[OpenID board] IPR Policy and Process Proposal

Gabe Wachob gabe.wachob at amsoft.net
Tue Apr 24 17:23:41 UTC 2007

I think we can definitely distill this into bullet points. The IPR policy is
probably the most complicated and foreign to people. I think my "process"
proposal can be boiled down to a handful of bullet points. 


Its kinda like the spec itself - you read it without any intro and it looks
kinda complicated. But if you get a 50,000 foot view at first, most of the
verbiage turns out to be relatively detailed stuff you can safely ignore
assuming you aren't a core spec developer. 


I'm guessing it's the shock of the verbiage that got you - once you read
through it, you'll find that in practice, its lightweight and everyone who
is operating under it will (I think) mostly be able to forget about it.
That's the goal, at least. 


I'm going to attempt to compose an intro letter today (probably tonight) and
pass it out here and to Mike Jones and the other MS folks and we can start
on discussions and plans on legal at .. 





From: board-bounces at openid.net [mailto:board-bounces at openid.net] On Behalf
Of Johannes Ernst
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 9:19 AM
To: board at openid.net
Subject: Re: [OpenID board] IPR Policy and Process Proposal


Hi Gabe,


first let me be clear that it is much better to have a (complex) IPR policy
than not having any at all. I am grateful to you and everybody else who has
contributed to this so far.


Also to be clear, my measurement of complexity is very crude: the amount of
time I (or anybody else) expects to need to spend until they understand the
IPR policy. That's the equivalent of "how many screens do I need to click
through to sign up" somewhere. The longer it is, the less likely it is that
people will get involved. So far, we've been doing excellently well on that


"Nobody should own this ... " etc can be read and understood in about 10
seconds. I'm afraid that we are moving that measure up to 1 hour plus.


It may be that it simply cannot be done in, say, 5 minutes. In which case,
well, that's what we have to live with. Not being a lawyer, I will need to
trust you and others to make that judgment call for us.


I'm just asking: is there some way we can simplify, even at the cost of
moving from a 99% solution to an 80% solution (but not a 20% solution.) If
the answer is no, well, so be it. If if the answer is "perhaps a bit", it
should be worthwhile to pursue this.


Makes sense?










On Apr 23, 2007, at 18:02, Gabe Wachob wrote:


I just dont see how Microsoft or anyone else on their scale is going to
contribute without something much more rigorous in place than what we have
now. Verisigns participation has been great, but I dont think the IPR issue
with Verisign is completely clear to outside parties, or even me! 

You actually document some issues yourself, Johannes, in discussions late
last year. For example:


What is too complicated in the current proposal? Its much lighter-weight
than any standards body I know of, and yet requires *no new behavior* of
most people participating now (those who dont care about ever asserting IPR
rights). It puts the onus of extra work on those who only want to commit to
a more specific set of licensing, as it should. Simple things simple,
complicated things more complicated. If dont care about protecting your IPR
w/r/t OpenID, then you do nothing. If you do care, then you have an extra
step to do. 

As for the language of the IPR policy itself, I actually think its fairly
straightforward lawyers will have to gnaw on it of course (if we dont get
started on that asap, well never make IIW, to be honest). But I dont think
its all that complicated compared to most IPR agreements Ive seen. Compare
to W3C: http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/ or OASIS:
http://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php or the IETFs (which I
think is getting an overhaul?): http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3979.txt 

Were not forming a standards body here, were just trying to make the
environment good enough to attract a wider set of participants and adopters.
Both sides are going to have to work a little bit in a new way, I think. To
put a challenge to you, can you give examples of grassroots communities
outside formal SDOs adopting IPR policies that are both acceptable to large
IPR-holding organizations as contributors and as 3rd party adopters? We
should definitely be stealing their ideas rather than coming up with our
own, but Im not finding it 

In any case, Ive added some notes on a workplan here:



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From: board-bounces at openid.net [mailto:board-bounces at openid.net] On Behalf
Of Johannes Ernst
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 12:25 PM
To: board at openid.net
Subject: Re: [OpenID board] IPR Policy and Process Proposal

This is quite complex. Is there a way to simplify and shorten substantially?

[I just read both policy proposal and process proposal, and in spite of
having read previous drafts and having an interest in the subject, I suspect
I'd have to spend several more hours to actually understand what all of this
means. The problem is not that I need to take the time, but that such a time
requirement will act as a rather effective barrier for new people to get
involved in OpenID or feeling comfortable about what they are getting
themselves into, something I'd like to avoid if can ...]

Johannes Ernst

NetMesh Inc.




 <http://netmesh.info/jernst> http://netmesh.info/jernst




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Johannes Ernst

NetMesh Inc.


 <http://netmesh.info/jernst> http://netmesh.info/jernst


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