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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2010-09-07">
<version>1</version>
<head>
<title>EU survey on Free Software and standards: make your voice heard!</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>EU survey on Free Software and standards: make your voice heard!</h1>
<p>The Free Software Foundation Europe is calling on European Free Software
businesses to participate in a survey of business attitudes
towards the acceptability of including patents in industry standards.</p>
<p>This <a href="
http://projects.isi.tu-berlin.de/ipr/eso/survey.php">survey</a> is a
key component of
a <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/european-standards/standardisation-policy/policy-activities/intellectual-property-rights/index_en.htm">study</a>
that will play the major role in the EC's reform of standardisation
policy. It is open until September 17.</p>
<p>A major theme in the survey is whether patents that cover standards
should be licensed royalty-free
(the <a href="http://www.w3.org/">W3C</a> takes this approach), or
whether they should instead be licensed under so-called "fair,
reasonable and non-discriminatory terms"
(<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRAND">FRAND</a>).
</p>
<p>FRAND is a misnomer as the terms are neither fair nor reasonable, nor
non-discriminatory - either for Free Software or indeed for anyone
other than the small circle of the very largest players in the
software market.</p>
<p>FSFE's President Karsten Gerloff says: "For Free Software, these
terms are disastrous as well as discriminatory to the point of
exclusion. They require royalties to be paid per copy, which makes it
impossible to distribute a program as Free Software - an obvious
nonsense."</p>
<p> It is of critical importance that as many Free Software companies as
possible respond to this survey, so that their views are heard and
form part of the data for the study. The implicit assumptions of the
survey are, unfortunately, biased towards large corporations with
dedicated 'standardisation employees'. This makes it all the more
important that Europe's Free Software companies speak up for
themselves.</p>
<p>"We need to make sure that the data gathered in this survey will
reflect the actual needs of European businesses", says Karsten
Gerloff. "Don't allow our common interests to be ignored!"</p>
</body>
<tags>
<tag key="swpat">Software Patents</tag>
<tag key="policy"/>
</tags>
</html>