Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Symposium on proposed OO XML ISO standard

Recommended symposium on proposed OO XML ISO standard, 4 December 2007, Sydney:

On Friday 14 December 2007 the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre hosts a symposium to explore issues raised by the proposed OO XML (Open Office XML) document format standard from Microsoft, to assist consideration of the Australian response to the proposal through Standards Australia. Expert commentators from a range of perspectives will present written and oral summaries of the issues, and there will be detailed discussion of the most significant of these. There is proposed informal participation from Standards Australia and experts associated with them in the discussion.

There are two sessions, Technical and Legal. There will be a preliminary 'Background Paper' on the Legal area, and a list of 'top 10 topics' for the Technical.

We hope to explore the underlying realities of OO XML as well as the more political dialogue, which can often 'muddy the waters.' While there are no doubt passions, commercial interests and well-established positions on many of the issues, we encourage participants to come out from behind their settled opinions and engage in open debate and discussion. Outcomes of the day may include:

  • a better appreciation of arguments and explanations surrounding the more significant issues, for those seeking to make further submissions to assist formulation of an Australian response in February 2008; and
  • a paper that covers points raised from all sides.

Preliminary OO XML Symposium programme
(comments welcome - subject to change)

1. Technical session

The Technical Session will present technical and practical considerations when looking at implementing OOXML. It will include experts in this space, government, user and industry perspectives, and the top technical concerns raised in comments submitted through the ISO process in the last year, both from Australia and New Zealand, and also internationally. There will be time for open discussion, and attendees are welcome to participate fully.

0830 - Breakfast
0900 - Introductory expert commentary
0930 - Expert Commentary 2
1000 - Government and user perspectives
1030 - 20 mins coffee break
1050 - Facilitated discussion - top 10 issues raised from the global comments about OOXML; short position statements from key players?
1250 - Wrap up and thanks
1300 - Finish and Lunch

2. Legal Session

The Legal Session will be focussed on the proponent's 'covenant not to sue' (later recast in the form of a promise) in relation to a range of potential litigation topics, particularly intellectual property such as copyrights entitlements; its practical effectiveness as a protection removing the need for a range of implementers to seek further expensive legal risk management advice; and other issues such as patents.

1400 - Expert commentary 1
1430 - Expert commentary2
1500 - Facilitated discussion - covenant not to sue etc.
1540 - 20 mins coffee break
1600 - Facilitated discussion - solutions, other issues?
1650 - Wrap up and thanks

Contact feedback [at] to express interest in one or both sessions, and reserve a place.

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