Feeds

OASIS open standards not open enough

Big names in open-source go on the attack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Luminaries of the free-software and open-source movements have united to protest the new patent policy of OASIS, the web standards group. Larry Lessig and Richard Stallman are among the signatories of a petition calling on the open-source community to boycott OASIS' specifications.

Earlier this month OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) updated its policy on incorporating patented work into standards. It introduced three types of licensing it considers acceptable: reasonable and nondiscriminatory licensing; royalty-free on reasonable and non discriminatory terms, or royalty free on limited terms.

When it revised its policy, OASIS said it wanted to acknowledge the importance of royalty free standards; but open-source and free-software advocates don't think it goes far enough. Along with Lessig and Stallman, Tim O'Reilly, Bruce Perens, Mitchell Kapor, Lawrence Rosen, Doc Searls and Eric Raymond all signed an email, quoted on CNET:

"We ask you to stand with us in opposition to the OASIS patent policy. Do not implement OASIS standards that aren't open. Demand that OASIS revise its policies. If you are an OASIS member, do not participate in any working group that allows encumbered standards that cannot be implemented in open-source and free software."

OASIS defended the new terms, saying that its approach was as strong as that taken by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS, suggested that the people signing the email had not read the new terms properly, and accused them of "reacting to someone else's claim", CNET reports.

"Had any of these people come to us, we would have been more than happy to open a dialogue. This isn't the best way to open a dialogue between communities, through the press," he said. ®

Related stories

Open Source catches download stats fever
BSA in open (standards) revolt
SCO faces ejection from Nasdaq
MS seeks patent experts - no patent experience necessary

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.