[ubuntu-uk] Update 2012- Re: Fwd: [Ossg-announcements] Adoption of Open Source across HM Government – London 22/02/11 and 01/03/11]]

Alan Bell alanbell at ubuntu.com
Sun Apr 15 19:36:50 UTC 2012

On 14/04/12 16:13, Norman Silverstone wrote:
> <  big snip>
>> Update 2012:
>> Proprietary lobby triumphs in first open standards showdown
>> http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/public-sector/2012/04/proprietary-lobby-triumphs-in.html
>> -- 
> Is this not yet another example of the ineptness of the present
> Government and its subservience to big business.
> Norman
not really, the government set up the consultations announced them, some 
people turned up from the open standards community, lots of people 
turned up from the proprietary companies (including people being flown 
in from America to attend)

Round tables 3 and 2 have not happened yet, please do try to turn up if 
you can (I know it is hard if you don't have someone paying you to go). 
The outcome of all this won't be decided on a show of hands from the 
round table meetings, they just want feedback from those. The very best 
thing you can do whilst sat in the comfort of your own home or office is 
to fill out the consultation form:


you can see on this the links to see what others have said. All 
responses to the consultation will be published (I will do a freedom of 
information request for the ones that are not published on the website 
when the consultation closes) and you can see that the general consensus 
of the published written responses is decidedly in favour of real open 

If you are confused about what the fuss is all about, it is whether 
"open standard" should be allowed to contain patents that are licensed 
under FRAND terms. FRAND stands for the excellent sounding "Fair 
Reasonable and Non Discriminatory" but this is a big problem. The theory 
is that you can have a patent in an open standard that requires a modest 
payment to the license holder. So for example, lets take a fictional 
video format called MPVC which is just wonderful at compressing pictures 
of lots of people, but it bears a royalty of £0.01 per user. Sounds 
fine, it doesn't cost much, people can make set-top boxes and pay their 
penny, parliament streams in MPVC and mandates the use of MPVC for 
various other things. Now if someone wants to write an MPVC decoder and 
distribute it as Free Software under the GPL they can't because they 
can't count the users and make the payment to the license holder. This 
is a real means for proprietary companies to block competition from Free 

There is more about this here and elsewhere on the web:


Go fill out that consultation. I did, you can read my responses on the 


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