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[News] BSA -- Another Front Group for Microsoft et al. -- Tries to Illegalise Software Freedom Again

  • Subject: [News] BSA -- Another Front Group for Microsoft et al. -- Tries to Illegalise Software Freedom Again
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 15:36:43 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

BSA: Hardware Without Software Not Tax Deductible

,----[ Quote ]
| The Czech Ministry of Finance along with 
| the BSA threaten to disallow deducting 
| hardware from base tax if purchased 
| without software. This idea stems from 
| their joint proclamation that for software 
| to be used legally, it must be bought â 
| thus completely ignoring the existence of 
| free and open source software which can be 
| obtained legally without any purchase 
| whatsoever. The Ministry and the BSA have 
| issued a press release which basically 
| labels all users of 'free software' 
| pirates. Many public organizations and 
| companies (including Red Hat and Novell) 
| have expressed their dismay at such 
| actions of the Ministry.


One 'front group' dies:

Goodbye Becta â and Good Riddance

,----[ Quote ]
| Not quite on the scale of cancelling the 
| ID cards project, the news that Becta 
| would be shut down was nonetheless further 
| evidence of the coalition government's new 
| broom whooshing into action.
| Although there seems to be a wide range of 
| views on whether this is a good or bad 
| thing â see this post and its comments for 
| a representative selection â for me Becta 
| was pretty much an unmitigated disaster 
| for free software in this country, and I'm 
| glad to see it go.
| I write not just as someone who has 
| followed free software for 15 years, but 
| as a parent. Never mind that schools 
| almost without exception are stuffed to 
| the gunwales with Microsoft's technology â 
| including, unbelievably, Internet Explorer 
| when it was still totally insecure.
| What I find particularly outrageous is the 
| fact that even today, some of the 
| educational websites used by schools don't 
| even work with Firefox, and that there is 
| a presumption that parents have a copy of 
| Microsoft Office at home (whether it was 
| bought or âborrowedâ from work doesn't 
| seem to matter to IT departments much.) 
| Most of the responsibility for this 
| parlous state of affairs can be laid at 
| the door of Becta. 



School IT quango to be expelled

,----[ Quote ]
| Becta, the education IT procurement
| quango, is to be scrapped as part of the
| new government's Â6.2bn cuts this year,
| announced by George Osborne this morning.
| Schools are expected to get more control
| over their technology purchases as a
| result. Becta did not buy computers and
| software for schools, but instead drew up
| framework agreements that bound local
| authorities to particular vendors and
| packages.


Becta: Does it deserve to die?


Becta and school ICT: end of the line for the gravy train? (II)

,----[ Quote ]
| But now, with a new Government BECTA and
| QCDA are no more. They both moved to
| Coventry recently, I knew that was the end
| of them, apparently they did not. NO ONE
| voluntarily moves from London to
| Coventry.do they? But no acronym changeâ
| just abolishment?


Farewell to Becta

,----[ Quote ]
| I have mixed feelings about this, though
| in a period when severe cutbacks are
| required a body like Becta is hard to
| justify. I first came across Becta in the
| context of the debate about Office Open
| XML, Microsoft Office and Open Office.
| Becta, which claims to provide ârigorous
| research and evaluationâ, came up with a
| full report on Microsoft Vista and Office
| 2007. These are products which I know a
| lot about, and I thought the report was
| poor. I liked the fact that Becta was
| positive towards open source; but disliked
| the uncritical advocacy which it seemed to
| indulge in at times.


Becta to be Eliminated

,----[ Quote ]
| BECTA is to be closed this year in a cost-
| cutting expedition of the government of
| the UK. Having mixed results from similar
| organizations in Canada, I have mixed
| feelings about BECTA.
| [...]
| I do not know what the result of BECTAâs
| demise will be. It would be good if
| schools formed their own umbrella
| organization and used FLOSS and the FLOSS
| community for similar benefits to what
| BECTA does.

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