The State Services Commission have released a Request for Proposal that specifies that the solution they are looking for will be an Open Source solution. As a consequence the SSC received various questions from vendors concerned they were being excluded. Statements in RFP's often specify specific products, usually because of business reasons such as leverage of existing software assets. The SSC has not replied to those questions on it's web site.
Jack Yan has approached the NZOSS asking if we can put our collective heads together and come up with the a FOSS friendly strategy for Wellington. Jack is one of the candidates running in this year's Wellington Mayoral elections (see http://jackyanformayor.org/).
According to the London Evening Standard Apple is considering making an offer to buy ARM. ARM are the makers of ARM low power CPU's that are used in many of todays smart phones. If successful the implications for other phone manufacturers would be severe. Phones that use Open Source Android would then be at a disadvantage in being able to source processors.
21st April 2010
For Immediate Release
The New Zealand Open Source Society has written to the Minister of Commerce, Hon. Simon Power, to congratulate the National led Government on the stance it has taken with regards to the issue of software patents. The NZOSS has long held the view that software patents are damaging to our industry as a whole, stifling innovation and creating unnecessary and unpredictable risk to this who chose to develop software. Whilst patents do have a chilling impact on the freedoms that free software developers seek to perpetuate through software licensing, the issue is one that impacts the entire industry regardless of preferred licensing models.
The New Zealand Labour party explains its stance on the exclusion of software from patenting. It's about encouraging innovation:
20 April 2010
Software exclusion will encourage Kiwi innovators
The exclusion of computer software from a Patents Bill before Parliament is a step towards helping New Zealand become more innovative Labour MPs Lianne Dalziel and Clare Curran said today.
Countries involved in ACTA negotiations have unanimously decided to release the text of ACTA for public scrutiny. This news comes after over eight thousand people signed a petition in support of the Wellington Declaration, a document developed at PublicACTA, a public conference to discuss the implications of ACTA held in Wellington last week. [Update]: ACTA Text now attached to this article.
Several organisations have weighed into the software patent debate. Intergen, who proclaim to be leaders in the application of Microsoft technology, have supported software patents. They join NZICT, an organisation ironically dominated by multinational companies. Ian McCrae of Orion Health, the biggest software exporter in New Zealand has supported the exclusion of software patents joining the 80% of members polled by the New Zealand Computer Society.
Paul Matthews, CEO of the NZCS, sent an email to the NZOSS "open chat" list outlining the his position with regards to software patents. Paul has kindly given us permission to reproduce that email below:
In regards to Software Patents, I would like to first say that we believe that everyone has a fundamental right to protect their own property, and consequently support the *concept* of Copyright and Intellectual Property.
...at least it's more honest.
Today, in Wellington, the representatives of a regime that promised a new era of "Hope" and "Change" are brow beating the rest of the world into submission. So, it's business as usual. The bastardised version of the Munroe Doctrine is yet again being used to further the very narrow goals of self interested, US based, lobbies.