[LINK] NZ Greens urge end to software patents (Dominion Post)
chris at sw.oz.au
Mon Aug 25 15:38:23 EST 2008
In case linkers aren't aware of it, there will be a general election in
New Zealand in October. If you're a kiwi, you should make sure you vote
at the NZ High Commission or a consulate...
> Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 12:39:33PM +1200,
> From: Mark Servian <mark.servian at greens.org.nz>
Greens urge end to software patents
By CLAIRE MCENTEE - The Dominion Post | Monday, 25 August 2008
The Green Party has called for an overhaul of patent laws that would prevent
software being patented.
The party's policy on information technology was released by MP Metiria
Ms Turei, who called for greater use of open source and locally developed
software, says excluding software from patents would ensure others could
develop ideas. Software would still be protected against piracy by copyright
The party has promised to investigate "the setup of free municipally owned
wireless networks". Ms Turei says the cost needs to be researched, but the
Government would "almost certainly" need to supply funding.
Ms Turei says wider adoption of open source software would reduce costs and
lead to investment in local IT businesses, which tend to lose out to
dominant software companies such as Microsoft.
"Monopolies have been allowed to form, stifling competition, consumer
choice, and indigenous growth of the software industry in Aotearoa/New
Catalyst IT director Mike O'Connor says it is relatively rare for open
source software such as Linux to be used on the desktop PCs of companies and
organisations, for whom Microsoft is the dominant choice. But the Wellington
firm has installed Linux on 350 desktop PCs in Plumbing World branches and
on Electoral Enrolment Centre computers.
Centre systems manager Jason Horncy says it is "very satisfied" with its
decision in 2003 to install Linux on the 120 desktop PCs in its 25 regional
offices and on most PCs in its head office. It previously used Microsoft
Windows on its desktops but moved all its main systems, including servers,
to open source software at the same time.
The PCs with Linux are "highly customisable and we can easily make changes
to all desktops at once", he says. The software is easy to maintain
remotely, and the large range of free software means the centre can
experiment with packages and software tools at no cost.
But there are dangers in converting desktops to Linux, Mr Horncy says. Not
all hardware supports Linux so organisations should check before they buy
hardware, and check Linux drivers are available for any peripherals.
Businesses may have Windows- based applications they rely on that cannot be
made compatible with Linux through intermediary applications, he says.
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