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The Register: Gates: GPL Will Eat Your Economy, But BSD's Cool

Apr 23, 2002, 10:00 (121 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

[ Thanks to Dom for this link. ]

"Gates was taking some pre-vetted (we presume) questions at last week's Government Leaders Conference in Seattle, and had been asked about the strengths and weaknesses associated with the adoption of Open Source in governments. He'd already taken a pop at this subject in his introduction, and given that the questions overall were fairly skewed in the direction of IT in developing countries, it does rather look like Microsoft had decided it was going to ram the message home hard to the people it sees as its future growth area.

"Here's what he had to say in the keynote:

"'One thing that we get people discussing with us a lot is how to create jobs around IT activity. And I think you will see some countries who really believe in the capitalistic approach; that is, that software should generate jobs, and government R&D should generate jobs, so that government R&D should be done on a basis that it can be commercialized.

"'There's a faction against that, the so-called general GPL source license free software foundation, that says that these other countries other than the U.S. should devote R&D dollars in the so-called open approach, that means you can never commercialize that software. And it is an interesting choice to deny -- for a country to deny itself the benefits of these high-paying jobs and the kind of taxes that let countries fund their universities, and fund general research that then goes to renew that pool of commercial R&D. Clearly there's an ecosystem there that has worked extremely well in the United States, and has probably been the unique thing that has let that push forward. And there is now a recognition that it's really a question of policy of allowing the so-called capitalistic approach to win the day there...'"

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