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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 17:00:34 +0100
Message-Id: <604ADE11-9033-4DCD-BC4E-FFC6C8742A32@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 16:35, Shelley Powers wrote:
[snip]
> Frankly, though, I don't think that Apple, Opera, or Mozilla have  
> legally made an assertion of copyright ownership of the HTML5 spec.

They don't have to. Copyright is assigned at the moment of creation  
and it almost certainly falls under work for hire rules.

Plus, as Anne pointed out:
	http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0429.html

> This is just a group of folks who worked for these companies at the  
> time, signing their names to a document. As far as I know, there's  
> never been a legal agreement between Apple, Opera, and Mozilla  
> about this copyright ownership.

In the most severe case, I think, copyright would devolve to Opera  
and Google as the employers of Ian. They almost certainly own the  
bits that Ian wrote while employed by each company.

I wouldn't stress the "just a group of people" aspect. It's pretty  
clear that all three orgs are pretty HTML5 gung ho at the moment (see  
Apple). It matters less the whether decisions at the time were made  
at high levels with lawyers and more what the actual legal facts are.

FWIW, I think it's fine. Everyone can use the specs. Everyone can  
pretty reasonably safely implement them or derive new specs from  
them. I don't see that changing.

> There has been, though, legal agreements between these companies  
> and the entities that back the W3C.

Which only forces a licensing, afaict. But the licensing is sufficient.

> The point is moot, though, since all of the organizations can  
> implement the work, and duplicate the documents.

Yep.

> The only time legalities really enter the picture is in regards to  
> the any assertions of patent ownership, and the W3C has a patent  
> policy that protects member organizations if they implement any  
> piece of HTML5.
[snip]
Actually, I believe it protects everyone insofar as it protects anyone.

http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/#def-RF

"""With respect to a Recommendation developed under this policy, a  
W3C Royalty-Free license shall mean a non-assignable, non- 
sublicensable license to make, have made, use, sell, have sold, offer  
to sell, import, and distribute and dispose of implementations of the  
Recommendation that:
1. shall be available to all, worldwide, whether or not they are W3C  
Members;"""

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 16:00:10 GMT

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