Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why do you hate America?

(via Guardian Blogs) It seems just like yesterday that Darl McBride wrote his infamous letter to Congress, where he came narrowly close of calling open source as tantamount to anti-Americanism, communism and abolition of intellectual property rights. Bill Gates famously called open source a modern form of communism. What do you know, they were right! Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Linux distributor Red Hat, has expressed that his company has benefited from anti-American sentiment. Citizens of the world resent paying "American intellectual property taxes", and "outside the United States, open source is seen from a public policy perspective as a fundamental good."

This sort of squares with my own experience of talking and conferencing on the subject of open source. Public administrations around the world are more likely to favour open source because it is sound public policy, it is cheap, it offers source code to the world, and it does not send money to Microsoft.

I can imagine the headlines in right-wing blogs: Al-Qaeda runs Linux. Saddam was a famous Firefox user. Iranians dig Apache.

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