Don’t miss Charles Nesson’s comments:
Key is its definition of openness to include â€œdefensive suspensionâ€. This is the term to pick apart in order to deeply understand. This is where the rubber meets the road for one in possession of power in the form of legal right considering whether to contribute it to a community of trust. Hesitant holders of intellectual property claim need of Defensive Suspension to assure them that they wonâ€™t get fucked.
I strongly recommend sitting in on Charles’ lecture from the roadmap launch. He has some good comments about the boundary between open and closed; he says that a completely open space is like a desert, while a completely closed is like a prison. The challenge is the movement towards a balanced space.
I’m not a lawyer, but to me the principle of defensive suspension is not an unreasonable requirement. But as it says in IETF RFC3669 (Guidelines for Working Groups on Intellectual Property Issues):
Words such as “reasonable”, “fair”, and “non-discriminatory” have no objective legal or financial definition. The actual licensing terms can vary tremendously. Also, IPR claimants have occasionally asserted that there were already sufficient licenses for a particular technology to meet “reasonable” multisource and competitiveness requirements and, hence, that refusing to grant any licenses to new applicants was both fair and non-discriminatory. The best way to find out what an IPR claimant really means by those terms is to ask, explicitly.
Ask. Explicitly. OK.