OASIS appeal does NOT affect OpenDocument

David Webber (XML) david at drrw.info
Tue Feb 22 23:12:29 UTC 2005


It's a ticking bomb.  The sunset date on the current
un-IPR status of OpenDocument is currently 2 years.

But the OASIS board changed this from 9 months,
to 15 months to 2 years in the past three months. 
They could just as easily change it again to say 
90 days, starting next week if they felt like it.

Also - your spec' is in draft.  Currently the Board has
said nothing on this issue.  What if they decide that
TC's going to public vote on their spec's *have* to
adopt one of the evil 3 IPR choices?

If you think OpenDocument is not affected by this
potentially - dream on!   Right this second it might
not - because like all the other TCs the old IPR 
policy is grandfathered - but how long before the
Board gets embolden and starts turning up the heat
on the hold-outs?

BTW - I already heard unofficially that the Board
discussed my suggested tactic - eg each TC adopting
a three paragraph statement in their Charter that
negated the IPR policy - and they are alerted to
that and are ready to not allow such changes to the

Cheers, DW

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler at dwheeler.com>
To: <license-discuss at opensource.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 5:41 PM
Subject: Note: OASIS appeal does NOT affect OpenDocument

> It's important to note that this does NOT affect the OpenDocument work,
> as far as I understand things, and that people can agree with the
> call yet work on OpenDocument activities.
> First, an explanation. OpenDocument is an emerging OASIS standard
> for office document interchange based on OpenOffice.org;
> you can learn more about OpenDocument in "The Future Is Open:
> What OpenDocument Is And Why You Should Care" by Daniel Carrera at:
>  http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050130002908154
> and you can see the OpenDocument status at their home page:
>  http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office
> It's officially still a draft, but it's actually a very good standard.
> The issues of patents in standards has been around a while;
> articles like http://perens.com/Articles/PatentFarming.html
> discuss this in more detail.
> Rosen and others have sent out a call for action, but look
> at the words they've chosen: "Do not implement OASIS standards
> that aren't open. Demand that OASIS revise its policies. If you
> are an OASIS member, do not participate in any working group
> that allows encumbered standards that cannot be implemented
> in open source and free software."
> Note that the OpenDocument specification clearly does NOT have
> this problem.  The OpenDocument committee ground rules specifically
> require a royalty-free license, avoiding this issue entirely.
> This is clearly stated in their IPR statement at:
>  http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/ipr.php
> Thus, I believe that OpenDocument is NOT affected by this
> appeal to OASIS to change its policies. Anyone working on
> OpenDocument is NOT in conflict with this appeal. 
> --- David A. Wheeler

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