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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] (1)(e) Specification of the IPR Mode under which the TC will operate.

Evening all,

I was looking at this earlier today but wanted to wait until someone more familiar with the turf spoke up. Here's the terms proposed:

10.2.3 RF on Limited Terms

With TCs operating under the RF on Limited Terms IPR Mode, Obligated Parties may not impose any further conditions or restrictions beyond those specifically mentioned in Section 10.2.1 on the use of any technology or intellectual property rights, or other restrictions on behavior of the Licensee, but may include reasonable, customary terms relating to operation or maintenance of the license relationship, including the following: choice of law and dispute resolution.

IANAL but I think this 'reasonable, customary terms' is sufficiently locked down by 'relating to operation or maintenance of the license relationship', and although it would be nice if it were more specific with exclusions I'm not sure we have the option of 'ordering off the menu' (but feel free to prove me wrong).

There are two things that I care about primarily:
  1. That open source (including commercial open source) not be in any way impaired or excluded by this decision
  2. That developers (including small ISVs like me and individual customers) be free to develop to the spec without having to seek (and especially pay for) licenses, which /significantly/ raises the bar.
As an example of the latter, some time ago I was unable to proceed with a small but interesting project due to MP3's royalties (http://mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html) and I know there are many problems with open source software around such formats. After all, we're not necessarly talking about extremely advanced technology that has required an individual entity to make a significant investment, as might be the case for highly efficient video codecs (and even then I will choose a lesser open format over a restricted one).

Kind regards,


On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Matthew Reingold <matthewreingold@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Rob,

I'm a lurker who dabbles with computer work and also follows tech law. I've been following your blog for a long time! I wanted to try to throw some constructive thoughts in the works on this.

I would first say that under section 10.2.3, it would seem to be the least restrictive and thus best option of what is available.

I will say that the phrasing in 10.2.3  is not well defined, preemptively. I will ask a few more knowledgable legal contacts I know if they have any advice as to if the terms of 10.2.3 are defined within OASIS or not. I think OASIS's terms are lacking definition in what is reasonable and what isn't. I don't know if this is an issue OIIC can deal with. Also, how is "reasonable, customary terms" as worded in 10.2.3 any different than "RAND terms", and how it is defined?  I think currently if anyone asks that, there is definitely no definition of what fits in that boat for OASIS.

Best Regards,

Matthew B. Reingold
Specialist  - Fire Protection, ROHS,CITS, Water Systems
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
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On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 11:15 AM, <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:

In addition to the good discussion we're having on the general domain of interoperability and documents, I propose that we take a question or two a day from the list of required and optional OASIS TC Charter definition points, and try to discuss and reach a consensus on those.

For today, let's take point (1)(e), the IPR Mode of the TC.   The OASIS IPR Policy is defined here: http://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php

There are three possible IP modes a new TC may operate under, and we are required to choose one of these three for the charter of the proposed ODF IIC TC:

2) RF on RAND terms
3) RF on Limited terms

The most common (and most friendly to implementors, IMHO) mode at OASIS is "RF on Limited terms", and that is the mode under which the OASIS ODF TC operates.  I'd urge the proposed ODF IIC TC to adopt this same IPR mode.

You can read the legalese associated with this IPR Mode, and the obligations it puts on TC members and the benefits it gives to implementors in sections 10.2.1 and 10.2.3 of the policy document linked to above.



Rob Weir
Software Architect
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Software Group

email: robert_weir@us.ibm.com
phone: 1-978-399-7122

Matthew B Reingold
Cell: 847-553-8097

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