Does "Common Cartridge" qualify as "open standard"?

Vitaly Repin vitaly_repin at
Sat Jun 20 11:16:05 UTC 2015


An example of Common Cartridge format implementation in FOSS:

2015-06-20 13:46 GMT+03:00 Scott Wilson <scott.wilson at>:

> Hi Guido,
> Common Cartridge is a specification published by the IMS Global Learning
> Consortium, which is a consortium of eLearning companies, publishing
> houses, and educational associations.
> IMS “final” standards are gratis to access (though they do try to steer
> you towards membership).
> The actual license terms of IMS specifications are set out here:
> I think its fair to say that FOSS can implement IMS specifications without
> much concern, and distribute implementations under FOSS licenses. The only
> conditions on implementations relate to IMS attribution, effectively a
> required NOTICE for products:
> " 4. Grant of License to Develop Products Based on the Specification(s)
> IMS hereby grants the Licensee Organization, its Related Parties a
> worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, nontransferable, nonexclusive,
> nonsublicenseable license to download and utilize the Specification(s) for
> the purpose of developing, making, having made, using, marketing,
> importing, offering to sell or license, and selling or licensing, and to
> otherwise distribute, products that implement this Specification(s), in all
> cases subject to the conditions set forth in this Agreement and IPR notices
> contained within the Specification(s).
> Licensee agrees to publicly and visibly acknowledge and attribute to IMS
> the Specification(s) upon which products are based to any and all
> Development Partner(s). Distribution of machine readable implementations of
> this specification for the purpose of working with Development Partner(s)
> to develop interoperable products is granted to the licensee as long as all
> other provisions of this agreement are adhered to. Such rights are
> transferrable and sublicenseable. Development Partner(s) or other parties
> desiring to distribute or make original use of the Specification(s)
> separate from the rights granted to the licensee are encouraged to
> individually register with IMS so that IMS can provide updates on the
> evolution of the specification and provide information on conformance
> certification.”
> So in terms of user freedom I think IMS specs are OK.
> However, you don’t get a vote to modify the specification itself unless
> you pay the membership fees (around $15,000 for the smallest companies, up
> to £55,000 for large companies/gov agencies). You also need to register if
> you want your product listing in its conforming products listing, or your
> company listing as a certified supplier (
> As you can see a few FOSS
> projects are already there, such as Apereo/Sakai, Mahara and Moodle.
> Hope this helps,

WBR & WBW, Vitaly
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