The Open Group Standards Process
6. Standards Adoption Criteria
This procedure describes the criteria of openness which must be considered before any specification may be adopted by The Open Group as the basis for the development and possible publication of an Open Group Standard or inclusion in the Standards Information Base.
Criteria to be considered include:
- Legal considerations
- Market need
- Availability of conformant products
Not all of the criteria defined are absolute requirements, but all must be considered before the final decision is taken on adoption of a specification.
- Copyright transfer
- Patent disclosure and licensing under royalty-free terms (see Section 7 of the Standards Process)
- Process implementation
6.1 Applicability of Criteria
In the following sections, the applicability of each criterion is defined as follows:
The specification may not be adopted as a standard unless the criterion is satisfied.
A good rationale must be presented if the criterion is not satisfied.
Although, ideally, it is desirable that this criterion be satisfied, it is recognized that circumstances may preclude this.
This information must be known, before any decision to adopt the standard is taken.
6.2 Criteria to be Applied
6.2.1 Legal Criteria
- A permanent royalty-free copyright license from the copyright holder of the material for The Open Group to use and publish (not required if The Open Group has no plans to publish the standard).
- If the standard to be adopted is covered by patents, such patents must be licensed by their owners on a royalty-free, reasonable, and non-discriminatory basis (see the Patent Policy for more information).
- An assurance that a person developing a product in accordance with the standard is immune from any liability to the contributor of the material in respect of the use by him or his customers of such material, other than through failure to properly license predisclosed patents (see Patent Policy for more information).
- The terms to be such that The Open Group will not be inhibited in its efforts to secure acceptance by International Standards bodies.
- The contributor to give The Open Group access to all future versions of the material with no obligation on The Open Group to adopt them.
6.2.2 Market Need Criterion
- Evidence that there is a market need for the standard; for example:
- Member-driven requirement
- Requirement derived from The Open Group Product Management Strategy
- Supplier-submitted evidence
6.2.3 Stability Criteria
- The availability of a high quality specification upon which The Open Group activities can be based.
- The availability of a test suite which could be used as the basis for conformance testing.
- Conformant product available.
- Understanding of activities in this area in other consortia and official standards bodies.
- Existing implementations respect lower-level Open Group Standards to achieve portability.
6.2.4 Implementation Criteria
- If the standard is taken from an existing product source licensable from a single vendor only, then implementations should be available to all companies on a non-discriminatory basis. This includes pricing and licensing conditions.
- Freedom for anyone to develop a practical product which either supports or utilizes the standard, subject to the need to license any predisclosed patents.
- The standard to be adopted must be specified sufficiently that
a conformant product may be implemented (and usable) using only the
- The standard itself
- Products or services (e.g., protocols) that are publicly available or obtainable from multiple sources and on a non-discriminatory basis
- Formal standards from accredited standards development organizations
- Other Open Group published or referenced standards
- Other freely available information
- Commercial availability of implementations.
6.2.5 Future Criteria
- Either the submitter should operate a process acceptable to The Open Group to handle modifications and/or extensions to the standard or The Open Group should be free to modify and/or extend it.
- The Open Group should have access to relevant extensions/enhancements to the standard from the developer for an agreed period (without obligation). It is expected that this obligation will be clearly bounded in the legal agreement with the submitter.
- Commitment from the submitter to adopt and implement agreed Open Group changes and/or extensions.
6.3 Process Implementation
There is an Open Group Manager designated as responsible for each review. It is the responsibility of The Open Group Manager to ensure that the Standards Adoption Criteria are met.
When it is proposed to select a specification as the basis of Open Group work, The Open Group Manager shall advise The Open Group Governing Board.
At any stage during the development and/or adoption of the standard, any member of The Open Group Governing Board may ask for a formal report that the Standards Adoption Criteria have been met; in which case, The Open Group Manager shall prepare a report demonstrating that all of the defined criteria have been considered, and that all of the required conditions are satisfied.
The report shall be signed off by:
- The Open Group Manager – to confirm that market need, stability, implementation, and future criteria have been considered and met.
- The Open Group Legal Counsel – to confirm that legal criteria have been met.
Under normal circumstances, a formal report will be requested only when the submitter of a proposed standard is from outside The Open Group, and not from a formal standards development organization or liaison consortium that has comparable acceptance criteria. However, it is the responsibility of all parties in the standards development and approval process to ensure that the criteria are satisfied in all Open Group Standards. To that end, and to avoid confusion late in the approval process, The Open Group Manager shall ensure that all participants in Work Groups and, where relevant, all participants in Forums, have been informed of the details of the criteria and that these groups evaluate all aspects of their work to ensure the criteria are met.
Last updated: May 2012