Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dispute Over Publishing Standards in Australia

Standards Australia and SAI Global have entered into arbitration over the publishing and distribution rights for Australian Standards written by autonomously accredited Standards Development Organisations (SDOs). To avoid such issues, when asked to help draft a standard, I now first check that the standard will be available open access online. If the standard is not going to be free online, then I decline to take part in the development. Organisations such as W3C, IETF and OASIS make their standards freely available. Versions of these standards may later be made into ISO and Standards Australia standards which are not free online, but the original free version is still available.
The relationship between Standards Australia and SAI Global is governed by contractual arrangements including a Publishing Licence Agreement (PLA) dated 11 November 2003.

Standards Australia and SAI Global have entered into an arbitration concerning the PLA following the failure to resolve differences over the publishing and distribution rights for Australian Standards written by autonomously accredited Standards Development Organisations (SDOs).

Further details about the dispute are set out in our public statement dated 22 July 2008. While it was originally anticipated that the hearing of the arbitration would occur in the week starting 2 March 2009, the hearing has recently been rescheduled to take place from 6 to 8 May 2009. Further relevant developments will be advised via our website www.standards.org.au.

From: Communications, Information Technology and e-Commerce Services, Sector Updates, The Standards Australia, February 2009

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