Review of the EU copyright rules could liberate open innovation
OFE Press Release - Brussels - 3rd March 2014 -The current EU copyright rules are based on a Directive from 2001 implementing the WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996. Since that time, technology has profundly and irrevocably remodeled the way that content is created and consumed, and our legal system is increasingly struggling to achieve its stated objective of enabling open innovation. Recognising the need for change, the Commission decided to open a public consultation in December 2013, asking a very broad set of questions on how to patch the current system.
In our response to the consultation we are submitting today, we address some of the issues that we believe to be key to open innovation in the field of ICT :
OFE Adds its Comments to UK Government Standards Hub Proposals on Document Formats
OFE Statement - London - 28th February 2014 - The Comment cycle for the UK Government's Proposals on Document Formats have created a level of interest unseen in our industry for many years. Indeed, probably not since the original controversies when 'OOXML' was put to the vote in ISO – an exercise for which the administrators involved must now look back with deep embarrassment. So why is it that a seemingly 'dry' topic like Document Formats have fired up so many interested citizens and industry suppliers? To understand you need firstly to recognise the importance of the Open Standards Principles previously committed by the Government, with support from the very top. Those have been acclaimed worldwide, because they are seen as an essential step towards providing a level playing field for all suppliers, covering all business models, allowing all technologies, and particularly encouraging competition from SMEs. The current focus and progress on 'digital by default' and use of agile development would simply not be possible without open standards. But of course the biggest win is to break out from the lock-in to single supplier solutions, probably the most costly and single biggest inhibitor to competition and innovation in public sector IT for the last decade.
OFE Submits Detailed Response to UK Government Standards Hub Challenges on Document Formats
OFE Statement - London - 15th January 2014 - OFE has submitted online its response to the two Challenges set by the UK Government Standards Hub in respect of Documents Formats, and is backing this up with a Full Response providing significantly more analysis on the options, together with OFE's recommendations. The Full Response is available here. The Challenges are in respect of 'sharing or collaborating with government data' and 'viewing government data'. These are key decisions which support the Open Standards Principles and Open Standard Definition announced by the UK Government in November 2012. Document Formats present potentially the single most challenging area for adoption of Open standards and it is vital that UKG 'stand up to be counted' in its implementation of the Open Standards Principles which have been so widely welcomed across the world.
OFE Press Release - Brussels - On February 17, Members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted on the Castex Report on private copying levies. Choosing to ignore the important questions raised in the Vitorino recommendations regarding the need to modernise the current system, the Parliament report proposes to expand the scope of private copying levies to include cloud services :
« Stresses that private copying exception arrangements should apply to certain online
services, including certain cloud computing services; »
We have already explained why we think this is a bad idea. Private copying levies are an outdated system created in an age of physical media and are not fit to the new digital reality. They apply blindly and indiscriminately over professional, private and user-generated content, harming nearly all Europeans. By doing so, they impose a competitive drag on the European economy and hamper the development of the digital single market. Disappointingly, the Castex Report turns a blind eye on these problems and proposes « more of the same » by recommending to significantly expand the scope of private copying levies.
Participating in the EUs Innovation Summit
European Public Policy — Mar 12, 2014 06:28 AM
Competing for the values of net sportsmanship
European Public Policy — Mar 08, 2014 06:56 AM
Awarding innovative work in data journalism
European Public Policy — Mar 07, 2014 06:46 AM
LibreOffice: My birthday wish list
Charles-H. Schulz — Mar 02, 2014 06:37 AM
Very sad news: Stephane Hessel died aged 95
Jochen Friedrich — Feb 27, 2014 06:30 AM
OpenForum Academy is an independent programme established by OpenForum Europe. It has created a link with academia in order to provide new input and insight into the key issues which impact the openness of the IT market.
OpenForum Academy (OFA) would like to invite you to a Round Table discussion on patent nonaggression pacts, which will be held on February 19th from 17:00 to 19:00 at the Silken Berlaymont (Boulevard Charlemagne 11, 1000 Brussels). Be sure to register early as seats are limited.
Discriminatory practices continue to plague IT public procurement across Europe
For the fifth consecutive year, OpenForum Europe publishes a report on the EU Member States' practice of referring to specific trademarks when procuring computer software packages and information systems.
We found that almost 1 in 5 notices included technical specifications containg explicit references to trademarks.
These results clearly show that there is an entrenched and continuing EU-wide level of discrimination in the purchase of IT supplies. More than ever, there is urgent need for more transparent, open and fair EU and national procurement practices.
In the UK OFE submits written evidence to Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry on Public Procurement.