libre and Open Source Software community in the Australia and South East Asian Nations area (and I happened to be in the line of fire) I would probably use it to set up an ASEAN FLOSS Strategic Policy Centre  (AFSPC doesn’t sound like the best acronym in the world, so I’d probably have to first hire a consultant to come up with a better name).

The functions of AFSPC would include:

  • providing FLOSS related compliance assistance for local businesses;
  • providing FLOSS related education services for local businesses;
  • engaging in strategic thinking relating to FLOSS – had such an organisation been set up three years ago it would have had an excellent climate provided by the GFC for marketing the advantages of FLOSS;
  • responding to government inquiries on FLOSS related topics;
  • formulating FLOSS related policy best practice recommendations;
  • creating and maintaining a FLOSS scorecard;
  • establishing alliances and communities of interest with stakeholders having similar objectives;
  • the provision of a FLOSS liaison officer to assist government on an ongoing basis in relation to FLOSS;
  • provide governance assistance to free software projects – how to establish one, how to run one, how to navigate transitions in structure as more people get involved in a project;
  • educating law makers on free software related policies.

Other initiatives which could be established are:

  • a FLOSS clearing house funded by a levy on government IT procurement.  Traditionally, Government is happy to pay exorbitant marketing costs for closed source (albeit hidden in licence fees) while discriminating against providing similar funding for FLOSS marketing.   The clearing house would partially redress this government discrimination by marketing FLOSS solutions to government.  See sections 9.4ff here;
  • a FLOSS demonstration centre, with a shopfront (this has been done in Western Australia);
  • creating FLOSS related solutions for SMEs – eg standard server implementation that resellers could preload/sell
  • supporting networking between FLOSS related businesses and FLOSS using customers (already being done by OSIA).
  • particularly important for Australia is to pursue removal of  the immunity enjoyed by closed source software from anti-competitive practices under Part IV of the Trade Practices Act.

But, so far as I am aware no one actually is throwing money around.  Which is disappointing, given that the Australian government donates $100 million a year to the copyright lobby and even more to the closed source lobby.

6 Responses to “ASEAN Free Software Wishlist”

  1. 1 pfctdayelise 21 May 2009 at 11:05 am

    Sounds like a great idea. But is it something that really makes sense at a multi-national regional level? It sounds more suited to a national or even just state project, to me.

  2. 2 brendanscott 21 May 2009 at 11:13 am

    Hi Brianna

    This is something that can be done at any number of levels (depending largely on the funding). Ultimately many of these functions are going to be the same independent of jurisdiction – for example, compliance training and education would not, I guess, vary greatly depending on where you are.

    By having a regional organisation would also allow the organisation to connect together the various governments in the region on this issue.

  3. 3 wejick 18 June 2010 at 9:44 am

    this is too ambitious plan. I think its better for us to make conf. so we can produce good plan

  1. 1 Links 21/05/2009: New GNOME, IBM Promotes Desktop GNU/Linux | Boycott Novell Trackback on 22 May 2009 at 1:19 pm
  2. 2 » Blog Archive » ASEAN FLOSS Strategic Policy Centre Might be Coming Trackback on 8 June 2009 at 10:21 am
  3. 3 Links 07/06/2009: More Migrations to GNU/Linux in Schools, Shop | Boycott Novell Trackback on 8 June 2009 at 10:35 am

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