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05 March 2010, 11:00

OSI "categorically rejects" IIPA's attack on open source

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The Open Source Initiative has condemned the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) for unjust attacks on open source. The IIPA is pushing for the US government to blacklist a number of countries for their open source policies. The OSI's strong criticism appears in a blog posting on the OSI site by the president of the Open Source Initiative, Michael Tiemann, who points out that the IIPA is singling out countries such as Indonesia for having open source policies which are already implemented by governments and businesses across Europe and the US. He writes "It is a blatant case of selective enforcement, one which hides the absurdity of it's claims by the narrowness of their application".

He also refutes the IIPA's complaints that the open source community does not respect intellectual property by noting that open source is "is equally dependent – no more, no less – than proprietary software on the strong protections of copyright law".

Tiemann, who is also Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, calls the IIPA's position unbalanced and relying on "outdated definitions, special interests and a fear of innovation and new business models" and that it blends them together "to abuse an outdated mechanism of the US government with a condemnation that applies to the US itself". He closes with a call for US organisations such as Open Source for America, to take action by representing the open source community.


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