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


my understand for now is, that there is no licensing required to use the specification, to publish it and to implement according to it. This is also what is written in the Specification. However this does not mean, that companies may have patents which affect your ability to implement the specification, where you need to get a license for. This is true for most specifications which are freely available, lately.

As a TC member (and most likely later as a user of the spec) there is a offer by some of the initial authors, to agree on a mutual agreement, that they will not enforce any licensing on you, if you agree on the same. This basically means, if you sign the contract, you do not need to check pending patents from them. If you dont think you are affected by patents, or if your comapny policy is to ignore them, them you do not need to sign it.

This is my understanding, IANAL, and I would be happy if somebody can correct me, if I am under a basic missunderstanding.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Bernd Eckenfels
Chief Architect
SEEBURGER AG - Edisonstr.1 , D-75015 Bretten, Germany
Fax: +49 (0)7252 96-2400 - Phone: +49 (0)7252 96-1256
mailto:b.eckenfels@seeburger.de - http://www.seeburger.de

-----Original Message-----
From: Howard N Smith [mailto:howard.smith@ontology.org]
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 4:58 PM
To: wsbpel@lists.oasis-open.org; jevdemon@microsoft.com
Cc: UCorda@SeeBeyond.com; steve@enigmatec.net
Subject: [wsbpel] Licensing lssues for Small Vendors


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

Howard Smith/CSC/BPMI.org
cell +44 7711 594 494 (operates worldwide, dial UK)
office +44 20 8660 1963 

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