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Microsoft Government Open Source Software The Almighty Buck Politics

Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the lockin-leverage-legislate dept.
walterbyrd writes: Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software. "An independent member of the Chilean Parliament, Vlado Mirosevic, pushed a bill that would allow the state to consider free software when the authorities needed to purchase or renew licenses. ... A while later, the same member of the Parliament, Daniel Farcas, proposed another bill that actually nullified the effects of the previous one that had just been adopted. To make things even more interesting, some of the people who voted in favor of the first law also voted in favor of the second one. ... The new bill is even more egregious, because it aggressively pushes for the adoption of proprietary software. Companies that choose to use proprietary software will receive certain tax breaks, which makes it very hard for free software to get adopted."
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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

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  • by williamyf (227051) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:05PM (#47724675)

    My two cents here:

    I read the linked English article, as well as the article in Spanish that they reference ("Ubuntizando.com"), as well as the original article in Spanish. **

    The original article (in Ubuntizando) says NOTHING about the name of the legislator that did the counter-proposal, or anything about any alleged tax breaks. Is mostly derivative and incomplete. From this point onwards, I will reference only the article in "biobiochile"

    The second article cites two others which I did not read (I have a limited amount of time). BioBioChile interviews only the "Pro-Free-Software***" (Mirosevic) legislator, and not the other (Farcas) who, as the summary clearly states, was the one who voted against Free Software****. Is only logical that the guy launched a counter-proposal. The only surprising thing is the turn-around time (24h).

    Even more, the article (in biobiochile), indicates, in the words of Mirosevic himself***** "Half the people [referring to the other legislators, "diputados", or congressmen for those in the US] had no idea what we were talking about. I do not mean of the concept of Free software, but of software itself, but as we calculated, the rest followed those of us who understood". Is only logical, that they voted on the second initiative again whitout a clear understanding, either folowing party guidelines, or swayed by the 10 legislators that submitted the second motion.

    From the way of writing (the subtle nuances are often lost in machine translation), starting with the title of the article itself ("Microsoft Raped Us"), I feel the magazine is "Amarillista" (think tabloid/sensationalist). And Slashdot is just being Slashdot, with the added hurdle of the language barrier.

    While I am no big fan (nor am I an enemy) of Microsoft, I am less a fan of tabloids and crappy reporting, hence this comment

    * For the record, 296/300 in my ToEFL way back when.

    ** Is in biobiochile.com, never heard of any of them, here is the link, for what is worth:
    http://www.biobiochile.cl/2014/08/19/diputado-mirosevic-revela-sabotaje-a-proyecto-que-fomentaba-software-libre-microsoft-nos-violo.shtml

    *** Again to recap, the pro-free-software resolution was voted by 64 yes, 1 no and 12 abstentions.

    **** Free as in beer, "Libre in Spanish"

    ***** “La mitad de la gente no tenía idea de qué estábamos hablando. No digo del concepto software libre, más bien de los softwares, pero como habíamos calculado, el resto siguió a los que sí habían entendido”, relató Mirosevic a la publicación.

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