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Re: Formally Object to Referencing WhatWG within the W3C HTML5 specification

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Wed, 09 Jun 2010 09:24:09 -0500
Message-ID: <4C0FA409.8050605@burningbird.net>
To: "T.J. Crowder" <tj@crowdersoftware.com>
CC: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>, public-html-comments@w3.org
T.J. Crowder wrote:
>
>     These references provides points of confusion, as well as opening
>     the door for problems exactly like that, which has happened this
>     week: the editor disagrees with a decision, and makes a
>     modification to "his" version of the HTML5 spec that generates FUD
>     regarding HTML5.
>
>
> Pardon my ignorance, but what issue was that?

I referenced a link in my first email, but a better one arose later in 
the day. You can view what's happening, beginning with the following email:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0215.html

A second email triggered further discussion, beginning at:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0215.html

Shelley
> --
> T.J. Crowder
> Independent Software Consultant
> tj / crowder software / com
> www.crowdersoftware.com <http://www.crowdersoftware.com>
>
>
>
> On 9 June 2010 14:45, Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net 
> <mailto:shelleyp@burningbird.net>> wrote:
>
>     Bijan Parsia wrote:
>
>         Hi Shelly,
>
>             I'm not sure that the legal status of the groups can't be
>             so easily
>             dismissed. Not in this particular instance, when we're no
>             longer sure
>             who does have a right to lay claim to copyright of HTML5.
>
>
>
>         My point is solely that the legal status of a group is not
>         necessary in this case to ground the proposed action nor,
>         afaict, is it sufficient. It runs the risk of providing an
>         overbroad rule that then gets only applied in a single case.
>
>     Point taken.
>
>
>         It's not necessary because the relevant legal issues do not
>         turn on the legal status of the WHATWG (e.g., ownership of the
>         spec text; the WHATWG is not a candidate owner). It's not
>         sufficient because I presume that even if the WHATWG changed
>         its legal status (which it could easily do by incorporating
>         in, say, the US or affiliating with a host organization), that
>         people would object to the denigrating text (however accurate).
>
>         AFAIK, signing the membership agreement does not assign
>         copyright to the W3C for work done on W3C specs, but only
>         licenses it:
>            http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/IPR-FAQ-20000620#holds
>
>         So I believe your assertion to copyright ownership is incorrect.
>
>     Could very well be, as I said: I'm not a lawyer. But it is an
>     important issue that has been left unanswered.
>
>
>         It seems that your argument about whether certain classes of
>         links to the WHATWG specs and space are inappropriate or
>         confusing are quite independent of the precise organizational
>         nature of the WHATWG. I.e., they are arguments about
>         substance, the particular behavior of this particular group,
>         not form (i.e., that they are not incorporated). I'm unclear
>         whether you think that the W3C should adopt as a matter of
>         policy "no parallel specs with any external organization".
>         That *is* formal, but as we've really only had one case
>         (though WS-I profiling is an interestingly related case) and
>         there's ample issues to discuss there, I'd personally prefer
>         to stick with the core substantive issues. I would object to
>         introducing new formal constraints along the suggested lines
>         because I can think of many situations both historical and
>         prospective where I don't want them in place.
>
>     Your point is good.
>
>     If I've read correctly elsewhere, the licensing issues associated
>     with HTML5 are being discussed, so I'll drop that as an argument.
>
>     My main concern is removing all references to the WhatWG from the
>     HTML5 specification, other than a link in the acknowledgment
>     section. This includes references to the WhatWG version of the
>     document, to the WhatWG email list, to the WhatWG copyright
>     statement, to the WhatWG Subversion directory, and to the editor's
>     own personal little stash of HTML5 "issues".
>
>     These references provides points of confusion, as well as opening
>     the door for problems exactly like that, which has happened this
>     week: the editor disagrees with a decision, and makes a
>     modification to "his" version of the HTML5 spec that generates FUD
>     regarding HTML5.
>
>     At a minimum, if these references are moved, and the editor
>     chooses to degenerate the W3C effort in the future, he can do so,
>     and all he's doing is undermining his own credibility, and the
>     credibility of the so-called "member" organizations (Mozilla,
>     Opera, and Apple) for the WhatWG.
>
>         Cheers,
>         Bijan.
>
>     Regards
>
>     Shelley
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 14:24:50 GMT

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