5.2. ISO 9001 Ownership
In Chapter 6, you'll learn that the Capability Maturity Model, developed by the Software Engineering Institute (Pittsburgh), is a public-domain quality model. Because the SEI is a federally funded research and development center, the products it releases, including CMMI, are all in the public domain. Anyone can take the text of the spec and copy it, distribute it, and give it away. Laura Allen could set up a booth in downtown Smithtown and hand it out freely to passersby.
In Chapter 7 of this book, you'll see that Six Sigma is even less controlled. It's not governed or maintained by any independent or third-party organization. It's as close to an open source quality program as they come. It is as free as algebra, and only a little more regulated. Six Sigma practices and methodologies are disseminated by a common user community. They are not owned by anyone.
ISO 9001:2000 is a different matter. Look inside the front cover of the official 9001:2000 tome, and you'll see this familiar statement:
The Standard, funded by the member nations of ISO and created by technical teams made up of those members, remains the property of the organization, protected by international copyright. If you wish to implement a fully compliant ISO 9001:2000 program, especially if you have a view toward eventually becoming ISO-registered, you should certainly acquire an official copy of the spec from the ISO. There are many "interpretations" of the Standard available in the marketplace. They do a good job of explaining ways and methods of implementing ISO 9001, but they are prohibited from printing the exact wording found in the Standard. So to make sure you understand exactly what 9001 is asking of you and your organization, it's wise to acquire the official text.