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Views on Open Standards and Interoperability

Views on Open Standards and Interoperability

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Views on Open Standards and Interoperability

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  1. Views on Open Standardsand Interoperability ETSI Conference May 26, 2005 Presented by Dr. George W. Arnold Chairman of the Board of Directors American National Standards Institute

  2. What is ANSI? • Non-profit organization founded in 1918 • Coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system • Not a government agency, but role recognized by U.S. government • Members include industry, government, trade associations, professional societies, consumer interests and other stakeholders • Accredits standards developers and certification bodies • Ensures integrity of their processes • Approves American National Standards • Represents U.S. in non-treaty international and regional standards bodies • Provides neutral forum for U.S. voluntary standardization policy

  3. “The nice thing about ‘Open Standards’ is there are so many definitions to choose from …” Views on Open Standards and Interoperability ETSI Conference – May 26, 2005 Slide 3

  4. What is an Open Standard? • Everyone agrees open standards are good • Fundamental to fair trade, competition, interoperability, user confidence, and government acceptance • Everyone has a definition • Is it a characteristic of the process or the deliverable? • Are there other important attributes beside ‘openness’? • Are they free? Do we need a standard for “open standard”?

  5. One view – a “dictionary” definition • Open Standard: • “A publicly available set of specifications describing the characteristics of a hardware device or software program. Open standards are published to encourage interoperability and thereby help popularize new technologies.”

  6. One government’s view – Danish National IT and Telecom Agency • “A completely open standard has the following properties: • It is accessible and free of charge to all • It remains accessible and free of charge • It is accessible free of charge and documented in all its details”

  7. IDABC Definition • “The standard is adopted and will be maintained by a not-for-profit organisation, and its ongoing development occurs on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties (consensus or majority decision etc.). • The standard has been published and the standard specification document is available either freely or at a nominal charge. It must be permissible to all to copy, distribute and use it for no fee or at a nominal fee. • The intellectual property (i.e. patents possibly present) of (parts of) the standard is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis. • There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard.”

  8. WTO Definition • Openness is one attribute of the “Code of Good Practice” for international standards development: • Openness = participation open to all interested persons • Transparency = easily accessible information • Impartiality and Consensus = fair practices • Effectiveness and Relevance = market demand • Coherence = avoidance of conflicting requirements • Development Dimension = technical assistance • IPR (TRIPS agreement): reasonable commercial terms

  9. U.S. Government Definition • The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 directs government agencies to use “voluntary consensus standards” rather than government-unique standards wherever practical • “Openness” is one attribute defining* such standards: • Openness – any materially interested person can participate • Balance of Interest • Due Process • Appeals Process • Consensus • Relevant IPR available on non-discriminatory, reasonable royalty or royalty-free basis *Federal OMB Circular A-119

  10. A Consortium viewpoint – OASIS Definition • “An open standard is: • publicly available in stable, persistent versions • developed and approved under a published, transparent process • open to public input: public comments, public archives, no NDAs • subject to explicit, disclosed IPR terms • See the U.S., EU, WTO governmental & treaty definitions of “standards” • Anything else is proprietary”

  11. ANSI’s Viewfor more information: www.ansi.org/standards/cips • “Open” refers to a process used by a recognized body for developing and approving a standard • Reflects consensus by a group that is open to all materially affected and interested parties • Undergoes broad-based public review and comment • Considers and responds to comments submitted by voting members as well as the public • Incorporates submitted changes that meet the same consensus requirements • Provides for appeal by any participant alleging that these principles were not respected • Promotes access to essential IPR by implementers without undue financial burden while permitting reasonable license fees and/or other reasonable and non-discriminatory terms

  12. Why “Open” Does Not Imply “Free” • Economic attractiveness depends on many factors – relative cost/performance of alternative technologies, switching costs, royalties, … • In some situations a standard with a reasonable fee may provide the best solution for implementers and users; in some situations a “free” standard may be best • Open standards process allows affected parties to evaluate tradeoffs, and make best selection considering all factors • Must strike appropriate balance between interests of users/implementers and interests and voluntary cooperation of IPR owners • There may be a fee to obtain a copy of the standard – such fees sometimes used to offset cost of managing an open standards process

  13. Interoperability • “Open standards” are necessary but not sufficient • Many other process considerations are equally if not more important • Are there too many options? • Validation of specs (e.g. multiple implementations) • Conformance testing • Many examples demonstrate that RAND IPR policies have not posed barriers to interoperability and mass adoption • e.g. GSM, CD, DVD, MPEG, WiFi, IPSec, DHCP, …

  14. For more information on ANSI: Headquarters New York Office 1819 L Street, NW25 West 43rd Street Sixth Floor Fourth Floor Washington, DC 20036 New York, NY 10036 Tel: 202.293.8020 Tel: 212.642.4900 Fax: 202.293.9287 Fax: 212.398.0023 www.ansi.org | webstore.ansi.org | www.nssn.org