The Joint Development Foundation: Offering “a Standards Organization in a Box”

jdf_logo.pngHere is an innovative approach to launching an organization quickly– the Joint Development Foundation (JDF). It’s an organization that enables smaller standards and source code development collaborations to form swiftly and efficiently through a turnkey legal and operational infrastructure. 

The JDF, a Virtual client, was unveiled to the public in May 2015, and its first two projects, the 3MF Consortium and the Alliance for Open Media, have been successfully launched. 

We asked David Rudin, JDF President and Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, what was behind the group’s formation and how it operates. 

1. What made you decide to set up the Joint Development Foundation?
Our experience with specification and source code development efforts – sometimes it could take months of effort to establish the organizational and intellectual property policies for collaborative development projects. This is costly from both legal and technology development perspectives. We wanted to offer a more efficient option, and so we worked with legal and other experts to put together a turnkey infrastructure that was based on industry best practices, while still offering collaborations the ability to select the organizational approaches and intellectual property policies that best suit their needs. 

2. What benefits does the JDF offer?
The JDF offers projects “a standards organization in a box” that enables groups to concentrate on getting to work right away. Using a proven, lightweight governance structure and a choice of industry-standard intellectual property options, projects can be up and running without the time and expense usually needed to establish a new technical collaboration. 

3. What makes the JDF different from other incubator schemes?
This is the only organization focused on helping industry standards groups and open source projects to get up and running quickly, while providing a full range of services. Unlike other organizational structures, JDF projects don’t need to “reinvent the wheel” and instead can take advantage of JDF’s legal and corporate infrastructure. This has allowed JDF projects to go from an idea to a fully functioning organization in days instead of months.

4. Does the JDF profit from the projects under its umbrella? 

The JDF is a non-profit organization that runs lean. Projects can operate under the JDF at no cost, and can also, if they wish, take advantage of additional cost-based services that JDF makes available via its relationships with companies like Virtual, Inc. For projects taking advantage of those additional services, JDF requests a small contribution to help fund JDF’s overall operations that benefit all JDF projects.

5. Can any group use the JDF facilities? How would someone start working with the JDF? Yes, any group that is willing to organize under our procedures is welcome. And, we have set up a turnkey process for doing that as well – it is all on our website, at http://www.jointdevelopment.org/start-a-project.html.

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Andy Freed
President & CEO

Greg Kohn
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