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[Discuss] Govt Source Code Policy

On 04/05/16 16:01, Greg Rundlett (freephile) wrote:
> I opened this discussion by proposing that not only should the US
> Government "open source" it's work, but that the BEST choice for licensing
> that work in a way that ensures public benefit is to use the principles of
> copyleft as enshrined in the GPL v3 license.  It's a legal technique to
> enforce a greater morality. It's a way "that this nation shall have a new
> birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for
> the people, shall not perish from the earth." These words were not only
> repeated by Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, but it's a concept that goes
> back to at least 1384 (as a prologue to the English translation of the
> Bible).  There are obstacles; and it would be a radical transformation, but
> doable and worth the price.  This transformation could affect every other
> sector of life, providing a whole new landscape for the future.
> It's WRONG that elections are not held on verifiable free software
> platforms.  And it's sad that the Open Source Initiative, who has been
> working on this for nearly a decade via OSET, had to create a new
> watered-down copyleft license based on the MPL so that it could meet the
> needs of their 200 or so stakeholders [1] [2].  Still you could argue that
> they're trying to do the right thing: They make it clear that they wanted
> to choose the GPL.  If the US Government doesn't use the GPL, the next best
> choice for government work might be the OSETPL  Why isn't this widely
> implemented yet?  Perhaps it's because the commercial implementors have no
> incentive?
> It's WRONG that the US taxpayer spends about $82 billion a year
> collectively supporting private contractors for things like 'Census taking
> software' (old crusty stuff that only runs on Windows) which even when
> 'public domain' [3] is not available as 'complete and corresponding source
> code'.
> The GPL license stands up for the little guy.  In a world of 1% "haves" and
> 99% "have nots", copyleft is one of the few mechanisms available to try and
> correct course.  We have one planet with nearly 7.5 billion people on it.
> I believe the GPL works to provide a future for the next 40 years when we
> reach 10 billion [4] people alive (and hopefully cooperating). The way
> copyright, trade deals, and patents work today, I don't think humanity will
> have another 7 centuries before we perish.
> What's ironic is how educational institutions such as MIT and Harvard, with
> a stated mission of education, have subverted their own mission by doing
> everything possible to maximize their profitability by making the fruits of
> their research proprietary.  They've done so with the help of government
> funding.  They've done so with the help of advantageous tax policy. They've
> done so with "open source" licenses that they and their graduates can
> leverage better than the 99%.
> What's also ironic is that so many people continue with 'business as usual'
> even in the face of "Panama Papers" and WikiLeaks that show just how
> corrupt the status quo is. Maybe we're on the verge of a resurgence in the
> GPL.  Maybe software patents will be abolished. Maybe copyright will be
> replaced by inalienable 'sharing rights'.  It's interesting that the Pirate
> Party is the most popular party in Iceland right now -- and that's before
> the Panama Papers.
> [1] OSET Public License
> [2] Rationale
> [3] Most Gov't software is not public domain like it's supposed to be.
> We've utterly failed to conduct our government in the fashion it was
> supposed to be done. In less than 3 centuries.
> [4]
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+1 Couldn't have said it better myself...

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