Include verbal offerings as "contributions" giving rise to licensing
Under the proposed rule, a "contribution" merely accelerates a TC
participant's obligation, by potentially triggering an event-driven "contribution
obligation" earlier than the same party's acquisition of a "participation
obligation" by the passage of time. In either case, the party's obligation
is bounded by whether a claim is essential to the final specification's implementation,
not *whether it was "contributed". A clear start date for license obligations
is important. The subcommittee felt that the uncertainty of date-stamping a verbal
(spoken) contribution outweighs the risk associated with the time lag.
A new 4.4 (following 138) and 10.3 (following 354)
The three proposed modes do not dictate the TC's selection of contributions;
they simply set a *minimum* on the licensing terms mandated. A TC in any of the
three modes can, if it chooses, assemble a license-free specification, by electing
only to incorporate contributions that had those attributes. But that is a back-end
decision, and the modes are an up-front filter. A fourth-mode approach was considered
but declined after some analysis: the subcommittee was concerned that a front-end
prohibition of *any* conditions, given the revision's stronger and automatic licensing
obligations, might actually keep parties out of the room. That would make it impossible
to bargain with them, or discover (and decide how to address) their concerns.
The subcommittee felt that the best approach for promoting standards work at OASIS
is to frame rules that permit the largest number of participants to attend. Another
concern raised was that an absolute no-licenses condition would exclude all sorts
of other benign terms,
No written licenses should be required for prototyping and implementation of
10.2 (additional text)
There are non-royalty terms often addressed by conventional licenses. Member
practices vary widely. Some do offer the "paper-free" approach suggested
here, which still WILL be permitted. However, neither that nor any other licensing
practice will be MANDATED under this approach -- just as with the current policy.
On prototyping, the subcommittee agrees that there are special concerns, and new
sec. 6 of the member review draft addresses these.
Some OASIS members and TCs have a strong track record of producing work under
RF terms; OASIS should continue to accommodate them. Parties who do not wish to
make an RF commitment can elect to participate only in RAND TCs. No change made.
Obligation to license should be qualified, where licensor has limited rights
10.1 (305 - text provided)
Such a limit would, if available, tend to decrease license availabiilty, because
members could *elect* to take on contractual bars to re-licensing, in order to
thwart the policy. The subcommittee concluded that good-faith license limits (a)
could be explicitly addressed by disclosure, for contributions, and (b) were a
fairly unusual edge case, applied to participation obligations. No change made.
Each charter of a TC encapsulates the participating members' willingness to
be bound with respect to its scope. See Q1. That distinction is needed in many
TCs. Where multiple TCs wish to align on IPR, as here, it can be multiply contributed
to acheive the desired outcome. No change made.
Individual membership & accessibility of policy to Open Source community
See Q11, Q27
See Q11 (individuals), Q27 (open source). The subcommittee has been advised
that the RF on RAND terms mode is compatible with open source licensing; member
comments from governmental communities appear to confirm this.
Subcommittee views the present revision proposal as providing more options
and "local" control to TCs: the W3C policy is more suited to its more-centralized
consortium control of standards output. No change made.