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

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 16:21:33 +0100
Message-Id: <44BCB222-DF41-4533-9DD0-663C4E5A7E6A@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: "T.J. Crowder" <tj@crowdersoftware.com>, public-html-comments@w3.org
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
On 9 Jun 2010, at 16:06, Shelley Powers wrote:

> T.J. Crowder wrote:
[snip]
> My reasoning behind referencing the legalities was more to reassure  
> people that if the W3C responded by removing the WhatWG references,  
> the WhatWG can't "take" the HTML5 specification back. Ian Hickson  
> may choose to no longer participate, but what we have in the W3C  
> remains, regardless.
[snip]

This reassurance, of course, is spot on regardless of the copyright  
situation, I'm pretty sure.

First, the WHATWG spec is, in fact, licensed liberally. So one can  
fork it.

Second, publishing a document on the W3C website is predicated on  
licensing it to the W3C:
	http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/IPR-FAQ-20000620.html#holds
"Who holds the copyright on W3C documents?

The original author of the document. Many documents are created by  
the W3C and W3C consequently holds the copyright. Owners who allow  
their works to be published on the W3C site retain the copyright, but  
agree to the W3C license for the redistribution of those materials  
from our site."

Hmm. That's a bit garbled (sent a note to site-comments). The point  
is that one licenses the W3C to redistribute the text and  
derivatives. It's a bit clearer at:
	http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231
	"""Public documents on the W3C site are provided by the copyright  
holders under the following license."""

Ah, here it is:
	http://www.w3.org/2009/12/Member-Agreement
"""Member acknowledges that all such jointly owned inventions,  
software or other copyrightable materials, or materials owned by  
Member made available by Member for Consortium activities, will be  
made available to the general public pursuant to the then-current W3C  
Software Notice and License (which exists at http://www.w3.org/ 
Consortium/Legal/copyright-software). Specific exceptions may be made  
upon approval of the Director, with the advice of the Advisory  
Committee."""

Since the only candidates for ownership are Ian, Apple, Mozilla,  
Opera, and Google all of whom agreed to make it available on the  
website, they have agreed to make it available under the W3C document  
license.

Of course, I don't see that its irrevocable, but the conditions of  
revocation are so outre to be not worth sweating over ;)

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 15:21:07 GMT

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