[OSGeo-Standards] [OSGeo-Discuss] Live DVD and OGC standards

Carl Reed creed at opengeospatial.org
Mon Jul 8 20:56:19 PDT 2013

Allan and Puneet -

No problem and thanks for the response.

Under current OGC policies, a couple of differences from even just a couple of years ago.

1. If there is a Standards Working Group (SWG), the group may release an in progress standards document for public comment at any time - no need to wait for the final formal 30 day comment period. This gets the document out early in the process for community comment.
2. If the specification is broadly implemented, such as GeoRSS is, then a facilitated OGC standards track process can be used. In this process, there is no SWG and the document can remain public and not "disappear" into OGC internals. There is still a formal review process and a request for additional public comment. In this process, which OpenMI is following right now, there are no changes to the normative text - only edits - unless an error is found.
3. I agree to a certain extent with the ISO issue. However, we have never submitted externally developed standards (NetCDF, GeoSMS, KML, etc) to ISO. I do not see this happening in the future unless the majority of the submission team wishes to do so. Also, OGC developed standards that are submitted to ISO and approved as ISO standards remain freely available on the OGC website - no charge. So, even though standards such as WMS and WFS are ISO standards and can be purchased from ISO, the exact same documents can be downloaded from the OGC website for free. Part of our agreement with ISO.
4. We are now experimenting with community collaboration tools, such as GitHub, to enable both member and non-member organizations to collaborate on the development of an OGC standard. This allows for a more rapid develop, test, and document cycle. GeoPackage SWG has been using this approach for some elements of that candidate standard. We need to figure out some process and decision issues and hope to do so during the OGC meetings in Frascati.

Puneet -

In a sense, all OGC standards are community standards. Sure, they go through a formal review and approval process in the OGC. However, the continued development of externally developed standards, such as OpenMI, CityGML and GeoSciML continues in the community sandbox and not necessarily in the OGC. Changes are submitted to the OGC using a formal change request process. Further, OGC licensing allows anyone to download and use OGC standards anyway they wish. They can make derivative works. This is fine. Just reference OGC copyright. 

One issue we worry about, and which is part of our policies, has to do with intellectual property. IP (patents, etc) are a real minefield today. I spend some part of my time dealing with reviewing patents that could potentially impact the work of the OGC. Since the OGC wants all OGC standards to be available on a royalty free, non-discriminatory basis we need to be extremely careful that harmful IP is not inserted into one of our standards. The knowing process of "submarining" IP into standards can happen. This is what the Rambus case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambus was all about. This is why the OGC, IETF, W3C, OASIS, and other voluntary consensus standards organizations have a variety of policies and processes to ensure that their standards remain unencumbered by IP that would limit the use of their standards. 

Thanks for listening.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Puneet Kishor" <punk.kish at gmail.com>
To: "Allan Doyle" <afdoyle at MIT.EDU>
Cc: "standards at lists.osgeo.org (OSGeo)" <standards at lists.osgeo.org>
Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 6:49:14 PM
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Standards] [OSGeo-Discuss] Live DVD and OGC standards

On Jul 8, 2013, at 5:42 PM, Allan Doyle <afdoyle at MIT.EDU> wrote:

> Also at the time, another objection I had was that OGC was either in the process or had already handed off some number of specs to ISO where they are now available under ISO copyright for a fee. I think this included things like the Simple Features abstract spec (now ISO 19107) and the metadata model (now ISO 19115). The very fact that OGC was willing to take the hard work of the members and hand it to ISO where it would be sold was quite a sore point with me.

Thanks for the valuable history lesson. I had no idea (perhaps many of us had no idea). 

Why can't standards just be community-owned? As much as I am for the Public Domain in almost every case, this is one of those cases where something like CC BY-SA makes perfect sense. Anyone can modify, but the modification would have to be released under the same license.

Puneet Kishor
Policy Coordinator for Science and Data
Creative Commons
Standards mailing list
Standards at lists.osgeo.org

More information about the Standards mailing list