Microsoft Lobbied Against Free Software in Chile, Reports A Chilean Magazine

If truth be told, I believed Microsoft had stopped being its evil former self, but apparently, there’s no coming back from the ‘zone’. Once you are there, you are there forever. If a report from a Chilean magazine is to be believed, Microsoft lobbied against the government use of free software and promoted proprietary software with the help of a Chilean Member of Parliament. The new bill has been proposed after a bill which promoted the government use of Free and Open Source Software was met with enthusiasm by the entire parliament, except from the alleged Microsoft’s lackey.

Microsoft’s ‘brother in arms’ is one Jorge Daniel Farcas Insunza who proposed a bill which promotes the use of proprietary software and talks about tax concessions to the firms who use proprietary software. The tax concessions on proprietary software are not a new thing, many countries provide that.

Vlado Mirosevic, an independent MP of the Chilean parliament, proposed a bill promoting the use MicrosoftChileFOSS2 of Free and Open Source Software earlier, which was met with general applause by the majority of the parliament. But Mr. Farcas voted against it, and proposed his own bill to counter Mirosevic’s some time later.

Sounds totally uncool, right? Wait, you don’t know the entire thing yet.

Many MPs who favored the FOSS bill proposed by Mirosevic joined Farcas and rooted for his bill as well. That’s what you call uncool.

As I see it, there could be two reasons as to why those MPs changed their earlier stance. Number one, they are the likes of politicians who flow with the wind. They don’t actually understand the terms and seriousness of the bill, all they care about is popular support.

Number two, they got something from someone which ‘forced’ them to change their opinion. Of course, this reason assumes that they know the evils of using proprietary software, which I highly doubt.

I’m not pointing fingers at anyone (someone *wink*) in particular, but the same trend has been observed throughout the world where proprietary software is used by the government officials. You get them paid, you get them laid and they will vote for any bill you propose. Such a utopia.

Google translated original article could be found here, and if you are a Chilean national, read more about the adventures of Mr. Farcas and his American buddy here.


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