Enemies of the People

Enemies of the People

James Purser has beat me to the punch on a story about copyright ideologues recommending that Indonesia be put on a Special 301 watch list for recommending the use of open source software.  The Guardian is reporting that the following representations were made:

“The Indonesian government’s policy… simply weakens the software industry and undermines its long-term competitiveness by creating an artificial preference for companies offering open source software and related services, even as it denies many legitimate companies access to the government market.

Rather than fostering a system that will allow users to benefit from the best solution available in the market, irrespective of the development model, it encourages a mindset that does not give due consideration to the value to intellectual creations.

As such, it fails to build respect for intellectual property rights and also limits the ability of government or public-sector customers (e.g., State-owned enterprise) to choose the best solutions.

The “special 301” procedure is a mechanism by which (essentially) the US imposes trade sanctions on countries if they think those countries don’t give sufficient monopoly rights to US companies.  In a sense the representation is laughable in that open source licenses are creatures of copyright.  If you don’t have copyright, you don’t have open source.  This is copyright ideology run amok.  Unfortunately, legislative and regulatory frameworks exist in a twilight zone where reality and common sense have no part to play.  Legislators and the executive, need to get the ideology of monopoly out of the heads and return us to the path of free enterprise and democracy – things to which the copyright lobby is implacably opposed.

The obvious observation here is that they clearly don’t respect the copyright owners of open source software, nor how they choose to deal with their rights.


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