As the British Cabinet Office opened a consultation on open standards and the best procurement practices for the United Kingdom’s public sector a wave of lobbyists, flown in from the US or just homegrown on British soil, came flocking the Cabinet offices near St James a few weeks ago. The topic of the discussion remains, after all these years of struggle in many countries, just about the same: how to procure Free & Open Source Software, and Open Standards, despite the steady and implacable pressure and game-rigging of Microsoft and its friends from the BSA. In a sense it is the same old story, and therefore it’s a story that’s getting old. No pun intended to the Cabinet Office here, but the political and social pressure applied on public service by some powerful corporations is a shame and should be stopped. In any case, because the issues surrounding Free and Open Source Software as well as standards and patents are still widely misunderstood I thought I would be compiliing a short list of links on the matter:
- We’re starting with a blog post from Andy Updegrove, world-known experts on standards, on a case that’s apparently only remotely connected with the matter. However it provides rich background on the topic.
- “How Microsoft fought true open standards” by Glyn Moody, Part 1 and Part 2.
- “Why RAND is bad for Open Source” by Simon Phipps.
- Not so much of a shameful plug, but in this interview by Glyn Moody I try to highlight the issues surrounding RAND, software patents and open standards in a synthetic fashion.
Comments and questions welcome.