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[FYI] U.S.: Easing on Software Exports Has Limits


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Easing on Software Exports Has Limits


hen the Clinton administration recently announced plans to relax 
restrictions on exports of data-scrambling software, a key issue that 
escaped notice was that the new policies affect only shrink-wrapped 
software, not the original source code -- the lines of instructions 
that programmers actually write.  

When it comes to source code, the undersecretary of commerce for 
export administration, William Reinsch, said last week that "nothing 
has changed."  

The exclusion of source code from the relaxed rules threatens to 
constrain software developed under the so-called open-source model, 
most notably the Linux operating system, an upstart competitor to  
Microsoft's Windows. 


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