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Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process

Last revised: 2008-02-07
Editor: George Kerscher
Status: Approved by Board February 2008

1. Introduction: Principles

The "DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process" describes the Consortium's overall approach to Intellectual Property (IP), and working group processes. This document will clarify the ownership of DAISY Consortium developed specifications and those developed under policies of other standards organizations.

The DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy deals with the specifications, guidelines, software, and training materials it develops and will also allow the Consortium to appropriately utilize intellectual property it does not own. DAISY Consortium specifications are open and can be used by everyone; they are cross platform. Technologies that cannot be exported anywhere should be avoided, i.e. restricted encryption algorithms. The DAISY Consortium however, makes no representations or warranties regarding its specifications, software, documentation, or other materials. It is the responsibility of implementers to determine whether their implementations adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

Software and Guideline development will be addressed independently from the specification development.

"The IP policy is designed to encourage the development of solutions that enhance both the quality and quantity of information access for people with a print disability."

Underlying Principles for DAISY Consortium development of specifications, guidelines, training materials software tools, etc. are:

  1. Platform independent specifications
  2. Vendor independent
  3. Open non-proprietary standards that have a proven track record of accessibility
  4. Language independent - supporting international implementation
  5. Royalty free (RF) specifications and standards that are available for all to implement
  6. If reasonably practical, preferences are encouraged for normative references that are available to implementers on terms that are compatible with the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy
  7. A link to this Policy on the DAISY website will be provided to all Members of the DAISY Consortium Board of Directors, Members of all DAISY Consortium committees, working groups, and staff.

2. DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy

2.1 General

Intellectual Property (copyrighted works, trademarks and trade names, patent rights) is one of the DAISY Consortium's most valuable assets. The DAISY Consortium's Intellectual Property may only be used in a manner that furthers the Association's mission. The DAISY Consortium owns and maintains the rights to its Intellectual Property

2.2 DAISY Committees Authorized by Other Standards Bodies

When the DAISY Consortium operates a working group or committee that is authorized by another standards organization (such as NISO or the W3C), the intellectual property policy of that organization will control that particular working group or committee and the DAISY Consortium's Intellectual Property Policy will not be enforced. The DAISY Consortium will prior to the commencement of a working group or committee, inform participants of the relevant intellectual property rights policy controlling that group's activities.

2.3 Copyrights

2.3.1 Specification Ownership

The DAISY Consortium owns the copyrights to the materials it develops.

2.3.2 Assignments

By participating in DAISY Consortium working groups or committees, the organizations and individuals submitting documents to the DAISY Consortium for advancement as a DAISY Consortium standard, guideline, or training materials agree to the transfer of ownership of copyright in their submitted materials to the DAISY Consortium. The rights granted to the DAISY Consortium by this assignment shall belong to the DAISY Consortium in perpetuity. The DAISY Consortium grants the submitter of such documents a royalty free worldwide, perpetual license to reproduce, modify, create derivative works, and distribute such submitted materials. The interpretation of this policy will be under the copyright law of Switzerland.

2.3.3. Respect for Third Party Copyrights

It is DAISY Consortium policy that the copyrights and other intellectual property rights of third parties be respected and not knowingly infringed upon by any employee, volunteer or other person acting on behalf of the DAISY Consortium.


2.4.1 General

To promote the widest possible adoption and use of the DAISY Consortium specifications, the DAISY Consortium seeks to develop and promote specifications that can be implemented on a royalty free (RF) basis. To this end, Working Group Charters will include a reference to this policy and a preference that specifications produced by the working group will be implementable on an RF basis, to the best ability of the working group and the DAISY Consortium. Notwithstanding the forgoing, the DAISY Consortium may include normative and informative references to royalty bearing specifications at its reasonable discretion.

2.4.2 Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Patent Grant, Without Royalty (RF)

DAISY Consortium volunteers, working group members, Core participants, Observers, staff, and committee members ("each Party" and collectively, the "Parties") agree to grant the other Parties, and any third party, a royalty free license to its Necessary Claims on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms for purposes of implementing Final Specifications. Such license may be subject to the condition of reciprocity and other reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. "Necessary Claims" means claims of patents or patent applications, other than design patents and design registrations that are: (i)owned or controlled by a Party now or at any future time; (ii) are infringed by implementation of the applicable Final Specification, where such infringement cannot be avoided by another technically reasonable non-infringing alternative for implementing such Final Specification. Necessary Claims do not include any claims: (a) that read solely on an optional implementation example included in such Final Specification; (b) other than those set forth above, even if contained in the same patent as Necessary Claims; (c) that, if licensed, would require a payment of royalties by the licensor to third parties that are not Affiliates; (d) any enabling technologies that may be necessary to make or use any product or portion thereof that complies with such Final Specification, but are not themselves expressly set forth in such Final Specification; (e) the implementation of other specifications developed elsewhere but referred to in the body of such Final Specification; (f) any portions of any product and any combinations thereof for the purpose or function of which is not required for compliance with the applicable Final Specification; or (g) any software code set out in such Final Specification for purposes of illustration, sample implementation, or reference.

2.4.3. Exclusions

Specific Necessary Claims may be excluded from the DAISY RF licensing requirements only if that Party indicates its refusal to license specific claims no later than 45 days after the publication of a Proposed Final Draft by specifically disclosing Necessary Claims that will not be licensed on Daisy RF terms (“Patent Review Period”). A Party who excludes Necessary Claims may continue to participate in the Working Group. Note that if new subject matter is added after the submission of a Proposed Final Draft, then a new Patent Review Period will have to be initiated thereby allowing another exclusion period for 45 days after that most recent draft.)

The disclosure statement must be provided to the project lead and the Seccretary General within the 45 day period. The disclosure must include the following: patent number, name, jursdiction, patent claim being witheld, and if the patent is available for licensing.

3. Working Group Procedures

3.1. Introduction

DAISY Consortium Working Groups are established to develop specifications (standards), guidelines, software, and/or training materials to support the Mission, Vision and Goals of the DAISY Consortium. This portion of the document outlines the processes and principles for the establishment of and requirements for DAISY Consortium Working Groups, development of Working Group Charters, reporting, conformance to the DAISY Consortium IP Policy, and other major relevant and related principles. It describes the processes related to working group responsibilities and functions, and relationships with other standards organizations. In addition it describes the process for approval of specifications (standards) and guidelines.

3.2. Project Initiation

One or more Members or Friends of the DAISY Consortium who have a concept for a Project, must notify the Secretary General of their interest in this potential development. This is to ensure that the Consortium is aware of possible project activities, even if a formal proposal has not yet been prepared.

The Secretary General, in consultation with other DAISY Consortium staff, will review the proposed activity and advise them on how best to proceed. If the Member or Friend is dissatisfied with the decision of the Secretary General, it may be appealed to the Board of Directors of the DAISY Consortium . When the Secretary General has determined that the proposed activity warrants pursuing within the DAISY Consortium, an inquiry to determine the level of interest will be distributed by email. Based on the level of interest, a mailing list may be formed. The Interest Group may have face to face meetings and conference calls with the goal of developing a Project Charter.

3.3. Development of the Charter

The project charter can be found on the DAISY website in the "Projects" area. This template should be used in the process of developing the charter. The working group members must be aware that the audience for the charter includes the Board, our Members and Friends, and organizations outside the DAISY Consortium.

The Project Charter is submitted to the Board of the DAISY Consortium for consideration.

3.4.Formation of the Working Group

The Working Group formation process will begin following Board approval of a Project Charter. The project start date will be based on available financial and staffing resources.

The Call for Participation in the Working Group is the public launch of the Project.

The Working Group is chartered to develop Specifications (perhaps in conjunction with NISO, or other standards bodies), guidelines, software, and/or training and supporting materials. The Public call for participation is distributed through DAISY Consortium communication channels and through relevant related standards organizations (for example W3C, NISO, IDPF, ITU, WSIS, MPEG, OASIS).

In the call for participation and Working Group Charter , it must be made clear what is being developed. The terms and conditions of a specification development may differ greatly from a software development project.

3.5. Working Group Commitments

Participation in one Working Group does not obligate an organization or company for activities in other projects. For example, participation in a specification development project would not commit an organization to participate in or incur obligations for a related software development project. Likewise, in Working Groups that develop both specifications and software, Working Group members will only have licensing commitments as set forth in the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy for the specification and/or software development project that it participated in (e.g., if a Working Group is developing specifications and software, a Working Group member that contributes only to the specification development activities will not have any obligations related to the software developed by that Working Group.)

3.6 Composition of a Working Group

DAISY Consortium Working Groups may be composed of both Core participants and Observers. The Core is responsible for producing the "deliverables" as described in the Working Group Charter. Individuals who make up the Core are those with the expertise and knowledge required to carry out the work of the group within the defined time frame. Core participants must have the financial and time commitment from their organization in order to qualify as a core participant. The Working Group Core should be kept to a maximum of 15 participants; this is a recommendation, but there may be times where a working group is larger. Observers, generally, are those individuals with a strong interest in the project and who will observe and provide input to the work of the project through the list. Members and Friends of the DAISY Consortium, and invited experts may join a Working Group.

An individual MAY become a Core Participant or Observer at any time during the Working Group project.

If a project is authorized under NISO, the NISO requirements, including IP process, will be followed.

If there are insufficient Core participants, the project lead may close the project prior to completion.

3.7. Working Group Participant Requirements

All participants must:

  • Agree to the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy
  • Subscribe to the Project list
  • Follow proper communication etiquette for lists, blogs, etc as described in the project area.

3.8. Working Group Core Participants Requirements

Core participants must:

  • Agree to attend most of the face-to-face meetings (frequency set in the Charter)
  • Agree to participate in most of the conference calls (frequency set in the Charter)
  • Have a commitment from their organization to cover travel and communication costs
  • Agree to accept and complete work assignments in a timely manner

Following the Call for Participation, all Working Group participants are in good standing. Any new individual joining the Working Group is in good standing, and should make every effort to become familiar with the documentation and previous activities of the Working Group.

Participants who are unable to attend face to face meetings because of extenuating circumstances, must contact the Project lead and assigned staff representative. Options will be explored. An exemption may be granted in which case the Core participant will remain in good standing if all other requirements are met.

In the event where a core member fails to meet their obligations, the working group lead will inform the member of the problem. The working group lead will explore with the core member procedures to resolve the problem. In the event that the problem cannot be resolved, the working group lead will inform the Secretary General of the situation. The Secretary General will attempt to resolve the problem. If this cannot be resolved, the Secretary General will document the change of status of the core member.

3.9. Role of the Project Lead or Co-leads

It is the responsibility of the Project Lead to drive the Project forward and to ensure that the goals of the Charter are met within the stipulated time frame. The DAISY Consortium staff member(s) assigned to the Project should support the Project Lead in all aspects of Project development. Staff participation may be reduced because of limited resources, however, to the extent possible, staff support will be provided. Specifically the Project Lead will:

  • Distribute the Call for Participation
  • Ensure that the Core is made up of individuals with the required expertise and commitment
  • With the assigned DAISY Consortium staff member(s) ensure that Working Group core participation is sufficient to accomplish the goals of the Charter
  • Maintain updated project plans
  • Delegate assignments to Core participants
  • Maintain a positive working environment and, as necessary, resolve any conflicts that may arise
  • Prepare quarterly reports and make them available publicly on the DAISY Web site
    A template for the quarterly reports is available in the Projects area of the DAISY Web site.
  • Prepare a budget for the coming year and submit it prior to the Fall DAISY Board meeting for approval
  • Ensure that information pertaining to Project activities, status, etc., are maintained on the Web site (information about the Project on the Web site MUST be kept current)
  • Prepare meeting and conference call agendas
  • Chair meetings and conference calls
  • Ensure that minutes of meetings and calls are taken, distributed and made publicly available
  • Identify and report to the Secretary General any problems which may negatively affect the ability of the Core participants to accomplish the assignments of the Project and potentially delay the Project
  • Identify Core participants who for any reason are not in good standing and follow process to resolve problems

3.10. Role of the DAISY Consortium Staff

One or more members of the DAISY Consortium staff will be assigned to each DAISY Consortium Project. The assigned staff member/s will:

  • Ensure DAISY Consortium processes are followed
  • Act as a liaison between the Project participants, other DAISY Consortium staff members, other projects, and the Board of Directors
  • Review the draft charter
  • Monitor the "health" of the Working Group
  • Ensure that any conflicts that arise are resolved
  • Work closely with the Project Lead to ensure that the goals of the Charter are met
  • Remove a participant from the Working Group if his/her behavior is in violation of the participant requirements
  • Remind the working group lead of reports that are due and provide to the Board.

Note: The role of the staff is expected to be significant, however, the lack of sufficient staff resources should not cause a work activity that is being conducted by the members from proceeding.

3.11. Project "Heartbeat"

It is essential to take the "pulse" of the Project throughout it's life span. It is the responsibility of both the Project Lead and the DAISY Staff representative/s to closely follow the Project's progress and the overall "health" of the Working Group.

To this end:

  • Project progress will be evaluated against published plans every three months
  • Working Group participants may be surveyed for input and recommendations

The Project Lead and assigned staff may recommend suspension or closure of a Project if it becomes clear that progress is not being made or because of technological advancements, the work is not necessary.

3.12. Specification and Guidelines Approval Process

Approval is reached through Working Group consensus and every attempt should be made to achieve consensus. If it is not possible to reach consensus, a vote by the Core participants in good standing will be taken. A simple majority vote is required to advance to the next stage in the approval process.

Participants in good standing with dissenting opinions may document their objections. Any such objections will be made available for public review with the advancing specification or guidelines.

The Specification must include these required elements:

  • Acknowledgement of Core participants
  • Intellectual Property statement
  • Copyright statement

When the Project Lead reasonably determines that a draft is sufficiently complete, the Project Lead will declare the current draft to be a “Public Draft” and make the draft available for public review for a minimum of 30 days review. All comments will be reasonably addressed and answered. Upon the completion of that 30 day period and the incorporation of comments and/or revisions resulting from that review, the Project Lead will declare the current draft a “Proposed Final Draft,” will submit the Proposed Final Draft to the membership and to the public, including NISO if it is a NISO specification, and provide written notice to Working Group members that a Patent Review Period has been initiated that will include the Proposed Final Draft and Patent Review Period completion date. All comments will be addressed and answered. If the Proposed Final Draft is revised as a result of comments, the Project Lead will initiate a new Patent Review Period. Upon the completion of the Patent Review Period, the Project Lead will submit the Proposed Final Draft to the Board for approval. Following Board approval the Proposed Final Specification will be deemed a “Final Specification.” If the Work Group that produced the Final Specification was authorized under the NISO process, the DAISY Consortium Board will submit the Final Specification to NISO for approval.

4. Distribution of Materials

4.1. Software: SDK, Code Libraries, and Applications

In software development undertaken by the DAISY Consortium, the goals of the DAISY Consortium can best be met by using a business friendly open source licensing approach. The intention of the DAISY Consortium is to use open source licensing approach in the software we develop. Business friendly open source licensing will:

  1. accelerate and increase the usage of DAISY standards
  2. facilitate creation of new tools, reduce new tool development cost, and increase the number of companies offering us products
  3. provide baseline tools and components to be available freely, for both end users and companies; stimulate the growth of commercial tools that are superior to baseline tools
  4. correctly express and protect our rights. [the right to be credited and acknowledged]
  5. identify a specific license that assures DAISY Consortium Member and Friend satisfaction
  6. identify a license consistent with the distribution policy of the DAISY Consortium
  7. reduce and minimize the cost of maintenance and development
  8. identify a licensing strategy that is attractive to funding agencies
  9. identify a license that enables and encourages member/friend collaboration
  10. ensure that the DAISY Consortium is not perceived as a "private club", but rather as an open, public, and mainstream standard

4.2. Documentation: Foundational Documents, Specifications, Guidelines, and Training Materials

Our Articles of Incorporation, Strategic Plan, and other DAISY Consortium documents are all copyrighted as "All rights reserved." However, many of our specifications (standards), guidelines and training materials are intended to be circulated and used worldwide. For these documents, a "Creative Common License" is used. The license falls into two categories: documents which must not be altered, and documents which may be modified and derivative works created.

For more information about the Creative Commons License visit: Creative Commons Organization.

4.3. Training Materials

With our training materials, we want people to give the DAISY Consortium credit for the development, but we want them to distribute and use the materials freely in their organization. They will need to translate, modify, and distribute. The Creative Commons license which allows for modification is recommended.

You are free to share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work, to remix or to adapt the work — under the following conditions:

You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that the author or licensor endorses you or your use of the work).
For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licensing terms of this work. To do this, provide a link to this document on the DAISY Web site.
Any of the above conditions can be waived with permission from the copyright holder.
Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Your fair dealing and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported legal code.

4.4. Specifications (Standards) and Guidelines

The DAISY Consortium specifications (standards), Structure Guidelines and other guidelines that may be developed must not be altered in any way. The Consortium supports the distribution and citing of these documents, but the documents must not be changed in any way. For this type of document, a Creative Commons license that does not permit alteration is applied. Note: Organizations that wish to translate these documents must contact the DAISY Consortium for permission to do so. Links to authorized translations will be included on the DAISY Web site.
Note: Organizations who wish to translate these documents must contact the DAISY Consortium for permission to translate. The DAISY Consortium will link to these authorized translations.

Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
You are free to share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work — under the following conditions:

You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that the author or licensor endorses you or your use of the work).
No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. To do this, provide a link to this document on the DAISY Web site.
Any of the above conditions can be waived with permission from the copyright holder.
Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Your fair dealing and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license)
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Legal code