[Linux-aus] Letter in today's SMH

Shane Stephens shans at research.canon.com.au
Wed Aug 4 08:40:01 UTC 2004


Helen Coonan (Minister for IT) was published in today's Sydney Morning
Herald letters column, concerning the FTA and its impacts on Open
Source.  Here is the letter:


A vigorous debate about the benefits of the Australia-US free trade
agreement is welcome but assertions that it will change the system of
software patents against the interests of Australian users are incorrect
("Trade deal a free kick for US software racketeers", Herald, August 2).

The agreement will not have an effect on Australia's approach and
treatment of applications to patent computer software, nor will it
affect Australian open-source software producers. The agreement is good
for Australia's information and communication technology industry. It
opens up the massive US market to Australian exporters and allows for
the continued development of innovative software products, including our
burgeoning open-source development industry.

Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and
the Arts, Canberra, August 2.


You can see it in its native environment at:

It's a poorly argued letter, full of unjustified assertions, but now
that it's been published the chances of replies to it also being
published are good.

Submitting letters to the SMH is very simple.  Emails are absolutely
acceptable, so all you need to do is send one to letters at smh.com.au with
a < 200 word response, your name, address, day and evening phone

I will be writing a reply, and I urge others to do so as well.

	-Shane Stephens

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