Feeds

Open source is good for the economy: report

Worth €2bn a year

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Europe's lawmakers should "correct" policies that "implicitly or explicitly" favour the use of proprietary software, according to a newly published report from the European Commission (EC).

The EC commissioned Netherlands based UNU-MERIT to investigate the "economic impact of "FLOSS"* in Europe". The researchers found open source software is worth around €2bn every year to the European economy.

The technology is also flourishing, with a "large share" of both private and public enterprises reporting some use of OSS.

The researchers found that the existing code base of OSS in Europe is worth the equivalent of 131,000 freely donated "person years" of time from individual developers. Annually, this is worth around €800m to the European economy, according to lead author Rishab Aiyer Ghosh.

In the form of code that has been made freely available, businesses have contributed a further €1.2bn worth of software, the equivalent of employing 565,000 software developers annually.

Ghosh argues that for tax purposes OSS donations should be treated as charitable donations.

The report also recommends that technical education should be vendor neutral. Students should be taught skills, not applications, and should be encouraged to participate in open source communities.

Back in October, proprietary software makers, represented by Hugo Lueders of the Institute for Software Choice, complained to the European Commission that they had not been given enough time to review the report before its publication.

Lueders said at the time that the limited amount of time other parties had to reply to the research suggested "that the commission is intolerant to opposing comments...and thus a closed process has ensued which clearly limits the input from dissenting or diverging points of view".

He took the view that the success of OSS, as identified in the report, is exactly the reason it should not be given any special treatment, such as the recommended tax breaks.

The full report can be downloaded here (pdf 1.8MB).

*[Editor's note: FLOSS stands for Free, Libre and Open Source Software. We will continue to refer to it as OSS, because floss is something dentists talk about.]

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
POW! Apple smites Macbook Air EFI firmware update borkage
Fruity firm provides digital balm for furious fanbois
Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS
Startup to take over support for today's Itaniums and beyond
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?