Want To Join the World Trade Organization? Dump Microsoft Go With Linux
When you click on the link for the Go Open Source web site you are greeted with a pleasant looking page and a no-nonsense message:
Below that are many sections one could use to describe the workings of a government. The founders made it simple for people with differing interests to find content that would benefit them. Simply clicking on a category link puts one into areas like a Health Department, Revenue Services, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and so on.
As I made my first visit to the Wiki, I found a fairly empty website waiting for content. With about two days advanced notice, I wondered how the goals could be achieved. As the weekend began to vanish, people from various parts of planet earth started adding their evidence of Linux and open source making its way into governments from places as diverse as the Phillippines, Thailand, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Sweden to mention only a few . As Sunday began to turn into Monday, the conference had an A-list of Government applications. A friend remarked that he had always looked for a place that contained "this kind of material".
I liked hearing that because I did my share of posting to the Wiki. Now that the conference has ended, I'm hoping people will continue to feed the go-opensource.org Wiki with more examples of FOSS applications used in government. I know I will. Perhaps the taskforce could add an index and get more exposure for this content enabled web site project.
Some things I observed while posting and researching
Since I live in America and investigate the role of OSS in governments around the world, I'm aware that US citizens pay for the software used in the developing world. It's sort of like the "dumping" Japan used to do with electronics and automobiles.
Take Iran, for example. The entire Iranian ICT infrastructure is Microsoft. Yet, supposedly, no one in that country has ever paid for a single Microsoft license. I find that strange.
With so much software piracy in Iran, their ambitions to become members of the World Trade Organization seem hopeless. In case you did not know, software piracy is an issue the Bush administration can use to keep countries out of free trade agreements. So, Iran's only hope is to convert to OSS and get rid of its pirated infrastructure. See http://www.iosn.net/country/iran/news/ and specifically http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=115&art_id=qw109567728080B265.
If you don't visit that link, here's a excerpt:
This situation is not unique to the Iranians. Any country trying to gain entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) faces the same dilema. And while a solution to their problem exists by simply implementing Linux and open source software in their national ICT infrastructure, the governments of those countries seem paralyzed from taking appropriate action.
I find it more than ironic that the Iranians consider the United States their "arch-enemy" and use Microsoft software. If I knew that Microsoft wanted me to use their software and it would keep me from gaining an economic advantage, I would drop it in a second. Take a lesson from the Chinese, get rid of your pirated, junky software and use Linux.
Here's one final thought about arch-enemies. Countries like Iran might want to try some simple logic. If you're using Microsoft software and it's keeping you out of the WTO, then perhaps you are in fact your own "worst" enemy. In other words, maybe you have no one else to blame but yourselves.
It makes me wonder if people really get that.
|Subject||Topic Starter||Replies||Views||Last Post|
|Sharia law and software licensing||roblimo||24||2,459||Aug 27, 2005 12:38 PM|
|Follow up with Tectonic||tadelste||0||1,086||Aug 24, 2005 9:18 AM|
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