Collaboration between open, informal specification communities and the formal standards world: the role of the Open Web Foundation agreements
However, when it comes to working with specifications produced in this fashion, there are a number of legal and IP barriers both for adoption and for engagement in formal standardisation that need to be overcome. Broadly, these are  the issues of ownership of the specifications,  the rights and conditions of use of the specification, and  the status of patents related to the specifications. Without clarity on these issues it is difficult for large organisations and government agencies to adopt the specifications. Formal standards organisations also may find it difficult to build on or include informal specifications as a part of formal standards for similar reasons.
To overcome these issues the Open Web Foundation has been working on two major legal instruments to assist informal specification communities, based on the successful example of the Apache Software Foundation for enabling open source to be widely used in the commercial world.
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