March 28, 2007

And Oregon Makes 5 for ODF - With a Twist

Andy Updegrove writes "In what is beginning to seem like a legislative drumbeat, Oregon has become the fourth US state this year to see an open document format bill introduced in its legislature. Taken together with pioneer Massachusetts, which led the way with an administrative rule adopted in 2005, this means that individual legislators in 10% of all US States have thus far taken steps to require that governments must be responsible stewards of public records. While the Oregon bill falls into a current trend, it is in some ways less similar to the bills introduced earlier this year than they are to each other. Most notably, it would establish a clear preference for open formats that are deployed in the greatest variety of programs and services that are available as "free ware," which it defines as " computer software made available or distributed to the public for use free of charge for an unlimited time." Through this and other provisions, it is clear that only ODF, and not Microsoft's OOXML, would pass muster for the foreseeable future in Oregon - if, of course, the bill passes."


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