The Standards Blog


Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 @ 09:16 AM
Contributed by: Russ Schlossbach
Views: 149

DoJ%20Logo%20140.pngIt’s well recognized by courts and regulators in many countries that standard setting among competitors can be procompetitive and good for consumers.  As noted by the 5th Circuit Court in 1988, “it has long been recognized that the establishment and monitoring of trade standards is a legitimate and beneficial function of trade associations . . . [and] a trade association is not by its nature a ‘walking conspiracy’, its every denial of some benefit amounting to an unreasonable restraint of trade.”(1)

But regulatory sands can shift, and especially at a time when broad and dramatic changes (political and otherwise) seem to be the rule rather than the exception, it makes sense for collaborative organizations to keep vigilant, and to review their policies and procedures on a regular basis to help ensure antitrust compliance.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 @ 05:14 PM
Contributed by: Joanna Lee
Views: 165

rsz_caronavirus_image.jpgAs the world goes into social lock-down to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus, many conferences, face-to-face meetings, and other in-person gatherings are being cancelled or postponed.  While the mass cancellations are disappointing and disruptive for everyone involved, they are potentially devastating for non-profit associations—such as open source foundations and standard setting organizations—that rely on in-person events to sustain themselves financially and facilitate collaboration and community.  If you participate in the leadership of a collaborative association that hosts conferences or other large events, read on for tips on how to navigate likely challenges in the upcoming months.

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 @ 11:27 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 104

Courtesy Visitor 7/Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.There’s been a lot of activity in diverse parts of the standards and open source software development world of late. Here’s a selection of items you may have missed that I think might be of greatest interest.

Is there nowhere to hide? Streamlined targeted advertising comes to television. The on-line world has seen ever more laser-like ad targeting of viewers, particularly on dominant platforms like Google and Facebook. The same practice has existed in the print world in a more limited way for even longer, where sophisticated regional printing centers swapped ads in national magazines based on zip codes or other data. But what about television?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 @ 07:59 AM
Contributed by: Joanna Lee
Views: 181

Scanning Tools 140When you incorporate open source (OS) code into larger programs, it is risky to assume that the official license for the project is the only license you need to comply with. This is true even if the only OS code your company consumes comes from software projects with permissive rather than copyleft licenses.  (For an explanation of the difference between copyleft and permissive OS licenses, and why copyleft-licensed code cannot be used in proprietary applications, please see this earlier post about OS license types ).  Any OS component could be subject to a myriad of OS licenses that you might be unable to identify without performing a source code audit and scan.  This is why regular use of source code scanning tools (a.k.a. software composition analysis software) is essential to any open source compliance program.

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 @ 12:53 PM
Contributed by: Russ Schlossbach
Views: 122

DoJ Logo 140If you participate in standards development organizations, open source foundations, trade associations, or the like (Organizations), you already know that you’re required to comply with antitrust laws.  The risks of noncompliance are not theoretical – violations can result in severe criminal and civil penalties, both for your organization and the individuals involved.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has in fact opened investigations into several standards organizations in recent years.  

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 @ 10:16 AM
Contributed by: Joanna Lee
Views: 481

OSS :License Word CloudNot all free and open source (OS) software licenses have been created to achieve the same goals, and failure to understand the differences can have dire consequences.  Some OS licenses are business-friendly in that they allow the code to be combined with proprietary code without imposing OS licensing requirements on the resulting combination.  Others do not allow such combinations in any circumstances (at least if the developer wishes the products to remain proprietary), and some licenses fall somewhere in between these two extremes.  Here is the minimum you need to know about OS license types before incorporating OS code into software you develop.

Friday, January 10th, 2020 @ 11:12 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 397

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/ and The GIMP if someone asksIn its simplest form, FOSS development requires almost no traditional economic, physical or management support. All that is needed is a place to host code in a manner that allows multiple developers to collaborate on its further development. As FOSS has become more commercially valuable and widely incorporated into vendor and customer strategic plans, however, additional layers of services and structures have evolved to allow FOSS development to become more efficient and robust and the user experience even more productive. These include training, a growing certification testing network, a variety of tools to assist in legal compliance matters, and a network of hosting entities providing a wide range of supporting services and frameworks.

The development of these tools has been an important factor in allowing the commercial marketplace to rapidly evolve from a closed, proprietary world to one heavily based on OSS.

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 @ 02:22 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 382

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Jonnymccullagh [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]It would not be an exaggeration to say that the magic of open source software (OSS) is based as much on legal innovation as it is on collaboration. Indeed, the essential innovation that launched free and open source software was not Richard Stallmans GNU Project, but his announcement of a revolutionary new licensing philosophy, and the actual license agreements needed to put that philosophy into effect. Only later did global collaboration among developers explode, riding the wave of Stallman's licenses, Linus Torvald's pioneering work in creating the distributed development process, and rapidly increasing telecommunications bandwidth.

In this installment, we'll explore how Stallman's philosophy spread and forked, and where it has taken us to today.

Friday, December 27th, 2019 @ 03:10 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 899

半ー太郎 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]Everybody uses open source software (OSS) today. Millions of people contribute to the code itself. Indeed, a substantial percentage of the users and creators of OSS today are young enough to have never known a world that didn't rely on OSS. In other words, it's very easy to take this remarkable product of open collaboration for granted.

But that would be a mistake, especially given how unlikely it was that such a unique phenomenon could ever have taken hold. If you've never had reason to wonder how all this came about, this three part series is for you. In it, I'll review how remote developers began to collaborate to create OSS, how the legal tools to make its distribution possible evolved, and how the world came to embrace it.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 @ 03:04 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 1,149

RISC-V Foundation LogoFor over thirty years U.S. companies have enjoyed a home court advantage in developing information and communications technology (ICT) standards. Specifically, the overwhelming majority of the more than five hundred consortia founded over the last thirty-five years to develop ICT standards have been formed under U.S. laws and headquartered in the U.S. That’s hardly a surprise because the vast majority of the companies that founded these same consortia were also American companies. Now the times may be a-changing.