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The OSI Categorically Rejects IIPA's special pleadings against Open Source

Mar 07, 2010, 00:03 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Tiemann)

"Moore's Law, Disk Law, and Fiber Law have created an economic engine for growth, promising exponentially improving computing, storage, and networking performance for the foreseeable future. And yet according to a 2003 UNCTAD report, "there has been no Moore's Law for software," and indeed it is because of software that computer systems have become more expensive, more complex, and less reliable. The global economy spent $3.4T USD on Information and Communication Technologies in 2008, of which we estimate $1T USD was wasted on "bad software". And reconfirming the 2003 report and our own numbers updated for 2010, others have estimated losses of at least $500B and as much as $6T USD (meaning that for every dollar spent on ICT, that dollar and almost one more went down the drain). Whether the annual loss number is $500B, $1T, or $6T, all represent an unsustainable cost and undeniable evidence that something in the dominant design of the proprietary software industry is deeply flawed. (See OSS-2010.pdf for complete references to all of the above.)

"Open source software is an alternative approach to software development that allows, rather than prohibits, users and developers to collaborate and innovate together. It encourages, rather than threatens, transparency and accountability. It rewards meritorious behavior and it routes around bottlenecks caused by concentration of power and control. Open source software was the catalyst that helped effect the revolution of the World Wide Web, where for the first time in history, the promise of the freedom of the press was available to anybody with a computer and an Internet connection. Indeed, open source software was, and remains, the technology of the whole Internet itself."

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