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2007-07-20 Free Standards in Europe

Looking at the latest discussion about the report made by the Magic Quadrant company (Gartner for the ones who are not forced to read their business reports), I discovered that the most important part is not really the report itself but the directive 98/34/EC. The current directive is defining the "approved" standard bodies (their respective publications around standardization) accepted as European policies. The directive 98/34/CE is not bad is not really reflecting the current process of "standardization". Under the current directive the organization like ITU,Cenelec/ISO are somehow accepted but the current "informal" organization like the IETF/IAB, W3C or similar are not part of the directive (and by so not really accepted in the context European policies). In reality, a lot of free standards are clearly coming from the IETF or W3C. The process in such organization is very simple compared to the standard ones like ITU or ISO. The accessibility of the standards are easier too in the Internet community (like the W3C or the IETF) than in the "nationalized" standard bodies (just try to get ISO 9241 and distribute it afterwards).

I really think the directive 98/34/CE should be updated to incorporate the two following points :

We are living in a kind of information society and a large part of the current explosion of the market is due to the free standards. Europe should not discard them if they want to be part of the information society (and its major economical gain). It's time to propose an update of the 98/34/EC.


geo: Les Bulles, Chiny