Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why Am I Paying Twice for Software?

If the federal government is going to pay for the development of software for schools, shouldn't it require that the software be issued under an open source license? Otherwise, taxpayers are paying twice: once to write the software and again to use it. Actually, we're paying a lot more than twice, since every locality pays for it separately.

Our friends in Europe use "paying for it once" as a key argument for government funding of open source software for schools. It is cheaper (and way more efficient overall) to pay someone to write a piece of software that can then be used throughout the country at no additional cost than to pay licensing costs separately in every locale (and perhaps every year).

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