It’s not often that we get to celebrate a full-blown victory in Free Software policy work. Tuesday was such a day, as India’s government announced its policy on Open Standards. The government’s decision is the end of a three-year battle between Free Software advocates and proprietary software vendors. The document (pdf) is short and sweet. Read more »
At FSFE, we work in some committees of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). From October 11-15, WIPO’s Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP, for short) had its 15th session. We participate there because the committee discusses questions related to patents (duh) and standards. Our main goals in the committee are: convince WIPO Read more »
I spent the weekend at the Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre in Bordeaux, France.This is the biggest Free Software meeting in France, and the community is tremendously active. There are lots of groups doing great work, from April via Aful and user-operated ISP French Data Network, and I met many impressive, smart and dedicated people. Read more »
The EU’s member states have just thrown their weight behind the principles of Open Standards and interoperability. At a meeting of the ministers for telecommunication and information society in Granada, Spain, the ministers of the 27 EU member states yesterday issued the Granada Ministerial Declaration on the European Digital Agenda [pdf]. This is not a Read more »
Right ahead of Document Freedom Day, the European Commission has further watered down the European Interoperability Framework, a key document on interoperability and Open Standards. In its present form, it will only cement the current dominant position of proprietary software vendors. Should EIFv2 be adopted in its current form, most citizens will continue to be forced to use proprietary file formats to communicate with their authorities. It will also mean the loss of countless contracts for European small and medium enterprises, with less jobs in Europe as a result.
FSFE is tracking the changes on a comparison page. The analysis clearly shows how the EC’s Directorate General for Informatics has bowed to pressure from proprietary lobbyists. Contact your national government’s CIO, and let her or him know that you’re concerned.
A draft Digital Agenda leaks from the new European Commission. There are good things on Open Standards in there, but a power struggle within the Commission is threatening progress.
A US lobby group demands that the US government should punish countries that recommend or use Free Software. This post explains how Free Software came to be considered something that’s worth starting a trade war over.
Technology transfer is not just about giving patent licenses to developing countries. The important question is whether people in those countries can actually make use of the technology in question. Free Software provides a model here. By letting anyone from around the world with Internet access participate in collaborative development processes, developers anywhere can work with and learn from the best.
Software should not be patentable, anywhere. But what to do about those unfortunate jurisdictions where software patents are currently allowed? At the World Intellectual Property Organisation, FSFE pushes to at least put in place a working system to challenge patents. The goal of getting rid of patents on software entirely remains the same.
This week, Dutch journalist Brenno de Winter published a leaked draft for a new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). The current version of the EIF, from 2004, has been referenced around the world as a prime example of how public administrations can make use of Open Standards and Free Software in order to Read more »