I received an “i-names” email from Aldo Castaneda who is doing his legal thesis on what he calls “Open Legal Writing”. I guess, in effect, he is “blogging his thesis”… If you visit his site, you'll see he is editing it in real time in response to input – same sort of thing I'm trying to do here but in a different realm. (Oh yeah… A further difference is that I don't get another degree at the end of this… although I do get… the Identity Big Bang…)
The subject is the relation between intellectual property rights and identity management system open standards. All in all this looks like it is shaping up to be a discussion which well help us share ideas and thinking across silos. I am really glad to see the governance discussions converging with the technical ones in an intellectually probing manner:
Good legal scholarship should make (1) a claim that is (2) novel, (3) nonobvious, (4) useful, (5) sound, and (6) seen by the reader to be novel, nonobvious, useful and sound.
(1) a claim:
Few if any of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policies of Open Standards organizations are consistent with Open Principles. Therefore contributors and implementers of Identity Management System Open Standards must understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of the current IPR approaches to select the IPR policies best suited to their strategic objectives.
Notes : At present [2005-3-22 at 9:35:55 AM], the Open Standards organizations to be considered include: OASIS , XDI.org, The Liberty Alliance, W3C, WS-Federation and The Trusted Computing Group (not necessarily in that order).
(2) that is novel: To date no published work presents a comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Open Standards relative to Identity Management standards contributors and implementers.
(3) Nonobvious: This analysis requires that 1) Open Standards be precisely defined, providing 2) a benchmark against which current Identity Mangement Systems standards can be compared and constrasted.
(4) Useful: This analysis will potentially be useful because it will provide 1) a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of current Identity Management System Open Standards and 2) a practical analytical model for use by Identity Management System Open Standards contributors and implementers.
(5) Sound: To ensure that my analysis is sound I will employ a test suite to check my analysis for consequences I might not otherwise considered. This test suite will based upon a definition of an IPR policy that would conform entirely to Open Principles. I will likely use that definition as a benchmark against which the various current IPR policies will be compared and contrasted.
(6) Seen by the reader to be novel, non0bvious, useful and sound. (Part of the purpose of drafting online is to expose my work scrutiny early and often. Ideally, through this process element #6 will be satisfied)
 Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review by Eugene Volokh Professor of Law UCLA School of Law, Second Edition
 Open Standards is an ambiguous concept, therefore for the purposes of this paper I will need to define Open Standards precisely so that I can use that definition as a benchmark against which to compare and contrast current Identity Management IPR policies. (Scott Blackmer commented: Bruce Perens of the Open Source Initiative offers one thoughtful definition (http://www.perens.com/OpenStandards/Definition.html), amplified recently by Lawrence Rosen (http://www.openstandardsalliance.org/dowloads/LRosen.pdf))
 Open Source Licensing, Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law by Lawrence Rosen.
 I am indebted to Scott Blackmer for his guidance in arriving at this claim.