[OpenID board] Feedback on latest drafts of OpenID IPR Policy and Process

Drummond Reed drummond.reed at cordance.net
Wed Nov 28 09:34:22 UTC 2007

Per the promise the OpenID Foundation board members made to review the
latest drafts of the OpenID IPR docs as quickly as possible, here are my
comments on the latest IPR Policy and Process docs.


First, on the IPR Policy doc, my detailed comments are in the attached Word
version. The quick summary is:


            I.1 does not account for any communication or contribution
taking place on a wiki. As one of the OASIS Technical Committee chairs who
pushed hard for OASIS to finally adopt wiki technology two years ago - and
having used it ad nauseum since then - I personally would never want to
develop specs without one. I'd like to see spec wikis added to both the
Policy and Process docs so they are a peer with Mailing Lists as a
communications tool for WGs.


            I.13 contains the only remaining use (that I could find) of the
term "OpenID", which is not defined. I think this instance should be updated
with a defined term.


            VI.1 does not explicitly mention the "reciprocal requirement
opt-in form" that has now been drafted for a Contributor to designate that
they requiring a reciprocal promise. It should probably be mentioned.



Second, on the Process document


            2. One could argue that a 5-person Specs Council is too great a
concentration of power. I'd opt to have at least 7, and would support it
have as many members as the OpenID Board.


            3.3, 3.8 (and others): Although this doc does refer to a
"Webpage", the same comment above applies - I think a spec wiki (or a branch
of a unified spec wiki) should be explicitly provisioned just like a mailing


            3.11 The second to last sentence has a reference error. 


            4.1 This is purely editorial, but I think "Draft" should be
capitalized just like "Implementer's Draft" and "Final Specification". It
only confuses the issue not to have it capitalized (even if you want to
intentionally "demote" it's importance).


            5.3 IMHO this is the only really sticky paragraph in the
document. It raises three issues. First, why does the Board have a final say
above and beyond the WG and Specs Council? Is this really necessary?
Secondly, why is the OpenID Foundation making a logo available to
Contributors and not Implementers? Thirdly, the final paragraph states one
grounds for withholding confirmation, but doesn't state any others, leaving
it entirely nebulous for what reasons the Board could veto a spec. It seems
that, as with earlier in the spec, all possible reasons should be listed,
and the Board must explicitly choose one or more.



That's all my comments. I urge all other OIDF board members to post any
comments they may have prior to our board meeting this Thursday.



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