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Re: [ossig] Roundtable on Intellectual Property Right Cooperation Between Malaysia and the US



jason chong wrote:

[...]

> We're gonna have a tough fight on this one. The average Malaysian will 
> probably not be interested in software patents or whatever patents 
> because in their eyes, the immediate benefits from being 'colonized' far 
> outweights having to put up with inefficient GLCs and institutionalized 
> racism status quo and rampant corruption/monopoly. The people are most 
> likely not going to look at the implications in the long term. Short 
> term gains are what most Malaysians are used to in their principle of 
> life, from human relationships to business.

You may as well replace 'Malaysian' with a variable and write some 'for 
CITIZEN in `ls world` do echo .... $CITIZEN... done'.

During the re-unification of Germany, I used to live in Nürnberg 
(Nuremberg); some 100 km from the Iron Curtain. The huge majority of the 
citizens of the then German Democratic Republic could not get capitalism 
through their doors early enough, better today than tomorrow. It meant 
better products, oranges, good quality chocolate, BMW and Mercedes. (I 
don't have to mention that there was a strict, authoritarian and corrupt 
régime, do I ?). It took less than two years for everyone to understand 
the global principle of balance: There was available what most had 
dreamt about; but also the price of bread and rent increased around tenfold.

We (in Malaysia) would buy into FTA with huge unemployment, social 
unrest. And higher prices for petrol, gas, bread, food.
Most of all in the former GDR, the societal relations broke down; 
friendship and social nets replaced by greed and the sheer need to 
survive. Some - and not few - perceive the situation as 
'colonialisation' and still resent it. You mentioned these aspects; but 
I am afraid you painted too rosy a picture of the situation once FTA has 
been implemented.
Software Patents not only wipe out the little patches of local FOSS 
industry, they'll also wipe any (independent) software makers. Finally, 
no more pasar malam; no more RM 8 DVDs; and Windows Vista will set you 
back around RM 400 and more. Once the FTA would be fully implemented, 
that is.
Which finally gives us a chance, because suddenly FOSS would come into 
perspective w.r.t. costs of acquisition; something not done now, either 
for disregard of 'IP' or disregard of the costs involved. (During my 
years in Malaysia I was told a few times that the price of FOSS was 
unacceptable: no money to spend == no 'sharing'.)

In conclusion of this OT: Probably FTA isn't quite as good as we tend to 
make it out; the current status quo not as bad as we tend to see it. 
Finally, as FOSS people, we would have to deliver here as well as there.


Uwe

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