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