- OWF Overview
- OWF (Semi-)Legal Documents
- OWF Board of Directors
- Legal Affairs Committee
- OWF Community Support: Individuals and Companies
- Referenced Specifications and Initiatives
- OWF: People
- Example IPR Policies (Covenants, Licenses, Blanket Non-Assertion)
- Background: Origins of the Open Web Foundation
- Principal URIs
- General: News, Blogs, Commentary
Update September 27, 2010: The OWF Legal Drafting Committee announced the release of a set of OWF v1.0 agreements for public review through October 08, 2010. These documents include a Contributor License Agreement ('CLA') which covers both copyright and patents for contributions, and an Open Web Foundation Agreement ('OWFa') (draft) updated to cover the entire specification.
The formation of the Open Web Foundation (OWF) was announced on July 24, 2008 at the OSCON 2008 Conference. Speaking on behalf of thirty-some individual collaborators with promised support from several companies (BBC, Facebook, Google, MySpace, O'Reilly, Plaxo, Six Apart, SourceForge, Vidoop, Yahoo!), David Recordon of Six Apart presented the rationale and key points of focus for OWF: Incubation: creating new open specifications for the web; Licensing: or really no licensing, use of non-assertion agreements; Copyright: Creative Commons for each specification; Community: diverse collaboration of individuals and companies held accountable to support the Open Web. The Open Web Foundation is incorporated as a Section 501(c) non-profit organization in accordance with the Bylaws. An initial Board of Directors includes Ben Laurie (Google), Chris Messina (Vidoop), David Recordon (Six Apart, Initial President), DeWitt Clinton (Google), Eran Hammer-Lahav (Yahoo!), Gabe Wachob, Scott Kveton (Vidoop, Initial Treasurer), and Brady Brim-DeForest (Initial Secretary, ex-officio). A general Open Web Foundation Discussion List is available for subscription.
"The Open Web Foundation is an independent non-profit dedicated to the development and protection of open, non-proprietary specifications for web technologies. The Open Web Foundation is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification. The foundation is trying to break the trend of creating separate foundations for each specification, coming out of the realization that we could come together and generalize our efforts... The Open Web Foundation is made up of individuals who believe that the open web is built on technologies that are created in the open by a diversity of contributors, and which free to be used and improved upon without restriction..." — from the OWF website
We've been talking a lot about open source, and there's a lot of open source to talk about. Open Data is increasingly important as services move apart. The open web needs open data, and open data needs open specifications. The web needs to be accessible everywhere. In 2007, the web started becoming more open. OpenID, OAuth, and Open Social are all quite similar: they have communities ranging from individuals to companies, implemented in many languages, being adopted at an increasing rate, and are occurring outside of formal standards bodies. The Open Web Foundation is announced so companies and individuals can come together to work on the open web. It will focus on four things: incubation (creating new open specifications for the web, modeled after Apache Software Foundation), licensing (or really no licensing; non-assertion agreements), copyright (Creative Commons for each specification), and community (to support the open web).
The inaugural presentation and announcement for the Open Web Foundation was "Supporting the Open Web," by David Recordon (Six Apart). 20 slides. This keynote presentation was made at OSCON 2008, July 24, 2008. Video is available. Recordon's presentation provides background and context information to explain the motivation for creating the Open Web Foundation.
Summary statements about the Open Web Foundation from members of the OWF Board of Directors:
Scott Kveton: "[Out of the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) work] we developed a process for managing IP and copyrights as well as built a strong relationship among a good portion of people working on these problems across the web. It wasn't all easy and many communities developing other open specifications learned quite a bit from us. We wanted to find a way to make it so others wouldn't have to go through this hassle ever again. To answer several of the pain points around getting an open specification to be able to be used in the marketplace and keep community members writing code and specs and not legal documentation, several of us came together to create the Open Web Foundation..."
Gabe Wachob: "... a very lightweight organization whose simple purpose is to make it dead simple for a community of interested people to create specifications that are free from IPR (specifically patent) encumbrances as possible, but without all the extra baggage (politics, cost, process) that comes with a traditional standards body"
Chris Messina: "In terms of the foundation structure, we're following the open source model, creating a bit of a hybrid based on organizations that have come before us such as the Apache Software Foundation and OpenID Foundation... We're simply applying the open source model of seeing a common pain point and trying to patch the system by creating an "organizational library" (if you will) that makes it easier to go through a collaborative specification process and come out of it with clean IPR leading to faster implementation and adoption... It's mostly about the emphasis and barriers to entry that these pre-existing groups ['already-established standards organizations like W3C and IETF'] have. It may also be about the DNA, culture and people involved... where there are new community-driven initiatives cropping up which are outside the scope and mandate of these bodies..."
- OWF: Foundation Bylaws. Bylaws of the Open Web Foundation, a Delaware Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, Effective as of September 10, 2008. Posting.
- OWF Public Records
- Resolution to Establish a Legal Affairs Committee
- Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Open Web Foundation. Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 11:00 PDT.
- IPR Draft Guidelines. Draft by Eran Hammer-Lahav. July 29, 2008.
- OWF Draft Incubation Policy. See the associated posting by Danese Cooper.
From the minutes [bis] "The following individuals accepted their election to the interim Board of Directors (with terms to expire upon election of a permanent Board), and approved the actions of the Incorporator Eran Hammer-Lahav":
From the resolution of 2008-09-19 (A Resolution to Establish a Legal Affairs Committee): WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the Open Web Foundation deems it to be in the best interests of the Foundation and consistent with the Foundation's purpose to create an Executive Committee charged with establishing and managing legal policies based on the advice of legal counsel and the interests of the Foundation; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that an Open Web Foundation Executive Committee, to be known as the "Legal Affairs Committee", be and hereby is established pursuant to the Bylaws of the Foundation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legal Affairs Committee be and hereby is responsible for establishing and managing legal policies based on the advice of legal counsel and the interests of the Foundation; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the persons listed immediately below be and hereby are appointed to serve as the initial members of the Legal Affairs Committee..." See also the Open Web Foundation Legal discussion list.
From Community: Individuals. "The Open Web Foundation is made up of individuals who believe that the open web is built on technologies that are created in the open by a diversity of contributors, and which free to be used and improved upon without restriction." Listing 2008-09-20:
- Alex Russell
- Anand Iyer
- Angus Logan
- Ben Laurie
- Blaine Cook
- Brady Forrest
- Chris Messina
- Danese Cooper
- Dave Morin
- David Recordon
- Dawn Foster
- DeWitt Clinton
- Dirk-Willem van Gulik
- Eran Hammer-Lahav
- Geir Magnusson
- John McCrea
- Joichi Ito
- Phil Wolff
- Raj Mata
- Ross Turk
- Scott Kveton
- Tim O'Reilly
From Community: Supporting Our Effort. Our efforts are supported [2008-09-20] by a number of companies and organizations including:
A collection of references to development projects, specifications, and initiatives mentioned at least once by the OWF supporters...
- Atom. "XML-based Syndication Format used for web feeds along with the HTTP-based protocol Atom Publishing Protocol for creating and updating web resources"
- Attention Profiling Markup Language (APML). "Allows you to share your own personal Attention Profile just as OPML allows the exchange of reading lists between News Readers"
- Contextual Query Language (CQL). "A formal language for representing queries to information retrieval systems such as web indexes, bibliographic catalogs and museum collection information"
- DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). "A set of extensions to DNS designed to protect the Internet from certain attacks such as DNS cache poisoning"
- DSpace. "DSpace digital repository system captures, stores, indexes, preserves and redistributes an organization's research material in digital formats"
- Data Portability Project. "Technology to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors"
- Digital Archive Services (DASE). "a lightweight PHP5/MySQL web framework for creating, cataloging, and sharing collections of digital images, audio, video, and documents"
- DiSo Project. "An umbrella project for a group of open source implementations of these distributed social networking concepts"
- Email Address to URL Translation (EAUT). "An open protocol to allow standard email addresses to be transformed into URLs for services like OpenID"
- Friend of a Friend (FOAF). "An open, decentralized technology for connecting social Web sites, and the people they describe"
- Identity Commons. "A community of groups working together on the creation of an open identity and relationship layer for the internet"
- Information Cards. "Personal digital identities that people can use online, each with a card-shaped picture and a card name enabling people to organize their digital identities and select one for any given interaction"
- Jabber. "An API to provide instant messaging and presence functionality independent of data exchanged between entities"
- LID. "Light-Weight Identity helping individuals to keep control over and manage their on-line digital identities"
- Linked Data. "Using the Web to connect related data that wasn't previously linked, or linking data currently linked using other methods"
- Limited Lifetime Ubiquitous Protocol (LLUP). "A decentralized messaging protocol which facilitates the ability to broadcast notifications of the existence of time sensitive content related to a given subject matter, addressing this message to any person, place, or thing"
- Linked Product Action Service (LPAS). [TBD]
- Metalink. "A cross-platform and cross-application open standard/framework/file format for programs that download, including download managers, BitTorrent clients, Web browsers, FTP clients, and P2P programs"
- Microformats. "A set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards"
- OAI-PMH. "Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability using a set of six verbs or services invoked within HTTP"
- OAI-ORE. "Standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web resources — sometimes called compound digital objects that combine distributed resources with multiple media types"
- OAuth. "An open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications"
- OEmbed. "A format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites"
- OpenID. "A free and easy way to use a single digital identity across the Internet"
- OpenMicroBlogging. "Allows users of one microblogging service to publish notices to users of another service, given the other users' permission"
- OpenSearch. "A collection of simple formats for the sharing of search results, extending existing syndication formats such as RSS and Atom"
- OpenURL. "A type of URL that contains resource metadata, for use primarily in libraries"
- OPML. "Outline Processor Markup Language, providing a way to exchange information between outliners and Internet services"
- OWL. "Web Ontology language that builds on RDF, RDF Schema, and URIs for naming to add more vocabulary for describing properties and classes"
- Portable Contacts. "Providing users a secure way to access their address books and friends lists without having to take their credentials or scrape their data"
- RDF. "Resource Description Framework providing a lightweight ontology system to support the exchange of knowledge on the Web using XML as an interchange syntax"
- RSS. "'Really Simple Syndication' Web content syndication format that uses XML"
- SIOC. "Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities provides a Semantic Web ontology for representing rich data from the Social Web in RDF"
- SKOS. "Simple Knowledge Organization System supporting use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems and taxonomies"
- SPARQL. "SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) is a query language and protocol for RDF, where the protocol uses WSDL 2.0 to describe a means for conveying SPARQL queries to an SPARQL query processing service and returning the query results"
- SRU. "Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU), a standard search protocol for Internet search queries using CQL Common Query Language (CQL)"
- Shibboleth. "A standards based, open source software package for web single sign-on across or within organizational boundaries"
- XFN. "XHTML Friends Network providing a simple way to represent human relationships using hyperlinks"
- xFolk. "A simple and open format for publishing collections of bookmarks"
- XMPP. "XML-bases Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol defining technology for presence and real-time communication"
- XRDS. "Extensible Resource Descriptor Sequence, an XML format for discovery of metadata about a resource"
- XRDS-Simple. "A format and workflow for the discovery of resources metadata, and other linked resources"
- XRI. "Extensible Resource Identifier scheme and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers compatible with URIs and IRIs"
- Yadis. "Provides a general purpose identifier for a person and any other entity, a syntax for a resource description document, and a protocol for obtaining that resource description document, given the identifier"
- Z39.92 NISO Information Retrieval Service Description Specification. "Defines a method of describing Information Retrieval oriented electronic services, including services made available via the Z39.50, SRU/SRW, and OAI protocols"
Who are these guys, anyway? As of 2008-09-20, the Open Web Foundation Discussion List had 262 members (subscribers). The following list of "OWF: People" is not meant to duplicate information available via the Google Groups Member List. It provides references for individuals who are listed as OWF Board Members, Legal Affairs Committee Members, or OWF Community — Individuals.
- Dion Almaer. (Google and Ajaxian). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Pelle Braendgaard. (Stake Ventures). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Brady Brim-DeForest. Profile.
- DeWitt Clinton. (Google). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Blaine Cook. (Yahoo!)
- Danese Cooper. (Intel). Wikipedia. Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Leah Culver. (Pownce.com). Blog.
- Brady Forrest. (O'Reilly). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Dawn Foster. (Fast Wonder). Blog.
- Eran Hammer-Lahav. (Yahoo!) Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Allen Hurff. (MySpace). Website.
- Joichi Ito. (Creative Commons). Blog.
- Anand Iyer. (Microsoft). Blog. Profile.
- Jim Jagielski. (Apache Software Foundation). Profile.
- Scott Kveton. (Vidoop). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Ben Laurie. (Google). DBpedia.org. Wikipedia. Intro. Profile.
- Angus Logan. (Microsoft). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Geir Magnusson. (Joost). Profile.
- Raj Mata. (Yahoo!)
- John McCrea. (Plaxo). Blog
- Chris Messina. (Vidoop). Blog. Profile
- Dave Morin (Facebook). Blog.
- Brad Neuberg. (Google). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Tim O'Reilly. (O'Reilly Media). Blog.
- Simon Phipps. (Sun Microsystems). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- David Recordon. (Six Apart). Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Lawrence Rosen. (Rosenlaw & Einschlag). Blog. Profile.
- Sam Ruby. (IBM). Dbpedia.org. Wikipedia. Profile
- David Rudin. (Microsoft). Blog. Profile.
- Alex Russell. (Digital Reasoning Systems). Blog. Profile.
- Joseph Smarr. (Plaxo). Blog.
- Ben Smith. (BBC). Intro. Profile.
- Ross Turk. (SourceForge).
- Gabe Wachob. Blog. Intro. Profile.
- Stephan Wenger. (Nokia). Blog. Profile.
- Phil Wolff. Blog. Flickr. Profile.
- Dirk-Willem van Gulik. (BBC).
The self-executing non-assertion covenant (NAC) and license waiver are becoming common for technical specification development, offering advantages over "to-be-negotiated" RAND license terms required in executable IP/patent licenses. Initial presentations on OWF uniformally suggest that the two forms of protection desired for 'OWF-compatible' specifications are non-assertion covenants and Creative Commons copyright licenses (standardized, easy to understand). Some general references:
- Apache License, Version 2.0
- Creative Common Licensing
- OpenID Intellectual Property. "the non-assertion agreement [individuals, corporations] is incredibly important as it states that the contributor will not sue someone for implementing OpenID specifications: 'hereby irrevocably promises not to assert any Necessary Claims against any other entity'..."
- Google Data APIs Patent License
- IBM Statement of Non-Assertion of Named Patents Against OSS
- Microsoft Open Specification Promise
- OAuth Non-Assertion Covenant and Author's Contribution License for OAuth Specification 1.0. See comment.
- Sun Patent Non-Assertion Covenant for OpenDocument
- Sun Non-Assertion Covenant for OpenID
- Sun SAML Non-Assertion Covenant
- IETF Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group. See a summary by EHL.
- OASIS Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. Three IPR Modes for TCs: RAND IPR Mode, RF on RAND Terms, RF on Limited Terms. [Update Note 2009-06: An OASIS Non-Assertion IPR Mode (fourth option) was approved on 19-May-2009 and declared to be effective on 4-August-2009.]
- UN/CEFACT Intellectual Property Rights Policy. "requires all Participants in a UN/CEFACT Forum Group to waive their rights to enforce any of their intellectual property ('IPR')..."
- W3C Patent Policy. "...goal of this policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis."
Several accounts of OWF origins are provided in blogs written by the principals, presented in the document section General: News, Blogs, Commentary (July 2008). See especially "Announcing the Open Web Foundation" by Scott Kveton. The following adaptation from David Recordon's presentation is probably the most useful.
Supporting the Open Web. By David Recordon (Six Apart). 20 slides. An inaugural presentation announcing the Open Web Foundation, representing the ideas of a community. This slide set complements the video recording of the OSCON 2008 presentation. Excerpt (adapted from slides and notes) follows.
At OSCON, we've been talking a lot about open source: there are far more Open Source projects than I can even imagine. SourceForge alone is hosting nearly 200,000 open source projects. Open source has been very successful. But let's talk about the evolution of the web. The Browser Wars have helped turn the conversation from open source to the data and markup behind it, and popularized the term "open web". Originally it was IE vs. Netscape, but we're more interested in the "second browser war" with WHATWG (HTML 5, Gears). With Tim O'Reilly (OSCON 2007): "Open Data is increasingly important as services move online." Hosted services (the cloud) change the "open" game. Data is becoming as important as source. The Open Web is all about the data, protocols, etc. behind web services... 'The Open Web' isn't a new term, really brought forth by Mozilla and their quest to continue building the web on open standards. Lots of companies are advocating for and supporting the Open Web... Many of the same faces you see supporting Open Source.
The Open Web needs Open Data. Open Data needs Open Specifications. We now have a pretty good understanding of how to create open APIs. The interest is now shifting to proprietary specifications versus open specifications. We need interoperability and simplicity, not specifications that are 600 pages long. We also need to evolve the definition of the "Web"; e.g., XMPP is now a part of the Web. The web needs to be accessible everywhere. It's like flying on an iPhone! — The Web has to be accessible from anywhere, even a tin can 30,000 feet above the ground. Mashups are far more complex than they ever were before (iPhone "locate me"). The Web has to be accessible by anyone as network effects and collective intelligence matter.
Something happened in 2007: We now have an understanding of what services in the cloud look like. "The Web as the platform" makes openness valuable. Value of openness: let's not repeat the desktop: 'view source' matters. VCs are validating this argument: they are starting to care about more than just lockin. Social applications following UNIX philosophy. Lots of technologies and companies are fighting the battle for the Open Web, plus ECMA Script 4, WHATWG... The "Open Web" encompasses more than just HTTP, but today want to focus on a specific pain point...
Example for today: Three major open specifications came about and gained popularity the past year. Different backgrounds for each, all gaining widespread adoption. OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial.
OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial now have wide adoption. They are quite similar: (1) Communities ranging from individuals to companies; (2) Occurring outside of formal standards bodies: people just working on mailing lists; (3) Open Source implementations in many languages; (4) Major adoption at an increasing pace; (5) Open specifications designed to be freely implementable by anyone. Non-assertion agreements are used. They share a lot of the same goals and views. These core pieces of tech for the Open Web must be FREE to implement by anyone! Standards orgs normally take care of that, but for a variety of reasons these communities and others were working in adhoc fashions. Moving quite quickly, weeks between drafts and months to ship (OAuth: 9 months to Google shipping).
And these three [OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial] share problems.... There is no clear licensing for these specifications. Each one chooses its own licenses. No standard way to deal with IPR. No overarching community that transcends the projects. There are no social contracts in terms of saying "this is how you play well on the open web."
But Open Source solved this (well, a lot of it)... OSI, Creative Commons, Apache. Formal organizations like the IETF, W3C, ISO, and OASIS are creating standards, doing great work. Then you have Open Source Initiative (OSI) for software licenses: defining/refining the term "open source" so that companies can understand what it means to download source code which says it's BSD. The Creative Commons (CC) is creating copyright licenses, making copyright more understandable. Apache Software Foundation for building successful open source projects and communities.
A lot of people from many different backgrounds have been suffering through this pain and thinking about it over the past months. We want to highlight the involvement of Scott Kveton and DeWitt Clinton. And the expertise of people like Geir, Tim, Joi, Sam, Alex, Danese, Dirk, and others who have lived through similar situations before, helping us not make same of the mistakes of the past.
So we announce formation of the Open Web Foundation. Today we're going to start to solve some of this for open specifications, for the Open Web. We are forming a non-profit foundation where these communities can start to come together, where they can do work together. What does it mean when you go and get a specification from the Open Web Foundation? What does it mean for these communities or individuals who want to get involved don't have giant companies behind them to pay dollars to participate or to understand all the various intellectual property agreements going in? Yes we aren't the first nor will we be the last. We will make mistakes, but the landscape is evolving and are actively listening to those who came before. So it's in the spirit of open source, largely modeled after a hybrid of the Apache Software Foundation and things like the OpenID foundation. We want to learn from those who have done this before. Instead of creating half a dozen more foundations over the next year, let's try to create one more...
Four key points of focus of the Open Web Foundation:
- Incubation: creating new open specifications for the web
- Licensing: or really no licensing, prefer non-assertion agreements
- Copyright: Creative Commons for each specification
- Community: to support the Open Web
We have modeled a lot of the incubation process after the Apache Software Foundation, because obviously what they are doing works. We need to have diversity in the development community, creating great open source reference implementations. Across the board, the specifications should have copyright licenses from Creative Commons, making it simple to understand. A very similar set of core things are needed for open specifications and for open source. Yet, some different ways they work are important, and there's far less understanding: think about open source before there were easily understood open source licenses. So we're thinking about how to create community responsibility and recognition for defending the "Open Web."
The Open Web Foundation is focused on individuals, but we are blown away to see the level of support from companies who are feeling the need for this sort of non-profit organization as well, and need for a change in IP process for developing open specifications. All of these companies are invested in keeping the web open; this organization — this community — is responsible for keeping them all honest. Examples: BBC, O'Reilly, Facebook, SourceForge, Six Apart, Google, Yahoo!, MySpace, Vidoop, Plaxo... watch for openweb.org, we have the domain openwebfoundation.org now...
- Open Web Foundation (OWF) Web Site Home Page
- OWF Community
- OWF: pbwiki
- OWF: Customer Service and Support
- Open Web Foundation — From Wikipedia
- Discussion Lists:
- Open Web Foundation Discussion List archives. This group is dedicated to general discussions about work happening at the Open Web Foundation. See About, with 'Top posters' and indexes for monthly archives (July 2008, August, September). Usage as of 2008-09-20: 262 members, 938 messages
- Open Web Foundation Members List archives. Usage as of 2008-09-20: 30 messages. Administrative list with limited purpose; see the posting.
- Open Web Foundation Legal. A discussion group for the Open Web Foundation's Legal Affairs Committee.
This section provides a random selection of online references, intended to be representative but not exhaustive. Please send URI references for additions/corrections to Robin Cover.
[September 27, 2010] "OWF 1.0 Draft Agreements Are Now Available for Public Review." Announcement from Lawrence Rosen and David Rudin (Co-Chairs, Open Web Foundation Legal Committee). "The OWF Legal Drafting Committee is pleased to announce the publication of the set of OWF v1.0 agreements for public review. The public review period will close October 08, 2010. At that point, the Drafting Committee will consider and respond to all comments, and will refer a final version of the agreements to the OWF Board of Directors for final approval. OWF "is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specifications."
This set of agreements includes the following documents:
- CLA — Copyright and Patent — Draft 1.0. This Contributor License Agreement ('CLA') covers both copyright and patents for contributions.
- Open Web Foundation Agreement ('OWFa') — Draft 1.0. This is an updated version of the OWFa and is intended to cover the entire specification.
- CLA — Copyright only — Draft 1.0. This is a copyright only CLA, which is similar to the previously approved 0.9 CLA updated to conform to the language in the proposed 1.0 agreements.
- OWFa Patent only — Draft 1.0. This agreement is for use in contexts were copyright is already covered by a separate grant. For example, this agreement could be used for making a commitment to standards body where copyright is already covered by the organization's rules.
Both the Open Web Foundation Agreement v 1.0 (OWFa) and the OWF Contributor License Agreement v 1.0 (CLA) apply to Specifications that are intended to be implemented and used in computer software. By signing the CLA, a Bound Entity grants its patent and copyright intellectual property rights so that others around the world freely can include the Bound Entity's Contributions — and elaborate on them — in the community effort to write and implement the Specification containing those Contributions. A single signed CLA covers all future Contributions of that Bound Entity to that Specification.
By signing the OWFa, a Bound Entity grants its patent and copyright intellectual property rights so that others can freely implement the entire final Specification as it is published, regardless of who contributed what portions. These agreements provide necessary copyright and patent licenses, in effect allowing contributors and supporters who helped to create and who formally support a Specification to protect the Specification against infringement lawsuits over the intellectual property in that Specification..."
[September 20, 2010] "Introducing the Open Web Foundation Contributor License Agreement 0.9 (OWF CLA)." Posting by David Rudin. "The Open Web Foundation is pleased to announce its first Contributor License Agreement (CLA). The purpose of this CLA is to establish the rules for how individuals and companies contribute to the development of a specification. This first CLA grants a copyright license to contributions. The Open Web Foundation encourages and enables specification development communities to work together and concentrate on creating technology — without those communities having to develop custom legal agreements to cover that work. Since the original Open Web Foundation Agreement ('OWFa') was launched, the OWFa has been applied to a wide range of specifications, ranging from community developed specifications to specifications released from companies including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. We've also seen specifications originally released under the OWFa move on to more formal standardization bodies like IETF and W3C. Where the OWFa was designed to apply to final specifications, the OWF CLA sets the terms that govern contributions to a project during the development phase. To think of it a different way, the OWF CLA sets out the conditions of fair participation before a specification is finished, while the OWFa applies once the specification is ready to be published and implemented. To learn more, you can review the CLA itself, FAQ, and Deed. The Open Web Foundation continues to work on other CLAs and on updates to the OWFa, including a CLA that also includes patent grants, and we welcome your involvement. The OWF Legal Affairs Committee is open for self-nominations for participating in the drafting and review process itself, and the Open Web Foundation general discussion list is always available for public input, questions, and support..."
[2009-05-29] "OWF Publishes Open Web Foundation Agreement Version 2." By David Rudin (et al, eds), OWF Legal Affairs Committee. Members of the Open Web Foundation (OWF) Legal Affairs Committee have released the text of "Open Web Foundation Agreement - Committee Draft 2". This 'work-in-progress; document does not have the official endorsement of the Open Web Foundation and is only a committee-draft. The purpose of the Agreement is to initiate the conversation regarding the creation of an Open Web Foundation Final Specification Agreement. The document sets forth terms under which [participants in an applicable technical activity] make certain copyright and patent rights available for implementations of a specification, including Copyright Grant and Patent Non-Assert. In adddition, the Agreement includes a 'Good Faith Obligation' clause ("I agree that I have not and will not knowingly take any action for the purpose of circumventing my obligations under this Agreement").
As explained in the non-binding commentary portion, the draft OWF agreement makes necessary patents available under two mechanisms. "The first is a patent non-assert, which is intended to be a simple and clear way to assure that the broadest audience of developers and users working with commercial or open source software can implement specifications through a simplified method of sharing of technical assets, while recognizing the legitimacy of intellectual property. It is a way to reassure that audience that the specification can be used for free, easily, now and forever. The second mechanism is an agreement to make necessary patent claims available under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms without royalty (also known as RAND-z), which is a common approach taken by standards bodies. That license itself would be agreed upon between the patent owner and the party wishing to use the patent. We believe that the non-assert should be sufficient for most purposes, but included the RAND-z provision as an option for situations in which the non-assert may not be appropriate or valid. The RAND-z option is also intended to facilitate the potential transition of the specification to a formal standards body."
In an associated posting, David Rudin clarifies the nature of three changes in this draft:
- (1) Implementation-based Patent Grant: In the previous draft, the grant of patent claims was based on the extent to which an implementation conformed to the specification. Concerns that that language could imply that conformance could be measured against a third party conformance suite or some other criteria that was outside of the community's control. To address this, the current draft makes the grant contingent upon the implementation of the specification. In other words, this change is meant to clarify that that grant is based on inward looking criteria (was the spec implemented) rather than outward looking criteria (the spec conforming with something).
- (2) Derivative Works: This draft abandons the need for a new signoff for any new version of a specification and therefore allows the patent promise to flow with the derivative work. The goal here is to be functionally equivalent to making a normative reference but allow derivative works to actually carry over the text from the original spec...
- (3) Broader Defensive Suspension: This draft expands defensive suspension from the previous drafts two ways. First, defensive suspension now includes the termination of copyright grants. This will allow someone who is sued by a non-implementing patent holder to potentially have a copyright claim against the party asserting the patent. Second, the patent rights granted by ALL parties that have signed the agreement for a given specification will be AUTOMATICALLY terminated against a party suing over the patent claims in an implementation. There is a carve out, however, for defensive lawsuits. In other words, if someone sues me over their necessary patents in my implementation of a specification, they will lose their patent rights they received from all the other signatories for that particular specification. If I defensively countersue against that party, however, I do not lose my rights from third parties since all I am doing is protecting myself...
Related non-assert language in the Google Wave Federation Protocol Patent License: "Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Google and its affiliates hereby grant to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this License) patent license for patents necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If you institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the implementation of the specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses for the specification granted to you under this License shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed."
[2009-03-11] "Explaining the Open Web Foundation: Why a New Process?" By Eran Hammer-Lahav. Blog. "In the next few blog posts I will try to answer questions about what the Open Web Foundation is about, what we are working on, and how you can help. This first post will answer questions about the reasons for creating a new Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) process. The views expressed here are my personal perspective and may not represent those of other people involved. [In current standards organizations] the process is based on an upfront scope. It involves negotiating a well defined scope among all the key participants prior to any actual specification work. Many times companies write unpublished specification drafts ahead of such negotiation, using them to have a better understanding of where they want to end up... Why can't the Open Web Foundation use existing IPR policies? The decision to create a new policy and not to use the current policies established by standard bodies is based on the reality of the communities the Open Web Foundation emerged from. After years of experience with the standards bodies, we can fully appreciate the value they provide, but also the significant pitfalls they create. The reality is that they have failed to support the kind of communities and results accomplished by the OAuth, OpenSocial, and OpenID. The two main issues with these policies are that they are strongly designed to accommodate and protect big companies, and that they usually take a very long time from idea to final specification. Other issues include complicated bureaucracy, the need for strong political allies, complicated legal documents inaccessible by most individuals, expensive fees and travel costs, and an existing body of work which in many cases creates a strong bias against new ideas. The reality is that many new communities are voting with their feet and staying away from such bodies. They knowingly create work that is not legally protected from IPR perspective because the alternatives are just not practical..."
[2009-02-04] "Open Web Foundation (OWF) Publishes Proposed Draft for Spec IPR." Cover Pages Daily News blurb. "[Certain] Members of the OWF Legal Affairs Committee have drafted an initial proposal covering copyright and patents in specifications created under the Open Web Foundation community spec development model. The proposal (proposed draft) is presented in an "Open Web Foundation Final Specification Agreement" document, edited by Eran Hammer-Lahav. As drafted, the agreement may be signed by an individual or corporate entity, and sets forth the terms under which the signing party makes certain intellectual property rights available to others for the use and implementation of a specification. Under the Copyright Grant: "I grant to you perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright), worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license, without any obligation for accounting to me, to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, distribute, and implement the Specification to the full extent of my copyright interest in the Specification." As to patents ('Patent Non-Assert' and 'Patent License Commitment', the non-binding commentary clarifies that the agreement "makes necessary patents available under two mechanisms. The first is a patent non-assert, which is intended to be a simple and clear way to assure that the broadest audience of developers and users working with commercial or open source software can implement specifications through a simplified method of sharing of technical assets, while recognizing the legitimacy of intellectual property. It is a way to reassure that audience that the specification can be used for free, easily, now and forever. The second mechanism is an agreement to make necessary patent claims available under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms without royalty (also known as RAND-z), which is a common approach taken by standards bodies. The license itself would be agreed upon between the patent owner and the party wishing to use the patent. We believe that the non-assert should be sufficient for most purposes, but included the RAND-z provision as a fall back for situations in which the non-assert may not be appropriate or valid. The RAND-z option is also intended to facilitate the potential transition of the specification to a formal standards body." The OWF Legal Affairs Committee as constituted in 2008-09-19 included Ben Laurie (Google), David Rudin (Microsoft), DeWitt Clinton (Google), Eran Hammer-Lahav (Yahoo!), Gabe Wachob, Geir Magnusson (Joost), Jim Jagielski (Apache Software Foundation), Lawrence Rosen (Rosenlaw & Einschlag), Pelle Braendgaard (Stake Ventures), Simon Phipps (Sun Microsystems), and Stephan Wenger (Nokia). Editor's comments in the announcement: "The 'proposed draft' designation means that this is not yet a Committee Draft — a draft endorsed by the Legal Committee as a whole. It it only a proposal put forward by a few members and guests of the committee. We hope that with an open discussion of the draft by the full committee, we can elevate the draft into a Committee Draft and get it closer to a proposed agreement for the OWF board to vote on. The draft has no author, but I would like to acknowledge the involvement and contribution of the following individuals: DeWitt Clinton, David Recordon, David Rudin, Larry Rosen, Stephan Wenger, Gabe Wachob, Ben Lee, and myself. I would also like to express a special gratitude to David Rudin for his outstanding effort in transforming our collective ideas into a legal document..."
[2008-09-22] Open Web Foundation Formed to Support Community Specification Development. Cover Pages news story. The formation of the Open Web Foundation (OWF) was announced on July 24, 2008 at the OSCON 2008 Conference. OWF is "applying the open source model of seeing a common pain point and trying to patch the system by creating an 'organizational library' that makes it easier to go through a collaborative specification process and come out of it with clean IPR, leading to faster implementation and adoption." Speaking on behalf of thirty-some individual collaborators and with promised support from several companies (BBC, Facebook, Google, MySpace, O'Reilly, Plaxo, Six Apart, SourceForge, Vidoop, Yahoo!), David Recordon of Six Apart presented the rationale and key points of focus for the new foundation: Incubation: creating new open specifications for the web; Licensing: or really no licensing, use of non-assertion agreements; Copyright: Creative Commons for each specification; Community: diverse collaboration of individuals and companies held accountable to support the Open Web... NB: This story presents only a few comments/quotations not found in this document.
[2008-08-15] What is the relationship to already-established standards organizations like W3C and IETF? Question posted on the OWF Customer Service and Support site, answered by: (1) Scott Kveton: "[OWF] helps communities to develop open specifications which can later be contributed to standards bodies like the IETF, OASIS, or W3C. OWF helps to ensure that an open specfication gains adoption and has clean IPR so that it can be worked on by a standards body..." (2) Chris Messina: "the existing bodies and organizations are indeed useful for certain types of problems and opportunities, but more recently they haven't been set up to deal with or support more grassroots, community-driven specification processes that appear to offer a great deal of value at lower cost... It's mostly about the emphasis and barriers to entry that these pre-existing groups have. It may also be about the DNA, culture and people involved... where there are new community-driven initiatives cropping up which are outside the scope and mandate of these bodies. If these bodies provided the kind of cultivating incubation processes and support that we were looking for, and were also naturally involved in the social web community, things might look a little different. Still, it's not necessarily a bad thing for there to be a plurality of organizations dedicated promoting the proliferation of royalty-free or open specifications or standards... We're simply applying the open source model of seeing a common pain point and trying to patch the system by creating an "organizational library" (if you will) that makes it easier to go through a collaborative specification process and come out of it with clean IPR leading to faster implementation and adoption..." (3) Gabe Wachob: "This org [OWF] is an attempt to make the mechanics of around IPR become 'non issues' for communities of interest around technologies — to the extent such a community is interested in making a truly open web [since] if someone has patents and doesn't want to participate, there's nothing much that can be done there..."
[2008-08-13] Debate Around The Need For The Open Web Foundation. By Mark Little. From InfoQueue. "At OSCON 2008 David Recordon announced the creation of the Open Web Foundation... [Recordon says] 'The foundation is trying to break the trend of creating separate foundations for each specification, coming out of the realization that we could come together and generalize our efforts.'... We'll have to see if this effort really does take off or whether it's just another flash in the pan. But with OASIS, W3C and IETF all going strong it is difficult to see OWF having much of an impact in the near future..."
[2008-08-11] Post Standards: Creating Open Source Specs. By David Recordon. From the posting: "Submitted a panel proposal for SXSW [The SXSW Interactive Festival, March 13-17, 2009] about this entire shift which we're starting to embody in OWF..." Panel Picker text: "Many of the most interesting new formats on the web are being developed outside the traditional standards process; Microformats, OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, and originally Jabber — four out of five of these popular new specs have been standardized by the IETF, OASIS, or W3C. But real hackers are bringing their implementations to projects ranging from open source apps all the way up to the largest companies in the technology industry. While formal standards bodies still exist, their role is changing as open source communities are able to develop specifications, build working code, and promote it to the world. It isn't that these communities don't see the value in formal standardization, but rather that their needs are different than what formal standards bodies have traditionally offered. They care about ensuring that their technologies are freely implementable and are built and used by a diverse community where anyone can participate based on merit and not dollars. At OSCON last year, the Open Web Foundation was announced to create a new style of organization that helps these communities develop open specifications for the web. This panel brings together community leaders from these technologies to discuss the "why" behind the Open Web Foundation and how they see standards bodies needing to evolve to match lightweight community driven open specifications for the web." Supported by Marc Canter, Sean Hsieh, M. David Peterson, Mark Surman, and others.
[2008-08-04] The Open Web Foundation, with Scott Kveton. Scott Kveton (interviewed by Ted Haeger and Alex Barnett). The Bungee Line Overview. Audio (33:13, 15.2 MB MP3). "The Open Web Foundation was announced at OSCON 2008. Created by and endorsed by numerous highly influential individuals and organizations, the Open Web Foundation has also been received with a fair amount of skepticism. We speak to Scott Kveton, one of the key people involved in the organization's establishment to learn more about the organization's purpose, goals and near term objectives... OWF was started by 30-plus individuals who have been involved in OpenID and related initiatives. We don't want to create several new foundations this year, and get a bunch of lawyers involved in all of them. Why not create an organization to solve the IPR problem across all of these technologies. As social networking moves to being a feature on the Internet, not something you do at the destination, we need to move data around, need lightweight specifications to do that. Need a streamlined process; in standards bodies there are barriers to entrance, cost, bureaucratic process. Getting a specification through IETF takes quite a bit of time. Standards bodies are too slow: we want to put out specs fast, break them, find out what's wrong... And there are gaps in the technology now. Example: activity streams... The specs we want to build will change over time: we don't know the scope at the beginning." [The Bungee Line is an audio podcast for web developers, covering web API's, software development, and the creation of richly interactive web applications.]
[2008-08-01] Where to develop web specs? By Bill de hÓra. Blog. "So Dare has, in trademark fashion, rubbed the OWF people up the wrong way. At the end of the day, I've seen no good answer forthcoming on the substance, namely, why does the OWF need to exist? I've done some work in the IETF, JCP, and the W3C, and been on the edge of OASIS. I think you absolutely have to have your act together going into any of these organisations, technically and politically — politically, because technology specifications aren't like OSS projects insofar as they have a strong economic slant — iow, someone's lunch is at stake. Maybe that's why the OWF exists, who knows. That said, I can't imagine why anyone would want to redo the process and IPR stuff that is required of globally deployed technology; it's critically important and absolutely no fun whatsoever... There's a mild trend of important web work consciously not being done though the W3C - Atom, AtomPub, Microformats, OpenSocial, HTML5, in conjunction with criticism of signficant work being done in there (RDF, WCAG2, WS, XHTML2). Maybe it's time for the W3C to look at the consortium aspect and address concerns about "openness", perhaps by having an auxilary to provide the kind of structure and governance that would not require something like the WHATWG to exist..."
[2008-07-28] A second look at Dare on the OWF. By Dion Almaer, apropos of IETF: "[...] in fact the editor of the [IETF] RFC actually has a lot of control, so much so that you can't always tell where you stand and you have to read the fine print. Many of the standards are done 100% correctly, but not having the rules set clearly at the org level can be a worry. I also feel like community is a part of it too, and something that people often don't think about. Why do we have the Dojo Foundation? It may have started out as a way to do open source correctly, according to the values of folks such as Alex Russell and Dylan Schieman, and with a safe correct legal structure. New projects come into Dojo though in a way where there is a match on those values, and as such there is a Dojo community feel. The same can be said for Apache. It has a community. I personally hope that the Open Web Foundation creates a productive community that revolves around the core values that we are all creating as I type this. There is a reason that this is the Open Web Foundation, and not the Open License Foundation. This is about the Web..."
[2008-07-27] First Stab: Guiding Principles for the Open Web Foundation. By Gabe Wachob. "The OWF is an organization to facilitate community efforts to create technical specifications that conform to the ethos that anyone can use the specification and nobody owns the specification or its ideas. Towards that end, the following principles guide work in the OWF: (1) All specifications produced by OWF groups should be clear of IPR encumbrances — patent, copyright, trademark, etc; (2) All participants contributing to specifications are acting as individuals, but both organizations and individuals may contribute IPR..." [These principles are up on a Wiki and being edited there.]
[2008-07-27] Open Web Foundation to Play Freedom Cop for Net Specs." By Walaika Haskins. From LinuxInsider. "The organization follows open source models already seen in the Apache Software Foundation. Its goal is to provide a lightweight framework that will help communities handle the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specifications... In recent times, a slew of open source initiatives have been launched for the Internet, including OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial and the Portable Contacts Application Programming Interface, just to name a few. Though many of the same backers are involved in each of these projects, each effort has had to independently create the appropriate legal framework to ensure that 'their work is freely implementable by anyone,' Recordon said..."
[2008-07-26] Some Thoughts on the Open Web Foundation. By Dare Obasanjo. Blog. "In truth there is already an organization dedicated to producing "Open" Web technologies that has a well thought out policy on membership, governance, sponsorship and intellectual property rights that isn't pay to play. This is not a new organization, it actually happens to be older than David Recordon who unveiled the Open Web Foundation. The name of this organization is the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). If you are reading this blog post then you are using technologies for the 'Open Web' created by the IETF... The IETF policy on membership doesn't get more straightforward; join a mailing list..." See the responses from readers.
[2008-07-25] Open Web Foundation. By Sam Ruby. Intertwingly Blog. "Key question: who is we? Oversimplifying what the Apache Incubator does, it makes sure that a podling has a diverse and sustainable set of contributors, who are committed to do their development openly and collaboratively, and have the rights and desire to license all the necessary IPR under the terms specified by the Apache Software Foundation. Verifying that such a group exists and meets these criteria does not generally require domain expertise. If this group evolves to the point where it finds the right balance of enabling and getting out of the way, this foundation could be a very handy thing to have around..."
[2008-07-25] Open Web Foundation. By Stephen Downes. Blog. "Scott Wilson reports on the launch of the Open Web Foundation, announced at OSCON last week. The purpose of the Foundation is to 'create a home for community-driven specifications' such as oAuth and OpenID. Wilson questions the need for the Foundation: 'On the other hand, what about IETF? What about W3C? What about ISO? What about UN/CEFACT?' The discussion on the OWF mailing list and in other coverage answers the question. WC3? For example, here we read, 'The W3C is a pay-to-play cartel that increasingly gets nothing done. Open source developers can't even participate, as a rule.' As for IETF, Wilson's concern is echoed by Dare Obasanjo, but in response, 'its main problem is that it has no IPR policy at all,' a concern that was echoed elsewhere. ISO's problems were highlighted in the recent Open Document kerfuffle..."
[2008-07-25] Open Web Foundation to Keep Data 'Open' By Darryl K. Taft. From eWEEK. "Geir Magnusson, an ASF director, who was among the group that helped set the organization in motion, said the Open Web Foundation will be a success if it can take the concept of the Apache Software Foundation's incubator and help to enable open-source communities to deal with legal issues and intellectual property concerns... Danese Cooper, senior director of open-source strategies at Intel and a founding member of the Open Web Forum, said one of her roles was to call on large companies to inform them about the effort: 'The big companies freaked out... they didn't want to see it just happen — they wanted to think about it awhile...'."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation a new club for standards makers. By Rafe Needleman. From CNET News.com. "OWF's mission is to bring a legal framework, consistency, and communication to the various existing Web standards efforts now under way. As he notes, projects like OAuth and OpenID are similar but being run separately. OWF will provide frameworks that existing and new projects can work within, and try to secure agreements that will keep standards groups from taking legal action against each other. The goal is admirable and there are plenty of people with strong experience in creating standards that are behind this effort... But I asked Recordon if OWF was just another layer of bureaucracy, and would thus slow down standards making. He said it's a danger, but obviously he feels that assurances of freedom from legal action would make working with the OWF worth the effort..."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation Launches to Do the Dirty Work for Data Portability. By Marshall Kirkpatrick. "Organized in as a decentralized community of developers, in the fashion of the Apache Software Foundation, the OWF will serve as a placeholder for all the legal dirty work that needs to happen in order for data portability to become a reality. Specifically, the Foundation will work with all the vendors in this space to secure Creative Commons copyrights and promises not to sue each other over the use of data protocols. Think OpenID, OAuth, OEmbed, and lots more still in the works. In some ways this dreadfully unsexy work, but in other ways it's just the opposite..."
[2008-07-24] OSCON 2008: Introducing the Open Web Foundation. By Rick Turoczy. Blog. "My take? For the Open Web Foundation, it is more critical to understand and support how the data is being exchanged and how we build open systems that are interoperable. Because without interoperability and the ability to share, all the data in the world is useless... Is the Open Web Foundation a competitor of the Data Portability Project? In terms of mindshare? Absolutely. In terms of technology? Not really. Is that competition a bad thing? Not at all... The Open Web Foundation will become the facilitator of open specifications. An umbrella resource that helps manage the continuing development of open specs and a means of ensuring consistency and compatibility among the variety of technologies currently in play..."
[2008-07-24] The Open Web Foundation is Here. By John McCrea. "This collection of individuals (full disclosure: I am one of them), is taking on a very important mission: creating a vehicle to nurture the development of open specs. Why is that important and urgent? Well, every grass roots effort, whether OpenID, OAuth, or something yet to be dreamt up, needs to work through a whole lot of issues to go from great idea to finalized spec that companies large and small feel comfortable implementing. In particular, large companies want to make sure that they can adopt these building blocks without fear of being sued for infringing on somebody's intellectual property rights. Absent the creation of this new organization, we were likely to see each new effort potentially creating yet-another-foundation to tackle what is essentially a common set of requirements..."
[2008-07-24] Evolution of the open web — big step today. By Kaliya Hamlin. Blog. "Today is a big day for the web. The Open Web Foundation was announced at OSCON (by David Recordon). A small dedicated group of developers, web innovators, and community leaders have come together to create this place were specs can be incubated in an open process and have IPR dealt with upfront rather then an afterthought (clearing IPR has been a long and delaying process for OpenID). The model they like for cross-company collaboration on these things is like Apache Software Foundation does for open source projects. This effort to normalize the community process (multi company) around truly open standards for the social web is an important step. It is completely aligned with the vision that inspired me to evangelize the ideas for an open Identity/social/relationship layer of the web..."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation Officially Launches. By Nik Cubrilovic. TechCrunch Blog. "The foundation will be focused on developing the technical specifications of protocols used for communication and inter-operability between applications on the web. The foundation will also set out the legal terms and best practices for the use and transport of both private and public data, and the usage of web services... We first reported on the announcement on Tuesday of this week after Chris Saad, the co-founder of the Data Portability project wrote a post about the announcement. The Data Portability project is focused on the evangelism of data openness and transparency, while the new Open Web Foundation will be focused on implementation issues.
[2008-07-24] Announcing the Open Web Foundation. By Brady Forrest. O'Reilly Radar. "Today at OSCON, we'd like to announce the creation of the Open Web Foundation, an organization that will help the creation and acceptance of Open Web. As the web grows there is an increasing need for interoperability between sites... To make sure that we working towards the same goal foundations (like OpenID) and specs (like OAuth) are created. Each time some of the same mistakes are made. The Open Web Foundation's goal it to provide a home for community created specs. with mentorship, resources and infrastructure. Hopefully this will help teams spend time on making the spec..."
[2008-07-24] The Open Web Foundation - Why Do It? By Evan (Rabble) Henshaw-Plath. Anarchogeek Blog. "Here's my understanding. Most standards traditionally have been heavy vendor driven processes. Even when you don't need $$$ or to be a big company to participate, you do need to have the resources to fly around the world to the meetings, like IETF. It's painful and nasty. There are a series of standards which are created using more open source / hacker / collaborative ways which are emerging from code, like extracting a framework from your application, you extract the standard from your work and best practices. It's easy, lightweight, great, works... The Open Web Foundation is about creating something which will shut the lawyers up and let these bottom up, extracting standards folks still work without having to die the death of a thousand meetings with legal..."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation can clear the way for innovation. By Phil Wolff. From Skype Journal. "The OWF is tackling several human barriers to technical success. (1) Legal barriers. Great projects have been stalled for many quarters because contributions to their work product (designs, sample code, specification, etc.) were not cleared. OWF will host projects where all contributions are cleared up front. So the final product arrives unencumbered by patents, trademarks, and other claims. (2) Antisocial parents...OpenWeb will help innovators foster community around their ideas. So the new product is 'owned' by an open community, so it receives diverse and worldly inputs, and learns, adapts, and flourishes independent of its instigators. Ready to survive in the wild. (3) Startup Governance. To incorporate or not? Where? In what form? Who holds our IP? How do we take money? OpenWeb will help with this class of problem by sharing templates for organizing and being a corporate umbrella for select projects..."
[2008-07-24] Announcing the Open Web Foundation. By Scott Kveton. "In May 2008, the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) board had a face-to-face meeting at Google where we were planning for the next year. During that meeting we started to discuss focus and scope of the OIDF and realized that there was a much bigger need in the community of developers creating light-weight, open specifications for the web... As a bit of history, when we created the OIDF, we learned quite a bit about what it takes for individuals and companies to come together within a community to develop and open specification. Out of this work, we developed a process for managing IP and copyrights as well as built a strong relationship among a good portion of people working on these problems across the web. It wasn't all easy and many communities developing other open specifications learned quite a bit from us. We wanted to find a way to make it so others wouldn't have to go through this hassle ever again. To answer several of the pain points around getting an open specification to be able to be used in the marketplace and keep community members writing code and specs and not legal documentation, several of us came together to create the Open Web Foundation..."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation. By Ben Laurie. Blog. "I'm very pleased that we've launched the Open Web Foundation today. As Scott Kveton says: 'The OWF is an organization modeled after the Apache Software Foundation; we wanted to use a model that has been working and has stood the test of time.' When we started the ASF, we wanted to create the best possible place for open source developers to come and share their work. As time went by, it became apparent that the code wasn't the only problem - standards were, too. The ASF board (and members, I'm sure) debated the subject several times whilst I was serving on it, and no doubt still does, but we always decided that we should focus on a problem we knew we could solve. So, I'm extra-happy that finally a group of community-minded volunteers have come together to try to do the same thing for standards..."
[2008-07-24] Open Web Foundation. By Gabe Wachob. Blog. "After my experience with helping to craft the IPR policy around OpenID, OAuth, and XRDS-Simple, along with my experience with the IPR around XRI, I've been arguing for a very lightweight organization whose simple purpose is to make it dead simple for a community of interested people to create specifications that are free from IPR (specifically patent) encumbrances as possible, but without all the extra baggage (politics, cost, process) that comes with a traditional standards body. I had been advocating making OASIS a more lightweight, and open (read: free for individuals) organization, but those suggestions didn't get enthusiastic responses... This org is an attempt to make the mechanics of around IPR become "non issues" for communities of interest around technologies..."
[2008-07-24] Announcing the Open Web Foundation. By Eran Hammer-Lahav. "The Open Web Foundation is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification..."
[2008-07-24] The Open Web Foundation. By Chris Messina. Blog. "For small, independent groups to work on open specifications (n.b. not standards!) that may eventually be adopted industry-wide, there needs to be a lightweight and well-articulated path for doing the right thing — when it comes to intellectual property that does not burden the creative process with defining scope prematurely... the final output of these kinds of efforts should ultimately be free to be implemented by all the participants and the community at large. And rather than forcing the assignment of all related patents owned by all participants to a central foundation (as in the case of the XMPP Foundation) or getting every participant to license their patents to others (something most companies seem loathe to do without some fiscal upside), we've seen a trend over the past several years towards patent non-assert agreements which allow companies to maintain their IP, to not have to disclose it, and yet to allow for the free, unencumbered use of the specification.We do have much work ahead of us, but hopefully, if we are successful, we will reduce the overall cost to the industry of repeating this kind of work, again, in much the same way Creative Commons has done in providing license alternatives to copyright and making salient the notion that the way things are aren't the only way they have to be..."
[2008-07-24] "Supporting the Open Web.". David Recordon (Six Apart). Video. Extent: 13 minutes (13:21). See the posting. This keynote presentation was made at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON 2008), Portland, Oregon, USA, on July 24, 2008. Open Source is successful. Shift from open source to emphasis on the data in the cloud: not just the source code, but the data as well. We know how create open APIs. Things like 'View Source" really matter. Open data needs open data to work... Consider OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial... While the term Open Web was largely popularized by Mozilla a few years ago, it has evolved to stand for an entire group of community developed open specifications. These communities share many needs yet as an example don't currently have an easy way to ensure that everything they create is freely implementable by everyone... This is a video of my presentation announcing OWF and talking about what has lead up to it is now online. Finally, a bit of commentary to go along with the slides... Now with audio goodness! Let me know if there are any bits which seem out of sync...
[2008-07-23] Open Web Foundation. By Chris Saad. Blog: Paying Attention. "As a co-founder of the Data Portability project, I'd like to be the first to welcome the Open Web Foundation to the conversation that was crystallized by the project early this year. It seems like the foundation is well placed to provide a much needed level of oversight and legal protection for fledgling open standards. These standards will ultimately contribute to the 'data portability' vision of an inter-operable, standards-based web of data. In our investigations of the various standards, this has been a key concern for us and we feel encouraged people are stepping up to remove this potential roadblock. there is enormous value in getting more people involved in working towards a vision we all share, and for that reason I am genuinely excited by this development... I'd hope that the group is open to standards not developed by the founding individuals and companies. We believe that governance is at the center of making these kinds of initiatives truly open and aligned with our shared visions of an open web. As such the DataPortability Project has ratified a radical new governance model that allows maximum participation while maintaining agility and accountability..."
[2008-07-23] The Open Web Foundation: Apache for the other stuff. By Dion Almaer (Google/Ajaxian). "I am excited to see the recent talk of Open Web Foundation is now out there.... Imagine that you came up with a great idea, something like OAuth. That great idea gains some traction and more people want to get involved. What do you do? People ask about IP policy, and governance, and suddenly you see yourself on the path of creating a new MyApiFoundation. Wait a minute! There are plenty of standards groups and other organizations out there, surely you don't have to create MyApiFoundation? Well, there is the W3C and OASIS, which are pay to play orgs. They have their place, but MyApi may not fit in there. The WHATWG has come up with fantastic work, but the punting on IP is an issue too. MyApi has some code in there, so how about putting this in Apache? Apache is great for code, but it doesn't deal with the other stuff, which is fine. That isn't its mandate..."