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Subject: Fwd: [chairs] New IPR policy - a giant step backwards?

EM-TC Members:  Sept 10 is the last day for comments on the Draft IPR Policy.  If you have any comments about how OASIS views intellectual property, you might be interested in following the thread.  A top level view and pointers to the details are on the top of the Members Only page.  I am passing along below a note from one of the other chairs that you may find interesting.  Elysa Jones

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From: "David RR Webber" <david@drrw.info>
To: "Chairs OASIS" <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>
Cc: <ipr-member-review@lists.oasis-open.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 23:08:14 -0400
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Subject: [chairs] New IPR policy - a giant step backwards?
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Good and Gentle Folks
I've finally found time to read the new IPR policy following Patrick's excellent posting on the topic.
Unfortunately I could not recommend any of the three proposed modes to my TC as they represent
IMHO a giant step backwards.
This especially applies to work that came into OASIS from UN/CEFACT - but also other TC's that
have subsummed government funded work where the requirement is for open contributions
that are not burdened by any IPR considerations.
If the TC already has open public specifications that are completely free of any licensing requirements
and are available with open source implementations - why would such a TC want to open the door
to contributions that may taint the position of that existing established body of work?
I therefore see - to maintain backwards compatibility - that we need to have a fourth category of
open public work that is not burdened by any IPR or licensing considerations.  Members joining
such a TC would up front understand that they may not contribute any work that does not meet
these criteria.
Frankly - I'm dismayed that the three modes proposed for OASIS could be viewed as merely
opening up the door to widespread and extended licensing requirements to become the
normal modus operadi - instead of them being rare and exceptional practice. 
I see that OASIS should be taking a stand to establishing open standard practices - not the
reverse.  If a TC is created around IPR - that's there business - but we need to maintain
a very clear distinction between that and all the existing other OASIS specifications.
Frankly - whether I work for a company or not - with the three proposed modes - why would
I not file IPR on everything I ever submit to OASIS in future?  This is just a recipe for
insanity - where I can force every company in a TC I am in to sign a licensing agreement
from me once I become a member and contribute anything at all to it.
The European Community is taking a higher position on all this than the USA.  Given the
level of international participation and increasing interest in OASIS the new IPR modes
simply point to a dark and ugly shadow being cast over our specifications that IMHO
would drive away such governments and organizations ever wanting to use our
We need the fourth option to have unequivocal and clear specifications that are completely
unburdened and open public works.   We need advice on this.  I'm assuming that if a TC
decides itself - that that is a requirement for participation - then it can adopt that as its
charter instead of the 3 IPR based options being offered up here?
Thanks, DW

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