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Do Royalty-Free Standards “Stifle Innovation?”

“As I noted last week, the British government recently came out
strongly in favor of royalty free standards and active
consideration of open source software in public procurement. As
expected, this decision was greeted with less than universal
enthusiasm. One trade group that predictably reacted negatively was
the Business Software Alliance, an association that supports the
robust preservation of rights in patents. The BSA had previously
lobbied actively (and successfully) to delete a similar position
from the new version of the European Interoperability Framework
(EIF).

“According to a story posted at ZDNet.co.uk this Tuesday, the
BSA released objections to the new British government policy,
stating in part:

“BSA strongly supports open standards as a driver of
interoperability; but we are deeply concerned that by seeking to
define openness in a way which requires industry to give up its
intellectual property, the UK government’s new policy will
inadvertently reduce choice, hinder innovation and increase the
costs of e-government.”


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