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How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper 112

Glyn Moody writes "Thanks to the indispensable Wikileaks, we have the opportunity to see how an organization close to Microsoft is attempting to re-write — and hijack — an important European Union open source strategy paper, currently being drawn up. Analyzing before and after versions visible in the document demonstrates how the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying group partially funded by Microsoft, is trying to widen the scope of open source to include 'mixed solutions blending open and proprietary code.'" And reader Elektroschock adds some detail on EU processes: "The European Commission lets ACT and CompTIA participate in all working groups of the European Open Source Strategy, which defines Europe's future open source approach. A blue editor questions the objectives: 'Regarding the "Europe Digital Independence" our [working] group thinks it is, in general, not an issue.' 'European digital independence' is a phrase coined by EU Commissioner V. Reding, that is what her European Software Strategy was supposed to be about. She didn't reveal that lobbyists or vendors with vested interests would write the strategy for the Commission."
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How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:32PM (#27013957)

    Groklaw (www.groklaw.net) is down, due to coverage of Microsoft vs TomTom? Or, is it just a coincidence?

  • by Jalfro ( 1025153 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:51PM (#27014203)
    Great. So Microsoft gets the US and everywhere else gets Free Software? If it wasn't for free trade, MS would never have got to Europe in the first place.
  • The fact of the matter is that open source, at least in the eyes of European policy makers, is about kicking the Americans out of the software business in Europe.

    Not really.

    Outside of Ireland the the UK, Microsoft is simply not as big in Europe as it is in the states. Time and again I have heard the same story. Linux shops and linux systems are simply more common in mainland Europe than Microsoft systems. Which is not to say that Microsoft systems are not there. They're just not there as much.

    A lot of this is down to language and cultural barriers. A lot. It is very difficult for American companies to adapt to business on the continent. Going from an environment of 50 states with the same currency, culture and language, to 25 states with different languages, cultures, currencies (less now), and even legal systems is difficult. In North America, it's common for a franchise to expand across the entire continent at a rapid pace. I doubt there even is a franchise across the entire continent of Europe.

    But, it's also true that European governments do balk at the idea of an American operating system controlling all of their computers. The English and Irish do not really see this as a problem, but I'm sure that the French view the situation as an anathema. The same goes for products like Oracle. But this is not a new development. These problems have existed for years.

  • by daem0n1x ( 748565 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:00PM (#27014309)

    Money has no homeland.

    Microsoft is a multinational, it has employees and shareholders all around the world. The shareholders don't give a fuck about the USA or any other country.

  • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:32PM (#27014763)

    This is like the EU deciding what oil individuals should use in all their cars.

    Your opinion of this would certainly change if you had the choice between buying Shell oil (they get to set all their own prices) and growing/making all the oil you need in your own backyard. You would be screaming about anti-competitiveness, Monopolies, etc..

  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:49PM (#27015005) Homepage

    I am getting so sick of the Smoot-Harley comments whenever the topic of tariffs comes up. There are issues with protectionist tariffs, but the reason Smoot-Harley was such a disaster is that the tariffs were fixed in dollar per item rather than a percentage of price. During the deflationary spiral of the 1930's, this resulted in the tariff's being as high as 60% of the cost of a tariffed item. Personally, I think we need to have some tariffs so that imported goods carry the same load in our society as domestically produced goods to level the playing field. It does not make sense that domestically produced goods carry a significantly higher tax burden than those produced abroad.

  • by bagofbeans ( 567926 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:54PM (#27015061)
    In the US, "Organic" used to mean untarnished by nasties. The Big Food lobby got "Organic" re-defined to mean mostly untarnished. Now "100% Organic" means totally untarnished. So maybe soon we'll have "100% Open Source" (as supported by Mr Stallman) vs the new "Open Source" with proprietary lock-ware in it.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger