Call to boycott OASIS Standards that are not open 3


Computer Weekly (2005,01 March p.12) reports on a row between leading Open Source Developers and standards organization OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). OASIS has recently changed its rules allowing developers the right to charge royalties for contributed code.

This has met with strong disapproval from leading members of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Community including Lawrence Rosen, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Mitchell Kapor, Lawrence Lessig, Doc Searls, Tim O’Reilly, and Eric Raymond. They have all signed an email letter – a copy of this is shown at http://osdir.com/Article4278.phtml – calling for OASIS to drop its plans and to boycott any of its standards that are not open.

More about OASIS can be found on its website at http://www.oasis-open.org/who/ which amongst other detail describes itself as a not-for-profit consortium that produces more web services standards than any other organization.

Lawrence Rosen has recently published a book entitled Open Source Licensing Software Freedom and Intellectual Property. An online version is available at http://www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm published under the Academic Free Licence version 2.1.

Mark Elkins


3 thoughts on “Call to boycott OASIS Standards that are not open

  • Anonymous
    Call to boycott OASIS Standards that are not open

    Hi Mark

    I think we need to be careful about a simple boycott. This rarely achieves the goals I can see that we both want.

    Imagine if we boycotte …

  • Anonymous User
    Call to boycott OASIS Standards that are not open

    Hi Mark

    I think we need to be careful about a simple boycott. This rarely achieves the goals I can see that we both want.

    Imagine if we boycotted Windows in protest over Microsoft’s patenting of XML standards for office ? The vast majority of the people who provide Microsoft’s revenue would not even notice.

    Instead we need to put forward constructive arguments as to why we feel our position is important and how it impacts the people we are explaining the message to. For an example of how this is being done really well take a look at http://www.spreadfirefox.com. Even my mother in law (who struggled to use a mouse not too long ago!) knows she needs to use firefox to prevent virus’ attacking the machine.

    Also, I might be alone in this point on this discussion group but I think Open Source is now bigger than the FSF, Stallman, Raymond, etc. They are the noisiest but not neccessarily the most significant representatives of Open Source. If you take a careful look at the FSF website and read up their excellent explanation of their ideology they don’t consider ‘Open Source’ to be consistent with their ideology. This is a difficult position, the majority of the population take a more pragmatic approach, they use whatever benefits them personally. What about Apache, Mozilla, etc ? They are not considered compliant with the FSF ideology so are they not relevant?

    If we can explain to the majority of people how the position we take will help them (not just us), then we’ve got the problem licked. The government of New Zealand is taking just this approach with regard to XML and other obvious patents. They are explaining to other countries how it will impact on their ability to read documents in the future and protect their own privacy. I hope they succeed.

    I’m not disagreeing with you, and I certainly won’t be recommending anything but patent free, cost free open standards, but I think we need to tailor our approach to succeed.

    Lee

  • Anonymous User
    Call to boycott OASIS Standards that are not open

    Hi Mark

    I think we need to be careful about a simple boycott. This rarely achieves the goals I can see that we both want.

    Imagine if we boycotted Windows in protest over Microsoft’s patenting of XML standards for office ? The vast majority of the people who provide Microsoft’s revenue would not even notice.

    Instead we need to put forward constructive arguments as to why we feel our position is important and how it impacts the people we are explaining the message to. For an example of how this is being done really well take a look at http://www.spreadfirefox.com. Even my mother in law (who struggled to use a mouse not too long ago!) knows she needs to use firefox to prevent virus’ attacking the machine.

    Also, I might be alone in this point on this discussion group but I think Open Source is now bigger than the FSF, Stallman, Raymond, etc. They are the noisiest but not neccessarily the most significant representatives of Open Source. If you take a careful look at the FSF website and read up their excellent explanation of their ideology they don’t consider ‘Open Source’ to be consistent with their ideology. This is a difficult position, the majority of the population take a more pragmatic approach, they use whatever benefits them personally. What about Apache, Mozilla, etc ? They are not considered compliant with the FSF ideology so are they not relevant?

    If we can explain to the majority of people how the position we take will help them (not just us), then we’ve got the problem licked. The government of New Zealand is taking just this approach with regard to XML and other obvious patents. They are explaining to other countries how it will impact on their ability to read documents in the future and protect their own privacy. I hope they succeed.

    I’m not disagreeing with you, and I certainly won’t be recommending anything but patent free, cost free open standards, but I think we need to tailor our approach to succeed.

    Lee

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