Intellectual Property and Contribution Agreements
One of the jobs of the OpenID Foundation is to ensure that OpenID specifications are freely implementable. As Brad Fitzpatrick (the father of OpenID) said, “Nobody should own this. Nobody’s planning on making any money from this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most liberal licenses possible, so there’s no money or licensing or registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if something like this exists, and we’re all a part of the community.”
To ensure that OIDF community developed specifications are freely implementable, the Foundation requires all contributors to sign a contribution agreement.
This agreement both grants a copyright license to the Foundation to publish the collective specifications and includes a patent non-assertion agreement. The non-assertion agreement is incredibly important as it states that the contributor will not sue someone for implementing OpenID specifications. If you too would like to sign this agreement, please use the OIDF Contribution Agreement.
On March 1, 2012, the OIDF board unanimously approved a statement for inclusion in specifications whereby the OIDF explicitly grants a license to implementers. The board also reaffirmed that under the IPR policy, the patent promise applies only to the working groups listed in the IPR contribution agreements and not to all work of the foundation. This was a reaffirmation and not a change to the IPR policy.
- Specification License Out Resolution (Board Approved March 1, 2012)
- Patent Promise Limitation Affirmation (Board Approved March 1, 2012)