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

01.21.11

European Commission Disappoints Regarding Free Software and Patents

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Siim Kallas - GWB
Siim Kallas with George Bush

Summary: Why the European Commission continues to disappoint freedom proponents following staff changes and perhaps a little entryism

BELATED criticism of the second version of EIF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] is coming all at once. The Red Hat-run site, opensource.com, has just posted yet another interpretation of the EIFv2, this time not Red Hat’s official response. It starts with:

In December, the long awaited version 2.0 of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) was released by the European Commission. Version 1.0 had defined “open standard” as royalty-free, a definition of enormous impact on standards policy because it focused on the user perspective rather than the perspective of standards development organizations. Some standards organizations claim that “open standards” refers only to the way the standard was developed – not the terms of availability. In addition, some argue that “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” licensing (FRAND or simply RAND – without the “fair,” as it is known in the U.S.) should be the baseline for openness, not “royalty-free” (RF).

EIF v2 takes the broader perspective on “openness” – that it pertains to the terms of availability, not just the process under which the standard is developed. However, it drops the requirement that “open” = royalty-free. In fact, even “fully open” does not mean royalty-free. The key section reads:

If the openness principle is applied in full…. Intellectual property rights related to the specification are licensed on FRAND terms or on a royalty-free basis in a way that allows implementation in both proprietary and open source software.

This seems to say that RF is no more open than (F)RAND, although RF is in fact an especially open subset of (F)RAND. Unless there are unusual special requirements, anything licensed royalty-free is commonly considered to be available under “free, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” terms.

To save people the trouble of reading it all, in conclusion states the author:

PCAST is not the government but it is the highest private sector advisory body on science and technology. Its views are taken seriously, especially on something as fundamental as de facto definitions. The European Commission is a government agency and in this case is dealing with procurement and interoperation within government agencies. In the new version of the European Interoperability Framework, it has backtracked, offering guidance that defies common understanding. It muddles the policy framework by introducing new ambiguities and perpetuating debate about fundamental definitions.
considered to be available under “free, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” terms.

It turns out that we also missed the announcement from APRIL, which said: “EU Commission moving away from interoperability for European public services.”

The European Commission released on December 16th, 2010 its communication relative to its “Interoperability Strategy and Framework for public services”. This document is carrying on an unacceptable reversal on interoperability issues, and ratifies the disappearance of open standards, which were already threatened by the Digital Agenda for Europe.

[...]

April is therefore staying alert in order to ensure that Free Software players will not be excluded from the actions that will be set forth following this communication.

The FFII’s president notes that Europe drops the ball even with its own software:

For technical reasons, the GPF editor has been designed as a Windows application.

Around the same time, the FFII folks saw some worrying material regarding the European Commission. As noted the other day, there is an inexplicable rush to advance the EU patent, which this document from December in Brussels helps elucidate by stating: “On 1 August 2000, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation on the Community patent[1]. The Commission proposed the creation of a unitary Community patent which would co-exist with national patents granted by national patent offices of the Member States and European patents granted under the European Patent Convention (EPC) by the European Patent Office (EPO). As a well functioning centralised patent granting system had already been set up in Europe by the EPC in the 1970s, it was envisaged that the Community patent would also be granted by the EPO. Users of the patent system would be free to choose which type of patent protection best suited their needs.

“The Commission proposal aimed at the creation of a Community patent that would be attractive to the users of the patent system in Europe, in particular by proposing simplified and cost-effective translation arrangements. In particular, the Commission proposed that after grant of the Community patent by the EPO in one of the official languages of the EPO (English, French or German) and publication in that language together with a translation of the claims into the other two official languages of the EPO, the Community patent would have taken effect in the entire Union.”

It has been demonstrated before that the European Commission was changed from the inside (staff changes). It no longer seems as Free/open source software-friendly as it used to be, so its response to CPTN does not surprise us.

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. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  2. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  3. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  4. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  6. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  7. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  8. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  9. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  10. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  11. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  12. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  14. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  15. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  16. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  17. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  18. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  19. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  20. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  21. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  22. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  23. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  24. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  25. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  27. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  28. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  29. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent



  30. The Myth of 'Professionalism'

    Perception of professionalism, a vehicle or a motivation for making Linux more 'corporate-friendly' (i.e. owned by corporations), is a growing threat to Software Freedom inside Linux, as well as freedom of speech and many other things


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