18 February 2015:
Open Standards allow people to share all kinds of data freely and with perfect fidelity. They prevent lock-in and other artificial barriers to interoperability, and promote choice between vendors and technology solutions. FSFE pushes for the adoption of Open Standards to promote free competition in the IT market, as they ensure that people find it easy to migrate to Free Software or between Free Software solutions.
The relevance of Open Standards is closely linked to networking effects, and has consequently been rising dramatically. The reward for gaming the system for proprietary vendors is increasing, so is the cost for users of software.
Governments, public interest NGOs, including groups that are concerned about freedom of competition or consumer rights are generally strong proponents of Open Standards. Typical critics are the proprietary software vendors and those that represent their interests. One of the items that critics seek to highlight is the inherent conflict between innovation and standardisation.
Standardisation deliberately limits changes to a technological basis, including innovation. These limits are introduced in order to allow subsequent innovation by everyone that has access to the standard and not just the party that controls the technological basis. So standards limit the ability to innovate by a single party in order to allow innovation on the basis of that standard by multiple parties.
Open Standards allow such innovation by all parties with no leverage for the initial developer of the platform to limit such innovation or the competition it represents.
FSFE's goals include freedoms from lock-in, of innovation and competition for everyone. That is why FSFE is a strong supporter of Open Standards.
- FSFE responds [pdf] to the European Commission's consultation on patents and standards. February 13, 2015.
- Open Letter on Document Freedom Day 2014 to Giancarlo Vilella, Director of the European Parliament's DG ITEC and Chair of the Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics by Karsten Gerloff
- FSFE's submission to the UK Open Standards Consultation 2012, held by the Cabinet Office.
- "Defending Open Standards:
FSFE refutes BSA's false claims to European Commission"
by Karsten Gerloff, Carlo Piana and Sam Tuke
- "EIFv2: Tracking the loss of
by Karsten Gerloff and Hugo Roy
- "Analysis on balance: Standardisation and
by Georg Greve
- "The minimal principle: because being an open standard is not enough"
by Bernhard Reiter
- "Why FRAND is bad for Free Software"
Publications at the IGF
- "Sovereign Software: Open Standards,
Free Software, and the Internet"
FSFE contribution to the first IGF, by Georg Greve
Publications on MS-OOXML
- Six questions to national standardisation bodies
- FSFE Context Briefing: "Interoperability woes with MS-OOXML"
- FSFE Context Briefing: "DIS-29500: Deprecated before use?"
- Article on Groklaw: Novell's "Danaergeschenk"
- Article on BBC: "Questions for Microsoft on open formats"
- Article on Heise.de: "The converter hoax"
19 December 2014:
12 December 2014:
20 November 2014:
At a meeting in the European Parliament, FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff highlighted several ways in which the Parliament could become more transparent, and make better use of Free Software and Open Standards.
In a short intervention, he urged the Parliament to finally make its live streams accessible to Free Software users. He asked the Parliament's IT administration to enable IMAP access on its mail servers to allow Free Software users to connect through standard protocols, and warned the Parliament to avoid lock-in as it progresses towards greater digitisation.
24 April 2014:
Open Standards were celebrated to the ends of the earth for Document Freedom Day 2014, with 51 events in 22 countries. The campaign for interoperability was enacted from Tokyo to Rio, and Birmingham to Taipei.