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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: patent licenses on OASIS standards
Date Fri, 25 Feb 2005 00:18:13 GMT
Henri Yandell wrote:
> Can't someone decide what the "open standards" are and summarise/publish
> this information outside of OASIS and IETF?

My initial reaction was to reject this out-of-hand as yet another chore for
some group of underpaid volunteers. But on second thought, I believe you may
have identified a really effective way to solve the "open standards"
problem.

Industry players, in particular Microsoft, hate our appropriation of the
term "open standards" to mean our version of patent and copyright licensing.
They hate it almost as much as they hate our refusal to accept RAND, because
they like to pretend their standards are open too. But if we let their
captive standards organizations develop their standards and then *we bless*
the open ones afterwards according to our own criteria, they can do whatever
they want. Our list of approved open standards will prevail as the
authority. Their standards will become worthless in the open source
community without our stamp of approval.

Perhaps Brian and I should take your suggestion back to the signatories of
the letter as a possible way out of this mess?

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  ●  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom
               and Intellectual Property Law” (Prentice Hall 2004)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Henri Yandell [mailto:bayard@generationjava.com]
> Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 3:48 PM
> To: Lawrence Rosen
> Cc: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: RE: patent licenses on OASIS standards
>
>
> Dumb question that every programmer will ask:
>
> Can't someone decide what the "open standards" are and summarise/publish
> this information outside of OASIS and IETF?
>
> opensource.org?
> fsf?
> groklaw?
>
> I dunno who :) This list maybe.
>
> Hen
>
> On Thu, 24 Feb 2005, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>
> > I heartily concur with Brian's approach. It is a sane response to a
> problem
> > caused by an unfortunate OASIS patent policy. The same is true for IETF
> > standards, by the way.
> >
> > Someday, if we insist upon it, OASIS and IETF will tell everyone which
> of
> > their standards are "open standards" and which are not. Then the Apache
> > Foundation wouldn't have to do that analysis for itself. Just imagine
> the
> > confusion if our customers had to analyze all the upstream licenses for
> > stuff we incorporate into Apache code. To the extent possible, we should
> do
> > that analysis for them and warn them where necessary.
> >
> > /Larry
> >
> > Lawrence Rosen
> > Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
> > 3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
> > 707-485-1242  。・ fax: 707-485-1243
> > Author of 。ネOpen Source Licensing: Software Freedom
> >               and Intellectual Property Law。ノ (Prentice Hall 2004)
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Brian Behlendorf [mailto:brian@collab.net]
> >> Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 8:23 AM
> >> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> >> Subject: patent licenses on OASIS standards
> >>
> >>
> >> It is the intent of the ASF to distribute its software under the Apache
> >> Software License, and nothing but.  We go to great lengths to
> accomplish
> >> this, such as ensuring the right contributor agreements and carefully
> >> reviewing the licenses on other software we incorporate into ASF
> >> codebases.  We believe the easygoing terms allow for the broadest
> possible
> >> use of the code, and in doing so give the greatest chance to building
> >> healthy and large development communities.  We also believe that the
> >> simplicity of being able to say "here's the AL, it describes all the
> >> requirements you must fulfill in order to use, copy, modify, etc" is
> >> important.  Third-party copyright notices may require that folks retain
> >> information about copyright lineage, but can't impose additional
> >> restrictions.
> >>
> >> We fought hard for this approach within the JCP - not accepting a
> >> requirement, for example, that we only be allowed to release strictly
> >> conformant implementations, but accepting the provision that we can't
> use
> >> the related trademarks except on implementations that pass the relevant
> >> TCKs.
> >>
> >> The IETF's policy in 1994, as captured in RFC 1602 section 5.4.2,
> >> http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1602.txt, took an out-of-sight, out-of-mind
> >> approach to the problem - simple and elegant but also not realistic
> given
> >> the rampant software patenting that has happened the last 15 years.
> The
> >> W3C and OASIS standards groups have had to address the issue; the W3C
> >> after much deliberation arrived at a Royalty-Free default for all
> >> standards (there may be exceptions, I don't claim perfect knowlege).
> >>
> >> OASIS recently issued a statement allowing for two "modes" for any
> given
> >> working group: Royalty-Free (though there may be other stipulations),
> and
> >> Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND).  While an improvement over
> what
> >> came before, RAND licensing would not allow for Apache-licensed
> >> implementations.  It even appears that the RF licenses on many OASIS
> >> standards in existance today that would require us to add requirements
> to
> >> the Apache License for particular packages upon our end-users.
> >>
> >> To be on the up-and-up, and make good on our promise to Apache software
> >> recipients that our software is legally free and clear for them to use
> as
> >> they expect, we should take a look at the OASIS standards we implement
> >> today.  We should make sure that the patent notices that participants
> in
> >> OASIS have attached to these standards are RF, and not RAND.
> >>
> >> We should also determine whether the RF licenses presents other
> >> requirements that we'll need to pass along to our own licensees.  We
> may
> >> need to compromise on our ideal, that the AL represents the entire
> license
> >> for the code, if we feel it's important as an organization to implement
> >> OASIS-defined specifications.  It's tempting and easy to be dogmatic
> and
> >> say "no implementations of standards with any encumbrances, period",
> but
> >> keeping the Internet an open playing field by being the reference
> >> implementation and the best implementation of next-gen protocols may be
> a
> >> stronger ideal.  Though, we should not allow any requirements (such as
> >> only applying to conformant applications) that would be impossible to
> >> fulfill with an OSI-compliant license.
> >>
> >> Dims has collected a list together of the projects and the OASIS
> standards
> >> they implement, at:
> >>
> >> http://wiki.apache.org/general/ReviewsNeeded
> >>
> >> Comments?  At the end of this process it would be nice to be able to
> make
> >> a public statement about standards, IP, and Apache; but we need to get
> our
> >> own house cleaned and decide what our own policy should be before doing
> >> so.
> >>
> >>  	Brian
> >>
> >>
> >> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and educational
> >> only, are not privileged and do not constitute legal advice.
> >> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> >> For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and educational
> > only, are not privileged and do not constitute legal advice.
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> > For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org
> >


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