[Linux-aus] Fwd: FFII puts up a prize in fight against Microsoft Office standardisation

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Sat Jul 7 11:49:51 UTC 2007


The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), said that
it was putting up a 2,500 Euro prize in its fight against Microsoft's
attempt to gain international standardisation for its Office format.

Veteran FFII campaigner Benjamin Henrion, founder of the noOOXML.org
site, explains: "Microsoft is spending millions on rent-a-crowd
support for international certification for its proprietary Office
format, OOXML. But we already have an ISO standard for word
processing, called ODF (Open Document Format). OOXML is Microsoft's
attempt to subvert this existing standard, to keep its strangle-hold
on the world of documents. It's time for activists across the world to
stand up, to reach out to their national ISO bodies, and to explain
why Microsoft's format is not open, not a standard, and not XML."

The FFII is putting its money where its mouth is. The team that makes
the best effort to helping the International Standardization
Organisation (ISO) fight off Microsoft's lobbying stands to win an
FFII "Kayak Award", consisting of 2,500 Euro and the chance to present
their campaign at the FFII's annual conference in November.

FFII president Pieter Hintjens explains: "In July 2005, before the
vote on the Software Patents Directive, a group of young campaigners
took to kayaks, in the waters outside the Parliament building in
Strasbourg. They fought a symbolic battle with industry lobbyists who
had rented a yacht. The Kayak symbolises individual skill and
collective action."

To qualify for nomination for the Kayak Award, a team or campaigner
must show how they made a significant impact on the ISO process, "to
defend ODF and stop Microsoft's attempts to corrupt the international
standards-setting process", as Henrion puts it. "Anything goes:
websites, letter-writing campaigns, going to meetings, even kayaks."

The deadline for nominations is 31 August, and the award winner will
be announced on 30 September 2007.

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