[okfn-discuss] Fwd:Invitation to join the Open Web Foundation (5/31 deadline)

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Sat May 30 12:08:22 UTC 2009

Thought some of you might be interested in this!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
This is a quick reminder that the initial membership drive for the
Open Web Foundation is almost over. Please consider applying which
takes less than 10 minutes and pass this along to anything you think
can help.




The Open Web Foundation was conceived last year to create a framework
which helps communities behind open web specifications navigate the
non-technical organizational and legal challenges that successful
specifications are bound to encounter. Many community-driven standards
efforts falter when it comes to the heavy investment of time figuring
out how to work within our existing intellectual property laws and are
often forced to create their own non-profit organization just to
support a ten page specification.

Unlike open source software, there isn't yet the equivalent of the
GPL, BSD or Apache licenses which can be applied to specifications and
standards. The Foundation itself isn't creating the specifications,
getting involved in the technical details or blessing standards.
Instead, our goal is to "open source" the creation process itself.
Just as open source software developers shouldn't have to learn the
exact legal details of the GPL or Apache licenses, communities
developing specifications and standards for the open web shouldn't
have to become experts in copyright, trademark and patent law.

Towards this goal, we've made real progress on a new license which can
be easily applied by the authors and editors of a specification;
enforcing the core philosophy that open web specifications must be
freely implementable by anyone anywhere. The best part, we're working
with the people who went through this exact painful process for
Microformats, OpenID, OAuth and OpenSocial to learn both from where
they succeeded and failed. And we're doing this so that the same thing
doesn't have to be done again and again for future specifications. You
can find an early draft of this license within our legal discussion

Today, the Open Web Foundation is beginning to focus on growing our
membership so that the creation of a legitimately elected board and a
fair and transparent process may fully ensue. Embedded in this post is
our membership application, which will stay active until the end of
May. Our goal is to have an initial thirty-person membership within a
week of closing the nominations and all new membership election done
by the end of June.

While there are many different membership structures in use by
organizations all over the web, we've decided to model our membership
structure after that of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The ASF
has done an amazing job bringing together a diverse and dedicated
community around open source software and we continue applying what
has worked for them to the Open Web Foundation.

So, here's the scoop if you're interested and we certainly want to
hear from you if you've participated in the creation of Atom, Activity
Streams, HTML 5, Microformats, Open Microblogging, OAuth, OpenSocial,
OpenID, XMPP and other communities like these:

   Interested individuals need to complete the short self-nomination
questionnaire embedded below. The form includes basic information such
as past community work you've done, any memberships in related
organizations, your main area of interest and contribution, the top
two goals you'd have for the organization and names of other community
members who they have worked with. It should take less than ten
minutes to fill the form. Submissions will remain private.

   The initial group of eight founding directors will review the full
list of applicants and each will mark the names of people they would
like to see as members. At this stage, there will be no votes against
applicants, just a list of the those whom they support. The votes for
each person will then be tallied and the top twenty-two applicants
will be made members. Combined with the eight directors, this will
seed the membership with an initial thirty members.

   The thirty members will then continue to a second round, in which
members will vote, this time for or against, all the remaining
applicants. The votes will be confidential; who applied, how each
member voted, and the exact results. The result will be a full list of
the Open Web Foundation's membership elected through these two stages
of voting.

   Once the new membership is elected, the Foundation will hold
elections for a new board from among its members.

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation

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