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Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Software |

Uruguay discussion law to give preference to free software on proprietary

Uruguay discussion law to give preference to free software on proprietary

How much governments spend on software licenses? This is one of the data held with greater opacity in most administrations. The spending package is difficult to estimate, because it requires that the state have an agency transparency to allow public access to the accounts, then any citizen who requests it and, after all the process, receiving data. The request must be repeated in virtually all parts of the levels.

However, it is an open secret that the purchase of software licenses is a true fiscal black hole. Not only that parcel acquisition is usually not subject to competition, and often, not even a feasibility study. In many cases, it is an arbitrary decision is made without considering the alternatives, and of course, we must not fail to view that selling also represents an economic benefit for others for commission, as brokers.

In that sense, Uruguay is taking an important step to discuss a bill that states that the government should give preference to over proprietary. The bill also calls for opening up data, it stipulates that all information in digital form should be made available on open shelves and one open standard format. The idea, from the economic aspect, is that the country reduce all spending on software licenses, and on the other, it becomes a free software exporter.

However, the Agency for Electronic Government and Information Society has spoken out against giving preference to free software, because they consider it a very complex issue to reduce it to only one law. In a way, the body is right to say that, currently, the agencies are free to choose between the two types of software and the price argument is invalid, since it covers the case in which free software is cheaper than the proprietary.

Another criticism that comes with this proposal is that considered wrong to assume that free software is better or safer than exclusive-although questioning is debatable-and that must also evaluate the service environment associated with the product, in this Sector enter, for example, technical support. They also see an implementation issue, considering that the software is an immediate need, and development time that the program would be obsolete by the time of use.

Although the criticisms are understandable for the agency, the fact is that each of the obstacles have prevented form. On the superiority of free software on proprietary, I agree that, in principle, can not judge quality just for that nature. However, free software allows continuous improvement by opening code-for example, drop in universities and community-General to make changes, and fewer security issues, which can be arranged at the time-in proprietary software , wait for the release an update or patch. In this regard, the State ensures greater control over the programs you use, a kind of sovereignty or autonomy computing.

In the temporal part is where they can have greater reason, but it is also true that along with the immediacy, there is a need for force. The software licenses are expensive because updates constantly payable. Perhaps the initial development of free software is more time consuming, but the long-term, sustainable capacity is higher (and cheaper) than a proprietary.

The reality is that the law would have positive effects, but also against lawmakers should ensure freedom from dependence on proprietary software choice if you believe in quality, price and conditions is higher at the time. You could implement a phased plan (ie, in areas where the prevailing proprietary, substitutes are looking to create medium and long term), and of course, increase transparency in the acquisition of licenses (regardless of type), for avoid these financial gaps that ultimately substantially increase government spending.

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