[Linux-aus] Request: Officially oppose TPP Source Code provision

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Fri Nov 6 10:50:43 AEDT 2015

On Fri, 2015-11-06 at 07:27 +0800, Luke John wrote:
> Hopefully someone will be able to give a more expert opinion, however
> even on a conservative reading this section appears to have at least
> the following two outcomes.
> Governments are unable to set open source as a procurement
> requirement.
> Governments are unable to require certain software be open to
> inspection by public or government.

Yes.  As has been pointed out to me elsewhere, "Party" here means a
signatory - ie the government.  So it constrains what our government can
do, not it's citizens (which is how I read it).

However it specifically exempts commercial contracts, so maybe it
doesn't effect government procurement.  (If government wants to roll out
open source they can, and if they want hire someone else to do it like
Red Hat, that's a commercial contract).  And it exempts demanding the
source in order enforce regulations - which covers things like VW.

Now I'm struggling to see what it does cover.  Maybe it's trying to
prevent the government from passing laws that insist source code is made
available for any product sold in the country (there is a rumour China
was thinking of doing that).

Anyway, now that I realise it constrains governments not citizens, it
seems mostly harmless.

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