Last week I <a href=http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/11/is-frand-dying/index.htm>wrote a piece suggesting that FRAND is dying. It was written in the wake of the major <a href=http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/11/finally-uk-open-standards-are-rf-not-frand/index.htm>UK decision on open standards, and was mostly based on odd bits of anecdotal evidence. So I was rather pleased to learn from <a href=http://techrights.org/2012/11/08/monopolists-with-frand/>Techrights that Spain made a similar decision some years back, something I missed at the time.
It’s found in "<a href=https://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-2007-12352>Ley 11/2007, de 22 de junio, de acceso electrÃ³nico de los ciudadanos a los Servicios PÃºblicos", that is, regarding electronic access to public services. Throughout the document the term “open standards” is used, and this is defined in the Annex as follows:
su uso y aplicaciÃ³n no estÃ© condicionado al pago de un derecho de propiedad intelectual o industrial.
That is, its use and application are not conditional on payment for any intellectual or industrial right – RF, not FRAND.
Of course, this is only one more example, and not in itself likely to have an earth-shattering impact (not least because non-open standards are also permitted under the Spanish law.) But taken cumulatively, I believe that these individual definitions specifying RF rather than FRAND do indeed add up to a major shift in computer standards. I predict we’ll be seeing many more of them in the future.