Strengthening digital infrastructure: A policy agenda for FOSS

"A @EU_Commission sponsored report found that in 2018, #EU companies invested roughly €1 billion into #FOSS creation, which resulted in up to a €95 billion benefit for FOSS users in the EU. Similar estimates for the #USA investment in FOSS were $33 billion in 2019. However, despite these attempts we have only scratched the surface of truly understanding the value FOSS provides to the economy and modern life"

@lightweight @humanetech @EU_Commission This is why it’s important for public schools to use #FOSS. The taxpayer must fund schools & when schools buy proprietary s/w it’s a total loss for the taxpayer. But if the school invests in FOSS, the value of enriching the commons from the FOSS investment can be a reciprocal benefit to the taxpayer.

@koherecoWatchdog @lightweight @humanetech @EU_Commission I would have expected the investment into FOSS to be way higher in the EU compared to the USA! Very surprised. Does it have to with business investment vs org + gov investment?

@stragu @EU_Commission @humanetech @lightweight I suspect it may simply be that the tech sector is much bigger in the US. I don’t think it mentioned costs on proprietary software which is also probably higher in the US.

@koherecoWatchdog @EU_Commission @lightweight

I wondered the same and thought that maybe it was maybe badly formulated and the 95 billion Euros are compared with that amount.

@humanetech @lightweight @EU_Commission @stragu the corporate culture in the US is to outsource like crazy largely so middle managers can offload responsibility and redirect blame if something goes badly.. to have a scapegoat. They tend to favor commercial products because it’s impossible to hold FOSS volunteers accountable.

@stragu @EU_Commission @lightweight @humanetech The European management style is not to scapegoat, but managers have a bias for the look & feel of proprietary s/w like msword, and they expect everyone below them to use the tools they use. So because the managers use MS Word, the engineers down in the trenches must use that garbage too, instead of proper engineering tools which are largely in the FOSS domain.

@koherecoWatchdog @stragu @EU_Commission @humanetech I like the angle of 'loss of sovereignty'. The EU has given away, in practice, most of its sovereignty to US tech corporations which are literally in control of all of the levers of power. (The same is true in most other gov'ts of the world). Any anti-trust deposition against Microsoft is written in MSFT Word on computers totally controlled by the Microsoft Corporation. It's a sovereignty issue.See too:

@lightweight @humanetech @EU_Commission @stragu The GDPR should help claw back some of that sovereignty eventually because as far as surveillance capitalism goes the GDPR not only cuts down the data collection but it also bans data collected on Europeans from being stored on servers outside the EU.

@stragu @EU_Commission @humanetech @lightweight As far as running non-free platforms, we saw what happened in Munich. They switched to Ubuntu then switched back to MS when MS offered to move their HQ to Munich.

@koherecoWatchdog @stragu @EU_Commission @lightweight

Yes, that was a very unfortunate event.

But I also remember reading in a Hacker News discussion on this some time ago, that there was more at play than the lure of this move of HQ.

Can't remember specifics, but along lines of people that moved to Ubuntu were seriously struggling with the whole infra and apps being significantly different and alien to them, and the transition not being guided and prepared well enough to make it a success.


@humanetech I remember reading the lessons learned about Munich. From memory: Far cheaper than expected, far less problems, the majority was happy. Here’s a recent article I found:

@koherecoWatchdog @stragu @EU_Commission @lightweight

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