Yesterday, Linux Foundation member IBM announced its adoption of a new
corporate policy that will govern its global participation in the standards
development process. It also revealed a list of standards reform
recommendations generated through a discussion among 70 standards experts
from around the world, and called upon all stakeholders, from the open
source community, to vendors, to government, to academia, to join in a
dialogue that can both raise the bar for standards development as well as
facilitate the implementation of open interoperability standards in open
The IBM policy details a set of principles that are intended to regulate
its participation in standards development, as well as a list of action
items that will direct its efforts in seeking the reform of that process.
IBM’s goals in this pursuit will be to seek greater transparency, openness
and inclusiveness in standards development, and also to facilitate the
integration of that process with the development of open source software.
The Linux Foundation applauds this action, and supports IBM’s call for
raising the bar in the standards development process. In particular, the
Foundation, which uniquely supports both open source software and open
standards, appreciates IBM’s leadership in recognizing the importance of
promoting the advancement of these two essential technology tools in a
coordinated way. Submarine patents, overly restrictive intellectual
property policies, and undue vendor influence are of equal concern to
proponents of both open standards and open source software, and the best
solutions will be those that address the needs of both disciplines.
Like IBM, the Foundation is working for similar goals. Accordingly, the
Foundation calls upon others to support the principles laid out in the IBM
announcement, and make common cause with this worthwhile effort.