Licensing Standards that Include Code: Heads or Tails?

Once upon a time, standards were standards and open source software was open source software (OSS), and the only thing people worried about was whether the copyright and patent rules relating to the standards would prevent them from being implemented in OSS.

Actually, that was complicated enough, but it seems simple in comparison now that OSS is being included in the standards themselves. Now what? If this sounds unusual and exotic, it isn’t. In fact, code has been creeping into standards for years, often without the keepers of the intellectual property rights (IPR) Policies governing the standards even being aware of it. Now that it’s becoming more common, however, it’s harder for standard setting organizations (SSOs) to ignore it, and harder still for them to decide what to do about it. Why? Because the rules under which the two types of collaborative work are developed are so different.