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December 2005 Archives

December 20, 2005

Open Standards

The FLOSSpols project deals with policy aspects of free / open source software.

The project has recently published a new deliverable, An Economic Basis for Open Standards, in which they define the openness of a standard relative to the market in which implementors of that standard compete: Open standards: a natural monopoly arises (de facto) or a monopoly is defined and agreed upon (de jure) in a technology, but the monopoly in the technology is accompanied by full competition in the market for products and services based on the technology, with no a priori advantage based the ownership of the rights for the rights holder.

This notion is then applied to the GSM market (with high costs of market entry) and the word processing market (where a proprietary product is dominant, and the most relevant competitor is open source). These differences between the two markets then lead to different notions of what "openness" means for a standard in either of these markets.

In another part of the document, some immensely useful and reasonable requirements for public procurement are derived from this economic analysis.

Overall, this deliverable is a good example for the power of economic thinking, and well worth reading.

About December 2005

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in December 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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