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LinuxWorld Expo: Linux Crowd Marches for Intellectual Property Freedom

By Michael Singer

A hoard of Linux supporters including Red Hat CTO Michael
Tiemann marched through the streets of the city Thursday to lobby
for the newly proposed Digital Software Security Act (DSSA).

Under the moniker of ‘OPEN SOURCE NOW,’ the marchers traveled
from the LinuxWorld Conference here and convened on the steps of
City Hall.

The group thanked California for being one of the states willing
to stand up to Microsoft in the anti-trust trials, but wants the
state to take it one step further and back the DSSA.

“The notion of promoting open-source software in state
government, that’s a great idea,” said George Balgos, who
represents San Diego Assemblyman Juan Vargas. “We like it in
concept, however, we’d like to do a little more research.”

The proposal was drafted by Walt Pennington, a lawyer in San
Diego, in response to a number of pieces of proposed and existing
legislation that limit civil liberties and programming freedom such
as SSSCA, DMCA and UCITA.

The proposed act will require state agencies in California to
only buy software from companies that do not place restrictions on
use or access to source code. The agencies would also be given the
freedom to make and distribute copies of the software.

Currently, for software to be acceptable to the state, it must
not only be technically capable of fulfilling a task, but the
contractual condition for purchase and/or licensing must satisfy a
series of requirements regarding the license.

The DSSA has three objectives; security and open standards,
obtaining the greatest value for funds spent, and stimulation of
competition within software development, support and
implementation.

Similar marches are scheduled for today in Peru, Germany, UK,
New Zealand, and Finland.

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