The CO-LaN Management Board have adopted today the Intellectual Property policy applicable within CO-LaN.
Since its creation in 2001, CO-LaN has released a large set of CAPE-OPEN interface specifications (the CAPE-OPEN Specifications) constituting the CAPE-OPEN Standard. CO-LaN has released as well various pieces of software (type libraries, primary interop assemblies, installers, COLTT, example codes, etc.). Various licenses have been applied to these releases without a consistent plan being developed. The purpose of the CO-LaN Intellectual Property policy is to specify and protect the interests of CO-LaN in its Intellectual Property rights, and to describe the means by which CO-LaN has addressed protection of these rights and eventually recognition of the Intellectual Property rights of others.
The CO-LaN Intellectual Property policy applies to any published CAPE-OPEN Specification, draft CAPE-OPEN Specification or related document (all hereinafter referred to as “CO-LaN Documents”) and any Adjunct to such CO-LaN Documents in all forms (including CD-ROM, software, multimedia, CO-LaN website, video recordings, audio recordings).
Principles driving the definition of CO-LaN Intellectual Property policy
Broad implementation. CO-LaN intends that CAPE-OPEN Specifications be widely implementable.
No restriction to implementation. CO-LaN agrees that no person shall be deemed to have infringed the copyright attached to any CAPE-OPEN Specification by reason of having used the specification or having based any computer software on the specification.
License to standard-essential patents. CO-LaN has no intent to set the CAPE-OPEN standard in such a way that it adopts a technology covered by any patent. However, should these circumstances happen, CO-LaN aims at Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (RAND) terms and conditions giving access to such Intellectual Property.
Assert systematically CO-LaN copyright. Source code is comprehensible to a person familiar with programming language but requires conversion into object code before it is comprehensible to a computer or other electronic device. CO-LaN copyright should be mentioned in all files, in the scope of CO-LaN Intellectual Property policy, that may be considered as source code.
No licensing interference. CO-LaN recognizes that the CAPE-OPEN Standard is implemented in commercial software developed, owned by software vendors that need to retain their freedom of doing business. Consequently, it is not the intent of CO-LaN to request that software using CO-LaN Intellectual Property be licensed on a royalty-free basis.
Broad dissemination. CO-LaN considers that a CAPE-OPEN Specification may be copied and furnished to others. Derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain a CAPE-OPEN Specification or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind.
No commercial dissemination of CAPE-OPEN Specifications. CO-LaN is not currently charging anyone for accessing the CAPE-OPEN Specifications.
Confidence in CO-LaN Documents. CO-LaN releases code-signed versions of the CO-LaN Documents (when their format is accepting code-signing) for users to trace back CAPE-OPEN related information to CO-LaN Intellectual Property in a highly secure way.
Copyright Grant. Development of the CAPE-OPEN Standard is conducted within CO-LaN through Special Interest Groups (SIGs). CO-LaN needs to retain copyright of any material developed as part of the CAPE-OPEN Standard to be the unique source of the CAPE-OPEN Specifications. Section 20 of the current CO-LaN bylaws is stating “All intellectual property, specifications, guidelines and any other technology or assets (collectively, “Technology”) developed by the Society, whether developed by employees of Members while working for the Society, or by employees of the Society, shall become the sole property of the Society, unless otherwise determined by the Management Board.” Each Member (individual or corporate) adheres formally to the bylaws when applying for membership. According to section 11 of CO-LaN bylaws that addresses technical activities of CO-LaN, there is no actual restriction to participation in SIGs: CO-LaN Members or non-Members may be involved in SIGs. CO-LaN Intellectual Property is developed within SIGs. Therefore, any participant to a SIG is asked to formally adhere to the CO-LaN Intellectual Property policy.
Prevent modifications. There is a need to ensure that CAPE-OPEN Specifications are not modified (and distributed) by any third-party in such a way that interoperability is lost. No modifications of the CAPE-OPEN Specifications should be allowed from third parties. Modifications to the CAPE-OPEN Standard and related CO-LaN developed and distributed software must always be conducted by CO-LaN. The SIGs organized by CO-LaN should be the only forum to discuss and decide on modifications to the CAPE-OPEN Standard.
CO-LaN must make sure that interoperability is not disrupted by concurrent development branches that are not driven by CO-LaN, as this contradicts the basic idea of interoperability. Branches of a CAPE-OPEN Standard and/or CO-LaN developed software would split the CAPE-OPEN user community and its power, reduce the number of available interoperability partners, and devalue the investments into the already developed software based on CAPE-OPEN technology.
Sharing Intellectual Property with other SDOs. Collaboration with other SDOs is envisioned. CO-LaN develops the CAPE-OPEN Standard through an open process that continues to meet the principles established by the World Trade Organization Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade in document “G/TBT/ 1/REV. 8. Section IX” for international standards developers. These principles include: Transparency, Openness, Impartiality and Consensus, Effectiveness and Relevance, Coherence, and Development Dimension. CO-LaN recognizes that, through its processes and procedures as well as the technical quality of the CAPE-OPEN Standard, other SDOs have expressed a desire or need to utilize CO-LaN Intellectual Property. Provision for such use is dealt with.
CO-LaN is currently deploying the approved Intellectual Property policy, especially through licenses applied to each of the CO-LaN Document.