Bonum Certa Men Certa

ISO Fails Again. It's a Hat Trick.

ISO standard
Who runs this show anyway?



Alex Brown has unleashed some more material just days after protests against ISO's miserable failure. Groklaw takes a look at what's available and soon concludes that ISO has just shot itself in the foot with sheer hypocrisy.

There are two more documents from the BRM meeting available now on Alex Brown's blog:

[...]

If you open the zip file and look at the document titled PT-62A2.doc and put it next to the Resolutions document [text], specifically Resolution 23, I think you'll find that they say, put together, that any applications wishing interoperability with OOXML in sound must use MP3. This is non-free, being patent-encumbered. If you go to Audiopeg.com, it tells us, "Audio MPEG is protected by a portfolio of patents covering a large number of countries." Therefore, by my reading, the proposed spec can't be implemented in free software and in a backhanded way, the GPL has just been exiled again. What kind of standard is OOXML if the GPL, which is what Linux is licensed under, can't freely interoperate? FOSS is a new factor that standards bodies simply must consider. It's not like the old, proprietary days, when it was like a club, and everybody had similar business plans.


Deja vu. ISO did this before. Remember the Cuba story?

How can a body which strives to deliver standards be so naive? To make matters worse, to require the use of 'anti-standards' applications (e.g. Microsoft Word) as tools for voting on choice/replacement is a catch 22. It is almost as though they promote the same problem which they purport to be trying to resolve. In fact, not being part of the solution arguably makes them part of the problem.

They ought to have known better.

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