Rue du Rhône 114- CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Document Formats: Ecma Office OpenXML How Ecma International works? Dr. Istvan Sebestyen May 30, 2007 Speed
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: About Ecma International 1.Facts 2.Dynamics, or How to drive efficiency 3.Relations 4.IPR 5.ECMA-376 Milestones in Ecma
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Facts 1 of 3 What is Ecma International?: Ecma International is a not-for-profit association under Swiss Law/Geneva, established in 1961 Purpose of Ecma: Development and publication of standards/TRs for Information & Communication Technology and Consumer Electronics Track record: 450 publications, 2/3 also published by ISO/IEC Ecma publications are free of charge and can be freely downloaded from the Ecma website A-liaison with ISO/IEC JTC 1 (similar to a P-member, but without voting rights) ISO/IEC Fast-track procedure (6-month international ballot) originally proposed by Ecma and accepted in 1987: over 80% of all 250 fast-tracked standards since 1987 have come from Ecma
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Facts 2 of 3 History of Ecma International: Formed in 1961 by major multinational computer hardware manufacturers present in Europe. Originally ECMA stood for European Computer Manufacturers Association. In due to the high reputation and wide public knowledge - the brand name was kept, but changed to simply Ecma (now with capital and small letters, signalling the change of the original mission of the Association). International was added because membership is from around the world, in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Broad scope of standardisation topics including hardware, software, communications, consumer electronics, media, storage, environmental subjects, etc…
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Facts 3 of 3 How does Ecma International work? Two decision levels: Technical: TC, TG with technical experts Managerial: General Assembly (GA)/Coordinating Committee (CC) Five membership categories, to reflect the diversity of stakeholders in the ICT industry: Paying: Ordinary (OM), Associate (AM), Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME), Small Private Company (SPC) No charge: Not-for-Profit (NFP) Note: Members are organizations, not individuals Voting: Simple majority: technical (TC) and simple managerial (GA) issues such as the creation of a new TC, budget changes: in a TC each member can vote, and has one vote; in the GA only Ordinary members can vote, and have one vote each. Qualified majority (two thirds of all Ordinary members must be in favour): GA issues like publications, budget, new members, new membership types, expulsion, changes of membership class, By-laws, Rules, and IPR Note: Voting in a TC or TG is very rare
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Dynamics, or How to drive efficiency 1 of 3 In short: e.g. ISO/IEC 29500
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Dynamics, or How to drive efficiency 2 of 3 To begin work, several (3, or more) existing or potential Ecma members must agree a standard is required: If the work (area) is new, the GA has to approve it by simple majority, and the Secretary General of Ecma forms a new Technical Committee (TC) responsible for creating the standard. If the work fits in an existing TC, then the TC has to approve a project for the new work. Industry experts work together in the TC to create and prepare the standards for industry use, by means of successive drafts. An editor, or editing team, is responsible for the drafts: An editor is essential for the contribution-driven progress in a TC. TCs may use additional tools, e.g., a spreadsheet to control open issues and their progress.
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Dynamics, or How to drive efficiency 3 of 3 Ecma staff provides hands on process guidance, manages procedures for forwarding and escalation, editing and structure of the standards under development. The infrastructure for the TCs and the GA consists of a web site for working documents, electronic mail facilities and archive, etc. IPR and other non technical issues must be resolved outside technical meetings. Ecma is designed to defuse and separate the political from the technical: No votes at the TC may only be for technical reasons ALL members, not only Ordinary members, can vote at TC level At GA No votes and abstentions are not counted, only Yes votes are counted: only Ordinary members can vote at GA level When the Ecma General Assembly approves a standard for publication, Ecma usually submits it to ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC JTC 1 and/or ETSI for approval and publication.
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Relations
IPR Policy Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: It has several components: Copyrights: Ecma International grants a non-exclusive, royalty- free license to obtain (on paper or per download), reproduce and use the information contained in its standards Trademarks: Ecma International has internationally trademarked its logo Patents: Solid and proven patent policy and practice: The General Assembly of Ecma shall not approve recommendations of Standards which are covered by patents when such patents will not be licensed by their owners on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis. (more about it on the next slide…)
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Patent Policy However, Ecma does not: Assess the essentiality and validity of patents for implementation of a standard, nor Conduct patent searches for patents used in standards, nor Define the term Reasonable And Non Discriminatory (RAND) Members grant licences under RAND (also including royalty-free) terms, by default. If, in very rare cases, patent holders are not prepared to grant RAND terms, there are several options: 1) Essentiality of the patent is evident: Participants circumvent the patent by alternative definition of the stand ard, or Participants collectively buy the license, or Ecma stops the project 2) Essentiality of patent is questioned: Ecma proceeds with standardization and publication. Only a real roadblock (e.g. legal ruling) can change the process (then option 1 applies).
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: ECMA-376 Milestones 1 of 3 TC45 - Office Open XML Formats: November 15, 2005: co-submission of Office Open XML Formats to Ecma International Co-sponsors: Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, British Library, Essilor, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, NextPage Inc., Statoil ASA, Toshiba December : Ecma General Assembly accepts standardization: Ecma TC 45 created Goal: To create an Ecma Office Open XML Formats standard To contribute the Ecma Office Open XML Formats standard to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for approval and adoption by ISO and IEC To ensure future evolution of Office Open XML Open process Technical Committee open to any Ecma member Novell, US Library of Congress joined TC45 after creation
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: ECMA-376 Milestones 2 of 3 TC45 - Office Open XML Formats (cont.): Dec15, st face to face meeting – Brussels Microsoft submit initial 2000 page draft of Office Open XML Weekly 2 hour conference calls – with participants Face 2 face Ecma, Apple, British Lib, Toshiba, Microsoft, Statoil Initial and Interim drafts posted publicly on Ecma web site External feedback – SC34 experts, others Final standard 6000 pages Dec 8, 2006: Ecma GA in Zurich: Overwhelming positive vote Approval of ECMA-376 Decision to Submit to ISO/IEC JTC1 for fast track (ISO/IEC DIS 29500) – Dec Open JTC1 Fast Track ballot: January 2007
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: ECMA-376 Milestones 3 of 3 TC45 - Office Open XML Formats (cont.): ISO Fast-Track Process Ballot time Jan 5, 2007 – Start Office Open XML fast track in ISO/IEC JTC1 Feb 5, 2007 – End of 30-day review period, to determine perceived contradictions Feb 28, 2007 – Ecma provides feedback on comments & perceived contradictions JTC1 5-month DIS letter ballot – Technical Review through September 2 nd, 2007 Ballot Resolution Meeting: November 2007
Rue du Rhône CH-1204 Geneva - T: F: Address Ecma is driven purely by the will of its members It is run by industry for industry, and is aware of your time and cost constraints Proven system for getting things done right and on time The know-how of the secretariat, GA and CC guides technical experts through international standardization jungle The Ecma process filters out non-commercial interests, resolves competitive clashes which are not productive The fast track by Ecma saves you time and money. If you get three members together for a project, it can not be stopped by other members Ecma works readily on several competing solutions to the same problem The development of an Ecma Standard takes (typically) no more than half the time required to develop a similar standard in any competing forum. Ecma Standards are recognized worldwide as amongst the highest quality 4. ????? Rue du Rhône 114 CH-1204 Geneva T: F: Thank you!