OW2 Open Letter about the threats against the European Interoperability Framework

November 23, 2009


This open letter is to inform European Commission, IDABC and all related European MPs about the risk that may occur in case of a vague definition of Open Standards for a consortium of Industry and Academic players as such as OW2.

Download the open letter [here>http://www.ow2.org/xwiki/bin/download/Main/WebHome/OW2OpenLetterEIF2.pdf].

IDABC http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/  is working since a long time about interoperabilty in European administrations proposing an European Interoperability Framework (which makes sense because all State Members have to be interconnected). IDABC has also been one of the first supporters for Open Source and Open Standards in EC and it is reflected in version 1 of EIF. It appears that this favorable position may have moved quite significantly in their last proposal as it is very well described and documented in Glyn Moody's article (see http://www.computerworlduk.com/toolbox/open-source/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2620&blogid=14)

Open Source, Open Standards and Interoperability being in the DNA of OW2, I feel like critical to inform OW2 members about this potential weakness in the definition of openness as proposed by the new version of EIF. All OW2 members should have the opportunity to question their local Public Administration and State representatives who will have to discuss the final document.
OW2 as a producer of Open Source and as a consortium of Industry and Academy players, might be negatively impacted and that our common works could be seriously damaged by a narrower vision of interoperability not based on open standards. So far Europe has been an example in term of openness. Should we let it changed for the future?

The goal is not to provoke negative debates but to be pragmatic and insured that the artefacts we are collaboratively producing are not in danger. OW2 is not looking for priviledge rights for Open Source because Open Source already demonstrated its potential in term of competition. But when it comes to interoperability, OW2 wants to be insured that the rules are fair and technically efficient.

The goal is to have the confirmation that Open Standards are secured in Europe.

This open letter is addressed to :
Siim Kallas, Vice-President of European Commission
Garcia-Moran, Director General, DIGIT, European Commission
Copy: Karel De Vriendt, Head of IDABC unit, DIGIT, European Commission 

Other related Links:

[Open letter by GT-Logiciel Libre, System@tic>http://www.gt-logiciel-libre.org/2009/11/lettre-ouverte-eif-v2/] (in French)

[Open Forum Europe 9th November 2009>http://www.openforumeurope.org/press-room/press-releases/release091109/download]

[News from OSOR published on 10th November 2009>http://www.epractice.eu/en/news/298608]

[Protests against proposed redefinition of open standards within the EU, H Open 10 Nov 209>http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Protests-against-proposed-redefinition-of-open-standards-within-the-EU-854651.html]

[European Interoperability Framework v2.0 vs. the Visby Agenda 16 Nov 2009>http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?blogid=14&entryid=2642]

[IGF 2009: A Rights-Based Framework - Open Standards 17 Nov 2009>http://www.elon.edu/e-web/predictions/igf_egypt/rights.xhtml]

[The EU goes bananas over EIF 2.0 19 Nov 2009>http://www.javaoracleblog.com/java/The_EU_goes_bananas_over_EIF_20_.jsf]

It is interesting to note it happens also somewhere else in the world: [Controversy surrounding national policy on open standards for egovernance in India>http://www.flossinclude.eu/news/controversy-surrounding-national-policy-on-open-standards-for-egovernance-in-india]

Press Articles
[L'April s'élève à son tour contre la redéfinition de l'interopérabilité>http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/informatique/0,39040745,39711172,00.htm]