OpenID has arisen from the open source community to solve the problems that could not be easily solved by other existing technologies. OpenID is a lightweight method of identifying individuals that uses the same technology framework that is used to identify websites. As such, OpenID is not owned by anyone, nor should it be. Today, anyone can choose to be an OpenID user or an OpenID Provider for free without having to register or be approved by any organization.
The OpenID Foundation was formed to assist the open source model by providing a legal entity to be the steward for the community by providing needed infrastructure and generally helping to promote and support expanded adoption of OpenID.
As Brad Fitzpatrick (the father of OpenID) said, “Nobody should own this. Nobody’s planning on making any money from this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most liberal licenses possible, so there’s no money or licensing or registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if something like this exists, and we’re all a part of the community.”
This statement continues to resonate today within the OpenID community.