Subject: Note: OASIS appeal does NOT affect OpenDocument
From: David A. Wheeler <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 22:41:57 +0000 (UTC)

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