[OpenID board] IPR progress and strategy?

Gabe Wachob gabe.wachob at amsoft.net
Fri May 18 18:36:33 UTC 2007

[Just FYI, Bill Washburn is really helping to coordinate and is up-to-date
on activities.]

The update is that, unfortunately, things are not getting much clearer.
We've had initial input from IBM, Microsoft, Symantec, Yahoo, and Sun. There
seems to be some big gaps on consensus to the Microsoft-proposed IPR policy
- world view gaps between "disclose and obligate" process and a
"non-assert-covenant with right to withdraw until final vote" process.
Microsoft's IPR policy is really based on the "non-assert" world view. 

The current thinking between Bill, David and myself is the following, though
this is subject, of course, to change:

1) We go back and clear up the IPR issues (copyright and patent) for OpenID
1.1 (and related specs) through asking for copyright grants and/or CC
licenses and patent non-assert covenants from a broad swath of OpenID
contributors - we can/should do this now, although, as Dick points out, it
may not make sense to ask for this if we are also going to do #2 (on openid
2.0) very soon

2) We do the same thing for OpenID 2.0 when it is completed.

3) OPTION A We take OpenID to a standards body like IETF or OASIS. David and
I had a short discussion with Lisa Dusseault (and her infant son!) about the
IETF path. We've also discussed how to possibly address the membership cost
issue in OASIS if we were to go that path (ie through the sponsorship of
contributors possibly by OIDF or other contributors). 

3) OPTION B We somehow construct an IPR policy around non-assert covenants
and those parties who aren't willing to play don't get to contribute (but
presumably they'd still be able to adopt). 

David proposed a meeting among a certain group of large interested parties
and their legal counsel to discuss if there might be some consensus on Step
3 (with a hope that somehow OPTION B could result). David, I expect you are
going to drive this. 

I have some feedback that was shared with me directly from the parties we
contacted. IN at least one case, I was asked to keep the feedback private to
the board (meaning, I can't post it to an archived email list). I would like
guidance on how to proceed with that - Bill? 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dick Hardt [mailto:dick at sxip.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 11:02 AM
> To: board at openid.net; Gabe Wachob
> Subject: IPR progress and strategy?
> Gabe / David
> Would the two of you please report back on where we are in resolving
> the IPR? I was in some conversations, but the two of  you were in
> additional conversations, and it would be useful for the rest of the
> board to know where we are.
> I bring this up as IPS is the most significant hurdle for OpenID at
> the moment. We have had it on the agenda for the since last fall, and
> it is just getting messier with time.
> -- Dick

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