March 12, 2004

Open source advocates wary of FTA

Australian open source developers and advocates are wary of the trade deal struck with the US, saying it would lead to the acceptance of
American-style patent and intellectual property laws which, in turn, would cripple the local software industry.

Linux Australia president Pia Smith said Linux and open source were becoming vital parts of the local IT landscape. "Australia has more active Open
Source developers than Canada, and dominates the Asia Pacific," she said, quoting data from the Boston Consulting Group. Smith said it was equally
clear that this trend would continue.

She said the growth of open source in Australia had brought into focus problems with parts of the Digital Agenda Act, "which claims to prevent piracy,
but ends up banning normal activities." The ACCC has opposed the act on these grounds.

Link: theage.com.au

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