Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Yesterday, Tim Berners Lee (W3C) hand and web delivered formal comments, World Wide Web Consortium Comments on Copyright Office Proposal to Use Single-Vendor Web Service to the United States Copyright Office regarding the proposed preregistration system.

At the outset, we would like to stress that nothing in this letter should be construed as a criticism of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which is one of the leading browsers in the field. We would write the same letter if the choice was to offer support solely for Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or any other product. The failing of the proposed implementation of the preregistration system is its lack of support for standards, not its choice of software.

The supplemental notice by the U.S. Copyright Office gives information that users would need to use the Internet Explorer (version 5.1 or higher) in order to preregister works of copyright. The office requested formal comments on whether the browsing requirements would affect users. It is important to note that the preregistration process appears to be limited to web submission only. Comments were needed by August 22, 2005 and replies by September 7, 2005. The proposed pre registation system has a launch date deadline of October 24, 2005.

In his formal comments, Tim notes how the proposed limitations would exclude large classes of potential users and how single vendor service is contrary to Federal information policy.

At Newsforge a public announcement appeared online yesterday, US Copyright Office Should Support Browser Choice, Open Standards, CCIA and OSAIA Say.

The U.S. Copyright Office should assure that one of its key websites works with all popular browsers, the Open Source and Industry Alliance (OSAIA) said in comments filed with the Office today. Indeed, the Office should be prepared to accept paper submissions when necessary until compatibility problems can be fixed, association officials said.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and OSAIA would like the Copyright Office to consider the impact on the marketplace.

The long-term gains from ensuring compatibility with a variety of software alternatives prove to be substantial, OSAIA and CCIA told the Office. Interoperability promotes the transfer of information between different computing environments, improves accessibility, promotes consumer choice, and in our Internet-enabled economy constitutes the cornerstone of electronic commerce.


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