[OpenID board] IPR Policy and Process Proposal

Dick Hardt dick at sxip.com
Wed Apr 25 04:24:58 UTC 2007

On 25-Apr-07, at 2:31 AM, Drummond Reed wrote:

> Dick,
> RE the IPR Policy, Blanket Reciprocity term, I don’t think you give  
> a license for anything other than the Necessary Claims you  
> contribute. The issue is that if you sue another Contributor for  
> ANYTHING – even something totally unrelated to OpenID – you lose  
> the license they have provided to any Necessary Claims they  
> contributed.
> See the suggestion in the Blanket Reciprocity open issue section  
> for a simple way to fix that.
If I can't sue, I can't enforce, and I effectively have granted a  
license. Even with the suggested change, If someone's implementation  
infringes on a patent that is NOT required to implement OpenID, then  
if I sue, then they can counter sue for infringing on any OpenID  
related patent. Effectively I have granted a right to any patent used  
in their implementation.

> RE the formal process, I agree that essentially it’s a very  
> lightweight standards process. Call it a community process. But if  
> you read Gabe’s proposal closely, the full skeleton is there.  
> Voting (which would take place directly on the lists), membership  
> (which involves only membership on the lists), governance (which is  
> this process doc itself) is all covered – it’s all just very  
> lightweight.

Given the IP significance of this, the voting process is too loose.  
This is not open source software where there is a right to fork and  
on-going support of a core group is needed to move forward. The  
dynamics around a standard are quite different, and my experience  
with voting on the OpenID list has been very disappointing and  

> Overall, if the choice at this point in time comes down to putting  
> in place “just enough process” for the OpenID community to have its  
> own lightweight process vs. being forced to move the specs to a  
> full-blown SDO, I’d prefer the former.

IMHO: Given the progress of the community to date, I think we would  
be able to produce a better spec faster in an existing standards  
organization. :-)

-- Dick

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