America is not the world and open source is grateful

Some may whine, but by laying down its marker for interoperability, and against Microsoft's embrace and extend policy, the European Union is supporting American open source efforts, giving them legal protection no U.S. court can fully take away.

Earth from space
America is still the world's leading technology power. But it's not the whole world.

For this open source should be grateful.

I am often reminded that our software patent regime is not the law elsewhere, meaning any claims that patents may threaten the open source movement are bogus, and become more bogus as America's portion of the buying market shrinks.

Americans have also come to assume Microsoft's anti-trust position to be unassailable. But that is not the case in Europe, which continues to press its case. As Larry Dignan notes correctly, this has a real impact on open source here.

Some may whine, but by laying down its marker for interoperability, and against Microsoft's embrace and extend policy, the European Union is supporting American open source efforts, giving them legal protection no U.S. court can fully take away.

This is very significant when we look to issues like OOXML or Open XML, where Microsoft is trying to push a proprietary standard, and to future issues like SharePoint, which Matt Asay says creates a "lock-in" of server customers.

Europe's got our back, and they're not going to turn away. This should give open source developers a lot of confidence going forward. Because it's a small world after all, the open source choice keeps getting bigger.

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