Since 2002, the goal of ConsortiumInfo.org has been to be the most comprehensive and trusted source of information on the Internet regarding standards setting and open source software development, and about the roles these essential tools play in business and society.
What is a consortium?
A consortium is a group of companies (and sometimes universities, government agencies, and/or other non-profit entities) that join together to accomplish a specific goal. In the technology industry, they most frequently join together to set standards or develop open source software to enable crucial new infrastructures (e.g., telecommunications, the Internet of Things), products (e.g., wireless devices, electric cars), and services (e.g., Cloud computing and streaming media).
Most consortia also promote these new technologies, in order to educate potential customers and create demand. There are hundreds of consortia in operation today, supporting thousands of standards, and even more consortia (usually referred to as “Projects” or Foundations) developing open source software.
Who joins consortia?
Tens of thousands of companies are members of anywhere from a single consortium to hundreds. Members also include government agencies, non-profit research institutions, trade associations, major universities and individuals. Membership in a given consortium can cost anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how ambitious its goals are. Most consortia have multi-tiered memberships, often with dues scaled by corporate revenues, to ensure that all interested parties can find an affordable level of membership.
This site is intended for:
- Those forming or managing organizations that create, promote, or advocate for standards, open source software, open data and open science
- Those participating in such organizations
- Those studying open collaboration and its deliverables
- Policy makers wanting to know more about standards, open source and other products of open collaboration
- Journalists wanting to know more about the same topics, or wanting to follow news in the making in those areas
Gesmer Updegrove LLP, is a technology law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. GU is an internationally recognized leader in creating and representing the consortia that create and promote standards and open source software. GU believes that has helped form and represents more such organizations than any other law firm in the world (for a list of the organizations GU has represented see the GU Consortium Client List). To learn how GU can help you form a consortium, optimize your standards strategy, or address intellectual property rights issues, contact: Andrew Updegrove
Andrew Updegrove, is a co-founder of Gesmer Updegrove LLP and an internationally recognized expert on standard setting and open source organizations and how to form them. He has represented over 200 standard setting, promotional, and advocacy consortia and open source projects. In 2005, he received the President’s Award for Journalism for his work at ConsortiumInfo.org and in the Consortium Standards Bulletin
By email: Andrew Updegrove, or by telephone at (617) 350-6800
Nine Ways to Get the Most Out of ConsortiumInfo.org
The right consortium to join by reading Value Propositions, Roles and Strategies in the Essential Guide to Standards Setting Organizations and then reviewing those that are available in the appropriate category at the Standards Setting Organization List.
Your investment of time and money in joining a standard setting organization by reading Getting the Most out of your Membership at the Essential Guide.
What a standard setting Intellectual Property Rights Policy is all about
Everything else you need to know about standards, standard setting, and the organizations that create them by reading the other chapters of The Essential Guide to Standard Setting and Consortia
To our free, award winning eJournal, Standards Today
The valuable information here by linking to ConsortiumInfo.org.
Is there a way we could work together on content, conferences, or other projects? Let’s talk about it. Contact by email: Andrew Updegrove, or by telephone at (617) 350-6800 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ConsortiumInfo by the Numbers
Why this Site Exists
Consortia, as well as the formal Standards Development Organizations (“SDOs”) that predate them, have an unquestioned place in the creation of valuable technical specifications, standards and reference software. They are also a major source of the verification test suites and compliance testing tools that allow vendors to more cost effectively ensure that their products comply with standards.
More recently, hundreds of thousands of open source projects (and tens of millions of open source libraries), some existing only online, and others with the same types of structure, staffing and budgets as consortia, have been created. These organizations have created and maintain an astounding percentage of the software infrastructure we rely upon today. And today, software is the nervous system that drives almost everything, whether it be a computer, a scientific instrument, a cell phone, a consumer electronics device, or just about anything else we use today.
It is in recognition of the vital role these organizations play, and in order to facilitate their work, that we have created this site. For ease of reference, let’s call them “Openness Organizations.”
The Role of this Site
More specifically, this site is intended to:
- Serve as both a comprehensive as well as an in-depth repository of information regarding Openness Organizations and their work, enabling the uninitiated as well as the serious researcher to learn more about how these organizations operate and what they create
- Provide a clearinghouse where those who are actively involved in Openness Organization activities can share information regarding recent developments, just released standards and other work product, and the launching of new initiatives
- Provide a single point of access where the press, analysts, government and academia can visit to find out what is going on in the world of standards, open source and other open deliverables
- Provide a neutral forum in which all participants can air ideas, issues and viewpoints, in order to find common causes and seek needed solutions.
In short, we are seeking to provide the definitive portal for the Openess community.
What this site Contains and Why
We have chosen to include a variety of features at this site that are not available elsewhere, either at all, or to the same extent. For example, we are have created a public database of succinct, categorized descriptions of all known SDOs and consortia in the areas of information and communications technology, together with links to their sites and the pages where their standards (or other work product) may be accessed. Our Standard Setting Organization and Standards List is by far the most complete list of its kind in existence today, and we are adding to it on a constant basis as new organizations are formed.
Similarly, while there is a growing body of academic and business literature addressing standard setting, SDOs, consortia and open source projects, we are aware of no site that aggregates a comparable volume of content relating to them. Our answer to that need is the Standards MetaLibrary, which includes more than a thousand indexed abstracts of on-line articles, each with a link to the full text (which is in most case available at the host site without charge). The Standards MetaLibrary was created with a generous grant from Sun Microsystems.
Further to the same goal, we have authored detailed essays on the major topics that would be of interest to those that actually participate in the organizations that create standards and other commonalities. These essays are grouped in at The Essential Guide to Standard Setting Organizations and Standards. If all of these essays are read “horizontally” they will provide a complete overview of consortia and standard setting. Where the subject matter is complex, as with laws and regulations, the relevant essay can also be read “vertically” by utilizing the embedded links to access additional levels of detail. These links will take the more serious reader to annotations of the underlying laws and cases, and eventually to the full text of the laws and cases themselves.
We also function as an aggregator and presenter of current news in an ordered and analytical fashion. You can find sixty-eight issues of Standards Today, an extensive journal focusing on open standards and open source. In the near future, we hope to relaunch this resource on a quarterly basis. For approaching two decades, we have also presented and analyzed the most important current events at the Standards Blog.
What this Site can Become
Over time, we hope to make this site not only the most comprehensive and useful source of news, information, research material and analysis on the Internet on the topics of Openness Organizations and their deliverables, but a robust forum for discussion and action. By visiting ConsortiumInfo.org on a regular basis, users will be able to stay abreast of all news, trends, issues and concerns in the world of Openness.
We believe that the world of consumers generally, and the technical community in particular, can benefit from having a trusted source of information and a forum for the exchange of ideas involving Openness. By providing a common, public forum concerned with the creation, theory, use and significance of Openness deliverables, we hope to encourage the study of these important tools as a discipline.
More importantly, a common forum can help Openness deliverables become better recognized for what it they are — essential elements in building the increasingly vital technological infrastructure upon which communications, industry, the financial markets, and society itself is based. We hope that this site will help government, the press and other arbiters to better appreciate the importance of Openness, and to become more likely to support Openness in their thinking, planning and reporting.