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Subject: Re: [wsbpel] Licensing lssues for Small Vendors


Anticipating that you will not get any direct answers to the question -
brainstorm on some possible rationale.

Patents, paranoia, and patents, oh yes and patents.

The possibility that some submarine patent may be granted by the inept
PTO process that then causes the standard to be an infringement thereof.

Then the paranoia of corporate lawyers and patent lawyers that just dictates
they stipulate that anything patentable should be, afterall that's a
for them - first they cannot be sued for not applying for IP, second its
work for them managing said portfolios, and third they do not have to
answer emails relating to this topic on the grounds that its under IP -

However the way out of this empasse it would seem is for OASIS to accept
donations of IP.  However the track record so far here has been a bit

I would recommend that all five companies involved in the RF license
donate their IP to OASIS for use in defending possible attacks on users of
the standard.  This appears to be a win-win-win-win for same - since now
they can garner kudos instead of suspicion from their actions - and in the
of an extremely unlikely attack occuring - then everyone can contribute to
the defense fund.  A further win is this resolves the current RF debate
OASIS - since companies contributing IP to a standard would expect to
donate that IP to OASIS and have them then defend the standard as


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Howard N Smith" <howard.smith@ontology.org>
To: <wsbpel@lists.oasis-open.org>; <jevdemon@microsoft.com>
Cc: <UCorda@SeeBeyond.com>; <steve@enigmatec.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 10:58 AM
Subject: [wsbpel] Licensing lssues for Small Vendors

> John,
> Can any BPEL primary author on this list give any reason why licenses are
required and what possible purpose can
> they have in the development of a standard?
> Steve R-T wrote:
> >like many small companies and some big ones too we are interested in
getting product out based on BPEL4WS1.1.
> >Let's call it a teaser for the real thing. We rely, as a smaller company,
on being fleet of foot. Alas the problems with
> >licensing BPEL4WS1.1 so that we are in the clear (and when you are small
this is so very important) reduce our ability
> >to be fleet of foot. Our customers, having been aware of the licensing
problems in the TC, are unwilling to try the stuff
> >unless we shoulder the license burden. Given we cannot even get this
sorted out it difficult to build a business around
> >BPEL until the mess is cleared up. All very depressing ....
> While you were quick to respond John, I think the point is missed. I
concur with Steve. Firstly, there should be no need
> for licenses to do with BPEL if the intention was to create a standard. I
never did understand the reason why such
> licenses were wrapped around the work of this group. Giving that control
to the BPEL authors was not in the best
> interests of OASIS or the members.
> BPMI took the view that such things are unnecessary, and the folks who
donated ipr to BPMI.org as part of the
> development of BPML never did that, nor had no need to. After all, the
point of standards is that vendors compete
> on the basis of implementating them, not creating them. Imagine if the
relational model when it was proposed
> had needed licenses!
> As a next best step, if OASIS insists on licenses for reasons unknown, why
not let OASIS issue it. It is silly to have
> small vendors have to waste valuable development time and resources
chasing licenses from big gorilla vendors.
> I just don't get it. I see no reason why one would be required, and I
think several of our members at BPMI.org, and some
> here, are naturally suspicious about the reasons for such licenses. I
think this is the point under Steve's note, which is
> only natural. Just getting further clarification from BPEL authors like
Siebel misses the point John.
> And of course, the underlying model of the pi math behind this innovation,
really cannot be subject to license in any case.
> I don't think prof Milner would appreciate that. Sorry to be flippant, but
when these sillynesses arise, sometimes
> being flippant is necessary to hammer the point home.
> Howard Smith
> co-chair BPMI.org
> ---
> New Book - Business Process Management: The Third Wave
> www.bpm3.com
> Howard Smith/CSC/BPMI.org
> cell +44 7711 594 494 (operates worldwide, dial UK)
> office +44 20 8660 1963
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list (and be removed from the roster of
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