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Re: Standards Availability

At 00:29 31/10/00 -0800, Howard Frazier wrote:

I believe that the previously proposed scheme is doomed.
I am unaware of the existence of even a single corporate sponsor
who has signed on to the program at this point. Without several
committed corporate sponsors, the previously proposed scheme will
never get off the ground.

Clearly, if what you say about the lack of corporate sponsors is true, then the proposed scheme won't work.  Is this just your opinion of the state of play, or does it have any foundation in fact?

Freely available from day one would be ideal, and the OUI tax
idea has merit. I'd like to see the OUI tax idea fleshed out
into a proposal. If there are other alternative sources of
funding, I like to see those written up in the form of a proposal
as well.

The proposal is terribly simple.

Start of proposal.
Double the current OUI registration fee and use the extra income to fund free access from day 1 to the PDF version of any IEEE standards that make use of the OUI (i.e., all of the 802 standards, plus potentially a very small number of others?).  The current OUI fee is approx $2K; this scheme would raise approx $2K per OUI issued - which would raise of the order of $0.5M/year at the current rate of OUI issue, if I remember correctly - i.e., more than enough to fund the scheme.

Allow the current charging scheme for printed copies of the standard to continue, in parallel

The beauty of this scheme is that the income is directly related to the ongoing relevance of the standards concerned; at the point where the OUI-based income is too small to continue supporting the scheme, it can safely be assumed that no-one cares terribly much whether the standards continue to be freely available.  Similarly, the actual cost to the IEEE of supporting our activities will inevitably taper off as the OUI income reduces.
End of proposal.

My proposal was made in the spirit of requiring the least amount
of creative accounting on the part of the IEEE. I realize that
"free after one year" is not what the membership asked for, but
I think that it does provide an improvement over the current
situation, which is "pay forever". Many 802 standards
have a useful life span of well in excess of one year.

The point about free access from day one is to remove all possible barriers to widespread acceptance and implementation of our standards.  Free after 1 year doesn't do that.

One side benefit of my proposal is that since the one year
clock starts ticking on the day a standard is approved by
the standards board, the IEEE has an incentive to publish
the standard quickly, so that they can maximize their revenue.
I think that this is an advantage for us when compared to a
funding strategy which pays the IEEE whether they publish
quickly, slowly, or (theoretically at least) never at all.

There are other ways of fixing that problem.  I would be very disappointed if we settled for second best on the free access issue simply because we couldn't get our collective act together over timely publication.



Tony Jeffree wrote:
> Howard -
> I'm afraid that your proposal doesn't (for me) significantly improve over
> the current situation.
> If the proposed scheme doesn't work (yet to be proven one way or the
> other), then, as I pointed out at the last Exec, there are possible
> alternative funding avenues to pursue, such as a levy charged on the issue
> of OUIs.
> My goal here (and the goal of 802.1) is to make access to this information
> free, not to defer the point at which it becomes free till the information
> is a year old.
> Regards,
> Tony
> At 18:17 30/10/00 -0800, Howard Frazier wrote:
> >I have been thinking about the program we have been working
> >on to make 802 standards freely available, and I have
> >come to the conclusion that the program as currently described
> >is unlikely to succeed.  The are too many parties, too many issues,
> >too much administration, and too many risks.
> >
> >I would like to propose a simpler program structure for your
> >consideration.  Briefly stated, it is as follows:
> >
> >1) IEEE may always charge a reasonable fee for paper copies of
> >a standard.
> >
> >2) IEEE may charge a reasonable fee (where reasonable is defined
> >to be "similar to the current fee structure") for PDF copies of
> >a standard for the period of one year from the date the standard
> >is approved.
> >
> >3) After one year from the date of approval, PDF copies of the
> >standard are available free of charge.  IEEE retains it's copyright.
> >Reprinting or redistribution is prohibited.
> >
> >4) To make up for the lost revenue that the IEEE would have normally
> >received, IEEE 802 agrees to remit approximately $100K to the IEEE
> >standards office each calendar year.
> >
> >The rationale for this approach is:
> >
> >A) There is a cost associated with printing and mailing a paper copy,
> >and IEEE should be allowed to recover this cost.
> >
> >B) There is a cost associated with editing and publishing a standard,
> >and IEEE should be allowed to recover this cost. This proposal gives
> >IEEE the opportunity to recover the cost as quickly as possible, and
> >during the period where the retail value of the standard is probably
> >the highest.
> >
> >C) Once the startup costs are recovered, the costs associated with
> >maintaining access to the PDF archives are minimal.
> >
> >D) The $100K contribution from IEEE 802 will make up for the revenue
> >lost by the IEEE from the sale of "old" standards.
> >
> >E) By eliminating all of the corporate sponsorship elements of the
> >previous proposal, we make the program considerable simpler to implement
> >and administer on an ongoing basis.
> >
> >F) Most importantly, the only parties to this deal are the membership
> >of 802, and the IEEE staff.  That gives us some hope of being able
> >to reach closure, and once these parties decide it's a go, the program will
> >succeed, with no external dependencies or uncertainties.
> >
> >Respectfully submitted for your consideration.
> >
> >Howard Frazier
> >IEEE P802 LMSC Recording Secretary
> >DomiNet Systems