Autodesk having its own 2020?
The European Construction Industry Federation (ECIF) is a go-between organization of construction firms and 32 countries in Europe. It is calling on the European Commission to investigate the non-competitive nature of BIM software in Europe.
Specifically, the organization is calling out software companies involved with BIM that
- Are non-European
- Offer software only by increasingly-expensive subscriptions
- Limit software use to only in the country of the software's licensing
- Sell software with poor backward compatibility
- Have little actual experience with construction
When we take these criteria into account, I am of the opinion that it seems that the ECIF is referencing just software vendor specifically (despite the plural) that I think might match the criteria: Autodesk. It could be that there are others, as well, but Autodesk would be included if there were a group coming under the spotlight.
Here is what ECIF wants, and it is something we all would want:
It should be for the market to decide, and this is why the construction industry needs open, competitive, and fair markets for software and related services.
The FIEC's position paper is not new; it came out in February. Still, it seems that Autodesk might be having its own version of 2020, as architects revolt publicly against the limitations of Revit, and the EC being called to investigate BIM vendors that aren't European.
ECIF makes more points, which go against globalization (of which I am no fan, and so the Balkanization is interesting to observe). ECIF wants that
- EU companies should be able to have their data hosted on EU territory, by EU servers, under EU legislation
- Creation of a secure European cloud
- Non-EU software services should be required to meet EU standards for interoperability and open access
- European Commission should promote open standards for data, protocols, and file formats in public procurement
- Legal protection of BIM data to protect intellectual property
I dislike government getting involved in our personal lives and company practices. But as we see with the likes of Google and Facebook, the network effect creates authoritarianism of a corporate kind, and that must be fought against.
You can download the position paper from https://www.fiec-ar.eu/images/pdf/WG4.0-2020-02February-D-FIEC%20position%20paper%20on%20Software%20companies.pdf