When Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 launched in March, I wrote a post describing the permissive intellectual property licensing approaches we took for components of that release, such as Creative Commons licenses for copyrights in selected specs and the Microsoft Open Specification Promise (“OSP”) for implementations of those specs.
Now with the launch of Beta 2, I’m happy to highlight a few ways we’re continuing to make our innovations available to the community. By doing so, we hope to continue to foster the type of collaboration in the community that is so important to the “generativity” of the Internet, to borrow a term from Jonathan Zittrain (whose new book, by the way, is an important and worthwhile read).
Creative Commons License for Copyright in the Search Suggestions Specification
For Search Suggestions, we’re licensing copyright in the XML Search Suggestions Format Specification under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. This license lets others copy, distribute, modify and build upon the specification, even for commercial uses, as long as they give credit to Microsoft and license their own changes under the same terms. Special thanks to DeWitt Clinton and other contributors to the OpenSearch JSON Search Suggestions extension, whose work relates to the XML Search Suggestions Format spec. Visit Creative Commons for more information about their licenses, including how to use Creative Commons licenses on your own work.
Microsoft Open Specification Promise for Implementations of the Search Suggestions Specification
Microsoft has developed the Open Specification Promise (“OSP”) to provide a simple and clear patent promise to reassure the broad audience of developers and customers that a given specification can be used for free, easily, now and forever. The OSP was developed with feedback from customers and the open source community, and we’re happy to make the XML Search Suggestions Format Spec available under the OSP. The use of the OSP confirms that Microsoft patents needed to implement this specification can be used for free. More complete information about the OSP can be found here.
Web Slice Icon Guidelines
Internet Explorer 8 introduces Web Slices as a way for web sites to allow users to subscribe to specific content directly within a Web page. Users can see when content changes and view the updated portion of the Web page directly from the Favorites bar of Internet Explorer. The Web Slice icon provides a common visual cue that a web page supports web slices. Developers may freely use the icon under the Web Slice Icon Guidelines that we have developed, which are intended to promote the integrity of the icon as a common symbol for Web Slice functionality. We made it easier to use the icon in accordance with the Guidelines by making available for download .png and .gif renderings of the icon in various sizes.
We are pleased to continue to contribute to the web community and, as always, look forward to your feedback.
Tom Rubin Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property Strategy