Hugo Lueders, an advocate for 'software choice' and software patenting, has a hard time. As one of the most notorious self-proclaimed software industry representatives he often lobbies against Open Source and Open Standards while the industry quickly adopts these models. Usually he tends to stifle European industry interest by his recommendation to leave our European markets to foreign software monopolists which 'urgently need' software patents.
As the representative of COMPTIA, a simple certification institution which also provides a lobby business, the ISC, Initiative for Software Choice, was created as a second pillar of COMPTIA. The Choice provided by Mr. Lueders is of course to stay with the very products that already dominate the market and expose European Institutions to national security risks due to plattform dependencies.
In a recent letter to Euractiv he wrote:
Concerning Study: Open-source software can boost EU economy, …, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) has sent a letter to the Commission requesting that the record be set straight by reaffirming that the Commission's official policy towards software development and the ICT industry remains unbiased and technologically/software-model neutral.
In my opinion Software Neutrality is there when market players competete on open standards (without RAND tricks) and when most strategic dependencies are eliminated. Lueders position on software neutrality is anarcho-capitalism, the quite opposite of pro-competitive pro-market order policy
The findings of the academic study… recommendations are highly contradictory. Having spent more than 200 pages explaining how Europe's open-source software market share is higher than the US and that Europe is the leading region in terms of open-source developers, it goes on to conclude that open-source software model should receive overt public subsidy and exclusive Commission support!
While Hugo Lueders is very busy to induce European Institutions to waste our public money on overpriced software he combats the idea to get a level playing field by active policy actions in the field of public procurement, targeted to avoid strategic dependencies.
Surely, if the state of EU open source exists as unequivocally well off, there is no need for government programmes, market intervention and OSS preference proposals, as recommended. Using the study's own logic, the recommendations are neither requisite, supportable or desirable;
The questions is whether our European Institutions should finance dependencies which impose high security risks, e.g. to load operating systems on their computers which were co-developed by the NSA. Or shall European citizens have a right that their government acts to avoid their dependencies on certain software solutions?
The OSS model shows how far you can get without any significant public subsidies. If so, why not invest some money to get rid off the dependencies rather than to finance the companies which hire a person, name him Smodo Luger, to obfuscate EU ICT policy making? Why shouldn't the EU put its money where its mouth is?
Why shouldn't the Commission respond to the call of the EU-Parliament to do more in the field of Open Source rather then to respond to the "industry lobby" behind Mr. Lueders which sounds like a funny collection of business cards from a trade show:
Advanced Computer Technology (Egypt)
Agencia Eletronica (Brazil)
Ahnlab (South Korea)
AIS Technology Services (USA)
Al Alamaih Electronics (Kuwait)
Al Nafitha Information Technology (Saudi Arabia)
AlfaGroup (Costa Rica)
Allen Indusries (USA)
Alnafitha Information Technology (Saudi Arabia)
Alpha Data (UAE)
Anica System (Poland)
AP Schweiz Informatik (Switzerland)
Applied Computer Services Company - HASIB
The entire European ICT industry is in need of support and the European Community has a key role to play in stimulating competition and innovation. However, it is vital that policies along these lines are carried out in a technologically-neutral and unbiased manner so as to maximise their competitive impact and thus boost the overall innovative potential of the European ICT industry. Hugo Lueders Director - Initiative for Software Choice Brussels
I guess that is what is intended. To get Europe free from dependencies and to reduce our public spending by enabling true competition in the software market. Yes, and while he chants the song of software neutrality for his coalition of enterprises from costa rica to kuwait, for the benefit of a well-known market player, European Institutions rather decide to defend European interests and listen to EU SMEs and freelancers.
Lueders is famous for his emotional messages and TRIPs references. Let's say it in his style:
Time for a Brussels Tea Party. Europe will make its software choice!