UK Unix users sue British Standards body over OOXML

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UK Unix users sue British Standards body over OOXML

A band of British Unix users has issued a High Court challenge over the national approval of Microsoft's OOXML document standard.

The UK Unix User Group (UKUUG) has demanded a judicial review over the British Standard's Institute's backing of Microsoft's document standard in its application for fast-track approval by the International Standards Organisation.

The UKUUG has demanded the BSI withdraw its vote in support of Microsoft, and revisit its own decision again to back the software giant's standard.

The Unix users maintain that the procedure by which the BSI decided to support Microsoft's standard was flawed, and that the ISO vote to fast-track OOXML was void.

They say that the BSI's own rules state that its support could only have been given if its own constituents had achieved a consensus opinion. But one of the five votes cast by the 17 March 2008 meeting of its IST/41 technical committee was opposed to OOXML, and substantially so, it says.

That opposition was said to have been provided by IBM.

They also say that the BSI's policy committee, which in September voiced concerns about supposed intellectual property restrictions enshrined in OOXML, had been prevented from advising on the March decision.

Reservations about OOXML on technical and intellectual property grounds should have prevented it from being fast-tracked, the beardies told the High Court. But even the ISO committee that vetted the standards application had not actually seen the document they were discussing, they said.

The BSI was unavailable for comment. (c) 2010 Incisive Media

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