For the People and by the People: A New Proposal for Defining Industry Standards in Computer Software
47 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2007
My note, titled For the People and by the People: A New Proposal for Defining Industry Standards in Computer Software, focuses on the increasingly contentious world of standard setting organizations (SSOs) in the software and hardware industries, where industry leaders and upstarts alike jostle for acceptance of their products while (at least perfunctory) working together in these groups to adopt the best technologies. Obviously, this dichotomy between commercial and societal concerns sometimes act at odds with each other, leading to cries of patent misuse, anti-trust violations, and various other abuses. All the while, government SSOs such as the NIST tend to remain on the sidelines, waiting for the market participants to remedy internal squabbles and accepting the end result. My paper proposes a more proactive approach by the federal government and, in particular, its own SSOs to spur on standards' adoption in America. Through governmental support and moderation, both large and small companies will be able to take part in a far more democratic and true standards adoption process, be able to voice concerns and seek protection from abuses long before they enter the courtroom, and in effect standardize the standardization process.
Keywords: standards, technology, software, patents, government, Rambus
JEL Classification: K21, O38, O32, O33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation