Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Openness, Closedness, Property and Standards

The discussion today in Brussels with the Centre for New Europe centered again on standards in the digital age. They are important and hard, I think we can agree. My main point was simple, and hopefully not simplistic: there is no a priori basis on which one can prefer proprietary to non-proprietary standards, open standards to closed standards. Therefore, the role for public policy and regulators is modest and diffident. Define and incrementally improve the intellectual property laws -- both copyright and patent -- but do no radical surgery on these institutions. Likewise, there being no metaphysical certainty about the most beneficial type of standard, governments should be wary of preferring one model to another, absent manifest collective action problems or antitrust violations.

posted by Ray Gifford @ 11:10 AM | Digital Europe