[Linux-aus] NZ Open Source Society succeeds in changing position of central government

Craig Box craig at dubculture.co.nz
Mon May 15 13:39:02 UTC 2006

Some relevant news from across the Tasman.

Some of you might have caught the February publication of a "guidelines
for using Open Source Software" by the New Zealand State Services
Commission, for use by other Government departments.  The document
seemed written solely from the perspective of 'how to protect yourself
from the perils of "infectious" licensing'.

Discussion of this hit Slashdot [1] and Groklaw [2], and a number of
members of the NZ Open Source Society banded together to work on a
document outlining the problems with the Government's guidelines.  This
led to a working party involving NZOSS members (some of whom were flown
to the capital at the SSC's expense), and has now led to the publication
of a revised version of the document, available at

The new document is far more thorough and now makes clear distinctions;
e.g. that there is no burden to release modified code when it is not
being distributed, and therefore there there is no 'threat' when using
OSS in this situation.

A couple of newspapers have covered the issue [3], unfortunately without
specific mention of NZOSS.  

The NZOSS have recently held an Annual General Meeting, and as a newly
elected member I hope that we will be able to substantially raise our
profile, both nationally and internationally, over the coming year.

Craig (with his own hat on)

[1] http://slashdot.org/articles/06/03/01/0611253.shtml
[2] http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060301213210833
[3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3667292a28,00.html

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