Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Standards and the Law

Over at Boing Boing, there is a great post about making the standards that have been incorporated as part of the legal code freely available.

I believe that standards should be free, open and redistributable and that the work of organizations like the IETF and Python Software Foundation show that it is possible to develop high quality standards without charging people to read them.

While it is clear that large organizations often have trouble changing their business models, it is important to recognize that we are free not to implement pay-to-read standards that are not enacted as laws. However, since "ignorance of the law excuses no one", standards that are incorporated as law must be free in every sense of the word.

So as a member of IEEE and ASME, I ask that these organizations work to support Carl Malamud and his efforts by giving explicit approval for making all standards that are enacted as law redistributable and available without charge.

Furthermore, I would like these organizations to consider making all standards redistributable and freely available.

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