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Subject: RE: [chairs] Reminder: Q&A on new OASIS policies

David, Karl and others

I am glad you brought up the question on TC's like Tax-xml who are not
directly creating specifications. This issue bothers me some time already. I
must admit that at first I had the impression that we have to find a new
"home" for our work. I agree with David that signing new IPR policies could
give implications especially with the regulators who are member. This
question also arose when I am having talks with more regulators who are keen
to join our efforts. Regulators begin to see the point that it can be
effective to join up standards activities and not just wait for standards a
appear from somewhere  they can adopt. In the past years many regulators
chose to develop proprietary "standards" just because open standards work
seems to be a process beyond their control and mostly far to slow. Because
most regulators have the political power to impose proprietary solutions on
the market, the are very tempted to do so as well. It is not without worth
that the recent policy paper of my TC asking tax regulators to fundamentally
adopt open standards has passed the first stages of OECD adoption. But it is
fair to say this not about creating specifications.
In the past to years OASIS supplied the platform to work on standards and
standards adoption. We proved that this is worthwhile and some influential
tax regulators recognised that.

In a recent set of questions from the OASIS bureau I was demanded to reply
why we had not produced standards yet and when we planned to do so. Of
course I answered these questions but on the same time I am wondering is we
as a TC are working within an organisation which recognises that the
processes around standards not just mean developing schema's.

During a recent face to face we had not much problems with the IPR policies.
Actually we made a decision on a IPR scheme. On the other end if the members
actually have to sign a paper most regulators might have to step back
because lawyers could spend months to find out if the OASIS IPR policies
conflict with IPR owned by individual country's. 
So what I am saying; this area is unknown for many governments which are
mostly open by nature to a large degree. But only within country limits. So
although it is not a big problem in my mind, it could have serious
implications for government members who already having difficulty in their
organisations to explain why it is worthwhile to become member of bodies
like OASIS.

Harm Jan van Burg
Chair Tax-xml TC
Observer/liaison E-gov TC

Ps sorry for my English, it is worse than my Dutch

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: David RR Webber [mailto:david@drrw.info] 
Verzonden: vrijdag 22 oktober 2004 4:16
Aan: karl.best@oasis-open.org; chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
CC: James Bryce Clark; Scott McGrath
Onderwerp: Re: [chairs] Reminder: Q&A on new OASIS policies


Thank you for organizing todays' session.

I have one supplemental question.

What about TC's that are not creating specifications? - eg

e-Government TC, IHC TC, and then others like the docbook TC, TAX TC (which
government regulations direct), XSLT and IIC test suites.  

It seems odd - since you cannot patent these things - that they 
should have to operate with rules that assume patents are in effect?

For example how could say the IT Director for the Government of Ireland join
the e-Gov TC and sign an agreement stating that he or she will be abiding by
the IPR policies and assigning licenses to the TC?  I have a suspicion that
such people would not be able to get their internal legal folks to sign-off
on that, and / or it would take months to get an answer.

Similarly how could the IRS have personnel sign agreements that OASIS has
licensing rights over components, and that members IPR claims may have to be
licensed before the IRS could use those technologies, which the government
is regulating and is 
covered by Acts of Congress in the first place?

We clearly do not want to be adopting policies that mean that certain TC's
will cease to be able to function.

In fact - is there a provision here that can state that where 
conflicts occur for existing TC's that would cause them to 
be unable to carry out the terms of their existing charters that such TC's
can maintain that status-quo (eg backward compatibility will not be broken)
and continue to operate until such time as their work in complete and their
chartered tasks finished.

Thanks, DW

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