There are two new European Commission-commissioned reports worth checking out. First, there is a lengthy study [PDF] on the economic impact of open source software that provides numbers that should get the attention of politicians and policy makers worldwide. The study estimates that it would cost 12 billion euros (over C$18 billion) to reproduce the same software code of current quality FLOSS applications. Moreover, the number of new software applications is doubling every 18 – 24 months. It further finds an 800 million euro voluntary contribution by software programmers. The industry impact is breathtaking with estimates that firms representing 263 billion euro in revenue and 565,000 jobs have invested 1.2 billion euro in FLOSS software that is then made freely available. In short, the direct and indirect economic impact is very significant and must surely form a more integral part of any national economic and ICT strategy.
The EC has also released a study[PDF] completed by the exceptional Institute for Information Law on the harmonization of European copyright law.