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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2012-06-01">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>FSFE responds to UK Open Standards Consultation</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>FSFE responds to UK Open Standards Consultation</h1>
  9. <p> FSFE has submitted its response
  10. [Update: see as <a href="/activities/os/FSFE-response.questionnaire.pdf">PDF version</a> or <a href="/activities/os/2012-06-uk-consultation-os.en.html">HTML version</a>] to a
  11. public <a href="http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/open-standards-open-opportunities-flexibility-and-efficiency-government-it">consultation</a>
  12. by the UK Government, concerning a definition of Open Standards and a
  13. policy for increasing their use in the UK's public sector. If the
  14. policy is applied boldly and proactively, the UK stands to greatly
  15. gain from increased competition in the software market, with much
  16. greater opportunities for small companies. On the other hand, even
  17. minor lapses in implementation could derail the policy entirely.
  18. </p>
  19. <p>
  20. While we take a generally positive view of the proposed policy, there
  21. are several areas of concern. First, the proposal seems to limit
  22. application of the policy to a small number of central government
  23. bodies. This would not be enough to break the widespread lock-in to
  24. proprietary formats from which the UK public sector is suffering.
  25. </p>
  26. <p>
  27. Second, the definition of what constitutes an Open Standard needs to
  28. be carefully crafted. Even small mistakes here risk rendering the
  29. policy entirely ineffective in practice.
  30. </p>
  31. <p>
  32. Third, in order for the policy to be effective, the UK government will
  33. have to help those who are supposed to implement it in
  34. practice. Procurement and IT staff will require training. Incentives
  35. should be in place for those who adhere to the policy,
  36. e.g. recognition via a system of peer evaluation. We encourage the UK
  37. government to learn from the experience of other countries in Europe
  38. and beyond.
  39. </p>
  40. <p>
  41. FSFE
  42. has <a href="/news/2012/news-20120528-01.en.html">called
  43. upon</a> companies and individuals doing business with Free Software
  44. in the UK to answer to the consultation. We have
  45. provided <a href="/activities/os/uk-standards-consultation.en.html">supporting
  46. materials</a>,
  47. and <a href="/news/2012/news-20120426-01.en.html">remarked
  48. upon</a> the incompatibility with Free Software of FRAND patent
  49. licensing in standards.
  50. </p>
  51. </body>
  52. <tags>
  53. <tag key="front-page"/>
  54. <tag key="gb"/>
  55. <tag key="openstandards"/>
  56. <tag key="policy"/>
  57. </tags>
  58. </html>