On the recent NZ Government 'warning' about Open Source software

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Brendan, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Guest

    I wrote a message to the SSC regarding the above document outlining what
    are surely concerns about it shared by many of us here. Below is there
    response followed by my original. You may find it informative.

    ======================================================
    Thank you for your feedback about the State Services Commission's Guide to
    Legal Issues in Using Open Source Software [
    <http://www.e.govt.nz/policy/open-source/open-source-legal/> ].

    The State Services Commission has provided consistent advice since 2003 [
    <http://www.e.govt.nz/policy/open-source/open-source-200303> ] encouraging
    government agencies to consider open source software where appropriate.
    The SSC stands by this advice.

    The Legal Issues document was only ever intended to address the legal
    risks, not the wider benefits, of using open source software. The guide
    did not contrast open source risks with the risks of using commercial
    software, as these risks are well understood. The document's focus on open
    source risk, in the narrow and specific circumstances in which that risk
    may arise, should not give the impression that SSC has changed its
    commitment to the New Zealand government using open source software. On
    the contrary, SSC believes the guide will help government agencies use
    open source software with confidence.

    However, as a result of feedback from the New Zealand and international
    open source communities, SSC will review the document and - with input
    from members of the New Zealand open source community - issue in the very
    near future a revised version that more clearly positions the document in
    its correct context. We trust that this revised version will address the
    bulk of the feedback received.

    The revised document will be posted to the e-government website [
    <http://www.e.govt.nz/> ] and a media release will be issued.

    Other information that you might be interested in is available here:

    <http://www.e.govt.nz/resources/news>
    <http://www.e.govt.nz/resources/news/2005/october.html/20051018.html>

    Regards,
    E-government
    State Services Commission

    -----Original Message-----
    From:
    Sent: Monday, 6 March 2006 8:30 p.m.
    To: ICT - E-government
    Subject: Feedback on www.e.govt.nz


    Email address (will be empty if none was provided):

    The following feedback has been provided for URL:
    http://www.e.govt.nz/policy/open-source/open-source-legal/chapter1.html

    legal risk of Open Source no worse than commercial software
    Sir(s);
    I find it disturbing that you highlight the legal risks of open source
    software while at the same time neglecting to do the same for Closed
    (commercial) source software.

    The risks are no greater than for closed source. Furthermore, closed
    source has the additional risk of tying YOUR information up in proprietry
    formats that are controlled by overseas entities who are proven to be
    untrustworthy to the public. I do not want to see the New Zealand citizen
    held hostage by an overseas company due to the poor decision making of a
    past government department.

    Furthermore, many other governments - both national and local - the world
    over are increasingly turning to Open Source to avoid the very above
    mentioned problems (and others); These governments are often in countries
    that share a majority of demographics with NZ; I am curious to know what
    the NZ government thinks it knows better than these others ? Or are theses
    others believed incompetent ?

    It is my theory that this department has been influenced by vested
    interests on behalf of the commercial sector. I would like to be proven
    wrong. But by neglecting the mention of IP infringements of commercial
    software and yet highlighting the same for open source, I am left with
    little alternative.

    In regards to indemnity offered by some companies for possible IP
    infringements: Microsoft limits it's liability to a total dollar amount,
    which would likely be insufficient for a serious complaint. This is a fact
    they tend to skim over.

    Thank you for your time in reading this quick summary of my concerns.
    There is a great deal more to them which I did not have room for herein.
    Feel free to ask for more information of my objections to this 'warning'.

    Yours, Brendan Thompson - Computer Technician
    =======================================================

    --

    .... Brendan

    #434593 +(5044)- [X]

    *** Topic in #doghouse is 'Our hearts are extended to the 17 victims of the
    recent internet fraud'
    * Anubis has joined #doghouse
    <Anubis> what fraud?
    <Kadmium> You haven't heard about it?
    <Anubis> no?
    <Kadmium> You can read the full story at http://www.tubgirl.com
    <Anubis> omg wtf!
    *** Kadmium changes topic to 'Our hearts are extended to the 18 victims of
    the recent internet fraud'


    Note: All my comments are copyright 14/03/2006 10:41:24 a.m. and are opinion only where not otherwise stated and always "to the best of my recollection". www.computerman.orcon.net.nz.
    Brendan, Mar 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Brendan

    Steve Guest

    On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 10:46:07 +1300, Brendan wrote:

    >
    > I wrote a message to the SSC regarding the above document outlining what
    > are surely concerns about it shared by many of us here. Below is there
    > response followed by my original. You may find it informative.
    >

    very... like word for word the same as their response to me :)

    Steve
    Steve, Mar 14, 2006
    #2
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 06:19:18 +1300, Steve wrote:

    > On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 10:46:07 +1300, Brendan wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I wrote a message to the SSC regarding the above document outlining what
    >> are surely concerns about it shared by many of us here. Below is there
    >> response followed by my original. You may find it informative.
    >>

    > very... like word for word the same as their response to me :)
    >
    > Steve


    Yeah, I expected it to be a form letter, but thought some here might like
    to read it.

    --

    .... Brendan

    My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.


    Note: All my comments are copyright 15/03/2006 10:00:08 a.m. and are opinion only where not otherwise stated and always "to the best of my recollection". www.computerman.orcon.net.nz.
    Brendan, Mar 14, 2006
    #3
  4. Brendan

    Philip Guest

    Brendan wrote:
    > On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 06:19:18 +1300, Steve wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 10:46:07 +1300, Brendan wrote:
    >>
    >>> I wrote a message to the SSC regarding the above document outlining what
    >>> are surely concerns about it shared by many of us here. Below is there
    >>> response followed by my original. You may find it informative.
    >>>

    >> very... like word for word the same as their response to me :)
    >>
    >> Steve

    >
    > Yeah, I expected it to be a form letter, but thought some here might like
    > to read it.
    >

    There's good coverage of this at Groklaw (www.groklaw.net).

    Philip
    Philip, Mar 16, 2006
    #4
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