- Promote and research open standards, interoperability and competition
- Promote special open formats such as ODF in the context of eGovernment procurement policy.
- Relations to standardization bodies and standard lobby groups
- Open Standard evangelising in Spanish nations
- Promotion of OpenDocument (ISO 26300)
- Campaign against discriminative content formats used by EU institutions:
Please sign the letter against the exclusive use of WMV format by European Council website.
German Bundestag to adopt a good definition of "open standard".
- Alberto Barrionuevo abarrio ät ffii dot org
FFII hot list of standardizations in follow up mode
FFII maintains a list of standards and fake standards which it considers are in need of work either to promote them (if they are good open standards), or to clean up them (if they are fake standards intended to trap consumers and the market). The current hot list includes:
ODF (OpenDocument, ISO 26300:2006) - office documents - open standard to promote
OOXML (Microsoft Office Open XML, ISO 29500, ECMA376) - office documents - exclusive fake standard to clean up or dismantle
- PDF/A (ISO 19005-1:2005) - printing oriented documents subset of "the PDFs" - open standard to promote
- Adobe PDF (ISO 32000) - printing oriented documents
- Microsoft XPS - printing oriented documents - exclusive standard to open or substitute by PDF/A and others PDFs
Adobe Flash technology - multimedia in web - exclusive patented & fake standard to open or substitute
Microsoft Silverlight - multimedia in web - exclusive patented & fake standard to open or substitute
- DCI System Specification - cinema film standard - fake exclusive standard to clean up or dismantle
- MP3 - music documents - exclusive patented standard to substitute by OGG
WMA and WMV - audio and video - exclusive patented & fake standard to substitute by others existing ones
- OGG/Vorbis - audio format - open standard to promote
- OGG/Theora - video format - open standard to promote
- OGG/Speex - voice audio format - open standard to promote
TLS-auth - "experimental" autorization extension to TLS handshake protocol - exclusive patented & fake standard to dismantle
SEPA (Single European Payment Area) - public policy initiative has the objective of "creating open and common standards" for non-cash payment methods in the euoro area - threaded by software and business method patents, to be cleaned up o rejected
FFII Definitions and Classifications of Standards
From the point of view of the specification of the standard and its license to implement it. What varies is the openness or inclusiveness. Standards fall into different categories that varies depending of its openness and inclusiveness as shown in the following scale:
EXCLUSIVE AND CLOSED >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> INCLUSIVE AND OPEN Non Standards -> Closed standards -> RAND standards -> Open Standards -> Libre Standards
A non standard: The specification is not public, neither normalized by any recognized national or international standardization body. This is no matter how widely used the format/protocol/methodology/process/etc is. If widely used, it is common to denominate it in slang language as "de facto standard", but it is not a standard.
Closed standard: A specification normalized and licensed in any non free form indeed not public and not common for all the licensees (you have to negotiate with the owner of the IPRs). Specification itself could cost money but should be public (if not, it wouldn't be a standard). ECMA should be included in that category, since during its specification process doesn't warranty enough that Technical Committee members reveal its IPRs (patents mainly) covering the standard.
RAND standard: A public specification normalized and licensed under terms that are public and common for all the licensees. Patent rights should be declared during the standardization process. Usually RAND terms is the minimum that standardization bodies ask for to grant a standard (ie. ISO and OASIS). Specification itself could cost money. ISO/IEC should be included in that category. Should be noticed that, contrary to what RAND stands for ("Reasonable and Non Discriminatory"), that RAND standards frequently discriminate to part of the industry or to some development models as FLOSS. Ie. FLOSS and other free distribution software are taken apart from the possibility to implement the standard just from the moment that the RAND license states a fee per copy, since it is impossible to account the number of copies distributed. Additionally, some RAND licenses include terms that explicitly discriminate to FLOSS and other development models that show the source code of the programs, by forcing to the implementers to close the code of the implementation of the standard.
Open standard: A specification that is public, the standard is inclusive and it has been developed and is maintained in an open standardization process, everybody can implement it without any restriction, neither payment, to license the IPR (granted to everybody for free and without any condition). This is the minimum license terms asked by standardization bodies as W3C. Of course, all the other bodies accept open standards. But specification itself could cost a fair amount of money (ie. 100-400Eur per copy as in ISO because copyright and publication of the document itself). FFII definition of open standard coincides with the definition issued in the European Interoperability Framework released on 2004 1.
Libre standard: An open standard of which there is a complete reference implementation of the standard under a FLOSS license, or indeed GPLd software, and whose complete specification can be got for free and without any condition.
Open Standardisation process: Inclusive and transparent standardisation process guided. Examples include the Request for Comments policy (RFC) of standardization bodies as IETF.
Complete reference implementation: An implementation of the standard that is self-sufficient and covers the whole standard.
Additionally there exists the following legal categories of standards:
LEGALLY BINDING >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> NON LEGALLY BINDING Legal standards -> International & National standards -> Industry standards -> Private stds. -> Others
Legal standard: those normalized by organizations as CEN/CENELEC and different directives or laws in the EU, that make mandatory their use in EU administrations.
International standard: those normalized by international semi-governmental organizations as ISO, IEC, ITU-T or ITU-R. Sometimes they are called "de iure standards" but actually their standards are not official since these organizations are partially composed by the industry.
National standard: those normalized by official national bodies of standardization as ANSI in USA or AENOR in Spain.
Industry standard: those granted by an industrial consortium representing a significant part of the industry.
These definitions state clearly that:
Open Standards are totally royalty-free and, mainly because that,
Open Standards are different from RAND standards.
Official definition of Open Standard issued by the European Interoperability Framework (EIF): the following are the minimal characteristics that a specification and its attendant documents must have in order to be considered an open standard: 1. The standard is adopted and will be maintained by a not-for-profit organization, and its ongoing development occurs on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties (consensus or majority decision etc.). 2.The standard has been published and the standard specification document is available either freely or at a nominal charge. It must be permissible to all to copy, distribute and use it for no fee or at a nominal fee. 3. The intellectual property - i.e. patents possibly present - of (parts of) the standard is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis. 4. There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard. (1)