[ANSOL-geral] [ANSOL] OOXML fails to get approval, but ISO process continues

Antonis Christofides anthony itia.ntua.gr
Quarta-Feira, 5 de Setembro de 2007 - 10:50:17 WEST

FFII PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / Innovation ]

OOXML fails to get approval, but ISO process continues

Brussels, 5 September 2007. The draft standard OOXML submitted by
Microsoft and ECMA has been rejected in a vote at ISO, reaching
neither the required 2/3 majority among "participating countries" nor
the required 3/4 majority among all countries. However, ISO decided
not to finish the procedure yet, but instead to go for a ballot
resolution meeting in February, where Microsoft will attempt to
present solutions to the numerous problems that have been pointed out.
If enough countries change their vote, the proposal still has a chance
to pass.

Several irregularities have been reported in the ISO process. These
include purchasing of votes in Sweden, admitted by Microsoft;
rejection of Microsoft's competitors in Portugal because of lack of
chairs; hijacking of standardisation committees in many countries,
including USA, Italy, Colombia and Mexico; manipulations of the vote
process by presidencies in Switzerland and Uruguay; replacement of an
insufficiently Microsoft-friendly technical committee by a "more
agreeable" one in Poland; non-acceptance of competition in Venezuela
and Ukrania; and more. In general the process has been driven, except
in a minority of the countries, by attempts to put as many gold
partners as possible in the committee responsible.

Benjamin Henrion, leader of the FFII NoOOXML.org campaign, comments:
"The OOXML proposal is so poor that if anyone else had submitted it
they would have been laughed at. I don't understand why the ISO
secretariat has not already put it in the waste basket. The
continuation of the process means more scandals hurting the public
image of ISO."

Alberto Barrionuevo, FFII vice president, agrees: "What is at stake is
not so much the fate of the inappropriately named 'Open XML' format,
but ISO's reputation. The fact that many ISO member bodies have
approved of OOXML due to severe manipulations suggests that the
process needs to be overhauled. We strongly recommend that ISO
reconsiders its system and regulations."

Background Information

Microsoft has been pushing for adoption of its Microsoft Office file
format as an ISO standard. The format was adopted as ECMA 376, and
ECMA subsequently submitted it to ISO for fast-track (six-month)
approval. An unprecedented number of comments by ISO member bodies had
been submitted in the first stage of the process in February 2007.

More information is available in http://www.NoOOXML.org/, FFII's web
site campaign. The ballot results are at

An HTML version of this press release, as well as previous press
releases, can be found at http://press.ffii.org/Press_releases/.

Contact information

Benjamin Henrion, FFII Brussels, +32 484 566109 (French, English)

Alberto Barrionuevo, Vice President, +34 639708494 (Spanish, English)

About the FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over thirty
countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the
public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards.
More than 850 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have
entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions
concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data

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