September 28, 2011 - 11:00AM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> SIVASUBRAMANIAN MUTHASAMY: Okay. Good morning, everyone. I'm Siva from ISOC India Chennai. I'd like to welcome all the panelists to this workshop, Lessons to Open Universal Internet Standards. I think that the part that says developing country perspective, I've not said that, so I don't know how it crept in, so it's okay. Oh, you're presenter. Fine, fine. Welcome to you, and I would request Alejandro Pisanty to chair this workshop and totally leave it to him.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: You are too kind. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming over here, panelists, other personally appointed or invited guests, and everybody who has believed that we are going to deliver value. We will. There's no way we can't on this, we really mess this up, because we have an extraordinary set of speakers and attendees who are very expert. When Siva -- when is my abbreviation for Sivasubramanian -- from Chennai Civil Society, told me about the idea of organising this meeting, I thought it would be a very valuable one to discuss what the title says, and by implication, to be able to discuss the various meanings or shades that the word "open" or the word "openness" mean in context related to IT for development and to Internet Governance and their overlap.
Open source software, open software are words often used. We know well that there's a move -- that there's a lot of motion going on for the adoption of open software or open source software, which are different terms, or free software, different category.
In the development space, there are some municipal and even national governments which have ordinances that give a preference to open source software. On the other hand, we speak about open standards, and while these are two worlds that coexist well, there are significant differences when you go down into the details. So that's very much what we want to explore.
Further, what's very important is to explore the proprietary influences. Technology can be proprietary and still conform to open standards. Even software can have proprietary components or a proprietary origin and then become open or vice versa. People can take pieces of open software, and there are rules-based ways to appropriate this software. It's only acknowledging a number of things that will -- our speakers will explain.
I will -- Siva, are you in a position to introduce the speakers?
So I will ask the speakers to make brief introductions of yourselves. The one thing I will say before we start is that we have assembled -- and I have, again, to bow to Siva's great effort and calling power to bring together an outstanding set of outstanding speakers and other participants with great expertise in -- not only in their specific fields, but in the interrelationship of them all, and all with personal history of service to the community and to the Internet.
We have as our first speaker, going by just geographical order in the room, Tracy Hackshaw from the Computer Society of Trinidad and Tobago. Is the name right? No? I'll leave the word to you.
The plan -- just for time management purposes, I think that we will be best served by very quick and pointed participations and lively debate within the panel, within the room, and we will be very, very attentive to remote participation. Thank you.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Alejandro. Thank you, Siva, for inviting.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Speak slow so people who are hearing you and are not native English speakers can understand, and to make the scribe's life easy.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Thank you very much. My name is Tracy Hackshaw. I'm actually from Trinidad and Tobago, which is in the Caribbean region. I am with the Internet Society as well as DiploFoundation, and professionally the Chief Solution Architect for the national ICT company for Trinidad and Tobago, which is the Government of Trinidad and Tobago's national ICT company.
What I am going to do today is present on the topic Siva indicated we need to speak on. Slightly different than maybe what you expect, but it's based on what's happening in the developing world, specifically in the small isle developing state area.
So just a couple slides. There's a main question that I think we have to answer today. There are some fundamental issues that are facing the developing world for free and open source software. Of course, (Inaudible) -- statement in 2004. The basic thing is that when you are developing country and you are utilizing proprietary software, you are always playing catchup with everything, the rest of the world, with businesses, with your people. The argument has always been proposed that you don't have enough capacity to deal with open source software, it's been advanced several times. If you don't start, you'll never catch up. I think that's a very important point today. You'll have to pay forever and ever, not ever learning everything from yourselves. That is a very powerful quote that you may or may not have seen from a few years ago.
The fundamental issues, therefore, facing the free and open source movement, software movement, in the developing world, as far as I can tell, are continuing lack of adoption by large enterprises and Governments, for a myriad of reasons, not to go into them today in the slide, but we'll discuss them later; as well as the inability for us to effectively compete on a resource level against the larger players in the market. I won't necessarily name them here, but it's difficult, especially in our part of the world, for developers of open source software as well as people who are trying to encourage their use to compete effectively against -- in a tender situation when you are looking to put open source software in, even within an environment where you want to make that decision, make that choice. There are always these deep pockets in certain countries -- I won't name them here -- certain vendors -- I won't name them -- are able to -- are able to find a way to speak to governments and fund very large initiatives that help the country. You see things like centres of excellence, basketball courts, those kinds of things. And it's very difficult for an open source movement to compete against that when they're dealing with trying to adopt the movement of open source.
In particular, I'm seeing here the -- and this is like Siva's point -- is that somehow the increased commoditization of open source software through what I'm seeing as a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the movement, as you would have known Java, Mai SQL recently being acquired by another large vendor, stifles and sort of puts a lock on the growth and development of open source software.
Other things will pop up on the slide. I'll try to move forward. However, for a developing country, when you see these things happen, and even if you are moving forward with open source and then a large player buys out that movement that you are trying to adopt, it creates a real problem for you to advocate and to move within in Government in particular, and even within private enterprise.
Just briefly, I am going to address suggested steps that I think we can address.
Using this particular phrase, governments, countries, and all Nation States, depending on which way you see it, can and should summon the political will to bring a wider appreciation of us through adoption a matter of public policy in the public interest. Alejandro mentioned several countries, municipalities, cities have managed to provide policy documents and mandates, almost, to deliver for us as a matter of course the success as the next -- I only have three success stories I can quote on the next slide. But it's really something that needs to happen, and we need to discuss it here.
As a matter of public policy, can you make open source software something that you implement and advocate within, in my case, Government, as well as within the entire country? Why is that? I'll go straight to the third point. You need to build capacity within your country to work with open source software. Open source software can provide (Indiscernible) and TLIs with an institution-type development that can grow your nation's development, can provide employment for your citizens, and focusing on sustainable skills as opposed to license costs.
So therefore, in terms of the open source movement, we are not focusing on licenses or selling licenses. You can't. It's open source. It's free in some cases. We are looking at the skills that you need to bring to the table, your country's capacity to learn, to grow, and to compete internationally with the larger players.
In a small developing state, there is always this notion of having to follow and to adopt and adapt to what the metropole and larger countries have. Open source gives that country, a small land, a much bigger chance. The only way that can happen is with municipal governments pushing it forward.
The second point -- this is a bit controversial, I would suggest, but I would recommend that Government as well work with proprietary software entities to encourage and incent development of open versions of their software. I know places that have tried that before haven't very successful. But how important would it be for a parallel to exist when we have open products from that proprietary vendor on display for use by your country as well as the closed environment you can sell on the market?
I've only found really three good ones that I can refer to, and Alejandro may point to others. Obviously, Brazil, which we know has done extremely well with this and has grown their industry through it. Vienna in Austria and Munich in Germany have done reasonably successful deployment of open source software, but only in bits and parts I think in a major way.
That's it. Auto that's my comments so far. Look forward to chatting with you after.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Tracy. Hariharan.
>> My name is Venkatesh Hariharan.
>> Please repeat your name slowly for the transcript or make sure it's okay. Good.
>> VENKATESH HARIHARAN: Before joining Google, I spent six and a half years working at public policy and especially working on the area of open source and open standards, and Tracy has pretty much said what I wanted to say, so what I'll do is I'll share the Indian experiences and what we are doing to advance the cause of free and open source software.
The issue of public policy supporting free and open source software is something that I have worked very closely in India, and if you have followed what's been happening, one of the best things that has happened in the recent past is that the Indian Government formulated an open standards policy, which is probably one of the best open standards policies in the world, which said that -- very clearly said that as far as egovernance goes, the Indian Government will use standards that are free of royalties and are freely available.
As a follow-up to that, the Government is now working on a policy on device drivers, which says that any Government procurement of peripherals and hardware mandate really that will have a device driver which is available for -- you know, so basically, the vendor is responsible for supplying the device drivers for free and open source software along with the proprietary software.
And that, I think, is very important because in many Government procurement situations -- and if you look at the Indian Government and eGovernment in India, that is the largest commercial, you know, activity right now, apart from telecom and the banking segment. So the Government is one of the largest purchasing forces in India, and if the Government says that we want open source device drivers, that is something that is going to create a huge groundswell of software in the open domain.
So these are two major trends and two major policies that the Indian Government has formulated.
At the same time, I also want to kind of widen the scope. We heard someone come and speak in India a few years ago, I think actually last year, and one of the most interesting things he said is that unlike the comments of the past, the comments like, you know, grasslands, et cetera, the information comments has a very fundamental difference in that the comments itself is an actor, and that's something that we need to recognize, the comments, knowledge comments is a global good, and that's something that from a public policy perspective we need to enshrine. We have seen some great success stories when that happens.
For example, the Government said that as far as the education sectors, we will move the education sector to the free and open source software. And there are studies which show that the Government has saved close to $10 million by using free and open source software in over 12,000 high schools.
So you know, I can circulate copies that have study to people who are interested, and my email ID is venkyh@Google.com, and that study will give you a lot more insight.
The micro-level finding of the study is that India can save close to $2 billion by adopting free and open source software, and we need to do more of such quantitative impact on the economy to kind of advocate the cause of free and open source software with policymakers. So I think that's a very quick summary that I wanted to give, and thanks.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. We have now Sunil Abraham.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: My name is Sunil Abraham, and I work at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore. Bangalore is supposed to be the Silicon Valley of India. The term Bangalored has entered the English dictionary -- the third city to enter the English dictionary. If you have been Bangalored, that means you have lost your job to somebody in the developing world. But that's just a myth because perhaps there are 2 million Internet or computer programmers in India, but there are 2 million citizens in the country of Estonia. All of us use a product that was created by citizens of Estonia, but none of us have ever heard or ever used a product at least on a regular desktop that is made by the citizens of India in the sense that the IP, the copyright, associated trade secrets, are owned by Indian entities or Indian individuals. This is because the software industry in India is mostly based on labour arbitrage. All the intellectual property is owned by the companies that contract the entities within India.
And just like Nike's shoe factories can ship from one country to the other, tomorrow, when the Chinese get better at English or the Filipinos get better at computing, all the jobs that currently were moved from the U.S. economy or European economy to India will then switch to other economies. There's no stickiness in the Indian business model. Perhaps that is where free software can play a critical role in allowing emerging economies to get properly entrenched.
And the way that the proprietary companies treat us these days has changed. At one point, they used to call the GPL cancerous and people like Richard Matthew Stallman a communist, but today an organisation like Centre for Internet and Society has to compete with the large proprietary giant in Bangalore to host the PHP community group meeting because they always can afford to give better cake and coffee than we can. So that's a useful thing. Free software is now in the heart of proprietary commercial business enterprise. Sorry.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: You are the third speaker that does not link to the Internet.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: In the sense?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Internet Governance. What we are looking for in this workshop -- I'm not meaning to interrupt you, but I am meaning to enhance your speech by asking you to focus for a couple of minutes on the Internet and open standards and the way open standards -- before Scott Bradner takes the mic and will probably feel very uncomfortable to have to say that he is going to go somewhere else.
>> I'm not uncomfortable to say.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: I know. I am saving them the discomfort.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: I think it depends where we draw the boundary around this entity called the Internet. In my country, only 12 million people out of 1.2 billion have access to broadband. So when we experience the Internet in India, we experience it in a very mediated fashion.
Perhaps open standards is one way to bring it to the Internet, and here I'd like to introduce a new term which is open washing. The definition of free software or open source software is more or less uncontroversial, and when people use that term, they mean the same thing. But as Venky just said, when people use the term "open standards," then it's not clear at all what they mean, and they could mean standards that have royalty implications or standards that don't have royalty implications. And there is a tendency in the Internet age for companies that are not quite open to use the term "open" constantly as a mantra, but it is really an act of open washing, which is in most senses, it adheres to the letter of free licenses and open licenses, but doesn't really adhere to the spirit of such licenses.
So when people use the term "open" in the context of cloud computing, or what Richard Matthew Stallman refers to as cloudy computing, then it's not at all clear what the rights of citizens are protected and what rights of governments are protected. And what we need is not really a homogenization of definition but really consensus building so that when people use these terms, it's a little more clear what rights are being protected or not.
Google, for example, says that Android is open source, but there was a project called the Open Governance Index, and for them, it is the governance model that really makes the difference between an open and closed project. And in the world of open standards, if you looked at PDF, again, it is the governance which undermines the status of PDF as a true open standard, not its compliance or noncompliance to certain license terms.
To give you a very quick alternative space, where this becomes particularly important is the business of mobile phones. So if the next 12 million Indians are going to get online, they are most probably going to get online using smartphones and not phones like this, which is a $300 BlackBerry, but phones that come from Shenzhen for $150, you can get a phone with a projector, with a radio receiver, with a TV receiver, with support for dual SIM cards, with boombox speakers, with a tripod stand, with external speakers, shipped with an external battery.
You just go to Shenzhen, and you take on a menu card, and you provide a copy of your GIF, and within 45 days, with a limited run of 5,000 phones, you'll get your own customized ICT for D device. And that is happening in Shenzhen because there is a kind of strange open source philosophy which is the bills of materials of certain products are shared in an informal matter amongst the manufacturers in Shenzhen, and that's why they have a 45-day innovation cycle, not a 1.5-year innovation cycle.
And it's a similar advantage we saw in the birth of Silicon Valley in the U.S. It is the lack of enforcement of noncompete clauses that allowed programmers to share information like this.
What we are seeing in the information age and the age of open washing is if I do work in openness with a particular company, say Google, and that's not immediately translatable when I join IBM -- there's a kind of Balkanization of the community thanks to the way the industry is structured. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Siva. Thank you, Sunil.
>> SIVASUBRAMANIAN: Sunil, thank you very much, and I have a question for you. You talked about companies that use the word "open" as a mantra, and then you talked about Balkanization.
Just assume that in a scenario there are some conflicts in the Internet standard-making process, and if the same concepts are broadened to Internet Protocol, what would happen to the Internet? If -- let's say I may not be technically correct, but if we have a TCP/IP protocol, and if we have an alternate or an additional TCP/IP fast lane protocol, which is kept as a proprietary protocol, what would happen to the Internet? Or such scenarios?
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: I think the broad -- at least what I've been led to understand -- in the world of open standards and when it comes to key protocols, having plurality is not necessarily a useful thing because it Balkanizes the network, and then we have reduced network effects. But in the world of software implementation, where these open standards are implemented, you've raised that a bit in your comment, why is the command line so radically different, and why do mail clients work in radically different way? In the world of software, their pluralism is slightly more better phenomena. It's better for us to have a choice.
So regardless of what the de jure processes are, finally, it's whether the community accepts your standards. So it's an issue that we need to solve at the policy layer, but also in terms of adoption.
>> Thank you. I have a hand up from Venkatesh. Do you agree?
>> VENKATESH HARIHARAN: So very quickly, the question you raise was at the heart of the entire open standards debate in India, and the proprietary standards companies were arguing that it's okay to have multiple standards because that gives users choice, and we went back to the Government of India and argued that that's probably the dumbest argument we have ever heard in the history of technology because, I mean, you can't have people driving on any side of the road that they choose to. Standard is basically a social contract and that everybody should adhere to that contract. That's because that's in the larger interest of everybody.
And thankfully the Indian Government had the wisdom to understand that logic and said that, you know, for eGovernment in India, we shall use only a single standard. But that went on for two and a half years. It was a very, very tough fight.
But the point is that standards are meant to unify. Standards are meant to bring people together. And multiplicity of standards completely, you know, militates against the very purpose of having a standard. So that's a quick answer.
>> Thank you. We introduce now the speaker, panelist, Scott Bradner.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: Okay. So I'm Scott Bradner. I'm here representing Aaron, but I'm also involved in the Internet Society and, in particular, in the Internet Engineering Task Force, the IETF. I was on the Management Committee of that for a decade and have been quite active for a long time and wrote the standards process documents that include intellectual property rights rules for the IETF. I have some background in this field.
I'll tell you a little story to begin with to tell you what standards are all about. Back in the mid-'90s, when the ITU was just beginning to be able to spell Internet, the then Chair of the Internet Activities Architecture Board and I went over to the ITU and gave them a presentation on what this IETF thing was and what this Internet thing was. And at the end of the presentation, the very first question we were asked was how can you call your product standards if no Government mandates their use?
Well, to echo what was just said, standards from the IETF point of view are things that people use or companies agree to implement. You asked whether there was an issue with if somebody had proprietary extension, for example, to TCP, would that be a problem? Yes, it would be a significant problem.
Let me back up a little bit further than that. So we are talking about open standards. What do you mean by open standards? There are very different meanings. By some meanings, the W3C is, but IETF is not. IETF, anybody can participate. Get online, participate. You see all the working documents, all the final documents, you can add your own opinions to any discussion. In the ITU, you have to be a member and pay money to be a member in order to be able to see the working documents. You can see the final documents now. They've opened those up. But you can't actually participate in the development of the standard without being a member.
Which is open? Well, open standards have different definitions depending on what point of view you have. The most common point of view is open standards are standards developed in an open process, unlike, as was mentioned here, PDF. PDF is developed by an individual corporation. But so in that context, even if you have to pay money to be part of the crowd that's being -- that's in the openness, you still can create open standards.
So the ITU standards are designated to be open standards. They are developed in a standards process way.
Other people have defined open standards as standards which you do not have to pay to get a copy of the standard. The ITU switched recently to that. The IETF has been that from the very beginning. Other people look at open standards and say well, they are standards that you can freely implement that have no intellectual property rights, no licensing requirements to implement. That is actually relatively rare. The ITU, the ITF, and most other standards bodies other than the W3C don't insist that their products, their standards that come out of recommendations, are intellectual property right free.
In the ITU, if somebody says we have a patent and we will license it fairly, then they are to be considered completely on equal terms than anybody with any technology, whether there's patents on it or not, whether it's free. In the IETF, we leave it to the working group to evaluate whether a technology is important enough to deal with the fact that you have a known patent on it and there are licensing fees.
Now, I emphasize "known" patent. Most patent cases show up after something is done, after something's implemented, and it's out of left field. It's out of somebody who doesn't participate in the standards process, and it just shows up in a court suit. So the fact that the W3C says you cannot create a W3C standard that has any patents on it is, in some way, whistling in the dark, whistling past the graveyard, because you get sued anyway because somebody later on will say yes, I did that. That has happened to W3C. So if you are a standards body, what do you do in that case?
There are have been proposals to withdraw standards. Well, standards produced and people implemented. How do you withdraw it? So that whole area of whether IPR, known IPR, should be included in open standards is an ongoing discussion. We have it in the IETF quite frequently.
There's another discussion we've had more recently, and this goes to the point you were making, of how many standards are good to have. The IETF has produced parallel standards from time to time, multiple standards to do the same thing. We produce two vastly different things to do Internet telephony, Megaco and SIP. They were different philosophies. One was an exploded phone switch in how you connect pieces together, and the other is end to end. But we produced both of those standards and let it to the marketplace to decide what to do. And the marketplace actually chose both, in some sense, because there are different places they are used.
We've also had situations where multiple standards have simply confused the marketplace. There are two different standards for Megaco. There is a standard that went in, an industry-developed one called MGCP, and one that came out of the standards process.
We got a big push a year or two ago within the IETF to have open standards in the sense of open software where anybody can modify them. But what is a standard? A standard is a consensus agreement on the right way to do something. If individuals can make their own standards, they can't be consensus because it's -- I suppose you can consent with yourself, but it's a different concept entirely.
So to the point that you made to the Indian Government, having a variety of ways to do things can be useful, but they shouldn't be a very small variance on the same thing. They should be distinctly separate philosophies and architectures of how to approach something. We have that. It's been very successful. The ITU came up with something called H-323, which was their multiprotocol communication standard for Internet telephony and video conferencing. IETF came up with SIP. That's the same -- implementers targeted the same set of customers with it. And SIP completely wiped out the H-323 when it came to voice, and they are back and forth when it comes to video. It's healthy for the environment to have that level of thing. Both of those standards are consensus-based standards. They are not individual tweaks, modifications to an existing one.
So going back to the IETF and IPR. IPR is a very big issue. Patents where the patents show up later or patents where you have to pay to implement something is particularly difficult for the developing world. The costs that are asked by the patent holders can be extraordinary in that context and can be large in the context of the U.S., but it can be extraordinary in another context.
In IETF, we decided to let the Working Group think about it. We require disclosure where we can get it for the people who are participating in the standards process. We require disclosure if they've got IPR. If they are not participating, then of course we can't require it because they're not there. Then the Working Group looks at it and says well, maybe that's not the best way to go. Maybe a different way to go where we have no known IPR is a better way to go. But that's up to the Working Group, and they have a discussion about it.
Going forward, we're going to continue to get the pressure to say no known IPR. I think it's unrealistic if you consider the rate at which the patents office considers patents.
There was a story in the newspaper yesterday there was an incredibly weird patent issued. There was a patent issued to exercise a cat with a laser pointer a few years ago. They've issued something equally weird within the last week, and I don't remember what it is. So we're in an environment where patents are going to be there. Patents are not just in the U.S., but around the world. They're not going to go away, so you can't make the assumption that anything that is it developed -- any standard that's developed will ever be IPR free until all possible patents that were created before it have run out. And that could be 20 years later.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Scott. We have a question from Fred -- or a comment from Fred Baker.
>> FRED BAKER: Well, I wonder, Scott, if you'd like to talk about licensing terms.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: Licensing terms are an interesting problem. Under U.S. law, a standards body cannot negotiate licensing terms with an IPR holder. It's called -- it's under antitrust. And we in the IETF request that IPR holders, when they make a disclosure, provide licensing terms so it's in the mind of the Working Group when they are evaluating the technology. We don't require it, though that may change. But it is required in some other places. But all that's required in other places, such as the ITU, is the development of fair and nondiscriminatory. It doesn't say what fair and nondiscriminatory means, but if they agree to that, it's okay.
The IEEE had a case a couple years ago where they agreed to fair and nondiscriminatory, they licensed three vendors for a product, stopped licensing, and said we were completely fair and nondiscriminatory for the first three, then we stopped. The IEEE in that case actually threatened to withdraw the standard. They can do that. We can't easily do that.
So licensing terms are something that we are not allowed to negotiate as a standards body. It would be nice to be able to, but we can't.
>> FRED BAKER: Thank you. Where I was going with that was the RFC 1988-style licensing terms. I'm Fred Baker. I work for a company called Cisco. You may have heard of us. And we use different kinds of licenses in different places. For a long time, we didn't have much of anything, and we found that various companies sued us for infringement on their patents, and we had the choice of paying them money or finding some way to swap IPR with them. And so we started developing IPR with the idea that we can swap it.
At the same time, we find ourselves working in the ITU and in the IETF with different licensing expectations and really not wanting to have to deal with all the issues of charging for IPR.
So in the ITU, because that's the way things are normally done there, when we walk in with IPR, we generally talk about brand licensing. In the IETF, we use a variety of license where we say please implement. Go for it. We would like to see it implemented, and we won't charge you unless you first charge us. In that case, then all such licenses are off the table, and we'll discuss whatever you need to discuss.
>> I can expand on that slightly, which is you actually do say FRNAD/RAND in the ITF licenses, but then go on to say what we mean about --
>> FRED BAKER: The price is zero.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: You can license forever as long as you don't sue us. If you want to pay us money, you can do so. If it makes you feel better, you can give us money, but it's a covenant not to sue. You define FRAND/RAND as a covenant not to sue.
>> FRED BAKER: Yeah, so at least from our perspective, that gives the open software people the freedom that they need in order to implement stuff. Because they're not going to sue us. So you know.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: That is Cisco's position, that it gives the open source people the right picture. It's not the open source people's position. They believe that this is too much of an inhibition, and we've had that fight a number of times. I happen to disagree with them. I think it's -- the Cisco license is a very good one. I've actually -- I fronted for Cisco in one Working Group session to explain the license, so I do know it. And I think it's a perfectly good license. But true open source say -- some of the open source licenses -- GPL-type licenses are not compatible with even that level of agreement.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. This has been really very -- to the point of the workshop, I think this is actually let's say the coalition point we were expecting to reveal, the layers we wanted to peel off the issue. Thank you very much.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: Can I add one more thing?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Just one management thing. We have been expecting Richard Stallman to take part remotely. I don't think that we've been able to get the telephone connection to him to work or to find him. So just to manage expectations and time. We have 15 minutes left. We want some -- as much as possible discussion. So on that, please, Scott.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: Yes, very quick one. A number of times, there comes up as a point of Internet Governance issue is who is going to make standards? Back in 1994 at a Harvard meeting, I said that one of the two unresolved issues of the Internet was who says who makes the rules? And by the rules there, I meant standards of some of the rules.
The ITU and others have asked that the standards for the Internet, the technical standards for the Internet, be done in -- within the ITU and that the IETF and others that are producing standards which are used on the Internet would then put their standards through the ITU process in order to bless them.
This is a very basic Internet Governance issue is that many countries believe that having this cacophony of locally developed standards is disadvantageous to their local industries.
Back many, many years ago, the Wind Surf and Lyman Chapin offered to ISO to be the standards body for the TCP/IP. They turned it down. Because they were concerned that the U.S. companies had too much of a head start on it and that they wanted an even playing field.
This problem has not gone away. We've had proposals as recently within the last couple of weeks to turn over standardization -- technical standardization of the Internet, not simply business standards, technical standards of the Internet, to a UN organisation.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you very much. I would now go for a very quick participations from the other panelists who are sort of jumping to this, and we want to leave time for the audience. Mr. Sunil Abraham.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Yeah, I think on the question of outgoing royalties from a particular Nation State connected to standards with patent implications, RAND and choosing between those options of royalty free and FRAND/RAND are not the only options available. There are also options like royalty caps.
In India, till two years ago, on any device, only 5% of the selling price could be divvied up as royalty. That's another possible -- I am not 100% sure whether this is strips compliant, but it seemed to be enforced in India until two years ago.
And also, kind of egging on people to pool patrons more aggressively on CDMA and GSM, there are large pools, and it's easier for a manufacturer to be in compliance. And there are so many other layers and thousands of other patent tickets involved. And Government leadership in pushing for greater pools is also useful policy option for Nation States to exercise. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. I'm told by Siva that in the schedule -- Siva is showing me a schedule that says that we can run through 12:30, which I'm very glad for.
>> (Off microphone).
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Yeah, it seems that somewhere there was a time shift for half an hour for the start and for the end, so also I am told that Richard Stallman has been sent an email with the telephone number for his personal remote participation, and he has not yet dialed in.
I would like to ask Sebastien Bachollet, who is handling the remote participation, whether you have any questions or requests to participate for now.
>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: We have two online participants, and no yet questions. Thank you, Chair.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Sebastian. I have a -- Sebastien. I have questions here. I see hands up from (Indiscernible). I have Alex Gakuru.
>> ALEX GAKURU: Thank you very much. My name is Alex Gakuru from Kenya. I think the area of free software and open standards is extremely interesting and important because the growth of the Internet from when it started is because it was not patented. This was shared as given out freely. So whether the Internet now is taking the traditional cup of every company which starts very nice, reaches a peak, then starts falling down because of IPR is I think where we are headed.
So from what I've just had Cisco, start to get defensive, so I think the Internet is headed for self-destruct because the IPR, so it's the biggest threat on the Internet.
In terms of the legality of adopting open standards and open documents and eGovernment, certain countries, for example, this one, have requirements that a document is admissible and qualifies as an electronic record -- legal electronic record if it can be read subsequently by other systems.
So if you use proprietary standards in your document, I'm sorry, that's not a legal document. I think that's a good thing because it enforces that what is considered legal is something that can be read subsequently. I just wanted to share and invite comments.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: This is a question that comes up on the IETF all the time. IETF has used plain text for its standards from the very beginning. We keep getting criticized for that because we don't have a way to put pictures in there. I'll be right done. And every few years somebody comes up and wants us to switch to Word or PDF, one of those proprietary standards, and we continue to insist that it's ASCII. It's terrible to read if you want to put a picture in, but that's the way it goes, because we can read them 40 years later.
>> Phone: Hello? Hello.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Richard, we can hear you. Please wait for a second.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Okay. Just wanted to make sure you knew I was there.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Yeah, thanks. Very happy to hear you.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I have a response to what that question said, if it's okay.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Please come in. This is Richard Stallman on the phone remotely from Italy, if I remember well.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: There is a tremendous danger to the Internet from restrictive standards. Some of these standards are -- some of these formats or protocols -- I shouldn't call them standards. They're formats and protocols. Some formats and protocols are standards; some are not. But that's not a big ethical issue. The problem is when a standard or protocol is either secret or restricted by patents. And this is a big danger. And what we see now, of course, is that this is spreading even to being able to boot your computer. Windows wants to make computers that will only run programmes approved by Microsoft.
But we have to be very careful not to use the confusing concept of, quote, intellectual property, unquote, because this is a generalization about a dozen or so totally unrelated laws that have no similarity.
Even if we just look at copyright law and patent law, they are different in every possible way, and the way they affect the field of computing is totally different.
(Call dropped. Please stand by for captioning)
>> -- because the core protocols, the nonoptional protocols, are not things which should be inhibited in any way.
The optional things, such as if you want to use a particular CODEC, that's fine. There are other alternatives. But if it's the wheels that keep the train running, we can't have intellectual property -- we can't have restraints on that use.
There are have been lawsuits saying that TCP is -- infringes certain patents, but so far none of those have been successful. So to your point, the IETF does not accept proprietary extensions to the core protocols.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. I think we have Richard again online. I can hear some --
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I'm just wondering can they hear me in the room? Is it working?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: We can hear you now perfectly clear. We stopped hearing you when you criticized the concept of intellectual property in general. I hope it was not a patent-induced thing in Danish interpretation systems, which is the brand we have here.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Well, the question is how much of what I -- at what point did you lose me? What was the last thing you heard?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Maybe it's not specific enough when I said that you were criticizing the concept of intellectual property in general.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Right.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: You said it was a collection of various different laws and that copyright didn't have anything to do with patents, and that's where it cut off.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Ah. Basically, if you hear someone use the term "intellectual property," you shouldn't think that means he understands deeply. Instead, you should think that person is deeply confused, and he's talking about an incoherent collection of unrelated things, and he thinks he's saying something meaningful, but he really doesn't understand.
The only intelligent statements to make about these laws are one at a time.
For instance, patents do threaten our use of protocols and formats, but it's hard for a copyright to get in the way.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Richard, we lost your audio again.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Oh, what was the last --
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Oh, you just stopped speaking. Sorry. Pardon my surprise.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: It looks like this is not going to work.
>> It's working.
>> It's working fine.
>> It's working fine. It's working fine. Please continue.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: What was the last word that got through?
>> Yeah, copyright is different was the last thing you said.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Damn, I can't remember whether that was the beginning or the end. Did I finish? Did the whole statement about someone is deeply confused and using incoherent concept get through?
>> Yes, yes, it did.
>> The last thing you said, it's hard for copyright to get in the way.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Ah, that's the last thing I said.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Maybe I should say over. Over.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. Thanks really clear. This type of remote communication, that's very helpful. Comments. Again, I will ask Sebastien Bachollet if there are comments coming from the remote online participants.
>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: In fact, as you just heard Shirley makes a comment to Richard. He takes a point. I have no questions.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: You say he is responding to me, but I can't hear his words. It's too low volume.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: We ask for that to be repeated, then.
>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: We don't have question online.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Questions, comments in the room?
>> I have a question. My question is to Scott, and I would like Richard also to respond to that. First, I know that sometime back a standard called OOXML was to be introduced as a standard, and it was not adopted. That was -- was it an example of a proprietary standard being introduced to the Internet, and can you tell me the history about -- history of what happened?
>> SCOTT BRADNER: I don't know the history of that particular one. There are others which have been. Perfect example is one of the anti-spam proposals came out of Microsoft, and that was one where Microsoft attempted to do the same thing that Cisco does in terms of their licensing, saying we won't sue you unless you sue us. But they also inserted a "you actually have to take out a license with us before you can do that, before you can implement it," and the open source people went nuts on that, and the IETF did not get -- reach consensus to support that document.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Sorry, this is Alejandro Pisanty. Please for a second. I know that this is a -- you will notice that this is a critical point to convey to you, a reminder that was made to me by Bernard, that UN rules are unfavorable to all attacks, so I hope that --
>> It was a friendly description.
>> It was descriptive.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Richard, please comment.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I know about what happened in the case of OOXML. Microsoft invented a basically bogus document standard so that it could sabotage the adoption of ODF.
Now, Microsoft's so-called open format was designed with a specification that was, I believe, thousands of pages long, and that was incomplete. So Microsoft invoked a special emergency procedure or exception procedure in ISO where all it had to do was get enough countries' standards organisations to vote in favor. And then it went about buying the support or suborning the national standards organisations.
There was a worldwide fight, and Microsoft won. It succeeded effectively in taking control of ISO for its own purposes, which is a very clear example of how the empire of the megacorporations functions. And, of course, it threatens every area of society. Even when the oil companies do it to promote global heating, it could destroy civilization. In this case all it did was give people an excuse to say oh, we're using Microsoft software, and it uses an open document standard. And by the way, part of OOXML is -- there is a Microsoft patent that covers some part of it, but I don't know what specifically.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Richard. There's a hand up by Venkatesh and by Mark, so Venkatesh.
>> VENKATESH HARIHARAN: I was part of the Bureau of Industry Standards Committee which looked at XML, and we reviewed this for about 18 months, and one of the key questions we asked when reviewing OOXML is if this specification, which is a 6,000-page specification, was given to a software developer and he was asked to implement that independently without taking recourse, you know, going back to Microsoft and asking questions, would he be able to implement that? And the final word on OOXML is 14 is to 3, 14 people voting against it and 3 people of -- I think probably 5 people voting in favor of it.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I'm sorry. Could you repeat that? It dropped out. I couldn't hear it, and it sounds very interesting. Just the last sentence.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Please repeat speaking slower and closer to the microphone.
>> VENKATESH HARIHARAN: So the final word on OOXML in India was 14 votes against OOXML and 5 votes in favor of it. And the key question was can somebody independently implement the 6,000-page document and this so-called format or so-called standard if they were asked to do it from scratch without taking reference to Microsoft. And there were certain areas where, you know, the standard or the proposed standard said this has to function like Word 95. And that means basically that you had to go back to the author of the document to figure out how exactly does this work, like Word 95, so it is not really an independent standard which could be implemented based on the specifications that were given, and there were parts of it that were hidden. So that was the key reason why it was voted out in India.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. I have a comment here by Mark. By Mark Blafkin.
>> MARK BLAFKIN: My question is actually to you about this proposed -- oh, sorry -- the concept a UN agency taking over the role of IETF, and what form is that proposal coming in and from whom?
>> SCOTT BRADNER: It repeat. It's not a new proposal. The first time I heard it was about a dozen years ago. The ITU plenipot was being asked to vote that the ITU would be the standards organisation for this evolving thing called the Internet. Each plenipot since then has done the same. The proposal from India, China, and Brazil hints at doing the same, the one that came out last week. So it's a recurring theme that fundamentally the Internet is too important to leave it to the people who know what they are doing.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. I have also a request for comment from Alex. Sorry. If the comment as you signal me is going to be on the OOXML or ISO 29,500 standard, please make sure we are speak being that and Internet Governance. -- speaking about that and Internet Governance.
>> ALEX GAKURU: May I just say to Richard Stallman to be with us for a few more minutes while others react to what you say and join us in this panel. Stay with us on the panel, on the line.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I will for a few minutes.
>> Alex: Very well, to tie that into the Internet Governance, freedom standards, in terms of closure of standards, Kenya was also a voting member, Kenya Bureau of Standards, so I do know what we went through on that. But I do want to show how this privately owned and drive -- driven standards were pushed all over the world.
We had a sudden interest in joining up by Microsoft (Inaudible) and friends into a technical document committee, which normally they ask for volunteers, and nobody comes forth. And so no matter what votes they get out of it, the very composition itself was actually suspect, and it was not in the best interest of public interest and openness in terms of document, in terms of sharing documents online, and in terms of general openness in the environment of ICT for development. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Mr. Bradner.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: This is a -- I want to get away from the specific to the general. Industry pushing standards is not a new concept. It's happened since the very beginning of the telecommunications standardization efforts and the predecessor to the ITU. The best hope we can have is for open standards processes which are truly open in the sense that what is brought in is -- is thought through and modified by the standards process.
Cisco is actually quite a good example of that. Cisco came up with a technology called tag switching, and brought it into the IETF, and what came out isn't exactly tag switching. It's quite heavily modified. And that was a good result.
That's not a universal result by a long shot. There are an awful lot of things that are pushed through -- push is the wrong term -- are worked through the process in many standards organisations, I suspect occasionally in the IETF, which wind up to be very much what the particular vendor brought in, and that's unfortunate. I think it does -- it does inhibit the openness of the standards process, and we get poorer results out of it.
But it can work. Cisco has shown it can work, and the results can be accepted and be very, very successful.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. Richard, you have a comment to this?
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: May I speak?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Yes, please.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: What has changed since 50 years ago is that now, when a format or protocol becomes a de facto or official standard, it now -- if there are patents on that standard, it restricts all of us directly.
50 years ago, that would only have interested various manufacturers, and if they got along with the patent system, why should any of us have complained? But now what happens is these restrict us from using software that we control and leave us stuck with using software -- well, either -- we have the choice of either using software that controls the user, proprietary software which is, therefore, unjust, or not communicating in that way. Well, my choice is clear. My freedom is more important than being able to use any particular kind of technology. If a certain kind of communication -- if the price of that is my freedom, I won't pay. But many people don't think about this issue, and they do pay that price. And that makes this problem an issue of overall social concern.
Therefore, governments ought to take action to make sure this cannot happen. Now, the first action they should take is make sure that software patents cannot be valid in their jurisdictions. Patents should not be allowed to restrict the development, release, and use of software to run on widely used computer hardware. But aside from that, we also have to take care to make sure that secret protocols and formats, which you can find being used by many Internet services available now -- one well-known example is Spotified, which transmits music in some secret format -- to make sure that these do not become widely used. If they are being used at some small level, they are still unfortunate, but perhaps there's no need for public institutions to pay attention.
But the danger is that if it starts small, it might get big.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Richard. No, that's -- thank you. I have a request to speak from Siva, and then pall. Thank you.
>> SIVASUBRAMANIAN: I'm Siva, and it's actually a question to Richard Stallman. A moment ago, Scott was talking about the ITU attempt to get into the Internet standards process, and if there is a proposal again, do you think the Internet user community should welcome the ITU with open arms to the standards process?
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I don't know a lot about the ITU, but what I believe I recall I have heard is that it is very closely connected with telecommunications companies and that it will do what those companies want.
Now, what do they want? They want to abolish network neutrality. So I'd be very suspicious of ITU involvement. But this is a memory of what people told me quite a few years ago. It's conceivable I'm remembering wrong.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Richard. Peter Resnick.
>> PETER RESNICK: My name is Pete Resnick. I am a man with several hats. So some of the comments -- some of the comments I'm about to make may seem surprising, depending on which hat you know me with. One of them is that I work for Qualcomm. The other is that I'm an area director with the IETF.
Going to Richard's just earlier comments, I have scant little to disagree with him about, but I am -- maybe this is a cynical comment. I actually don't believe that this should affect the way we do Internet standards all that much. In that I think the best way to keep things like software patents, which will restrict the rest of us, at bay is to have an open standards process where one needs to come to consensus because if the open software community comes to that open standards process and they say we do not agree to use these kinds of technologies because of their patents, because of the technology that they're using, then that will create a situation where a standard can't be produced, and they can move the community to do something different.
It's something akin to the sunshine is the best cleanser theory, that if we have an open process where people can come and participate openly, those things that come to consensus will be built.
Now, that doesn't mean that there can't be standards. Let's just say commonly used protocols that won't have this kind of closed technology. If a group of people want to get together and say we want to use this technology, I don't think we should do anything to prevent that from happening if that group comes to consensus. But if we are all coming to the IETF to say let's standardize a practice for doing this particular protocol, I think the folks who want to do free and open software should be in the same position as people who want to do commercial software in that conversation.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: May I respond?
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Richard. Yes, please.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: First of all, it's as mistake to contrast free software with commercial software. Many free programmes are commercial. And likewise, there are proprietary programmes which are not commercial.
>> PETER RESNICK: I nod my head in agreement, and I apologize for the conflation.
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: Okay. Anyway, I am in agreement with your main point. I am in favor of development standards committees developing specifications through the kind of process I have participated in a couple of times. And by all means, let's continue to do that. We do have to worry, though, about the danger that a company with a lot of money can corrupt the process like Microsoft did with ISO. ISO's normal procedure is to do exactly what you are championing, but it had this exception built to its rules that allowed Microsoft to buy it. And that's one danger we have to worry about.
There's also the danger that much smaller companies try to cause an organisation not to follow its rules. I don't remember the details, but there was some proposed Internet Protocol standard. It might have been the -- the Internet Society that was standardizing it. I don't know who does what in that area. I don't remember the details. But basically, there were a few people involved in the process who were accused of flagrantly disregarding the organisation's rules in order to ram through a patented addition to some protocol. Well, I don't know what happened, but it looked like there was some substance in the accusation at the time. Maybe more needs to be done to to be able to stop this when it happens. Because whether or not it happened that time, it could happen in the future.
Finally, there's a fundamental error in saying if some group of people want to use to get some patented protocol, why should we stop them? Well, presented that way, I would agree, but what does this group really consist of? It consists of some company which is participating because it set the scheme up, plus maybe millions of people who never thought about it who were pressured in or lured in by the network of friends and perhaps massive publicity, and this is not -- this doesn't fit the idea of some people who knowingly decided to use a patented protocol.
If it really is that, I wouldn't try to intervene. If they're adults, right, they should be able to do this thing that I think is foolish. Why should any of the rest of us muscle into their decisions? But that's not the way it is nowadays, at least not in the case that is affect the most people. So it's very different what a company should be able to do using either a patented or more commonly a secret protocol with millions of people who didn't get together and decide they wanted to be restricted in that way.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Scott Bradner, please.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: I want to come back to Internet Governance a bit and start with a little history. Start with a little history.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: As you, yourself, say, show love to the mic.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: Yes, pretend you like the mic. So I mentioned that event and Lyman offered ISO the TCP/IP standardization. They turned it down. They produced the ISO protocol stream.
For many years, the ISO protocol stack, the -- was regulated as the answer to telecommunications. In the U.S., if you were selling to the Government, you had to sell products that met that. There were countries where it was illegal to use TCP/IP on the public network, which was the phone network. You had to use the OSI protocol stack.
That regulatory process wouldn't up costing a huge amount of money. In the end, the ISPs that were providing Internet connectivity pretty much ignored the regulations and went on and just did their thing and did it with IP.
But those ISPs are gone. Most big ISPs, certainly in the U.S. and in many other countries, are what's left of the telephone company. These are companies that are used to regulations. They're used to doing -- of helping to guide and helping to create the regulations that they live under. And one of the arguments that's made for somebody like the UN -- the UN through the ITU, to be the Internet standards body and the Internet regulatory body is that that way the regulators in country can have a better handle over this Internet thing. A lot of regulators in a lot of countries are very frustrated by the Internet. It's the only major telecommunications scheme in history that is not heavily regulated everywhere. Regulated to the extent of what products you can offer, what prices that you have to charge, what functions you have, what you have to hand over to the Government when, all of that.
The arguments in favor of pushing the Internet standardization into the ITU is one in favor of regulation and in putting control back onto the telecommunication infrastructure that has escaped control by moving to the Internet. This is a real threat. The Internet Governance issue here is fundamental. It's moving from a nonregulated Internet in a -- essentially nonregulated Internet. Certainly in international communications and in many countries in local communications. Some filtering to an environment where it is teleco regulations, where it takes ten years to develop the simplest application.
Not stopping on a high note.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. We have seven minutes left. I would like to see if we can just make a round of closing comments. Richard, would you -- okay. So that was Scott's. One less left. Richard in particular, would you like to make a comment?
>> RICHARD MATTHEW STALLMAN: I'd simply like to mention that there is a difference that may be relevant between the free software movement and the open source idea, which is mainly a development methodology, and you can find this in GNU.org/philosophy, more information about it, so I won't take up your time. I've got to get going. It's time for me to leave for my flight. Thank you for giving me a chance to speak, and bye.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you, Richard Stallman, for taking part in this meeting despite stringent conditions. Thanks a lot.
Who wants to jump in? Tracy? Tracy Hackshaw.
>> TRACY HACKSHAW: Right. I listened to all the comments, and I'm a little bewildered. In my country, we don't influence the Internet. We are receivers of it. And all this information is very intriguing to us in our part of the world. I guess what I would like to say at the end of it all is with the emergence of cloud computing and the mobile Internet, our position as a small-isle developing state as an actor in the process as opposed to developer in the process is affected by all the things that you discussed here today. I would like to just caution or point out that in our part of the world, we haven't even reached the stages yet to discuss how open standards affect Internet Governance and so on. We are still grappling with issues of even getting our entire country to understand what the Internet is and what open source software means to us.
When I was invited to speak on this panel, I believe that open source and open thinking has not arrived in our part of the world as yet. What I am hearing today is that all of that is still being debated around the world.
Clearly, decisions are being made somewhere else that are affecting us, and clearly we need to get a voice in that. Right now, I am still not sure how, and if there's any way you can help, I would be really appreciative of that right now. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Venkatesh Hariharan.
>> VENKATESH HARIHARAN: So I have been in the IT industry for about 15 years, and if somebody paid me a dollar for every time they used the word "intellectual property," I think I would be a million air by now.
It's amazing how much we look at everything through the lens of intellectual property, and I think it is time to call for a balance and a counterpoint which, you know, many people are now calling the knowledge comments that, you know, the Internet -- the open standards are public goods and that it needs to be recognized as such, and public policies need to be drafted keeping the Internet in mind as a public good, as knowledge comments, and that knowledge comments are something that should be actively cultured and nurtured. That's the note on which I would like to conclude.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Sunil.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Thank you. I think when we are discussing multiple standards-setting organisations and perhaps multiple fora where a Nation State gets to negotiate key clauses in really legal contracts that affect outgoing royalties, incoming royalties, et cetera, it's easy to say that we must have as many foras as possible, but if one were to look at the Indian negotiator at WIPO, often it's the same negotiator who has to negotiate patrons, copyrights, trademarks, et cetera, and often she goes for a meeting and is ill prepared because there isn't sufficient briefing from the ministry concerned, and perhaps even civil society. Unlike, perhaps, the U.S. negotiator, who is followed by an entourage of advisors, both from civil society and from private sector. He is much more capable of participating in that negotiation.
We have 200 important languages in India. How many of us in India go to Unicode for the negotiations there? So I think a rationalization of the standard-setting process -- I understand the concerns raised about how slow the UN process is and how slow telecom regulation could be. But multiplicity of fora don't necessarily serve the cause of developing nations. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Scott Bradner.
>> SCOTT BRADNER: I would like to speak to that. I completely agree that just having more fora is not a good solution. I wasn't worried about -- and I am not worried about -- the speed of development of standards. I would be calling the pot black because the IETF's gotten very slow these days. It is the mechanism, the final adjudicator of standards in the ITU and many traditional standards bodies are Government regulators who vote on the technical standards.
In the IETF and W3C and a number of fora, the final adjudicator are technical people doing technical work, and that's a fundamental difference.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Thank you. I have a comment to be delivered by Sebastien Bachollet.
>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: A comment online. This is not directly on the comment, but it seems to me that site like Facebook exemplify what Richard was talking about. The space is being presented as open and perceived as open, but in fact, it is a closed space that people are being lured into. Thank you.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Any comments from the panelists to that? I hear a loud thanks from --
>> PETER RESNICK: This is Pete Resnick. I am happy to agree to that. There's been a lot of discussion about how open Facebook is and that everybody can develop for it. But, of course, developing for something does not make it a protocol that anybody can interact with, and having an interaction is really what makes something open, that I can write something proprietary and talk to something that is free and open. There's a little bit of an echo. And I'm very glad that we can have those kinds of standards. Facebook is certainly not one of them.
>> ALEJANDRO PISANTY: Well, thanks a lot. I think we -- time-wise, we really have to close. I would like to make a very short statement as summary. I think that this workshop -- I mean, thanks to the speakers and the dialogue -- an extraordinary result in showing how the different ways open is used for open standards, open source software, come together where they do collide, they do collide, where open standards do accept a certain level of proprietary control over the technology yet still ways of sharing and licensing are okay for open Internet standards, and they build a platform, which is very broad and which almost everything else is possibly developed.
The negative examples of Facebook as a closed platform -- relatively closed platform, the stories of standards wars, and the ways that standards are developed nationally have been brought to -- under the Internet Governance light, which is very valuable. And we have closing statements about the IETF again, which are key. The difference between national standards-setting bodies, which very often are handed over completely to industry, or to very vague definitions of the public interest, are not necessarily able to perform the same good work that the IETF and other standards-developing organisations are able to do by considering all the public interest objectives, yet leaving the technology standardization to the technologies themselves.
Thank you very much for the participate participation. Thanks remote participants and listeners, and I'll convey thanks to Richard.