Most discussion about the standardization process makes an important assumption. It assumes that the process is one in which research and positions developed in corporate and academic laboratories are field tested and then brought to the standardization process for review and approval. This model clearly fits the more traditional models of ANSI standardization. In contrast, IT standards are increasingly ``created'' in committee. That is to say, it is in the collaborative environment that not only the certifying document but also the ideas are developed. Rutkowski says:
Perhaps the single most important characteristic of the IETF or W3 Consortium are their ability to bring these diverse (some would even say perverse) parties together in ways that result in copious numbers of really creative new approaches, products, techniques, code . . . and standards in very short order.Weiss and Spring explore a couple aspects of the intellectual property issue. First, they note that there is little precedent for the ownership of intellectual property developed in a voluntary consensus committee effort. Thus, while it has been historically the case that the participants have brought intellectual property to the table for contribution, it is now sometimes the case that intellectual property is developed at the table. Who has the right to claim ownership of this property. Who, if anybody, should be allowed to claim ownership. Perhaps more disturbing, Spring and Weiss hold that the very nature of the standardization effort seems to suggest that the efforts and the products of standardization lie outside the protection of copyright law. If this is indeed the case, it would suggest that the long tradition of using revenues from the sale of standards documents to help offset the cost of production is questioned. Oksala sees this kind of situation, with the implication of increased costs to the developers, as potentially very hardful.