The article discussed a three-part plan:
At the time, I felt that the laws should be the third step and that "ODFI compliance" would involve using the description and tools from the second step. My first discussions with politicians made it seem that I would need some technical heft behind the idea before it would ever be considered as a legal requirement.
However, in the time since I wrote the article several states and countries have had laws proposed to force governments to use only open source software. I would much prefer that they pass open data format laws instead. As a result, I am starting this site to start discussion about open data format laws (and open source laws), and hope to have an open data format law ready to be submitted to a state legislature in 2004.
About myself: my name is Adam Barr, and I worked as a developer at Microsoft for ten years, mostly on the NT kernel, before leaving in April 2000. I wrote a book about my experiences there titled Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters. Although I worked there and often defend Microsoft in discussions, I do not consider myself to be on Microsoft's "side". Opening up Microsoft's data formats is one of the goals of ODFI, and given Microsoft's response to open source laws, I suspect the company will also oppose open data format laws.