Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google today announced they have agreed to form the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure the neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web.
The OpenSocial Foundation will be an independent non-profit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework; related assets will be assigned to the new organization by July 1, 2008. The foundation will provide transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform, while also ensuring all stakeholders share influence over its future direction.
Engineers from Yahoo!, MySpace, and Google will continue to work together and with the OpenSocial community to further advance the specification through the new foundation, continuing several core elements of OpenSocial since its announcement by Google, MySpace, and many others in November 2007:
1) all specifications are available under a Creative Commons copyright license
2) public community involvement shapes the specification's direction
3) an open source reference implementation called Shindig is being created and developed as a project in the Apache Software Foundation incubator, available here
It will be interesting to see if Facebook will join or stay out of the OpenSocial Foundation. It is also up in the air what Microsoft will be doing. I don't think they will join these guys.
More details in this Yahoo! press-release and on the Google Blog.