"Thomson [Thomson Reuters] makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business 'irreparable harm' and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero 'reverse engineered or decompiled' not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. ...
Litigation, which may go to a jury trial, is pending, so judging this case on its legal merits would be premature. But on a more general level, the virtues of interoperability and easy data-sharing among researchers are worth restating. Imagine if Microsoft Word or Excel files could be opened and saved only in these proprietary formats, for example. It would be impossible for OpenOffice and other such software to read and save these files using open standards - as they can legally do.
Competition between open-source and proprietary software is long-running, as personified by the struggle between Windows and Linux for desktop and server operating systems, but also in many branches of software used by scientists. Researchers tend to lean towards open sharing, but they will also pay for added-value features, and it's important that the playing field is level. Ultimately, the customer is king."
Nature Volume 455, p.708 (9 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455708a; Published online 8 October 2008, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
"This is a period of uncertainty and change in HE libraries in terms of institutional systems, user perceptions, globalisation of services and communities and new technologies. Users expect ease of discovery, workflow and delivery influenced by Google and Web2.0. In this context, JISC is working towards an Information Environment for learning, teaching and research, involving deep integration of services and resources within the personal, institutional, national and global landscape.
The precursor JISC and SCONUL Library Management Systems study (April 2008) highlights challenges relating to practice, services and products. Meanwhile ideas are constantly being developed by early adopters, which offer opportunities to understand user expectations, gather professional practice and identify technical demands."
2). Download page for JISC project reports
"As internet video matures, we face a crossroads: will technology and public policy support a more participatory culture - one that encourages and enables free expression and broader cultural engagement? Will video be woven into the fabric of the open web? Or will online video become a glorified TV-on-demand service? Open Video is a movement to promote free expression and innovation in online video through open standards, open source, and sharing."
(Open Video Alliance)
"Raw file formats are becoming extremely popular in digital photography workflows because they offer creative professionals greater creative control. However, cameras can use many different raw formats - the specifications for which are not publicly available - which means that not every raw file can be read by a variety of software applications. As a result, the use of these proprietary raw files as a long-term archival solution carries risk, and sharing these files across complex workflows is even more challenging.
The solution to this growing problem is Digital Negative (DNG), a publicly available archival format for the raw files generated by digital cameras. By addressing the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future.
Within a year of its introduction, several dozen software manufacturers such as Extensis, Canto, Apple, and iView developed support for DNG. And respected camera manufacturers such as Hasselblad, Leica, Casio, Ricoh, and Samsung have introduced cameras that provide direct DNG support."
(Adobe Systems Incorporated.)
"The Semantic Web is about two things. It is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, where on the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording how the data relates to real world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing."