At the Euro SIW meeting of the FEDEP PDG, Dr Igarza and other members raised the question of whether the revised common process should be published as an IEEE family of Recommend Practice Guides or as a SISO family of Guidance products.  As the SAC representative at the meeting I expressed a concern that since any common process and the associated VV&A overlay would be largely based on IEEE 1516.3 and IEEE 1516.4, such products would likely violate copyright protection unless they were developed within the IEEE and under IEEE approval.  During the discussion, it was suggested that during the discussions with IEEE to make SISO a Standards Sponsor, that SISO retained the right to develop and publish derivative products.  The SAC was asked to research this issue and determine if a common process document would qualify as a derivative document.  Katherine has researched the issue and has provided the following:


It is illegal under US copyright law to make a derivative work of a copyrighted work. Straight from the Copyright Office, heres the exclusion for fair use:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copy-righted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Note that, at a minimum, clauses 1, 2, and 4 apply. The usual rule of thumb is 10% of the original work may be used in a document with just citations, although the above rules apply and can only be decided by a court. Im not a lawyer, but Im pretty sure that taking all of the substantive content of the FEDEP and just changing federation to distributed simulation environment and changing federate to member would be significantly outside the bounds of fair use and would qualify as an egregious violation of copyright law. .

I believe that Katherine has accurately interpreted and analyzed the situation. Therefore, we believe that the product of this group will have to remain an IEEE product.


Mark McCall

SAC Chairman

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