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Subject: Re: [oasis-charter-discuss] MOX Charter comments - Licensing

Thanks for bringing up these issues, Bill,

To be honest, I have not followed this discussion as closely as I 
should have, so let me make it clear that my own participation hinges 
upon the adoption of a 'Royalty Free' (RF) IPR policy, of which I 
prefer RF on RAND.

Best Regards,

At 10:34 PM -0400 9/23/08, William Cox wrote:
>I would like to make it clear that RAND is a perfectly acceptable 
>IPR policy under OASIS rules (and that I have no objection to RAND 
>terms if the IPR holders want to use them). My concerns are
>(1) The draft charter is confusing (as called out in my earlier, 
>on-time email) around contributions and evaluations; I don't recall 
>seeing such an open call in RAND proposals;
>(2) The issue of acceptance and licensing are, in my experience, 
>closely related. Limiting adoptions tends to lead toward lowered 
>acceptance, and has on occasion led to competing specifications and 
>loss of commonality in the technology area.
>bill cox
>William Cox wrote:
>>The work is interesting and broadly applicable; surely a goal of 
>>the proposers is to have it broadly used?
>>But there's a confusing combination of RAND licensing terms and the 
>>repeated statement "Other contributions will be accepted for 
>>consideration without any prejudice or restrictions and evaluated 
>>based on technical merit insofar as they conform to this charter." 
>>([Sections (1)(b) and (1)(c)]
>>On the one hand, the output will be on RAND terms (which, BTW, 
>>encompasses RF with RAND terms - just with zero cost). On the 
>>other, you call for  contributions, say they will be "accepted for 
>>consideration" - which seems vague - , and "evaluated". But I don't 
>>see "accepted". And if you "accept" such contributions, that 
>>certainly will affect the RAND terms.
>>Unless, of course, those in at the beginning plan to accept gratis 
>>contributions from others that will then be licensed back to them.
>>This does not match most familiar business models -- are  you 
>>soliciting "free donations"? Will you then license them back at a 
>>fee? Who would want to participate?
>>Most confusing. This both limits effective contributions (as "other 
>>contributions" have no clear path to participating in the licensing 
>>discussing), and limits adoption (as competing specs will no doubt 
>>appear if the licensing terms are at all burdensome).
>>(1)(f) says that the anticipated audience/users are "SOA vendors". 
>>Again, the licensing appears to make it difficult for open source 
>>projects to use the planned output of the TC.
>>Even with RF terms there can issues of distribution, where a 
>>burdensome license may hinder typical packaging and redistribution, 
>>e.g., where an RF license requires individual customers to access 
>>and accept a license before using a product distribution from a 
>>third party. But we don't know the intended (or even projected) 
>>RAND terms.
>>In short, the combination of intended use, likely audience, and IPR 
>>terms is problematic, and doesn't make sense to me in its current 
>>form. This needs to be addressed in the Charter.
>>bill cox
>William Cox
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Rex Brooks
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Starbourne Communications Design
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