24 April 2007

Open Source at the Centre of the Middle Kingdom?

For those of us the wrong side of the bamboo curtain, it's often hard to tell exactly what's going on in the Middle Kingdom. So this extensive report about open source and intellectual monopoly issues in China is particularly welcome:

Open-source software is receiving a rapid uptake in key developing countries and users, local industries and governments say it offers them market opening, flexibility and lower costs. China, perhaps the biggest potential market, showed last week how much open-source is part of its plans.

The adoption of open-source software is also related to rising interest in open standards, which stems from emerging economies' effort to make global standards-making more favourable to them. Governments and technology companies say that a change in standards which involve underlying patents can mean monopoly markets for patent-holding companies, most of which are usually based in developed countries.

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