Intellectual Property Licensing Tensions: In Utilizing Open Source Software in the Formal Standard Setting Context - The Case of Apache V.2 in ETSI As a Start
2017 ITU Kaleidoscope: Challenges for a Data-Driven Society (ITU K), Nanjing, 2017, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.23919/ITU-WT.2017.8246986; URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=8246986&isnumber=8246833
8 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2017 Last revised: 31 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 5, 2017
Open Source Software (OSS) is playing an increasing role in ICT standardizations on future technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things. Formal standard settings organizations (SSOs) are exploring ways to utilize OSS. This paper depicts the difference between open source licenses and the current SSOs legal framework in dealing with intellectual property rights, mainly the FRAND license commitment for patented technologies and copyright guidelines for software in specifications. Such difference might cause tensions in the two scenarios of the interactions between SSOs and OSS: in the implementation phase and in the standardization activity phase. We argue that the current IPRs framework of SSOs shows gaps in utilization of OSS. Further, one recent example from the ETSI, hosting an open source project under Apache v.2, might enrich our findings and shed some light on how SSOs can avoid tensions by adjusting the governing framework.
Keywords: open source software, ICT standardization, IP licenses, ETSI
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