Regarding ‘Kroes presses ahead with open IT standards‘:
Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes is right to ask for disclosure rules by standards bodies in order to make it easier for others to use and adapt technologies based on such standards.
OASIS – which you quote – already has the most comprehensive and up-front disclosure of all patents and intellectual property claims. It will be interesting to see whether the same demand is also placed on all standards bodies, including the three European standards bodies, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.
It will also be important in the debate on the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) to assess the real value of open source as distinct from open standards. Whereas open standards contribute very positively to the IT eco-system, I personally believe there is much misunderstanding surrounding open source: even if ‘open’, increasingly complex code, often poorly maintained and under the aegis of a singly consultancy firm, can often create greater ‘lock-in’ and dependency than reliable, well-documented, licensed and known commercial software.
It is a delicate balance to strike and the European institutions play an important role in promoting IT standards at the right level: not getting stuck in the weeds of too much detail but ensuring there are standards in place that do the job intended – to provide a level playing field for all IT suppliers to achieve public eService goals.
President, OASISAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor