[LINK] No deal with Yahoo! re Zimbra and Australian non-profits

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Tue Oct 28 18:48:10 EST 2008

Darrell Burkey wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-10-28 at 17:38, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>> Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>>> And on the subject of Microsoft giving away software to non-profits - 
>>> and then revoking their not for profit status once their software has 
>>> been entrenched.....
>> I don't quite understand this. Is Microsoft or the Tax office revoking the 
>> Non-Profit status?
> Far be it for me to defend proprietary software (I'm already in trouble
> with our FOSS contingent for straying) but I think the article is really
> a bit of a beat up. It states that the groups involved were incorrectly
> using academic licensing/pricing. 
> In the past it's been quite common for many companies to automatically
> offer non-profit organisations the same pricing they offered to the
> academic sector. This was not the case with Microsoft and indeed it's
> been full price to non-profits for many years. So it's entirely possible
> that the situation here really has nothing to do with a vendor
> reclassifying an organisation's non-profit status but rather that they
> are just expecting their software to be used with the correct license.
> What's really odd about this entire situation is that Connecting Up (a
> non-profit in Adelaide working in conjunction with TechSoup in the
> US/New Zealand) now acts an agent on behalf of the non-profit sector and
> processes requests from non-profits through a project called DonorTec
> for Microsoft software and Cisco hardware which those two companies then
> donate at no cost.
> For a small admin fee paid to DonorTec most any non-profit organisation
> can obtain software/hardware from vendors participating in the project.
> It's highly likely that the organisations mentioned in this article are
> eligible for the DonorTec program so I would think they might end up
> with licenses costing them far less than the academic licenses they now
> have.
> Unless of course there is some factor I have totally missed or am not
> aware of which is certainly possible. But again, I'm not sure this
> article is actually a fair representation of the issue. 
> This situation does however demonstrate quite clearly the dangers of
> lock-in to proprietary systems/vendors which can include very high costs
> that divert the scarce resources non-profits operate with from service
> delivery to administrative overhead. This can be quite disastrous to
> those depending on the services and to those of us providing the
> resources (think taxes). I don't think you can blame the non-profit
> sector's lack of understanding of that on any specific vendor. 
This applies to non-profit, profit and government alike!

Not to mention the problem of "no support" or increasing fees for support, by 
vendors, of old versions.

Lack of support was once the issue with open source - which lead to RedHat and 
to some degree the Ubuntu branding.

With regard to the DonorTec, I was going to mention the obligation to report 
publically on CSR activities/donations elsewhere in the world.

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

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