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RE: [ox-en] peruvian law

But it would be nice for Mr Blair et al to pass such a bill.  As a
shareholder in the government, I have to think that I am entitled to look at
the code they use, after all they are writing it with my(our) money.  Voters
could even vote/elect an independant (trusted) authority to audit the code.

All in all, even though I would probably never look at the code they use to
calculate my tax bill, it would be much nicer if I had the ability to.

Paul Saunders

-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Seaman [graham]
Sent: 30 April 2002 21:16
To: list-en
Subject: [ox-en] peruvian law


I translated one of the articles on the Peruvian free software bill
Its a very literal translation, which rather buries the author's nice
sense of humour, but it might still be interesting.

It's the reply of the main guy proposing the bill to Microsoft, who
wrote to him after attending a public forum to discuss it.  Nearly
all the elements of the reply got included in the latest version of the
bill, but theu're explained in much more detail here than in the bill 
itself. It's a kind of culmination of a series of attempts of creating 
this kind of law in latin America - after learning from what went right 
(and wrong) in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. 

The main conclusion is that it's no use basing such laws on financial
costs ('free software is cheap'): you need to be able to argue from the 
standpoint of  freedom, both to achieve anything real if the bill is 
passed, and to be able to argue effectively against Microsoft. Something
that suprised me (I didn't even notice it the first time I read this)
is that this argument then turns round and infects the state with
gpl-like elements too - eg. the argument that citizens should have the
right to read the programs that calculate their tax bills. Unfortunately
I guess that means we're not going to get a bill like this in the UK 
anytime soon :-(




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