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Re: [News] The Latest of Microsoft's Anti-OSS FUD and Lobbying in Europe

on Oct 16 2006 Roy Schestowitz wrote:

> Leaked letter warns of open source 'threat to eco-system'
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of
> | lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread
> | adoption of open-source software.
> | Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source
> | software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure
> | group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of
> | potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given
> | to open source software development.
> http://www.techworld.com/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=7109

- quote -
I am writing on behalf of the Initiative for Software Choice in responce
to .. the study commissioned by the European Commission .. to identify the
role of Free/Open Source Software(FLOSS) in the Economy..

The ISC applauds the commision's initiative to carry out such a study - the
more information we can gather on the dynamics of the market, particularly
with respect to FLOSS, the more coherent and better understood the software
ecosystem can become.

That noted, the limited window with which we and others have had to comment
clearly has hampered a more comprehensive reply. While we believe the study
does add more information to this complex issue. It does not holistically
reflect the full dynamics now occuring in the virrant software marketplace.
To this end, we offer our expertise and stand ready to meet with the
authors of this report to help them gain added insight into the narrow role
governments play in promoting software development.

FLOSS has proved to be a successful business model.

It must reiterated that FLOSS is merely a business model for distributing
software, just like many other software business models including hybrid
and proprietary software. The FLOSS approach has shown significant market
penetration and continues to expand daily ..

This report ignores the positive existence of other, non-FLOSS models.

The ISC is concerned that the reports' approach fails to consider the
achievements of various other forms of software licensing and business
models. This is to some extent understandable since the report is a study
primarily on the FOSS model. Yet the FLOSS model cannot be extricated from
the environment in which it exists - it is not an island unto itself. While
the report seemingly recognises this, it acknowledges other models in a
denigrating manner, that they only contribute "headaches to FLOSS" instead
of informing the competitive dynamic. Alternative software distribution
models - such as proprietary, hybrid models - produced great products but
that success has been greatly obscured and distorted. Balance in this
regard is missing, casting, we believe aspersions on the overall findings
and making the study look more like a marketing document than a serious
survey of this exceedingly complex and dynamic matter ..

The choice of business model is ultimately a market place decision. In
practice the market so far largely opted for the proprietary model, a
choice which should not be ignored, regardless of the purported advantages
that the FLOSS system offers.

Furthermore, the proprietary model is supported to a large extent by a
complex system of rights (i.e. IPR) that has spawned from societal
experiences to provide incentives for innovative technological progress.
This system remains valid of its own right; it is an intricate and
market-oriented stimulation of innovation that clearly works ..

The definition of what an 'open standard'/FLOSS was barely discussed ..

Yours sincerely

Director ISC Europe
- unquote -

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