Information Technology

ISO/IEC JTC 1 N 4562

DATE: 1997.02.26


Information from ISO Central Secretariat

Correspondence from ISO Central Secretariat Transmitting the ISO Council Decision on the JTC 1 Proposal on Freely Available Access to WDs and CDs (Council Resolution 21/1997)

ISO Central Secretariat


ISO Council has approved the JTC 1 proposal on freely available access to WDs and CDs for a one-year trial period. This decision may be implemented with immediate effect since this practice is already applied within IEC.


DUE DATE: Immediately

P and L Members
SC Chairmen and Secretariats




Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1, American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036; Telephone: 1 212 642 4932; Facsimile: 1 212 398 0023; Email:

Date: 1997-02-10
Number of pages: 4

Dear Mary Anne,

I have pleasure in sending you attached the Council decision regarding the ISO/IEC JTC 1 proposal on freely available access to WDs and CDs (Council resolution 21/1997). As you can see, Council decided to accept the JTC 1 proposal on a trial basis and asked the Secretary-General to prepare, in consultation with ISO/IEC JTC 1, a report on the results of the experience after a one-year period. I also attach a copy of the working document submitted to Council, to which reference is made in the first paragraph of the resolution.

This Council decision may be implemented with immediate effect since this practice is already applied within the IEC/TC and SC.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

Lawrence D. Eicher

cc. Secretariat of ISO/IEC JTC 1, ANSI, Ms. Lisa Rajchel


Council resolution 21/1997

Council, in the light of the considerations raised by ISO/IEC JTC 1 Information Technology, when formulating its proposal regarding freely available access to working drafts and committee drafts, set out in document ISO Council 29/1997,

decides to grant to JTC 1 and its reporting committees on a trial basis the authority to continue to make subject-related documents (working draft, committee drafts, etc.) freely available for consultative purposes, up to but not including the enquiry state, in both electronic and paper form, and

invites the Secretary-General, in consultation with ISO/IEC JTC 1, to prepare a report on the results of the experience after a one-year period.

asks the Secretary-General to convey this decision to IEC.

ISO Concil 29/1997
January 1997


ISO/IEC JTC 1 proposal regarding copyright for working drafts and committee drafts

ISO/IEC JTC 1 noted that the ISO Council, at its meeting in February 1996, having noted that there is an obligation in an increasing number of countries to ensure transparency of all standards work, to the extent of providing at reasonable cost any working document requested by an interested party and that ISO's working documents are distributed and sold without a notice of copyright, decided that ISO copyright protection should be extended to TC/SC working drafts and committee drafts (Council resolution 5/1996).

ISO/IEC JTC 1 further noted that the Policy concerning the distribution of ISO documents electronically for the preparation of standards states that in regard to the electronic distribution of project-related documents (working drafts and committee drafts) the latter should be treated in the same way as official publications reproduced for the purposes of further standardization i.e. distribution on diskette or by e-mail to designated individuals is acceptable provided the issuer of the document and the status of the documents are clearly identified, but access to such documents from a server shall be restricted, for example by password, and the restrictions on further distribution recalled.

ISO/IEC JTC 1 bears in mind that:

ISO/IEC JTC 1 proposals

a) Taking into account the above considerations, ISO/IEC JTC 1 strongly requests that JTC 1 and its reporting committees be granted the authority, by the ISO and IEC councils, to continue to make project-related documents (working drafts, committee drafts, etc.), up to but not including the enquiry stage, freely available, for consultative purposes, in electronic as well as paper form, in order to reflect the realities of IT standardization and the current practice of many successful JTC 1 committees.

A similar requet is being submitted to the IEC Countil

b) Furthermore, since it is often the case that significant technical contributions in early standards development efforts carry copyright fromthe contributing organization or individual which will not be surrendered until the contribution proceeds to enquiry stage, asks that ISO re-formulate its copyrights policy also as not to discourage significant technical contributions.

Note by the Secretary-General: Proposal b) was prepare in September 1996, i.e. before the draft revised ISO policies for copyright notification, which allow for other organizations' copyright to be shown on WDs and CDs, were submitted to Council for approval; the latter has now approved these revised policies and in the opinion of the Secretary-General the essence of proposal b) is now satisfied and no further action by Council is needed.


Council is invited to consider the above proposal a) above with a view to its approval.