Funding of freely available standards by IETF
I spoke with Scott Bradner today of the IETF on the subject of funding the
freely available IETF drafts and standards. He encourages IEEE 802 to make
802 standards freely available, too.
The main points are as follows (Scott, feel free to correct anything I
might have gotten wrong):
1) It costs very little to host a site to serve up the IETF documents--less
than $5k/year including few hundred Mb disk space, server and Internet
2) A key element in providing wide access is that the rights to the
documents are completely free and unencumbered---anyone can set up a mirror
site--no strings attached.
Given conditions (1) and (2), there are LOTS of mirror sites.
3) A group at the Univ. of So. CA, ISI, is given a research contract to
edit the IETF documents (text editing, format, verify references are
correct, etc.) and be the initial site at which the documents can be
obtained through a T3 connection to the Internet. This costs on the
approximately $300k per year. It is funded by the Internet Society
4) Meeting fees ($425 on site, $325 pre-reg) are used mostly for
meeting-site costs (cookies, etc.). The terminal room (PCs, workstations,
printers, Enet ports) and Internet connection costs are usually picked up
by the hosting company.
5) The Internet Society is a non-profit, non-governmental, international,
professional membership organization. It focuses on: standards, education,
and policy issues. Its more than 150 organization and 8,600 individual
members in over 170 nations worldwide.
Membership fees are tiered (http://www.isoc.org/orgs/benefits.shtml):
Sustaining-Gold Nonprofit Organization: $25,000 Annually
For-Profit Organization: $50,000 Annually
Executive Nonprofit Organization: $5,000 Annually
For-Profit Organization: $10,000 Annually
Principal Nonprofit Organization: $2,500 Annually
For-Profit Organization: $5,000 Annually
Professional Nonprofit Organization: $1,250 Annually
For-Profit Organization: $2,500 Annually
Start-up $1,000 annually during the First Three Years of A Firm's
Operation (Nonprofit or For-Profit)
As far as I can tell from a quick scan of the members list, ISOC collects
well over $1M in annual dues.
(Note, the IEEE Computer Society is an "Executive Member".)