Originally Published: Sunday, 9 April 2000 Author: Mike Julien
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

The Struggle for Control of Standards and Protocols

I feel that the real issue here is the control of standards and protocols. I think of streets and highways as public domain and toll roads as corporate possessions. I think of the Internet as public domain with private sites as destinations.

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I may be a looney tune or I may be right, But it seems that no one (not even the vanguards of the open source community) is openly discussing the real core of what's at stake with this Microsoft thing.

I feel that the real issue here is the control of standards and protocols. I think of streets and highways as public domain and toll roads as corporate possessions. I think of the Internet as public domain with private sites as destinations. For this to be true, then the standards and protocols of any form of communication including those that make the networking possible must be public domain.

Henceforth, the bloody corporate battle that is occurring (and has been for sometime) is based on a frantic struggle for various corporate ownership of standards and protocols that are used for networked communication.

Some of the better-known examples of this struggle are: Sun vs Microsoft for Java standards, Microsoft vs AOL for instant messaging protocols, Microsoft vs RealNetworks for streaming video and audio standards, and last but not least, Microsoft vs Netscape for browsing standards.

The moral of the story is that the major corporations have understood for some time that who ever owns the standards and protocols for networking and all forms networked communication controls the Internet. This is why I feel that these standards and protocols must forever be PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Mike Julien (CaptinFormat@mmcable.com) is pretty much a home body with a lot of time on his hands. About three years he was so bored with Windows that he decided to download Red Hat 5.0 and live on the edge (so to speak). Needless to say he has yet to have a boring moment since then. Frustrated, irritated, enthralled, bumfuzzeled, but never bored.





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