We promise to not shoot first

Got up early this morning for my team concall (it was cancelled 6 hours ago, after I'd gone to bed last night... hmmm) and while in the mental bringup process I found an email from Hal Stern (amazingly cool bloke) about OpenDocument. The actual announcement itself is at http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/ipr.php, but the gist of it is this:
[Sun] gave a non-assertion convenant to [Sun's] patents for the OpenDocument file format standard, which is developed under the aegis of OASIS. A simple paraphrase of the covenant is: "You can infringe on [Sun's] patents in order to implement the X standard/specification, as long as you don't sue [Sun] or anybody else for infringing on your patents while implementing that standard/specification."
As another person expressed, it, that means that Sun won't shoot first. I don't see this as a giveaway of technology or patents or rights. I see it as a belief that implementing this standard by as many [people,products] as possible is too important to humanity to let it be screwed up by legal issues. I also like that it's a complete and public response to Microsoft's fud (see Simon Phipps and Tim Bray for more on this). We're making this clear and simple. Don't get distracted.
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I work at Oracle in the Solaris group. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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