Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: chrismaeda@attbi.com
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 00:21:03 +0000

I never meant to say that govt should not
use the lowest cost / most appropriate solution 
for any given problem.  I was merely pointing out 
the fact that govt tilting the playing field in 
favor of GPL could be a way of shooting itself in
the foot at tax collection time since free software
businesses are typically much less profitable than
proprietary software businesses.

And as a proud resident of New Hampshire, 
I resent your comment about sales tax.  We
don't have that here and if I wasn't so darn
worldly and well-traveled, I wouldn't even
know what you were referring to.

-Chris


> >Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood but
> >I think government tilting the playing field
> >against GPL is perfectly reasonable. So far,
> >free software has been an utter failure at
> >producing large profitable businesses that
> >generate tax revenue.  Government legislating
> >in favor of GPL will push more of the software
> >business into the non-profit sector and make
> >us all poorer.
> 
> 
> Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned. The government is also a big 
> user of Linux and that's saved them plenty of money. They might not 
> have gotten any tax revenue, but at least they got free use of the 
> software. You're probably the type who complains about moms holding a 
> bake sale for the school because they don't collect sales tax. And 
> those darn good Samaritans aren't paying income tax like the good 
> doctors at the hospital! They must be stopped.
> 
> There are plenty of other advantages. The GPL license is also much 
> better for classified parts of the government. It may not be perfect, 
> but it doesn't force them to tell MS, Sun, IBM or someone else how 
> many copies they have, where they are using them, how many CPUs are 
> using them, or any of the other crazy details used to "measure" the 
> use of software.
> 
> The access to the source code is also an unqualified advantage for 
> classified parts of the government. If they need a special 
> modification, they don't need to go to the company and hope that 
> qualified programmers are available with the right security 
> clearances. They can control all of the changes and even make them 
> inside a vault if that makes them happier.
>