Open Source Bill vs. Bill

Its quite a feat to get a bill into committee and onto the floor for a vote. Its amazing the sponsors of HB 2892 got as far as they did. Sadly, once publicity of the bill reached the lobbyists from a certain law-evading megacorporation, the bill was thwarted. Significant campaign donations seem to mean more that public interest.

3 thoughts on “Open Source Bill vs. Bill”

  1. What was the language of the actual bill? Was it something attempting to dictate to the state that it must employ a certain percentage of open source software? Or was it something that offered incentives for the use of open source?
    Even though I’m a firm supporter of open source and bringing down the M$ monopoly (and continually disappointed when I hear all the anecdotes describing Microsoft’s view of fair play in the business environment), I don’t see how fair it would be for a state government to target a specific company (evil or not) with legislation that promotes the competition’s product (even if it’s free and not evil at all). Microsoft has repeatedly dealt with their competition in a heavy-handed and unfair manner and the public consumer base has suffered because of it in terms of fewer competition-based incentives for product improvement and innovation and a lack of product diversity.
    Is legislation of this kind a way to level the playing field, make everything fair, and spawn innovation, or is it just a case of the government stooping to Microsofts level and giving them a taste of their own medicine?

  2. The language of the bill was that state agencies were to consider open source options when purchasing software solutions, and that the access to state data should be controlled by the state rather than by the software vendor.

    Its a really well written bill, and doesn’t preclude the state from buying commercial software. It simply seeks to address the significant increases in commercial software costs and the increase in restrictions on its use.

    It completely ignores the state agency doing business with a company found to be violating federal regulations issue, which evidently isn’t important. Otherwise, the 500 million fine issued to Microsoft wouldn’t have been immediately nulled by the DOD’s purchages of 450 milion in software & hardware purchase from said violator.

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