FYI, got this mail while i was wearing my other hat :)

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Gannon [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 6:08 PM
Subject: [members] OASIS and Open Source Software

OASIS members,

Many of you may have seen recent articles and postings from individuals
in the open source community regarding the revised OASIS IPR Policy.

First, let me assure you that OASIS values the contributions and
viewpoints of those who support open source software which include many
of our members, and many other developers across the globe who build
open source implementations of OASIS specifications.  Our revised IPR
Policy was specifically designed to strengthen, not weaken, the
consortium's commitment to the development of truly open standards,
assuring that standards developed under the royalty free modes can be
implemented in open source software.

Second, please allow me to correct some of the inaccuracies being

1) The revised OASIS IPR Policy does not offer Royalty Free (RF) as a
"secondary option."  Almost every standards organization in our field
has both a royalty-free track and a royalty-bearing track of some kind.
We have, for a long time, and we still do.  In our recent revision, we
made our own royalty-free track clearer and more enforceable.  All TCs
are presented with three options--two of which make RF mandatory.  We
added these options in response to requests from members who want to
produce RF standards at OASIS.  With these three modes, we give you the
freedom of choice as to which committees to participate in and which
OASIS Standards to implement.

2) We have not suddenly adopted a RAND policy. The RAND baseline was
part of the OASIS IPR Policy that was approved five years ago.  Three
years ago we began allowing new committees to adopt RF language in their
TC Charters.
Many TCs have been formed since then adopting that language, and many
more of the TCs formed without that language (with RAND baseline)
incorporate contributions made on a royalty free basis.

3) OASIS advances a wide variety of specifications, which can be
implemented in both open source and non-open source software. In this
respect, we are similar to ISO, ANSI, and the majority of other
standards organizations. Our members collaborate to produce
specifications, not write code.  Because of the diversity of our
membership and the broad range of standards activities, our members have
consistently asked for different modes to support different types of
activities. To completely eliminate RAND as an option (as the signers of
the Rosen petition advocate) would deny those OASIS members who choose
to work under those terms their current rights.

4) In today's reality, no standards organization can ensure that its
work is or will remain completely free of patent claims. There is always
a risk that some unknown party in the world holds a patent that they
will claim is essential for implementation in software of a specific
standard, whether open source or not.  The most any standards
organization can do is provide clear, equitable rules to govern those
who participate in its work and publicly document the licensing
commitment of participants.  This revised policy takes great care to
make the process and behavior of participants even clearer.  Thus this
policy provides even greater protection for those who wish to develop
open source software which implements an OASIS standard from a royalty
free mode committee.

5) Legal review of the revised policy was engaged specifically to ensure
that it did not prevent the implementation in open source software of
OASIS specifications developed under one of the RF modes.  Last fall,
the draft policy was made available to all 4,000 OASIS members, many of
whom are active developers of open source software.  Input from that
member review was instrumental in creating the final IPR Policy.
(Thanks again to all members who participated in that review process.)

Moving forward, OASIS has invited advocates in the open source community
to confer with us, to give us an opportunity to set the record straight,
listen to one another's concerns in a productive manner, and dispel
further miscommunication.

OASIS staff is currently conducting training sessions with our TC Chairs
and will also be offering briefing sessions to members on the revised
IPR Policy, to provide you with more information and answer specific
The member briefing sessions will be presented at several different days
and times, which will be announced soon.

In the meantime, we encourage you all to thoughtfully review the revised
IPR Policy, compare it with the legacy version, and consult the
supporting FAQ documents. We continue to invite all those who feel
strongly about this issue to actively participate within OASIS
Committees, where you can productively express your viewpoints--and
contribute to each committee's selection of its own IPR mode.

Best regards,
Patrick Gannon
President & CEO
630 Boston Road
Billerica, MA  01821
+1.978.667.5115 x201  - office

Revised OASIS IPR Policy

Legacy OASIS IPR Policy

OASIS IPR Transition Policy

Revised OASIS IPR Policy FAQ

OASIS IPR Transition Policy FAQ

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