Democratizing Contents


I feel that the phrase “Democratizing Contents” is very powerful for it implies that the content that one creates is fundamentally free from any form of restriction. The worst of the restrictions on content is not copyright, but the format it is kept in. Anyone who uses any software tool to create any content has to keep in mind that using a tool that insists and deliberately hides the format in which it is stored would mean that even if the author owns a very restrictive copyright regime, the fact that the contents are locked up in unknown formats means that even the author cannot get to it if needed. I know of so many organizations, individuals who, having fallen into the trap of proprietary data formats, are then illegally held via a hidden blackmail to continue to use software tools from the orginal vendor.

That is why formats like the Open Document Format. ISO/IEC 26300 is so important. That is also why we have to dismiss the attempt to get the ooxml as an ISO standard next week. I look forward to an interesting meeting in Geneva.

BTW, the phrase “democratizing contents” was first used by Red Hat, although, I will probably concede, it was also pushed by NYU with their Coral CDN.

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