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Subject: OASIS Subcommittee Membership requirements quick notes

One of the topics of discussion last week that I took the action item to research was to clarify membership requirements and identify a mechanism for non-member participation. The following notes summarize what I've learned.

Bob Beims

1) Because of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policies of open standards organizations such as OASIS, strict guidelines must be followed in order to protect the people who contribute to standards work, and their employers.

2) Legal acceptance of the various OASIS IPR policies is accomplished via the membership application process, therefore any work contributed to a technical committee (TC) or subcommittee (SC) by an individual member, associate member, or employee of a member company is protected under the appropriate IPR policy. Furthermore, no contributions may be accepted from non-members without first being screened through an acceptance of the OASIS IPR policies. The mechanism for such contributions is described below. 

3) The IPR under which an SC operates is defined by the TC which charters the SC. Since SCs to not select their own IPR policy, the SC members therefore must become members of the sponsoring TC in order to agree to operate under the appropriate IPR. This does not imply that an SC member must participate in or contribute to a TC in any manner other than the work of the SC; it simply means that a prospective SC member must first become a TC member, then become an SC member.

4) The voting mechanism of the SC is relaxed with respect to that of a TC: individual, associate and company members all have the same weight, and votes are tallied with respect to individuals rather than companies. There are no quorum requirements, so if as few as two people call in, work can proceed!

5) The mechanism for a non-member to contribute work to an SC is as follows:

   a) The public record of the SC is always available at http://www.oasis-open.org/archives/dita-sidsc/

   b) Comments to public documents can be submitted via http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/comments/index.php?wg_abbrev=dita (note that SCs do not have individual comment "buckets" but share with the parent TC). This is a subscription email list that requires acceptance of the IPR policy of the TC, and thus protects the contributor, their employer and OASIS. *** When you make your submissions via this list, please prefix your subject with "SIDSC" in order to facilitate filtering of SC messages. ***

   c) All contributions *must* go through the comments email list *from the originator*; thus no SC member may accept a contribution from a non-member and then submit the idea to the SC.

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