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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  18 has made little progress over the last few years. 69 Additionally, the speed of development can change over a consortium’s lifespan. As the W3C has aged, it has added formal procedures that have slowed down the development process. This has created a space for the emergence of new consortia to rapidly develop standards for the web. Consortia develop code for the benefit of their members. Typically, the code is useful to an industry in general and is widely disseminated throughout that industry. However, a consortium may restrict the code to its members or charge third parties for access. In the case of the W3C and IETF, both consortia have taken the position that all code and standards that are developed will be disseminated to the public. 70 V. O PEN S OURCE M OVEMENT The open source movement is an institution that stands apart from universities, firms, and consortia. Its list of successful projects, besides Apache, includes the Linux operating system, the scripting language PERL, and the popular email server Sendmail. 71 The defining characteristic of the open source movement is that source code should be made available to the public. 72 The source code is the instructions for software that can be read and modified by 68 Gary H. Anthes, W3C’s Worldwide Power, C OMPUTER W ORLD , Sep. 9, 1999, available at http://www2.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9909/09/w3c.idg/.. 69 For example, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) consortium began in July 1999 and claimed that there would be SDMI-compatible portable digital music players in stores by Christmas. However, within a few months, SDMI had to backtrack from that promise. By early 2001, it was becoming clear that SDMI had failed. Lisa Nadile, SDMI Needs to Secure New Chief, W IRED N EWS , Jan. 24, 2001, available at http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41397,00.html; Junko Yoshida, SDMI-Internet Players To Miss Holiday Season, EE T IMES , Sep. 23, 1999, available at http://content.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19990923S0027. 70 Scott Bradner, The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3, RFC 2026, available at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2026.txt (Oct. 1996) (IETF); W3C, Patent Policy Framework, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-patent-policy-20010816/ (last modified Aug. 16, 2001). 71 Open Source Timeline, F EED M AG . (last visited Oct. 18, 2001) in http://www.feedmag.com/oss/ostimeline.html. 72 O PEN S OURCES : V OICES FROM THE O PEN S OURCE R EVOLUTION (Chris DiBona, et al. eds., 1999), available at http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html (providing a good background on the open source movement); J OSEPH F ELLER & B RIAN F ITZGERALD , U NDERSTANDING O PEN S OURCE D EVELOPMENT (2002).

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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background image
18
has made little progress over the last few years.
69
Additionally, the speed of development can
change over a consortium’s lifespan. As the W3C has aged, it has added formal procedures that
have slowed down the development process. This has created a space for the emergence of new
consortia to rapidly develop standards for the web.
Consortia develop code for the benefit of their members. Typically, the code is useful to
an industry in general and is widely disseminated throughout that industry. However, a
consortium may restrict the code to its members or charge third parties for access. In the case of
the W3C and IETF, both consortia have taken the position that all code and standards that are
developed will be disseminated to the public.
70
V. O
PEN
S
OURCE
M
OVEMENT
The open source movement is an institution that stands apart from universities, firms, and
consortia. Its list of successful projects, besides Apache, includes the Linux operating system,
the scripting language PERL, and the popular email server Sendmail.
71
The defining
characteristic of the open source movement is that source code should be made available to the
public.
72
The source code is the instructions for software that can be read and modified by
68
Gary H. Anthes, W3C’s Worldwide Power, C
OMPUTER
W
ORLD
, Sep. 9, 1999, available at
http://www2.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9909/09/w3c.idg/..
69
For example, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) consortium began in July 1999 and claimed that there
would be SDMI-compatible portable digital music players in stores by Christmas. However, within a few months,
SDMI had to backtrack from that promise. By early 2001, it was becoming clear that SDMI had failed. Lisa Nadile,
SDMI Needs to Secure New Chief, W
IRED
N
EWS
, Jan. 24, 2001, available at
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41397,00.html; Junko Yoshida, SDMI-Internet Players To Miss
Holiday Season
, EE T
IMES
, Sep. 23, 1999, available at
http://content.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19990923S0027.
70
Scott Bradner, The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3, RFC 2026, available at
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2026.txt (Oct. 1996) (IETF); W3C, Patent Policy Framework, available at
http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/WD-patent-policy-20010816/ (last modified Aug. 16, 2001).
71
Open Source Timeline, F
EED
M
AG
. (last visited Oct. 18, 2001) in http://www.feedmag.com/oss/ostimeline.html.
72
O
PEN
S
OURCES
: V
OICES FROM THE
O
PEN
S
OURCE
R
EVOLUTION
(Chris DiBona, et al. eds., 1999), available at
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html (providing a good background on the open source
movement); J
OSEPH
F
ELLER
& B
RIAN
F
ITZGERALD
, U
NDERSTANDING
O
PEN
S
OURCE
D
EVELOPMENT
(2002).


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