Changing the Report, After the Vote

Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, Sept 01, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

What you should notice about this article is not merely that vigorous lobbying from Microsoft caused the Commission on the Future of Higher Education to back away from endorsing open source, but also the manner in which this change was achieved - by making the case, not during the committee discussions, but as an amendment after the meetings had concluded and after the document had been approved. "The commission would go with Duderstadt's compromise language, which he called 'an improvement in the draft' that 'does not require and will not be put to a vote.'" This is hardly unusual on the part of Microsoft. It is typical of the ongoing lobbying campaign against open source. The rarity is that it was reported.

David Wiley, covering the same article, points out that open source still made it through, despite the Microsoft lobbying. "The long and short of it is that the commission *is* recommending the creation of incentives to promote the development of open source and open content." Yes. But it is important to note, that without Open Source, we don't get open content. The one needs the other.
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