Celebrate Document Freedom Day; Then We Win

Today is Document Freedom Day: It is a day for celebrating and raising awareness of Open Standards and formats which takes place on the last Wednesday in March each year. On this day people who believe in fair access to communications technology...

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Today is Document Freedom Day:

It is a day for celebrating and raising awareness of Open Standards and formats which takes place on the last Wednesday in March each year. On this day people who believe in fair access to communications technology teach, perform, and demonstrate.

Of course, many of us do that every day, but it's still good to bring the wider world's attention to digital freedom and openness. There's been much progress over the years, but there's still a huge amount to do, and serious threats to be faced. For example, just recently, we had a superlative demonstration of how patents are the antithesis of openness, and purely about bloody-mindedness and blocking innovation :

On March 21, Nokia filed a list of patents with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that are allegedly infringed by VP8 in an effort to block the codec from becoming an Internet standard. Nokia is unwilling to grant VP8 the use of its intellectual property under any terms, it said in its intellectual property rights disclosure to the IETF.

You might expect a failing company run by an ex-Microsoftie to attack openness in every way it can, but sometimes the threats come from unexpected places, like the BBC's recent espousal of DRM for HTML5.

What this means is that for all the justified celebrations today, the battle goes on tomorrow. And then we win.

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