Tax subsidy for Open Source Development?

15Jan07

Interesting article in the Register. Describes how a Mr. Hugo Lueders from the Institute for Software Choice (ISC) complains about the way a study about the economic impact of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) was conducted. (By the way, the most prominent members of the ISC are Microsoft and Intel.)

What amuses me: In his letter, Mr. Lueders opines that providing tax credits to support open source software would be “extreme” and lead people to contribute tons of poorly written code – just to claim tax credits. I am sure everyone appreciates Mr. Lueders concern for the quality of open source code.

However, Mr. Lueders fears are misplaced: Proprietary companies already produce lots of poorly written code and already claim tax credits for the expense of doing it. So the incentive of actually exposing the quality of some of that code is not going to be all that great.

Maybe, just maybe, his primary concern was not the quality of open source code after all …

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