The BCS Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) will be holding an event considering the relationship between Open Standards, Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory terms (FRAND), and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) at the BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA (http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/london-office-guide.pdf) on Thursday 29th March 2012, from 1800 to 2100 hours.
This bookable event is free and open to all with buffet and refreshments. To book a place to attend please email Mark Elkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cabinet Office opened an Open Standards Consultation on 9 February 2012 which closes for comments on 3 May 2012. Within question one http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/question1/ is the sub-question:
How could adopting (Fair) Reasonable and Non Discriminatory ((F)RAND) standards deliver a level playing field for open source and proprietary software solution providers?
Dependent upon on your viewpoint FRAND is possibly one of the most contentious terms that could be applied to FOSS because it conflicts with some potentially important aspects of it. As well as the view of the UK Government and the awaited outcome of the Cabinet Office Open Standards Consultation there is activity taking place in the EU Parliament that may affect the use of FOSS due to FRAND.
Aim of event
This event aims to unravel the relationship between Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS and therefore make it clear what affect this relationship has for the practical application of Open Source. For instance – Would the use of the GPL licence and other OSI approved licences be affected?; Would the UK Government be constrained in what Open Source software it could use? or Could ways be found around such problems?
The findings from this event will be passed on to the BCS Policy Hub to feed into an overall BCS response to the Cabinet Office Open Standards Consultation. The BCS Policy Hub Consultation can be found at http://www.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/43785 where comments should be submitted by 18th April 2012.
Gerry Gavigan, Chair, Open Source Consortium (OSC), http://www.opensourceconsortium.org will discuss Royalty Free (RF) Open Standards and FRAND, which will involve active audience participation in that discussion.