Today, we (pre)-announced at the IIW 2007 a non-assertion covenant (NAC) for OpenID. What does this mean?
First, the NAC is a short (three paragraphs) legally binding document that licenses all of Sun’s patents (and not only necessary claims) to anybody for the purpose of implementing OpenID 1.1 Auth and Simple Reg 1.0 … in perpetuity … royalty-free. This license will only be withdrawn, if someone decides to sue Sun over this technology.As far as I know, this is the first covenant like this around OpenID.
Sun has issued already some of these – one on ODF and another one on SAML. Everytime, this prompted similar licenses and promises from other companies. Note that this move is so far totally unilateral – we (Sun) clear the way for the OpenID community as much as we can. Now it is up to other companies to do the same thing and show their commitment to the open source community.
The official announcement of this NAC will appear soon on the “On the Record” marketing blog at blogs.sun.com.