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Subject: RAND for Requirements?

This message continues (and attempts to help transfer) a
thread started on the 'oasis-charter-discuss' list. Mary McRae
(OASIS TC Admin) has requested [1] that the conversation be moved
to the OASIS Member Discuss list (oasis-member-discuss).

The thread included some questions about RAND TCs and specs at
OASIS per the SOA-TEL Charter and its comment log [2], together
with explanations from TC Proposers about the rationale for
selecting RAND IPR Mode [3].

My contribution here is minimal, somewhat tangential, and
distinctly personal (not corporate/official): in the discussion
about cogency of rationale for OASIS RAND TCs, I think we should not
lose sight of two broad goals that have been key to the OASIS
message over many years: openness [0] and open specification
implementability. The posting by Dazza (Daniel) Greenwood [4]
touches on openness, and I think reminds us of that concern.

A recent blog posting by an IBM employee (Arnaud Le Hors) touches
on the matter of RAND-based standards, and may be of interest
in the context of this current conversation. Would RAND-based
specifications from telcos working in an OASIS RAND TC
"interoperate" at the licensing level with non-telco RF
Web services specifications?  Would RAND-based licenses
attached to telco specs enable safe implementation by open-source
software development projects and companies -- or only
by commercial software vendors prepared to handle RAND
licensing terms?


From: Arnaud's Open blog
       Opinions on open source and standards
       "Open Standards and Globalization"

"Global Application" It reads:

   Encourage emerging and developed economies to both adopt
   open global standards and to participate in the creation
   of those standards.

The Global Application principle cannot be separated from the
principle of 'Implementability' which reads:

   Collaborate with standards bodies and developer communities
   to ensure that open software interoperability standards
   are freely available and implementable.

Indeed, one of the major barriers to global adoption by
developing countries of the so called 'international standards'
is the toll on implementing them. Whether it is about paying
just to access the document or about paying royalties to
foreign companies for patents that read on the standard, the
price tag this constitutes is just not acceptable to emerging
countries. They already face enough challenges otherwise.

The European Commission as well as countries like India are
trying to move the ball by developing policies that restrict
public procurement to 'open standards' which they define as
being royalty free. This is provoking reactions from various
organizations that want to stop this movement. Their main
contention appears to be that we've been developing standards
for decades on a RAND basis and adopting a royalty free only
policy will rule out hundreds of existing standards and
products. I say: tough!

It's about time that we recognize that the way we've been
doing standards isn't going to work anymore. And we just
cannot expect the world to be shackled by the way we've
been doing things in the past.

Traditionally, IT standards have for the most part been
developed by the western world and then pushed onto the rest
of the world. A RAND based system might have been fine in an
environment where the odds were balanced by the fact that
all parties had more or less similar stakes in the game. But
this doesn't work when you add a bunch of new players who
find themselves at the table empty handed.

So, it's not surprise that the rest of the world is telling
us 'No, thanks'. Can we really blame them?

Those that cling onto the old ways are part of the past.
The future simply cannot be based on a grossly unbalanced
system that gives a hudge advantage to some parties. Getting
rid of the toll on implementating standards is the price to
pay to see them globally adopted. Failures to recognize
that simple fact and attempts to derail the trends set by
the European Commission and the likes are simply a waste
of time.


- Robin Cover [speaking only as an individual, representing nobody]

==== References:

[0] Open Standards (YMMV)

[1] move the conversation to OASIS Member Discuss group/list

post to: oasis-member-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
archives: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/oasis-member-discuss/
subscribe: http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/oasis-member-discuss/

[2] questions about RAND TCs and specs at OASIS

* Jacques Durand
* Dennis Hamilton
* Arshad Noor
* Farrukh Najmi
* Patrick Durusau
* Jeff Mischkinsky
* Dazza (Daniel) Greenwood

Dazza (Daniel) Greenwood <civicsdotcom-econtracts@yahoo.com> [MIT]

Jeff Mischkinsky <jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com>

Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net>

Farrukh Najmi <farrukh@wellfleetsoftware.com>

Arshad Noor <arshad.noor@strongauth.com>

"Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamilton@acm.org>

"Durand, Jacques R." <JDurand@us.fujitsu.com>

[3] Why the ramped-up effort to form RAND TCs at OASIS?

Abbie Barbir <abbieb@nortel.com>
"RAND is a common mode of operation for Telecom industry."

Abbie Barbir <abbieb@nortel.com>
"Most telecom companies will not participate in a non-RAND TC"
"We can have Laision arrangements where comon points can be discussed"
"Not every RAND work lead to royalties"

Brenner, Michael Ralf \(Michael\) <mrbrenner@alcatel-lucent.com>
"Many Telco companies (in particular telco vendors) will not
participate in non-RAND based SDA..."
"... want to attract or not more participation from Telco operators and
vendors as members"

Orit Levin <oritl@microsoft.com>
"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."

Sabbouh, Marwan" <ms@mitre.org>
"As to the [RAND] IPR mode, our employers facilitate our participation in
standards committees if RAND is chosen."

[4] Dazza (Daniel) Greenwood



Robin Cover
OASIS, Director of Information Services
Editor, Cover Pages and XML Daily Newslink
Email: robin@oasis-open.org
Staff bio: http://www.oasis-open.org/who/staff.php#cover
Cover Pages: http://xml.coverpages.org/
Newsletter: http://xml.coverpages.org/newsletterArchive.html
Tel: +1 972-296-1783

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