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Subject: RE: [oasis-memberr-discuss] RAND for Requirements?

Hi All,

I wanted to add Robin Cover's message to this thread for those who 
may not have received it because it makes a number of important 
points about the global IT standards situation. The author Robin 
quotes adds a number of significant points about the decidedly 
Un-Level Playing Field wrt IT standards and the cost of 
participating. I wanted to add a couple of points to this discussion 
with the global market in mind.

The developing world stands in a unique position in today's world, 
especially right now in the midst of the global recession, which 
finds the previously overvalued assets of the developed world losing 
their value and in many cases becoming undervalued with the pendulum 
swinging in the other direction. The developing world countries are 
in the position where they could (not that they will) form their own 
IT SDOs and promulgate their own standards (one hopes with the 
benefit of the experience of SDOs like OASIS and the W3C, which have 
an established, and non-mandated, tradition of developing open 
(transparent), publicly-vetted, RF standards).

With assets in the developed world undervalued, the developing world 
can establish and implement versions of IT standards that perform an 
end-run around the cost of entering the previously established 
standards-based market, and make it necessary for the developed world 
to implement both sets of standards in order to compete in the 
developing world. Of course, this is unlikely, but I wanted to voice 
the possibility because it is no more unlikely than what is actually 
happening in the global economy. Of course, putting an IT SDO 
together among the developing world countries is no simple task and 
without a clearly understood need, unlikely.

The point that OASIS should  be interested in attracting telcos by 
adopting RAND, is, I think, a flawed argument. If telcos want the 
advantage of improved interoperability through standards, they will 
do what it takes to achieve that because they have the economic 
motivation. If they insist on RAND, that's their prerogative and, as 
long as OASIS rules permit it,  I think we'll just have to follow 
their work closely to see where it goes.

I think the previous attempt to create an XML Semantic Mapping TC 
under a RAND IPR would have constituted a  genuine threat of royalty 
claims to many domains, literally any domain that used a standard 
mapping where an IPR claim applied, so I spoke against it. (I do 
think a Semantic Mapping TC on either RF IPR mode would be a good 

However, this is different, more constrained to the telco domain and 
focused on deriving requirements, so, while I view the precedent of a 
RAND TC with concern, I think we're obliged to accept it under OASIS 


At 6:01 AM -0600 11/20/08, Brenner, Michael Ralf \(Michael\) wrote:
>Hi Patrick,
>I don't know how one could imply that OASIS is deceiving some 
>companies, by having TCs in OASIS TMS based on RAND. I think we 
>would rather be deceiving them by trying to convince them that it 
>does not matter that the IPR-mode is different than RAND.
>Ultimately, long-standing OASIS members have to decide whether they 
>want to attract or not more participation from Telco operators and 
>vendors as members. I think you will agree that such participation 
>at the moment is very low. So the same long-standing OASIS members 
>have to decide whether it is more important to stand behind the 
>prevalent IPR policies in other OASIS TC (e.g. RF-based), or it is 
>more important to find ways to entice such companies that prefer to 
>work under RAND.
>I would defer the RAND vs. non-RAND debates in OASIS TC until more 
>participation in OASIS is secured - otherwise you make it a gating 
>factor that will dissuade many to join.
>Best regards,
>From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:patrick@durusau.net]
>Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:28 PM
>To: Barbir, Abbie (CAR:1A14)
>Cc: oasis-charter-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
>Subject: Re: [oasis-charter-discuss] RAND for Requirements?
>Abbie Barbir wrote:
>>  Patrick
>>  RAND is a common mode of operation for Telecom industry.
>>  This has nothing to do with marketing, it only has to do with allowing
>>  Telecom providers to operate in SDO using the same environment that they
>>  are used to.
>RAND is an *uncommon* mode at OASIS, although clearly permitted.
>Perhaps we have different definitions of *marketing* if "allowing
>Telecom providers to operate in SDO using the same environments that
>they are used to" isn't marketing.
>Quite frankly I would not deceive even a Telecom provider in order to
>get them to participate in OASIS.
>The work product of the TC appears to not be subject to RAND in any
>meaningful way.
>If it were, that would have been your first response.
>So, let's simply tell the Telecom providers the truth, that RAND is
>meaningless for requirements and by extension for this TC.
>Unless there is some problem with truth telling as a strategy?
>Hope you are having a great day!
>  > Have a nice day
>>  Regards
>>  Abbie
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Patrick Durusau 
>>  Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:25 PM
>>  To: oasis-charter-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org
>>  Subject: [oasis-charter-discuss] RAND for Requirements?
>>  Greetings!
>>  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
>>  --
>>  Patrick Durusau
>>  patrick@durusau.net
>>  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)
>>  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>>  To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
>>  generates this mail.  Follow this link to all your TCs in OASIS at:
>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)

Subject: RAND for Requirements?

     * From: Robin Cover <robin@oasis-open.org>
     * To: OASIS Member Discuss <oasis-member-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org>
     * Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 08:44:27 -0500 (EST)

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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