Anti Open-Source Lobbying Efforts Increase

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Anti Open-Source Lobbying Efforts Increase

Waging a quiet campaign against government use of open-source technology is a group known as The Initiative for Software Choice, which is chaired by CompTIA (the Computer Technology Industry Association). While this group sounds innocuous enough, CompTIA is, in effect, backed by Microsoft and Intel and counts about 8,000 other large high-tech software and communications industry companies as its members. The open-source software debate has been heating up since the introduction of Linux, and has spurred several foreign governments to pass legislation favoring open-source software within its public sector of the government. Open-source software differs from proprietary applications, in that proprietary applications require a license to control use and distribution, while open-source does not, allowing use and modification (and even reselling) of the open-source code so long as the changes to the code are shared with the programming community.

Legislation that was introduced in has been introduced in California and in Peru, which would prohibit these government entities from doing business as a public body with companies that do not open their source code and licensing policies, such as Microsoft. CompTIA and Microsoft are aggressively lobbying against passage of this bill in California, claiming that open sourcing prohibits software from becoming commercialized.