A plan to help TC39 become more open up to community contributions and participations

Allen Wirfs-Brock allen at wirfs-brock.com
Wed Jun 15 15:41:20 UTC 2016

> On Jun 6, 2016, at 3:21 AM, Salvador de la Puente González <salva at unoyunodiez.com> wrote:
> Excuse my ignorance, but why do we need the legal organization, why to not simply do the GiHub part?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standards_organization <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standards_organization> may provide some useful background.

Ecma international is a recognized SSO and as such it has policies and rules it operates under (http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/policies.htm <http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/policies.htm>). Most relevant are the Ecma membership categories http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/members.htm <http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/members.htm> and the Intellectual Property policies (http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/Ecma%20IPR%20policies.htm <http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/Ecma%20IPR%20policies.htm>).

As it currently stands Ecma does not have a membership category for individuals. Instead, only organizations can be members. It’s possible that this could be changed in the future, but it might take a long time to do so. So, an alternative approach may be to have an separate organization that can be a Ecma member and that individuals can join.

For some background on why IP issues (particularly patents) are of concern to SSOs see http://www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/developments/standards.html <http://www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/developments/standards.html> and http://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/intellectual-property/patents/standards/index_en.htm <http://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/intellectual-property/patents/standards/index_en.htm> .

Finally, note that working through a recognized SSO helps companies avoid antitrust issues that might arise when developing standards: https://www.venable.com/legal-issues-affecting-standard-setting--antitrust-and-intellectual-property-04-01-2004/ <https://www.venable.com/legal-issues-affecting-standard-setting--antitrust-and-intellectual-property-04-01-2004/> 

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