A lot has been said about the proposed FOSS bill in the congress especially at the PLUG mailing lists where everybody seems to have his or her idea of what the bill should be...
Of course, I have something to say also but I choose to blog it here as it seems there are some members of the mailing lists who are really way too passionate about their beliefs that in the end you'll get tagged by certain terms... especially when you don't agree with them.
I believe in FOSS. I believe that we all should have a choice, and that includes the State or the Government.
Yes, it is a matter of choice... so what's next?
A choice has to be made -- a choice that is based after carefully weighing the scales of reason and that is beneficial to the one who is making the choice.
If ever the proposed FOSS bill will be legislated, then it only means that the State just made its choice. Is there anything wrong with that? FOSS (including open standards and all) will or may be chosen by the State because of reduced cost, interoperability of government information systems will be ensured, assurance that the public may be able access public information to the infinite and among other reasons why other country governments has chosen to adopt FOSS.
As what I understand, the proposed FOSS bill is intended ONLY for the government. If the government wants to use FOSS, so what's wrong with that?
Unless you are a government employee, then you don't have to use any FOSS all. You can CHOOSE to use propriety software in your homes, at the internet cafes, in your schools, or wherever you wish. If you are working in a private company that uses propriety software, the government won't compel you to use FOSS simply because the proposed bill doesn't cover that.
So what's with all the noise?
If you are software developer who doesn't believe in GPL or dislike it, then offer your software to private companies who can afford or prefer your software. That's the company's choice and the government won't even stop that company from choosing propriety software or you from offering your software.
I don't really see how the proposed FOSS bill would take out my, yours, or their freedom of choice. As per the proposed bill, the government must choose FOSS because it thinks that FOSS is good for the government but will not compel you as a private citizen to use or develop FOSS. It is clear that YOU still have your choice.
Let the government choose, the same way it allows us as private citizens to choose what we want or what we see is good for us.
You may choose for yourself but the government can't?! That's scary, ever heard of anarchy?
P.S. I hope they scrap Section 8 of the proposed bill, it doesn't make sense... but nonetheless I hope and pray for its passage.