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Introducing the Open Web Foundation Agreement

posted Sep 20, 2010, 9:48 AM by David Rudin
By DeWitt Clinton on November 17, 2009 7:19 AM| 1 Comment

The Open Web Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of the Open Web Foundation Agreement (OWFa).

 

The Open Web Foundation was founded to help developer communities collaborate and share technical innovation on the web, bringing to the world of formats and protocols the same successful grassroots approaches established by the open source community. Modeled after the Apache Software Foundation and Creative Commons, the Open Web Foundation seeks to facilitate the creation and implementation of specifications with legal agreements that make such work simple, safe, and sustainable.

 

This reusable agreement is designed to be easily adopted by a wide range of specification communities and organizations as an alternative to the challenging -- and costly -- process of negotiating new licensing agreements every time. Specifications made available under the Open Web Foundation Agreement may include everything from small ad-hoc formats sketched out among friends to large multi-corporation collaborations that ultimately grow into international recognized standards with the help of formal standards setting organizations.  


The Open Web Foundation Agreement itself establishes the copyright and patent rights for a specification, ensuring that downstream consumers may freely implement and reuse the licensed specification without seeking further permission. In addition to the agreement itself, we also created an easy-to-read "Deedthat provides a high level overview of the agreement.   To use the Agreement with your own specification, please see our guide.

 

We are further pleased to announce that the following companies have committed to apply the OWFa to the following community and proprietary specifications:


 

The Open Web Foundation Agreement is just the first step among many toward a comprehensive, straightforward approach to an open specification development process.  In upcoming months, the Open Web Foundation will be developing reusable Contributor License Agreements, which can be adopted by specification communities during the development phase itself, even before a usable specification is completed, and will offer Best Practices guidelines for open development processes.

 

The Open Web Foundation is open to everyone without charge and we actively solicit feedback and participation from the community at large, whether or not they are Open Web Foundation members.  The Legal Affairs Committee is open for self-nominations for participation in the drafting and review process itself, and interested individuals are encouraged to join the Open Web Foundation general discussion list to offer input and support.

 

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