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EU plan to make technology more ‘open’… Is legislating on technology realistic?

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/07/01/160239/EU-Plans-To-Make-Apple-Adobe-and-Others-Open-Up

It seems the EU are interested in introducing legislation to make big tech companies open up their technologies by using standard formats and interoperable interfaces. On one hand this vision of the future seems like a bright one, but on the other there is a big question as to whether it is really realistic to do this and how on earth the rules relating to this interoperability would be possible to define.

Trying to legislate on technology related issues is an extremely difficult thing, largely because only a very small minority of people will fully understand both the technology involved and the legal consuquence of imposing such legislation. This is why law suits involving technology companies are so horrendously expensive. There is also the issue that technology has been a world-wide market for some time now and it is impossible for the EU to introduce laws that affect distrubuted systems which operate outside of Europe.

One slashdot contributor summed up my feelings on the subject with the following comment:

What? (Score:5, Insightful)

by jim_v2000 (818799) writes: on Thursday July 01, @12:59PM (#32759272)

“Any kind of IT product should be able to communicate with any type of service in the future.” [EU]

What does that even mean?

Indeed defining what any statement so sweeping as that above really means is impossible and the statement reflects a chasm between recognising the intention for good in this proposal and understanding the reality of what it actually entails.

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