summary of Re: Beyond 'open standard'

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Wed Jul 19 17:41:03 UTC 2006

 || On Wed, 19 Jul 2006 19:22:01 +0200
 || Stefano Maffulli <stef at> wrote: 

 sm> I like this: fair is a good term. Like in "fair trade" or "fair
 sm> play" it carries a positive meaning, non discrimination is
 sm> included.  IMHO we have a clear winner here.  What do you think?

I see more problems with fair than with free, to be honest.

While with free we always have to explain the difference between
freedom and price, freedom is comparatively well-defined when looking
at other terms, in particular open.

On the other hand: ask someone what is fair and the answers you will
get will deviate much, much more. Microsoft certainly considers it
fair to pay patent royalties -- so will some other companies. This is
a term that can backfire badly on us.

I think you should consider taking reference to "Open Standard" and
"Free Standard" and then use simply "Standard" consistently, defining
it along the lines that work for Free Software and everyone else.

Because in the end, and "Open Standard" is something of an oxymoron:
if only one or a few players are using it, it is merely a proprietary
format or interface, but not a standard.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (
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