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Eurocrats face proprietary FUD attack

Maybe open, transparent standards are incompatible with free competition. Maybe open standards are just a tool by which open source aims to destroy innovation. Maybe the last 40 years of innovation within open standards like the Internet Protocol, the World Wide Web, the IEEE 802.11 standards, and the rest never happened either.Maybe it was all just a dream and I'm still writing at CompuServe.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

A European Commission effort to move the continent toward open standards is being threatened by Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) from a group favoring proprietary solutions.

A white paper concluding a five-year effort to reach consensus on a standards process has drawn immediate scorn from the European arm of the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying group dedicated to maintaining proprietary advantages at the expense of open standards.

A statement from ACT's Jonathan Zuck, a long time advocate of software patents and other monopoly rents, calls the paper an "own goal," which Americans would recognize as a baseball error, a football turnover, a basketball foul or a hockey penalty. (It's a soccer term.)

"In effect it excludes many well-established technologies from being used for e-Government services due to a narrow definition of open standards," he wrote, denying that he was representing the interests of big companies like Microsoft.

Instead, he wrote, his membership consists "primarily of inventive SMEs thriving in niche markets."

"Only the protection of their intellectual property permits those innovators to create growth and jobs. Commercial software must be allowed to compete on a level-playing field with other software types. Public procurement decisions should be based on technology neutrality. Governments ought to buy software on its merits and not through categorical preferences. To demand anything else is to impose one business model over another.”

Uh, huh.

Clear out the rhetoric and Zuck is saying that monopolies created by patents, and only such monopolies, allow technology to move forward, and that a regime that truly demands open standards is an attempt to "impose one business model over another."

Maybe that's true. Maybe open, transparent standards are incompatible with free competition. Maybe open standards are just a tool by which open source aims to destroy innovation.

Maybe the last 40 years of innovation within open standards like the Internet Protocol, the World Wide Web, the IEEE 802.11 standards, and the rest never happened either. Maybe it was all just a dream and I'm still writing at CompuServe.

Representing Microsoft while pretending it's a mom and pop shop, Jonathan Zuck, today's worst technologist in the woo-r-r-r-l-l-d!

(Apologies to Keith Olbermann, whose schtick I just borrowed. Mr. Zuck would probably demand I pay him now. If he drops me a line with his financial demands I will begin the negotiation immediately.)

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