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European Commission's Low Attack on Open Source

ComputerWorldUK - Glyn Moody - If ACTA was the biggest global story of 2012, more locally there's no doubt that the UK government's consultation on open standards was the key event. As readers will remember, this was the final stage in a long-running saga with many twists and turns, mostly brought about by some uncricket-like behaviour by proprietary software companies who dread a truly level playing-field for government software procurement.

Justice prevailed in that particular battle, with open standards being defined as those with any claimed patents being made available on a royalty-free basis. But of course these things are never that simple. While the UK has seen the light, the EU has actually gone backwards on open standards in recent times.

Again, as long-suffering readers may recall, the original European Interoperability Framework also required royalty-free licensing, but what was doubtless a pretty intense wave of lobbying in Brussels overturned that, and EIF v2 ended up pushing FRAND, which effectively locks out open source - the whole point of the exercise.

Shamefully, some parts of the European Commission are still attacking open source, as I revealed a couple of months ago when Simon Phipps spotted a strange little conference with the giveaway title of "Implementing FRAND standards in Open Source: Business as usual or mission impossible?"