Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FC: Bush administration's position on open-source seems... flexible

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Subject: US Officially Opposing Open Source Internationally? From: Steve Withers <> To: Declan McCullagh <> X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.0.8 (1.0.8-10) Date: 28 Jan 2003 13:27:53 +1300


I have not seen this in notes from Politech....and thought you might find it interesting.

The question I have is: Since when is the US Government OFFICIALLY opposed to the use and development of Open Source software around the world? Millions of Americans use it and the idea of Open Source started in the US.

The US was the only country attending the Tokyo conference to demand this change from "support" of Open Source to the alternative presented below.

Extract (partial):

TOKYO -- A three-day meeting that brought together Asian governments, organizations, companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) ended Wednesday morning with the approval of a declaration that, among other things, calls for encouraging the development of open-source software. A draft of the declaration had called for open source to be "supported" but was changed after objections from the U.S. government delegation late Tuesday night.

The U.S. opposition was largely perceived to be support for its domestic software companies and in particular Microsoft, said officials from other governments on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday. After a short debate with a number of countries, including Pakistan, that wanted the original language to remain, all sides finally reached agreement and the declaration was changed to read: "Development and deployment of open-source software should be encouraged, as appropriate, as should open standards for ICT (information and communications technology) networking."