[NetBehaviour] When using open source makes you an enemy of the state.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Feb 25 17:01:47 CET 2010

When using open source makes you an enemy of the state.

The US copyright lobby has long argued against open source software - 
now Indonesia's in the firing line for encouraging the idea in 
government departments.

It's only Tuesday and already it's been an interesting week for the 
world of digital rights. Not only did the British government changed the 
wording around its controversial 'three strikes' proposals, but the 
secretive anti-counterfeiting treaty, Acta, was back in the headlines. 
Meanwhile, a US judge is still deliberating over the Google book settlement.

As if all that wasn't enough, here's another brick to add to the 
teetering tower of news, courtesy of Andres Guadamuz, a lecturer in law 
at the University of Edinburgh.

Guadamuz has done some digging and discovered that an influential lobby 
group is asking the US government to basically consider open source as 
the equivalent of piracy - or even worse.


It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, an 
umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has 
requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like 
Indonesia, Brazil and India for its "Special 301 watchlist" because they 
use open source software.


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