I’ve long held that FLOSS is the right way to do IT. The European Parliament tends to agree:“We find that lock-in and vendor dependence are difficult to reconcile with the principle of openness and of “utmost transparency” to which Parliament has committed itself. In our view, Parliament should not take lowest costs as an absolute metric in its strategic choices of IT systems. Rather, technologies that allow others to work with Parliament’s own systems and data should be privileged, even if they were to incur some extra costs.
We conclude that the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament should whenever possible make Free Software and Open Standards mandatory for all systems and data used for the work of Parliament. In our view, that is the most appropriate way for the Parliament to meet its own standard of “utmost transparency”.”
See Piana, Carlo; Oberg, Ulf (2014) ‘Ensuring utmost transparency – Free Software and
Open Standards under the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament‘,
International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, 6(1), pp 11 – 50
Of course, there are many more reasons to use FLOSS. “openness” certainly raises the level of confidence one can have in the software but it also increases the reliability and efficiency of the software, things that matter and affect the bottom line. With non-Free software, there are motives to include inefficient code, to do the work of others rather than the users of the software. It also costs less to produce FLOSS since authours can use the works of others to build FLOSS, a great efficiency. Instead of every product needing to re-invent the wheel or pay to use a copy, every product can largely consist of re-used code. This also allows authours to put their full energy into the innovative parts of a product instead of trying to comply with endless restrictive software licences.