[rumori] 3 cheers for Peru

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 11:14:02 PDT

an open letter to Microsoft from a Peruvian Congressman, replying
to Microsoft's objection to a Bill in Peru's Congress which would
require the government to use non-proprietary software.

This letter is quite long but really great. The author totally
bluntly disses Microsoft at many points. Here's a great example:

"Questions of intellectual property fall outside the scope of
this bill, since they are covered by specific other laws. The
model of free software in no way implies ignorance of these laws,
and in fact the great majority of free software is covered by
copyright. In reality, the inclusion of this question in your
observations shows your confusion in respect of the legal
framework in which free software is developed. The inclusion of
the intellectual property of others in works claimed as one's own
is not a practice that has been noted in the free software
community; whereas, unfortunately, it has been in the area of
proprietry software. As an example, the condemnation by the
Commercial Court of Nanterre, France, on 27th September 2001 of
Microsoft Corp. to a penalty of 3 million francs in damages and
interest, for violation of intellectual property (piracy, to use
the unfortunate term that your firm commonly uses in its

A tangential thing I want to note: notice how often the author
refers to "the State". Compare this to the rhetoric heard from
U.S. politicians, who almost never say "the State." I'm not sure
what that means, exactly, but it seems refreshing, to me, more
idealistic, less cynical; to me there is the feeling that
somewhere people still think of government in the sense of a
hallowed institution established for the good of the People,
rather than a quasi-corporate cadre of bean-counting bureaucrats.

And, swerving back into topic, this letter and this bill also
represent another step in the third world's resistance to
developed-world intellectual property notions. First we had
Brazil, India, and others refusing to play the greedy game of the
transnational pharmaceutical companies, and now we have a similar
thing happening in software. Add this to a conclusion implied by
the EFF game I mentioned here yesterday - the highest score I
could get, 87, was when I decided to have Carabella order the
import version of the CDs she was looking for. Basically, the U S
of A sucks, at least when it comes to intellectual property.
Hurray for other countries!


Steev Hise, Recovering Jaded Hipster
steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev
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 Internet for Jesus."
                -Benjamin Barber, 'Jihad vs. McWorld'

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