EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.21.10

Advocates of Free/Open Source Software and Standards Do Not Welcome EU ICT Plan (Digital Agenda)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, Law, Standard at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flags

Summary: The Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) mischaracterises the response of Free/Open Source groups to Neelie Kroes and the Digital Agenda; we attempt to set the record straight

OSOR has come up with a misleading article that mistakes politeness for cautious acceptance. Glyn Moody calls it a “misleading headline” too. Readers can just for themselves:

Advocates of open source and standards cautiously welcome ICT plan

Advocacy groups on open standards and open source software cautiously welcome the European Commission’s five year ICT plan.

This page leaves out or forgets the FFII, which is a leading advocate in the said area. As we showed yesterday, the FFII is not too happy about the Digital Agenda. By contrast, Openforum seems fairly pleased.

Openforum Europe (OFE) welcomes the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, and commends Vice President Neelie Kroes for her determined effort to build an open, competitive and innovative ICT market for the benefit of citizens and businesses in Europe.

OSOR mentioned the statement from the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) which was summarised with: “Lack of Open Standards “gaping hole” in EC’s Digital Agenda” (clearly negative)

The European Commission has officially published its long-awaited Digital Agenda, outlining its policy plans for the next five years. “While it includes some important building blocks for Free Software, the omission of Open Standards rips a gaping hole in this agenda,” says Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

Here are some other ones [1, 2] and there is the ECIS statement, which we haven’t mentioned yet. It goes like this:

ECIS commends European Commission for its Digital Agenda

BRUSSELS, 19 May, 2010 – ECIS is gratified that the European Commission’s “Digital Agenda” released today sets a timetable for making sure that government-purchased software adheres to open standards, so it will work smoothly and easily together, thus ensuring citizens have open access to their governments.

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) is also pleased that the Commission frowns on software that is hemmed in by closed, proprietary standards.

“As our name suggests, interoperability is a central tenet of our group,” said Thomas Vinje, counsel and spokesman for ECIS. “We’re pleased the European Commission has given broad support to interoperability, and gratified it believes government acquisition of software should adhere to open standards.”

“That approach assures that governments will avoid granting a monopoly to a proprietary software company, which can then charge citizens for the software they need to access and interact with their governments.”
      –Thomas Vinje, ECIS
The broad-ranging Digital Agenda focuses in part on the importance of making software work together. Among its conclusions are that because all technology is inherently standards-based, “Interoperability between these standards is the only way to make our lives and doing business easier – smoothing the way to a truly digital society.”

The Digital Agenda says member states should by 2013 carry out goals enunciated in April by EU Telecommunication Ministers during their meeting in Spain, whose Granada Declaration calls for the “systematic promotion of open standards and interoperable systems” for governments across the European Union.

“That approach assures that governments will avoid granting a monopoly to a proprietary software company, which can then charge citizens for the software they need to access and interact with their governments,” said Vinje.

Open standards permit inter-operation without the necessity of paying special fees. For example, the common electric plug is designed to an open standard. Anyone may build an electric plug without paying a royalty to design prongs to the right size and shape for a power point. In software, two of the best-known open standards are those that created the Internet and those that created the World Wide Web. Anyone may write software that works on the Internet or the Web, without paying special fees.

“These open standards have transformed the way we do business,” said Vinje of the Web and the Internet. They are clear examples of the way that open standards promote creativity and competition.

“Open standards will help create such things as health records that will be readable anywhere in the European Union, using a variety of software from a number of providers,” said Vinje. “They set the stage for economic growth. We’re gratified that the Commission is backing this approach.”

Open standards are distinct from “open source.” Using the latter, a group or company makes public the underlying source code of its program. Open standards are aimed at allowing pieces of software to work seamlessly together. Proprietary software business models based on open standards and open source business models both allow a high degree of interoperability and consumer choice. ECIS strongly believes that in adopting measures to implement the Digital Agenda, the EU should take care in ensuring that one particular model is not favoured over another, as long as the aims of openness and interoperability are met.

In summary, Free software groups are unhappy with the loophole that facilitates software patents (Germany’s situation with software patents [1, 2] will be discussed shortly), so it would be unfair to say that they “cautiously welcome [the] ICT plan”; they actually criticise it.

The European Commission needs to expose the lobbyists who derailed the “Digital Agenda” and those companies they represented. Some of them pretend to represent small European businesses while actually serving Microsoft. It is a known AstroTurf tactic when one takes over the opposition to misrepresent that opposition. Perhaps the European Commission got bamboozled. It ought to be mended.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Lost Almost Half (3 Out of 8) Board Members in Only One Month

    As the old saying goes, a picture (or screenshot) is worth a thousand words



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 16, 2019



  3. Startpage and System1 Abuse Your Privacy Under the Guise of 'Privacy One Group'

    Startpage has sold out and may have also sold data it retained about its users to a privacy-hostile company whose entire business model is surveillance



  4. Links 16/10/2019: Halo Privacy, Ubuntu Release Imminent

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  6. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  7. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  8. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  9. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  10. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  11. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  12. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  13. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  14. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  15. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  16. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  17. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  18. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  19. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  21. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  22. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  23. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  24. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  25. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  26. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  27. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  29. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  30. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts