W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-css-testsuite@w3.org > January 2008

Re: Licensing

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 22:01:25 +0100
To: public-css-testsuite@w3.org
Cc: dbaron@dbaron.org
Message-Id: <200801102201.26264.rigo@w3.org>
David Baron wrote:
> On Wednesday 2008-01-09 17:13 +0100, Bert Bos wrote:
> > The current license requires that somebody who wants to publish
> > modified tests asks permission. (Making and using them is fine.)
> > If W3C gets overwhelmed with requests it is early enough to think
> > about a new system. The few requests we got so far didn't pose
> > problems.
>
> That's not sufficient for most open-source projects.  Open source
> projects typically provide their entire source under a specific
> license or set of licenses.  They don't provide it under the terms
> "you can use it under license X if you ask the permission of the
> following 15 companies/people/organizations".  They provide it
> under "you can use it under license X".  The difference between
> those two can be a major obstacle to such use.  (Given the chance
> that at least 1 of the 15 organizations won't respond, or will deny
> the request, it's usually not even worth bothering to ask.)

Neither a testsuite nor a specification trying to achieve 
interoperability is an open-source project. It has different social 
semantics. Do you think you can have a FIPS-140 certification that 
you can build yourself and everybody can just alter and run? 
Testsuites are the first step of certification. What if everybody 
could invent their own ISO 9002 certification? Code is different. The 
fact that some code is used in testsuites does not mean it has the 
same goal and finality as a browser or a word processor. Copyright is 
used and meant to protect this kind of activity. One can do some 
stuff with trademark law, but this would mean a complete reset of the 
current W3C system with consequences for us all that I cannot assess 
here and within the given timeframe.

BTW: "you can use under license X" is also true for the Document 
license as the document license allows for "any use", so it does not 
describe well what you mean. I think I understood what you mean and 
this is the social process. BTW, you even MUST ask the following 15 
companies/people/organizations to get your patch back into the 
source. The social control just happens to be on a different level.

So Bert is right, lets wait for the requests and think about new 
solutions if the old ones don't work anymore.

Best, 

Rigo

Received on Thursday, 10 January 2008 21:01:24 GMT

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