Petition to U.S. Government needs more signatures

The Federal Government Should Evaluate Open Source Software Whenever
It Purchases or Upgrades Computers.

A group of software professionals, recognizing the maturity and
effectiveness of Open Source software, has launched a petition
requesting that the Federal Government evaluate Open Source software
alongside its commercial alternatives whenever they procure or upgrade
computers. This petition, written by Professor Clay Shirky of Hunter
College and sponsored by the Open Source Initiative and O'Reilly and
Associates, asks the Federal Technology Service, a branch of the
General Services Administration (GSA), to recognize that Open Source
software has in many cases met or exceeded commercial standards, as
demonstrated by its increasing use by companies such as Oracle, IBM,
and Corel, and that its use would lower the cost of IT procurement to
txpayers, reduce the Federal Government's dependancy on individual
vendors, and secure future improvements to such software without
further cost.

The petition itself is at


and will only be forwarded to the Federal Technology Service if there
are 10,000 or more signatures.

This petition contains no special pleading - its recipients are
working professionals in the Federal Technology Service, and the
petition does not presume to second-guess their judgement. The
petition does not demand that the Federal Government use Open Source
software, it does not even ask the Federal Government to use Open
Source software, it simply asks that the Federal Government evaluate
Open Source software using the same criteria it currently uses to
evaluate commercial software, and to select Open Source software only
where it meets the needs of the Government as well or better than the
- --
Clay Shirky
Professor, New Media
Department of Film & MediaHunter College

Sign the petition