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Which countries have open-source laws on the books?

Jon Gold | Sept. 2, 2016
Network World cobbles together map of government open source laws

It also required a fair amount of interpretation on our part – while it might seem like the existence of a law around government open-source software is pretty much cut-and-dried, this ignores three things. First, lots and lots of countries have active proposals to enact open-source legislation, so it didn’t seem right to simply lump them into the “no” column. Second, there are also plenty of cities and regional governments at various stages of adopting their own local laws. Finally, laws have different force and effect in different places, they use different wording, and it can occasionally be tricky to neatly separate them into buckets labeled “encourages” or “mandates.”

So, in the final analysis, some of this is a judgment call – countries without national laws on the subject might get an “encourages” if multiple major cities or regional governments have reasonably complete open-source laws, to reflect the fact that awareness and use of open-source is robust there. Like we said, this isn’t meant to be strictly authoritative, and if you base some kind of argument or, god forbid, a business decision on whether this map says a country is open-source-friendly or not, you’re nuts. It’s an illustration. Enjoy.


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