May 22, 2002
Should government encourage open-source software development?
Some foreign governments have implemented policies favoring open-source software-software usually available without charge that individual users are free to modify-over proprietary software. Brazil, Italy, Germany, Singapore, and the European Union, for example, have given advantages to open-source providers through government procurement and other means. Some people believe the United States should follow suit.
The AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies convened a panel on April 12 to discuss whether open-source programs, such as the Linux operating system, have advantages to society that are not captured by the market and, if so, whether the federal government should step in to promote that software.