Report on NCITS Secretariat visit

John Lohmeyer John.Lohmeyer at
Wed Sep 24 16:42:49 PDT 1997

* From the T10 (formerly SCSI) Reflector (t10 at, posted by:
* John Lohmeyer <John.Lohmeyer at>
I am a little later in posting this than I intended to be.  I was hoping
that the Secretariat would post a further clarification on the copyright
policy - they haven't so far.

Larry Lamers and I met with the NCITS Secretariat on Friday Sept 12th.  The
official reason for this visit was officer training.  We spent nearly 5
minutes on training (mostly reviewing what has changed).  The rest of the
meeting was spent quite productively on many topics, especially including
the new copyright policy.

1. Copyright policy

It turns out that T10 is already mostly in compliance with the policy.
What caused the original message on Web distribution of standards was a
couple instances of (other) groups not accurately representing the status
of their documents.  The NCITS Secretariat is quite sensitive to draft
standards being labeled as standards and standards being labeled as drafts.
 There is enormous legal exposure to these misrepresentations.  Also,
International Projects are subject to ISO rules regarding copyrights and
accessibility.  T10 has no International Projects (which are standards that
are _developed_ in ISO).

I have revised the drafts page on the T10 web site to further clarify that
none of the documents there are approved standards.  All documents on the
T10 web site are working drafts or final committee drafts prior to approval
and publication by ANSI.

Larry plans to work with the project editors to re-design the cover pages
and front matter so that it will NOT look like ANSI's cover pages and front
matter.  ANSI will change these pages upon publication.

We did not discuss the issue of how ITI acquires the non-exclusive license
on T10 drafts.  This was an oversight on my part--I should have
communicated the T10 concerns in this area.  I suspect that PPC is still
trying to figure out how they can legally acquire these rights without TC

2. File retention

On advice of legal council, NCITS will no longer archive Technical
Committee records.  TCs are responsible for developing their own file
retention policies.  I understand that this is a mine field.  Intellectual
Property issues can get rather ugly.  (All calls I get for documents more
than a few years old are because someone is suing someone else!).

Larry and I plan to draft a proposed T10 policy on file retention for
consideration at the next T10 meeting.  It will probably go something like
we will keep copies of back mailings -- anything else kept is purely a

3. Revenue model

At our request, the NCITS Secretariat is examining the possibility of doing
an organizational membership in TCs.  Today there are several different
fees (NCITS Service Fee, ANSI IPF, and Subscription Fee) for each person
who joins from an organization.  We discussed creating an OPTIONAL
organizational membership that would be one fixed fee including a Principal
member, any number of alternate members, plus two mailing subscriptions on
CD-ROM.  Tentatively, this fee would be $2500 per year.

Organizations could choose whether to use the current fee structure or the
experimental organizational fee.  There is no intention of ever replacing
the current fee structure -- this would only be an option for those who
want it.

The benefits to larger organizations would be one simpler (albeit higher)
fee and  they could send as many representations to meetings as necessary
without the deception of using "frequent visitors".  Small organizations
would most likely opt for the current fee structure.  NCITS should benefit
because their revenue would be the same or higher.

I've volunteered T10 as a pilot committee.  I expect T11 will also be
invited to participate in the pilot.

4. Fast track

Many of you have heard of the ISO Fast Track procedure.  I was unaware that
NCITS also has a Fast Track procedure.  It has been in the SD-2 for many
years, but I don't think it has ever been used.

We were encouraged us to use the NCITS Fast Track procedure in cases where
it is appropriate.  This would be where an industry de facto standard has
achieve a large degree of consensus.  T10 (or other organizations such as
STA) could submit the de facto standard with a slightly modified project
proposal.  It would then bypass the development phase and go directly to
public review.

This might be an excellent process to use should we wish to standardize
something like ASPI.  Please!  I only used ASPI as an example -- I am not
proposing it!

There were several other subjects discussed that probably are not of wide
interest -- I'll not report on them here.  I did come away with a strong
impression that Kate McMillan, Director of the NCITS Secretariat, genuinely
wants to work with us and the industry at large to be responsive to our
standardization needs.


John Lohmeyer                 E-Mail: john.lohmeyer at
Symbios Logic Inc.             Voice: 719-533-7560
4420 ArrowsWest Dr.              Fax: 719-533-7036
Colo Spgs, CO 80907-3444    SCSI BBS: 719-533-7950 300--28800 baud

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