[Mono-list] Perplexed and intrigued by ECMA licensing of .Net

Bob Salita Bob_Salita@SoftworksLtd.com
Tue, 10 Jul 2001 07:04:09 -0500

I'm perplexed and intrigued by the issue of licensing and standardization. 
In particular the licensing of MS .Net technologies to ECMA.

Is it correct that ECMA has not been granted any license for MS .Net
technologies? What licensing covers ECMA's current;y published work (working 
group stuff)? Is it true that ECMA doesn't know what licensing will be 
granted to ECMA for distribution of the ECMA .Net standard?

On the other hand, I understand MS wouldn't want to license their highly
valued .Net technologies until a final standard is approved. This way MS
maintains leverage over the standards process. MS will only grant a license 
if they like the final document. This must be a common scenario in standards 

Seems like potential for considerable intrigue. MS wants, and can, largely 
control the standardization process. Other members want to get as much IP as 
possible, with least onerous terms, using as much leverage as they can 
muster. At the very end of the process, everyone holds their breath as the 
final licensing terms are negotiated (or dictated), then granted to ECMA. Is 
this how it works? Seems sort of entertaining.

So this would explain why Red Hat, IBM and others are not fully commited to 
supporting mono. They can't deploy a strategy until licensing is granted. 
Any related public comments or actions must be carefully chosen. Meanwhile, 
all they can do is lobby for most favorable terms.

So this would be a critical time for open source advocates to use their
leverage to get favorable terms. Perhaps terms are a more important priority 
than the IP content of the standard.


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