March 2010

March 31, 2010 is Document Freedom Day. Promote open document formats and decry proprietary, locked down formats.

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Full access, no restrictions on use. Connecting through a common, shared format, method or pathway.

Those are my basic understandings of open standards. Apparently Luc Pierre Devigne, head of public procurement and intellectual property, in the European Commission is applying the term to mean something more and at the same time, much less.

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Think about the issue, and be clear in what “open standards” needs to mean for all of us. Don’t let careless or malicious misuse of the term change it to cover the meaning “patented-but-in-common-use “. By that definition, we would be forced to accept locked up, DRM encumbered, proprietary, patented standards as “open” simply because they are used by everyone that runs a program that is dominant and saves a file in that “popular” format.

Just because it is in common use and “popular” because of that usage does not make the format an “open standard”. Be clear. Know what you are saying. Don’t let somebody else make a language land grab.