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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  15 of a consortium’s activities. 55 Consortia can also foster the implementation and adoption of standards. For example, they may require members to sign contracts to ensure compliance with standards. This section shows that standards for code developed by consortia are heavily influenced by a consortia’s membership. This can affect what standards are developed, adopted, and disseminated. The motivations for using a consortium emerge from limitations in the SDO development process. SDOs are perceived as too bureaucratic and too slow for a number of reasons. First, SDOs strive to ensure that all voices are heard. Any party directly or materially affected is allowed to participate in the standardization process. 56 The groups involved "represent personal, professional, national, disciplinary, and industry goals." 57 The diversity of the participants' goals typically leads to a longer time to reach consensus on a standard. 58 In contrast, a consortium can self-select its members to ensure a group of like-minded participants. 59 The consortium’s members understand why they are engaged in a specific standards activity and what the outcome should be. This allows for a quicker consensus, but as we note later, their process can ignore the interests of third parties. 60 Second, SDOs have strict rules to ensure that they are open and 55 Hawkins, supra note 50. Other significant differences between SDOs and consortia include their funding source, standards development, intellectual property rights, national focus, standards promotion, compatibility testing, and issues of collusion. See Ken Krechmer, Market Driven Standardization: Everyone Can Win, S TANDARDS E NGINEERING , July/August 2000, at 15, available at http://www.csrstds.com/fora.html (comparing consortia and SDOs); Amy Zuckerman, The Fight for Lingua Franca, B USINESS 2.0, Oct. 2000 (summarizing the differences between consortia and SDOs for code). 56 C ARGILL , supra note 52, at 168. 57 Id. at 117. See also Timothy Schoechle, The Emerging Role of Standards Bodies in the Formation of Public Policy, IEEE S TANDARDS B EARER , April 1995, at 10 (arguing that SDOs can serve as a “public sphere” that ensures the consideration of broader social issues in the development of code, because of their openness and involvement of all stakeholders). 58 Roy Rada, Consensus Versus Speed, in I NFORMATION T ECHNOLOGY S TANDARDS AND S TANDARDIZATION : A G LOBAL P ERSPECTIVE 21 (Kai Jakobs ed., 2000). 59 Cargill, supra note 47, at 4. 60 Andrew Updegrove, Consortia and the Role of Government in Standard Setting, in S TANDARDS P OLICY FOR I NFORMATION I NFRASTRUCTURE 321, 332 (Brian Kahin & Janet Abbate eds., 1995).

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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15
of a consortium’s activities.
55
Consortia can also foster the implementation and adoption of
standards. For example, they may require members to sign contracts to ensure compliance with
standards. This section shows that standards for code developed by consortia are heavily
influenced by a consortia’s membership. This can affect what standards are developed, adopted,
and disseminated.
The motivations for using a consortium emerge from limitations in the SDO development
process. SDOs are perceived as too bureaucratic and too slow for a number of reasons. First,
SDOs strive to ensure that all voices are heard. Any party directly or materially affected is
allowed to participate in the standardization process.
56
The groups involved "represent personal,
professional, national, disciplinary, and industry goals."
57
The diversity of the participants' goals
typically leads to a longer time to reach consensus on a standard.
58
In contrast, a consortium can
self-select its members to ensure a group of like-minded participants.
59
The consortium’s
members understand why they are engaged in a specific standards activity and what the outcome
should be. This allows for a quicker consensus, but as we note later, their process can ignore the
interests of third parties.
60
Second, SDOs have strict rules to ensure that they are open and
55
Hawkins, supra note 50. Other significant differences between SDOs and consortia include their funding source,
standards development, intellectual property rights, national focus, standards promotion, compatibility testing, and
issues of collusion. See Ken Krechmer, Market Driven Standardization: Everyone Can Win, S
TANDARDS
E
NGINEERING
, July/August 2000, at 15, available at http://www.csrstds.com/fora.html (comparing consortia and
SDOs); Amy Zuckerman, The Fight for Lingua Franca, B
USINESS
2.0, Oct. 2000 (summarizing the differences
between consortia and SDOs for code).
56
C
ARGILL
, supra note 52, at 168.
57
Id. at 117. See also Timothy Schoechle, The Emerging Role of Standards Bodies in the Formation of Public
Policy, IEEE S
TANDARDS
B
EARER
, April 1995, at 10 (arguing that SDOs can serve as a “public sphere” that ensures
the consideration of broader social issues in the development of code, because of their openness and involvement of
all stakeholders).
58
Roy Rada, Consensus Versus Speed, in I
NFORMATION
T
ECHNOLOGY
S
TANDARDS AND
S
TANDARDIZATION
: A
G
LOBAL
P
ERSPECTIVE
21 (Kai Jakobs ed., 2000).
59
Cargill, supra note 47, at 4.
60
Andrew Updegrove, Consortia and the Role of Government in Standard Setting, in S
TANDARDS
P
OLICY FOR
I
NFORMATION
I
NFRASTRUCTURE
321, 332 (Brian Kahin & Janet Abbate eds., 1995).


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