The International Intellectual Property Alliance, the copyright lobby group that includes the MPAA and RIAA among others, is petitioning the US Trade Representative to put Indonesia, Brazil and India on the "301 Special" list. This list defines the countries that are havens for piracy and that should be subject to retaliation for failing to defend copyrights.
The reason they should be put on the list? Their governments encourage (but do not mandate) their administrations to use open source software. Obviously, this reduces the revenue of cost software vendors and publishers, but it is a real stretch to call this piracy. The governments are simply making business decisions, weighing costs and benefits. And given the quality of open source software and operating systems, that decision is rather easy.
Instead of finding new definition for piracy, the IIPA should make sure its members are offering good products at competitive prices, the basic requirement for a firm to survive in a free market. Or is the IIPA also against capitalism?
Hat tip: TechnoLlama via The Guardian.
[Posted at 02/24/2010 04:33 PM by Christian Zimmermann on IP and Protectionism comments(20)]
For god's sake! This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! REALLY! FOSS DAMAGES piracy by converting people who would otherwise pirated software to FOSS!
These people just RUINED MY DAY! (And an enraged unhuman scream is heard all the way to Chile.)
[Comment at 02/24/2010 09:14 PM by Ben]
Yes floss hurts piracy, but using open source software also means you're not buying from a proprietary software vendor. So by lost sales logic you have just stolen money from them by using OSS.
[Comment at 02/24/2010 11:22 PM by Anonymous]
It's unfortunate that there exists a subset of people/organizations who believe that everything must be monetized. "Free" as in Linux and Wikipedia is an anathema to them.
This attitude seems irrational. "Free" products such as software, conceptually leads to greater profits since you don't have to pay to use the software. Isn't the free-market about competition delivering the best products at the lowest price? In the free-market, "Free" should also be considered a viable business model and shouldn't be arbitrarily dismissed by people who claim to be free market advocates.
[Comment at 02/25/2010 05:30 AM by Steve R.]
The concern expressed was not about "encouraging". I was about legislatively "mandating".
[Comment at 02/26/2010 06:34 PM by MLS]
It was about the government's choosing its suppliers. It's no more nefarious than if the US government buys a bunch of new jets from Boeing because Boeing underbids McDonnell-Douglas on the contract.
[Comment at 02/26/2010 08:08 PM by None Of Your Beeswax]
The governments have not even mandated, they just encouraged. I would, for one, love my government if it were doing the same. Those licenses cost a lot for a lot of trouble (I am specifically thinking about Microsoft here).
[Comment at 02/27/2010 08:25 AM by Hello]
So I'm a pirate because I use open source? WOO HOO always wanted to be a pirate :D
As for Mr. Anonymous saying "but using open source software also means you're not buying from a proprietary software vendor. So by lost sales logic you have just stolen money from them by using OSS." So does this mean I'm a pirate if I choose to accept a load of free clothes from my friend when they clear out their closet instead shopping at American Eagle because I've cost them lost sales for not wanting to spend a crap load on clothes?
Open Source is not piracy you knobs. It's OPEN SOURCE, there for any who wishes to use it. They aren't forcing you to take it. You can go out and buy Photoshop if you wish as well. No one should force you to do that either.
Maybe if those companies like Microsoft didn't make their stuff so outrageously overpriced but reasonable in cost, they wouldn't have to deal so much with real pirates ripping their products. FREE is not a four letter dirty word people.
[Comment at 02/27/2010 09:21 PM by Jack Sparrow Jr.]
Honestly, this is one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard. who ARE these people making these rules, and who do they represent? I think it's safe to say that these "people" are so out of touch with the real world that it's almost funny. This isn't the late 90's anymore, where corporations carefully guarded their software (or tried, at least) and refused to release any of it without compensation.
No, in fact, probably 90% of software companies embrace some form of Open Source Software (yes, even Microsoft!) because they understand the benefits of open source software (especially in the arena of developing languages--they won't be used if they're not open sourced!). The economics of open source have been proved over and over again, so the fact that there are supposed "experts" who believe otherwise borders on impossible.
It seems to me that this group represents a collection of terrified IP conspirators living in the past. This decree should be completely disregarded by any countries on its "301 Special List," as it clearly illustrates the opinions of delusional lobbyists living in a fantasy world.
Also, as an addendum. I suspect that the countries 'encouraging' open source software are doing just that, encouraging--not forcing. Forcing a group to use any form of software--open source, proprietary, or freeware--undermines the point of open source software all together (See Open Source Definition, #9 at http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd!). I would be very disappointed if this was the case.
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[Comment at 12/06/2010 11:49 PM by lananhhoang2010]
What does that have to do with monopoly, jest10101?
[Comment at 01/11/2011 08:08 PM by tholen]
That is illogical, Brekker. Indeed it does not even parse.
[Comment at 03/09/2011 10:22 PM by Spock]
So I'm a pirate because I use open source? Open Source is not piracy in any case. It's "open source", there for any who wishes to use it. They aren't forcing you to take it.
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[Comment at 04/10/2011 10:30 PM by Hanna]
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[Comment at 07/19/2011 07:16 AM by None Of Your Beeswax]
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[Comment at 09/19/2011 09:40 AM by Buy Dissertation]
The MPAA and RIAA are doing the correct thing by putting India on the list as it has a very high rate of piracy which is affecting everyone.
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[Comment at 12/15/2011 04:24 AM by Conan Fisher]
It seems to that I'm a pirate too, I use free markets and free software, I thought - if it is free then I don't steal, yes?
Very interesting information, but free means free.
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