April 29, 2003

HB 2892 (Oregon Open Source bill) update

- by Ken Barber -
In the last couple of weeks many heroic efforts have been made by
Reps. Barnhart and Wirth to resuscitate HB 2892 (Open Source
Software for Oregon bill) after Speaker of the House Karen Minnis
(R-Wood Village) ordered it killed.

The bill is being held up by, literally, ONE lobbyist who seems to
"own" Karen Minnis: Jim Craven of the American Electronics
Association. AEA claims to have thousands of member companies
but their work on this bill is for the exclusive benefit of only
one of those members. Perhaps it is time for AEA's other members
(are any of them reading this? HINT HINT) to begin questioning
the AEA's involvement with this bill.

The current effort to re-animate HB 2892 resembles a Dr.
Frankenstein-like transplant involving an abnormal brain, in the
hopes that Craven et. al. will back off in their opposition to the
bill and allow the democratic process to proceed -- albeit with a
bill that is so crippled that it will have virtually no effect.

In the meantime I wrote, and sent to most of the state's dailies,
an op-ed talking about "powerful out-of-state corporate
interests" in Speaker Minnis' office and asking, "In a year of
severe budget problems, which Republicans have pledged to solve
by cutting spending instead of raising taxes, why would a
Republican leader nix a bill that could save enough money to pay
for several bridge reconstructions, or hundreds of teaching
positions, or a whole platoon of state troopers, every year?"

So far I've only received one response, from The Oregonian. They
said, "We'll see what we can do."

ACTION ITEMS:

1. Rep. Minnis needs to feel more heat; enough to the point where
she fears public opinion more than she fears Jim Craven and the
AEA.

2. The AEA needs to hear from its open-source-friendly members
about its opposition to this bill. If you're a member, tell them
to call off their attack dog.

Ken Barber is the original author of Oregon HB 2892. Opinions in this article are the author's, and may not reflect those of OSDN editors or management.

Click Here!