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Accommodating Telecoms

ComputerWorldUK - Simon Phipps - I attended the 3rd round-table meeting for the UK Government Consultation on Open Standards last Friday. The meeting was well attended although not completely full. In particular, perhaps because of the controversy that broke the same day involving their back-room activities, a number of seats that people supporting FRAND had booked at the sold-out meeting remained empty.

In the absence of those friends of FRAND, input on the supposed necessity of FRAND was made by only by spokespeople from the telecommunications industry. Their history is of participants in a market where a legally-constituted cartel of suppliers commission specifications for key shared standards. Technologists contribute freely on the expectation they will recoup their costs through royalties for licensing the patents on their contributions. In their market, it is reasonable to expect and tolerate FRAND terms. I believe understanding that is critical to progress on a rational policy for the UK Government.