The European standards body ETSI has asked the European Commission not to re-define ‘open standards’ in ways that conflict with the normal practice of standards bodies.
In its response to the Commission’s consultation on the European Interoperability framework EIF 2.0, ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) said, “We therefore continue to suggest that if the document is to define the term then it should be based on the criteria agreed upon by the major SDOs (standards development organizations) worldwide. If not then it may be better to refrain from defining “open standard” in such a way that:
• may alienate the standards activities of the major regional and global standardization communities;
• may conflict with the current and ongoing standardization policy of the EU.
This is an interesting twist in what some have worried is a departure in some parts of the Commission from longtime standards practice, in particular its requirement that any intellectual property rights incorporated into standards are used on ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ (FRAND) terms.