The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organization that has never shied away from pushing as much FUD as possible to protect its main backers (proprietary software companies like Microsoft and Adobe), is at it again. Just a few months ago it sent a letter to European politicians that didn't even pass the laugh test
, making claims like "royalty free" software meant that it was "non-commercial." Its latest is to warn the UK government what a grave mistake it would be to support open standards and royalty free software, bizarrely claiming this would "increase e-government costs."
Yes, by using open standards and royalty free software, the BSA insists costs will go up. Why? Because it limits the market (i.e., keeps BSA's biggest supporters out of the deal). But, by that logic, going with a proprietary solution would almost certainly increase costs even more, by limiting potential suppliers down to an even smaller number who support that proprietary standard. A government's role in promoting openness means that it should absolutely support open standards and royalty free licensing. It's too bad the BSA refuses to recognize why that's true.