[odf-discuss] Re: OOXML stuff on /.
robert_weir at us.ibm.com
robert_weir at us.ibm.com
Wed Jan 16 01:15:08 EST 2008
odf-discuss-bounces at opendocumentfellowship.com wrote on 01/16/2008
> The transparency on DIS-29500 really sucks. But unfortunately, the
> Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trader only requires transparency
> for Members, i.e., the member national governments. But notably, it
> does not forbid more transparency.
> Given that ANSI-INCITS are acting as the U.S. NB through power
> delegated (unlawfully, by my research) by the U.S. National
> Institute of Standards and Technology, see < http://ts.nist.gov/
> Standards/Conformity/ansimou.cfm>, they *should* be available by
> Freedom of Information Act request directed to NIST. And since time
> is short, they "should" be available on an expedited basis. On the
> other hand, agencies often abuse the expedited processing provision
> of the FOIA and agencies can always delay things by appealing even
> if you take them to court to get an order for expedited processing.
> I suspect that NIST would at least initially say "it's ANSI's
> responsibility, not ours" on this one.
> The transparency issue is one that the standards reform movement
> needs to deal with. DIS-29500 sure is developing as the poster child
> for standards reform. :-)
The funny thing is, so far as I can tell, the secrecy in ISO has nothing
to do with confidentiality, but is done in order to protect revenues from
selling standards and standards working documents. Traditionally, ISO is
funded by selling copies of its standards. If these standards were all
available for free, then ISO would go broke.
So look at JTC1 Directives, Annex HD, you'll see the list of JTC1
documents and their required access level:
What is curious is the closing text of that annex:
"The ISO standardisation process encourages the widest possible
dissemination of the working documents needed for preparing standards free
of charge within the ISO system to ensure that all interested parties have
the opportunity to contribute to the development of a standard. In this
context, the ISO system should be understood to mean the member bodies of
ISO, specifically those who have elected to be P-members of a particular
ISO committee (although O-members and non-members are entitled to receive
documentation on request), liaison organisations, the delegates accredited
by ISO members and liaison organisation to participate in committee
meetings, experts appointed to ISO working groups, members of national
committees corresponding to an ISO committee and their sponsoring
organisations (e.g. trade associations, government departments, etc.).
ISO/TC/SC working documents are not intended for free distribution outside
the ISO system as defined above. It may be noted that the POCOSA agreement
allows the member bodies to sell TC/SC working documents to those outside
It is that last sentence that grabs you. ISO cannot let anyone outside of
ISO to download working documents for free, but it does explicitly allow
NB's to sell this same information! That makes it clear that this is not
about confidentiality. It is all about the almighty dollar.
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