OOXML en Wikipedia.
Industry has always depended on standards and traditional industries have built their standards as part of a slow, controlled, top-down approach to innovation. Industrial-age standards are often heavily patented, complex, and large. They can be expensive to implement and therefore are implementable only for large established firms.
But almost forty years ago, Steve Crocker and his team wrote RFC001 and launched the networks that built the Internet using a different model based on older human values of sharing and cooperation. His vision, and that of other Internet pioneers, was of a digital world built on simple, interoperable standards, accessible at zero cost to even the smallest teams. Largely, their dream is coming true. Today we're used to an Internet of open software, open content, and open development.
While most agree, not everyone likes it. In the telecoms, entertainment, and software industries we see the destruction of legacy vendors and their replacement by new Internet communities. And many of the old industrial businesses, instead of adapting, are fighting back. The fight is intensifying because the stakes are growing. Free and open source software, open content, and open communities are together worth trillions of dollars. The key to controlling these rich ecosystems is to control the digital standards they depend on.
The outcome of this conflict will define our digital future. At one extreme, Steve Crocker's vision comes true, and the future is built on free and open digital standards. And at the other extreme, the legacy telecoms, entertainment and software vendors capture the world's digital standards by controlling the standardization processes and by using software patents.
Imagine the world if RFC001 was owned by a consortium of telecoms firms. Imagine if only those firms, and their approved partners, could develop Internet technologies. Imagine if every RFC was protected by dozens of patents, so that sending a single email or downloading a web page meant paying license fees. Imagine paying for each click. Look at your mobile phone bill and you see how close this reality is. [sigue...]
La controversia sobre este proceso en inglés, y en castellano.
Sobre este proceso, claro ejemplo y motivo de lo que se defiende en la carta, hay mucho material disponible, tanto que no vale la pena entrar más en detalles.
Sobre Digistan, la iniciativa no se limita a un observatorio ético, sino que trabaja en la elaboración de instrumentos.