OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

members message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: OASIS and Open Source Software

OASIS members,

Many of you may have seen recent articles and postings from individuals in
the open source community regarding the revised OASIS IPR Policy. 

First, let me assure you that OASIS values the contributions and viewpoints
of those who support open source software which include many of our members,
and many other developers across the globe who build open source
implementations of OASIS specifications.  Our revised IPR Policy was
specifically designed to strengthen, not weaken, the consortium's commitment
to the development of truly open standards, assuring that standards
developed under the royalty free modes can be implemented in open source

Second, please allow me to correct some of the inaccuracies being published.

1) The revised OASIS IPR Policy does not offer Royalty Free (RF) as a
"secondary option."  Almost every standards organization in our field has
both a royalty-free track and a royalty-bearing track of some kind.  We
have, for a long time, and we still do.  In our recent revision, we made our
own royalty-free track clearer and more enforceable.  All TCs are presented
with three options--two of which make RF mandatory.  We added these options
in response to requests from members who want to produce RF standards at
OASIS.  With these three modes, we give you the freedom of choice as to
which committees to participate in and which OASIS Standards to implement.  

2) We have not suddenly adopted a RAND policy. The RAND baseline was part of
the OASIS IPR Policy that was approved five years ago.  Three years ago we
began allowing new committees to adopt RF language in their TC Charters.
Many TCs have been formed since then adopting that language, and many more
of the TCs formed without that language (with RAND baseline) incorporate
contributions made on a royalty free basis.

3) OASIS advances a wide variety of specifications, which can be implemented
in both open source and non-open source software. In this respect, we are
similar to ISO, ANSI, and the majority of other standards organizations. Our
members collaborate to produce specifications, not write code.  Because of
the diversity of our membership and the broad range of standards activities,
our members have consistently asked for different modes to support different
types of activities. To completely eliminate RAND as an option (as the
signers of the Rosen petition advocate) would deny those OASIS members who
choose to work under those terms their current rights.  

4) In today's reality, no standards organization can ensure that its work is
or will remain completely free of patent claims. There is always a risk that
some unknown party in the world holds a patent that they will claim is
essential for implementation in software of a specific standard, whether
open source or not.  The most any standards organization can do is provide
clear, equitable rules to govern those who participate in its work and
publicly document the licensing commitment of participants.  This revised
policy takes great care to make the process and behavior of participants
even clearer.  Thus this policy provides even greater protection for those
who wish to develop open source software which implements an OASIS standard
from a royalty free mode committee.

5) Legal review of the revised policy was engaged specifically to ensure
that it did not prevent the implementation in open source software of OASIS
specifications developed under one of the RF modes.  Last fall, the draft
policy was made available to all 4,000 OASIS members, many of whom are
active developers of open source software.  Input from that member review
was instrumental in creating the final IPR Policy.  (Thanks again to all
members who participated in that review process.)

Moving forward, OASIS has invited advocates in the open source community to
confer with us, to give us an opportunity to set the record straight, listen
to one another's concerns in a productive manner, and dispel further

OASIS staff is currently conducting training sessions with our TC Chairs and
will also be offering briefing sessions to members on the revised IPR
Policy, to provide you with more information and answer specific questions.
The member briefing sessions will be presented at several different days and
times, which will be announced soon.

In the meantime, we encourage you all to thoughtfully review the revised IPR
Policy, compare it with the legacy version, and consult the supporting FAQ
documents. We continue to invite all those who feel strongly about this
issue to actively participate within OASIS Committees, where you can
productively express your viewpoints--and contribute to each committee's
selection of its own IPR mode.

Best regards,
Patrick Gannon
President & CEO 
630 Boston Road
Billerica, MA  01821  
+1.978.667.5115 x201  - office

Revised OASIS IPR Policy

Legacy OASIS IPR Policy

OASIS IPR Transition Policy

Revised OASIS IPR Policy FAQ

OASIS IPR Transition Policy FAQ

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]