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GNU is Not Unix

NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers 111

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, along with a number of co-sponsors, have introduced proposed legislation in New York State which would grant a tax credit to individuals acting as volunteers who develop open source programs. The idea of the credit is to ensure that volunteer developers, who could not otherwise deduct their expenses because they are not part of a 'business,' should nevertheless be able to receive a tax benefit for their contribution. The credit would be for 20% of the expenses incurred, up to $200. The preamble to the bill notes that the New York State Assembly itself currently uses 'Open Source programs such as Mozilla for email, Firefox for web browsing, and WebCal for electronic calendars,' and that these programs have led to significant cost savings to taxpayers. The preamble also cited a 2006 report authored by John Irons and Carl Malamud from the Center for American Progress detailing how Open Source software enhances a broader dissemination of knowledge and ideas."
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NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers

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  • Re:"$200 is too low" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hdon ( 1104251 ) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @04:16PM (#27081771)
    I think now is a good time to have some public discussion of what it will mean if big companies can essentially make money by making their code open. Would Sun have open sourced Java sooner if we were going to pay them to do it? Will it mean a healthier open source community? Will it encourage hardware vendors to go further for the Linux community than just giving us BLOBs?
  • Yeah... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 05, 2009 @04:40PM (#27082057)

    What if people make software like "Hello World v5" or "My First For Loop v2.1" just for the tax credit?

    And don't tell me it requires LOC counts or a certain team size or number of downloads or user base. Because I'm sure that people wanting a tax credit wouldn't mind teaming up...

  • Sure it's a small number, but it's a beginning. What's important are the principles -- the recognition that open source (a) contributes to the growth of ideas, (b) makes our economy more efficient, (c) helps both industry and government improve the services they provide, and (d) should be encouraged.
  • Re:America (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Puzzleer ( 309198 ) on Thursday March 05, 2009 @06:21PM (#27083615)

    I write open source drivers for the Linux Kernel and I live in New York City. I've easily spent a thousand bucks in the last year buying hardware I didn't need so I could make it under Linux work.

    People might think the $200 is a token gesture, but for me it's real money. It's another two or three devices I could add support for.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.