American lobbyists against open standards, faced with opposition from the Free Software Foundation
Fighting that erupted around the soon-to-adoption of a European code of regulations for compatibility (European Interoperability Framework, EIF, reached the highest intensity in connection with the forthcoming any day approval EIF. From the ability of the European Commission to uphold the requirement for compliance with open standards in the development of state systems will largely depend on the fate of free software in Europe.
According to the writer Robert Holliman (Robert W. Holleyman), the proposed wording "may be read as if part of the most innovative European and foreign companies in the standardization process will not be welcome, if they own the patents for the technologies and seek compensation for their inventions, If these patents are part of the standard. " Alternatively, the author of the letter suggests the European Commission to adopt the criterion of a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, FRAND) conditions, which imply the possibility of inclusion in the list of permissible standards, including, and technologies that are encumbered by patents, or the requirements of expulsion of the royalties. As examples, specifications, burdened by patents, but applies to "reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms, BSA causes such well-known technologies such as WiFi, GSM, and MPEG.
It should be remembered that, as in Russia, the software patents in Europe have no legal significance, and a relatively recent attempt to lobby the directive on software patents through the European Parliament ended in failure. However, the debate on the admissibility or inadmissibility of patent encumbrances in the standards for software for the European public sector, no matter how detached from reality it may seem, can directly affect the distribution of free software. We should not forget that the development of free software is a framework of international projects, and American developers will not show a significant interest in the project, whose results can not be used in the U.S. due to legal restrictions. A lack of access to U.S. users - an irreparable loss for the majority of free software projects.
In this regard, attention is drawn to the fact that the majority of the BSA - it was American, not European, companies.
BSA - not the only organization that speaks out against open standards. A similar opinion was expressed by Lawrence Kogan (Lawrence Kogan) prezdineta Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development, ITSSD) during a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, acting through the World Intellectual Property Organization on 12 October. According to Lawrence Kogan, codes for compatibility requirements for state systems or the provision of contradictions Open Source creates a legal and economic uncertainty, which is simply unfair and unnecessary. "Interestingly, in one of the positive reviews posted on the site ITSSD, the organization is characterized as "extremely positive for the traditional American imperial ideology."
In response to claims of U.S. organizations, Free Software Foundation Europe (Free Software Foundation Europe) are also sent to the Commission's letter, and published a detailed paper document, which offered objections to each of the arguments made in a letter to BSA. According to representatives of the Fund's open standards do not prevent, but instead promote competition. Waiver of royalties would not shorten, but rather expand market access for government contracts for the widest range of suppliers. [???] The Foundation also believes that these BSA examples of technologies are not adequate, since they are all related to the hardware market, not the software.
Finally, the Free Software Foundation Europe is a direct indication that the conditions FRAND directly contradict the most popular free license. Thus, by agreeing to allow the encumbered patent-pending technology, the European Commission at the same time exclude the possibility of developing a state system based on free software.
Before the publication of the final version of the EIF have to wait, apparently, a very short time. Hardly the arguments of American lobbyists to materially alter the position of the European Commission, which for years has been one of the most consistent supporters of the idea of open standards, but the actual activity of lobbyists, shows how seriously the proprietary software vendors perceive the threat of technology-neutral with respect to the supplier.