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Subject: RAND for Requirements?


The reasons given for RAND for this TC:

Orit Levin:
> 1. This TC is NOT going to produce any technical specifications.
> 2. This TC is about gathering requirements backed up by use cases and 
> scenarios and their applicability to existing technologies.
> 3. This TC is about bringing as many as possible telecoms and vendors 
> working in the Telecom area who feel most comfortable with RAND to 
> contribute to the discussion.
and, Abbie Barbir:

> Plus I would add that we will be dealing with other SDO such as TM 
> Forum, ITU-T etc.. and  working closely with them to get requirements 
> from their documents. These SDO operate under RAND and as such this 
> make the flow of information between the OASIS SOA TC and the other 
> SDO more fluid.
Seem very unpersuasive to me.

First, I can't say that I am familiar with the practice of treating 
requirements as IPR. Can someone point me to known legal authority for 
the notion that a requirement is subject to some vendor's IPR? (Granting 
that if I publish a book with a list of requirements, my statement of 
the requirement may be copyrighted, i.e., "Text must be presented in a 
*bold* font." (copyright Patrick Durusau 2008) but the substance of the 
requirement itself, that is that users want to use *bold* text, I don't 
think is subject to any IPR claim.)

Second, from what has been said the TC doesn't intend to produce 
anything that is subject to any known IPR claim, thereby rendering RAND 
rather meaningless.

Third, following up on Abbie's comment, is making this TC operate under 
RAND a marketing strategy to make it more attractive to vendors who 
aren't advised well enough to realize that requirements are not subject 
to IPR? Or who take false comfort from committees that operate under RAND?

While I am all for marketing OASIS as much as the next person I think 
offering meaningless RAND on material that cannot be the subject of IPR 
is a very bad marketing strategy. What do we say to those vendors who 
falsely took our word that the requirements produced by this TC were 
subject to RAND? Some dreaded FOSS group implements technology to meet 
those requirements more cheaply and efficiently than commercial vendors. 
Then what do we say? No, let's be honest up front with all our members, 
even commercial vendors.

BTW, I think anyone who charters a TC under RAND should have to specify 
what IP is being contributed under what conditions so that OASIS members 
can make a determination as to whether they wish to participate or not. 
As far as I can tell at this point, neither Microsoft nor Nortel have 
any IP as traditionally understood to contribute to this TC. So, why the 
RAND? (Other than for false advertising purposes.)

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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