The US-based International Intellectual Property Alliance has asked the US Trade Rep to add Indonesia to its list of rogue nations that don't respect copyright. What did Indonesia do to warrant inclusion on this "301 list"? Its government had the temerity to advise its ministries to give preference to free/open source software because it will cost less and reduce the use of pirated proprietary software in government. According to the IPA, this movement to reduce copyright infringement is actually bad for copyright, because "it fails to build respect for intellectual property rights and also limits the ability of government or public-sector customers (e.g., State-owned enterprise) to choose the best solutions."
This is like crack dealers campaigning against having a laugh with friends because happiness reduces the need for intoxicants. This is like… well, it's like a bunch of fat-cat scumbags behaving so shamefully that you want to smack them.
Let's forget that the statement ignores the fact that there are plenty of businesses built on the OSS model (RedHat, WordPress, Canonical for starters). But beyond that, it seems astonishing to me that anyone should imply that simply recommending open source products – products that can be more easily tailored without infringing licensing rules – "undermines" anything.
In fact, IP enforcement is often even more strict in the open source community, and those who infringe licenses or fail to give appropriate credit are often pilloried.
If you're looking at this agog, you should be. It's ludicrous.
But the IIPA and USTR have form here: in recent years they have put Canada on the priority watchlist.