The case for a Dutch ANBS foundation
Introduction for foreign readers: Since 2008 the Dutch Tax Administration can designate an institution to be a "Public Benefit Organisation" (Dutch: Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling, ANBI). At least 90% of the efforts of an ANBI has to be focused on the general good.
We already clearly see the effect of the existence of Internet and related services such as email. ICT and data will become increasingly prominent in society. No entity is the exclusive owner of the software that makes the Internet "work", and because of this, it constitutes a standard and is widely applied, hence its success. However, there are entities that contribute to the development and standardization such as W3C, IANNA, IETF. The Internet is a school example of “general utility software”. Software that at first is not commercially viable, but at a later stage, a large number of companies derive their right of existence from it (eg, website developers, Internet service providers). Previous attempts at closed variants (eg CompuServe, The Net of Dutch KPN, AOL / America OnLine) show that open development ultimately offers many more opportunities for businesses and consumers. This shows a gap in the current development landscape. There is a need for software development which is not yet commercially viable, but is of particular importance for a society in a later stage of development. For this the Dutch government should initiate the establishment of the ANBS foundation. ANBS stands for Public Benefit Software (Algemeen Nut Beogende Software), a foundation that takes care of the development of this type of software in the initiation phase.