As part of a new initiative at the Open Web Foundation -- a group dedicated to the creation of community-driven specifications & standards. David Rudin along with several other individuals & organizations have crafted a new simple and easy to understand Open Web Foundation agreement (OWFa) targeting collaborative specification development and publishing. You can think of OWFa as similar to the Creative Commons license. But unlike the a CC license the OWFa was developed with the specific needs of spec & standards developers covering aspects such as patents, copyright/trademarks and other issues that most contributors (including open source developers) are concerned about.
More specifically it was created with an open collaboration model in mind where both large companies and individuals can equally collaborate without fear of legal ramifications. Using the OWFa the actual spec development can be done in any forum the participants choose (Unincorporated Google groups / Social Networks, non-profits, startups, Enterprises, etc.)
I'll also be the first to point out that one of the key authors is David Rudin, a Microsoft Standards Attorney. But regardless of Rudin's employer, this is a well thought out document and I for one am very excited by the potential usage of OWFa within a variety of standards processes. I believe that OWFa has the potential to dramatically effect the way we as industry both collaborate and innovate when it comes to the development of common truely open standards, whitepapers and best practices. I encourage anyone who truly believes in the creation of an Open Web to take a look the OWFa.
You can download a copy of the the final draft from here.