Standards can provide the means to accomplish big picture goals, but they are neutral in and of themselves. The big picture that includes threats like global warming requires big answers based on new ways of thinking.
Respect for individual liberties is integral to modern democratic values. But individual interests must be balanced against the public welfare. In the case of the right to utilize natural resources, the enlightened best interests of individuals might benefit from a tighter rein on their own behavior.
The negative impacts comprehended by the tragedy of the commons are becoming more frequent and urgent with increasing population and industrialization. Perhaps only through a rethinking of property rights will individuals and nations be able to agree on the laws needed for our mutual protection.
One of the big bombshells of the month just ended was the announcement by Microsoft that it believed that 235 of its patents were infringed by Linux, OpenOffice, and other important open source software. But in the inverted world of modern patent strategy, what were they really saying, and what could they really do?
Natural resources are part of our common heritage, but most are owned by private parties. How should we resolve the specific legal rights granted to private owners with communal heritage rights that are more felt than legally protected?
ANSI sponsors, and Gesmer Updegrove LLP hosts, this third annual meeting of consortia, accredited standards developers, and the members of both.