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[ossig] FTAs undermine benefits of FOSS



The benefits of Free and Open Software (FOSS) as an alternative solution
and choice for local businesses are threatened by the introduction of
software patents and technology prevention measures. These IPR
mechanisms found in Free Trade Agreements with developed countries are
used to restrict competition which lead to increasing costs to

RM 5.3 Billion is the cost to acquire a proprietary operating system and
office productivity software for all of Malaysia's PCs. Statistics from
popular local websites show that over 98% of Malaysian users are using a
foreign proprietary operating system to run their computers. 

This figure represents the immediate trade balance loss for the
Malaysian economy. Basic multiplier effects lost to the local economy
would be many times higher. 

FTAs are negotiated with the promise of increasing market access and
competition. The calls for increased IPR protection instead only serve
to reduce competition and restrict access for local ICT businesses to
our own ICT market already dominated by foreign companies.


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