Posted by: commonsresource | March 12, 2010

Battle of the Titans

Open Source for America (OFSA) in a recent statement entitled “OSFA Refutes IIPA’s Attack on Open Source Software” called upon the USTR and all government agencies “to firmly reject such unfounded pressure to blacklist or penalize any country for policies allowing or encouraging the use of OSS.”  While I do understand Michael Tiemann’s reasoning (as well as his longer “The OSI Categorically Rejects IIPA’s special pleadings against Open Source” analysis posted last week on the OSI site), I would like to point you back to my earlier “The Pirates who don’t do anything” post on this issue.

While it feels somewhat futile to blow my referee whistle in the midst of this noisy Battle of the Titans, I continue to believe that the IIPA may well be making a valid, albeit nuanced, point.  As I said earlier,  “Ending piracy of commercial and open source software requires users to embrace a respect for IP (that is not a part of “pirate culture”)  by either giving dollars or giving back!” The bridge from “free as in piracy” to “free as in OSS” may prove perilous without this firm footing.


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