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Major Companies Endorse Legal Agreement For Open Standards

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo all behind Open Web Foundation effort

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Sharing open source software just got a whole lot easier.  The Open Web Foundation has announced the availability of the Open Web Foundation Agreement, and some huge corporations – namely Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo – have given the arrangement their figurative seal of approval.

It’s important to note that this isn’t some superfluous, feel-good pact.  Eran Hammer-Lahav, Director of Standards Development at Yahoo and President of the Open Web Foundation explained in a post on Yodel Anecdotal, "While Open Source software enjoys a wide range of licenses for making software freely available, specifications and standards are usually licensed under a complex set of rules and conditions."

He then continued, "These licenses are hard to read and spread over many pages full of terms even many lawyers don’t fully understand.  There was also no suitable standalone agreement available for companies and communities to use when making their work available, forcing them into long and costly legal negotiation between the contributors."

The Open Web Foundation Agreement should address most of those problems.  It’s a relatively short, relatively simple, and easily tailored document that’s meant to be serve individual developers, large corporations, and everything in between.

The fact that so many important organizations support the Agreement should ensure that it actually gets some use, too, and perhaps becomes the standard it’s meant to be.  Without Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, the Open Web Foundation Agreement – interesting as it is – might be forgotten within days or weeks.

But as things stand, Hammer-Lahav concluded, "This is just the first step in what we hope will be a new path for open collaboration and innovation on the web."

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Major Companies Endorse Legal Agreement For Open Standards
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