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RE: ISO intellectual property (was Standards)

And a recent decision regarding online radio. 
Although this is clearly a performance royalty 
issue, it is another good example of community norms 
colliding with the law.


We may see revisions in international courts.  They 
could start from international standards and work 
toward a sensible policy.   I would prefer to see 
ISO, the consortia et al work out roles that each 
could play.   They can do that if the consortia 
does not as Goldfarb put it, consider them a 
rubber stamp and ISO understands that the consortia 
may not always be reliable partners.

I agree with Mike Champion that the W3C is 
a terrible place to create standards and a wonderful 
place to incubate technology but that is beside the 
question of what do terms like standards mean to 
the community looking for guidance.  All we can 
say today is patent anything and copyright the 
documents.  Developers and their employers have 
to use their best judgement.  No new news that.

Also included on that page are the links to the 
decision by Dell to quit offering Linux on desktops 
based on lack of demand.  It is still a market 
driven development world despite all efforts to 
resit that.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Winchel 'Todd' Vincent III [mailto:winchel@mindspring.com]

> Yes, you can embrace and extend.  Yes, it is legal.

Based on my research, I believe this is an open legal question.  Generally,
I do not believe the idea (under a GPL) has ever been tested in court and
present intellectual property laws are not, in my opinion, sophisticated
enough to answer the question.  Some of these concepts, I believe, were
tested in Sun v. Microsoft, but the license was very different than a GPL.
Indeed, much of the answer to the question would depend on the license under
which the intellectual property had been distributed and the type of
intellectual property (software, documentation, etc.).  So, there could be
many different answers for many different licenses.

I was once criticized for using the following example, because it comes from
a Microsoft document . . . but . . . there is an informative taxonomy of
different types of software licenses available at:


Lawyers are generally paid to be able to argue any side of an issue.  There
are strong arguments on both (many) sides of this issue.  Unless things have
changed since I did much of my research just over a year ago, I do not think
there is any definitive legal precedent in this area (in the U.S or
elsewhere).  At best, there are community norms.  These norms would be
informative in court, but not definitive.  Napster, for instance, is a good
example of community norms and intellectual property laws (and money)

I will go one step further and say that in a perfect world, intellectual
property law (internationally) would/should be revised and amended to take
into consideration standards and the standards development process.


Winchel "Todd" Vincent III
Attorney and Technical Consultant
Project Director, E-CT-Filing Project
Georgia State University College of Law