[OpenID board] Fwd: [OpenID Foundation] New Poll Opened

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 06:41:28 UTC 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 9:53 PM, DeWitt Clinton <dewitt at google.com> wrote:

> My hope is for an IPR policy and process that does the following two
> things:
>   1) Produces "clean" intellectual property (i.e., specs that have been
> non-asserted by the contributors, copyright license applied, etc)
>   2) Ensures appropriate use of the OpenID trademark

It's important to point out that IPR concerns are largely to blame for the
scoping and work that precedes most WG forming (at least as I see it).
Without coming to some prior consensus on what a WG is going to be about,
contributors are likely to abstain from the process, lest some initiative or
WG veer to close to IPR that they intend to enforce.

If that is not the case, I'm all for an alternative because I agree that
this process has dragged on far too long, with the likely long term
consequence of similar situations resulting in parties deviating entirely
from the standardization process. Should creating open standards be so
handicapped when compared with their proprietary counterparts? I should hope
not! (though we'll see, given the dissent already expressed)

> As an alternative, I'd like to see us move to a much simpler and more
> meritocratic model that says:
>    1) Anyone, member of the OIDF or not, can start working on an OpenID
> specification, but they must do so only under a provisional brand ("OpenID
> Experimental", or something)
>    2) In order for the specification to graduate and earn the official
> "OpenID" trademark the completed specification must be:
>       2a) Ratified by membership vote
>       2b) Non-asserted and copyright-licensed in accordance with OIDF IPR
> policy
> Of course, the OIDF can offer tools and processes, such as an up-front
> contributor license agreement and specification editorial guidelines, to
> assist communities in successfully bringing a specification to graduation.
> But beyond enforcing trademark and ensuring IP cleanliness, I'm not sure we
> want the OIDF board to assert more authority over the direction of the
> technology than that.

+1. The caveat is that many members of the board are participating in the
standardization/specification process, and so that gives the appearance that
the board has much to do with the technical work that going on — largely
because... we do!

That said, I do think that it's important to think about abstracting out the
foundation's duties from the technical work that needs to happen, but as we
are still a young organization, there is bound to be some curious overlap in
the meantime. As well, given our limited membership, there will continue to
be limited attention available for different specification work — meaning
that having many several WG going on simultaneously may
become burdensome and debilitating if we don't find a better way to keep
track of what's happening and who's working on what.

I see the website as being critical to this, but as to when or who is going
to fix it or *magic* make it better, that remains to be seen. Only so many
hours in the day; only so much work that can be directed on a part-time


Chris Messina
Citizen-Participant &
 Open Web Advocate

factoryjoe.com // diso-project.org // vidoop.com
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