Over at his ongoing blog, Tim Bray blogs about Sun’s recent oOpenID Patent Covenant
Sun just announced a Patent Non-assert Covenant on OpenID; chapter and verse and FAQ here. Simon Phipps has a useful write-up. But what really impresses me is the text of the covenant itself; four short paragraphs of simple, almost jargon-free, English. Why can’t we do this more often?
Indeed. Since we have to live with (or work around) software patents in the U.S. and Australia (but hopefully not Europe!) until there’s a major regime change and overhaul of the broken patent system, clear declarations like this covenant need to be required of contributors to “open” standards: you should not be able to get a stamp of approval from a standards body on a protocol or format or process that you can then turn around and attack people for using.