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Re: Spec license

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2009 09:38:05 -0500
Message-ID: <498856CD.2090208@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Feb 2, 2009, at 11:47 PM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>  * Is the intent to license the IDL pieces also under a 
>> software-oriented license that has previously been found suitable for 
>> licensing software interfaces in a way that doesn't unduly interfere 
>> with the licenses of downstream projects using the interface 
>> definitions? (Consider the recent W3C interface licensing discussion 
>> in connection to use in Batik.)
> For IDL, it would be helpful if open source browser engines such as 
> Gecko or WebKit could incorporate it directly, so a license known to be 
> compatible with the LGPL (for WebKit) and with MPL/LGPL/GPL tri-license 
> (for Gecko) would be best. I believe an MIT style license fits the bill. 
> This would also allow proprietary browser engines to incorporate spec 
> IDL if they choose to.

I would love for this working group to present a set of acceptable 
options and/or use cases to W3C management to consider.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for show-stoppers.  Options that people "can't 
live with", and therefore must be excluded.  Do you have a specific 
reason to believe that cc-by 3.0 would be unacceptable to WebKit or Gecko?

The ASF considers cc-by 2.5 to be compatible with the Apache License 
2.0[1].  The FSF considers the Apache license 2.0 to be compatible with 
the LGPLv3.[2].  I already mentioned that GNU FDL 1.3 was modified[3] to 
permit some (presumably wikipedia) to "escape" to cc-by-sa, which I view 
as some form of endorsement, albeit indirect.

Nothing in the preceding paragraph is conclusive, but it does make for a 
plausible case that cc-by might be acceptable.

Meanwhile, I have no problem operating under the assumption that a MIT 
license would satisfy this working group's needs.  I'd even be willing 
to go so far as to say it is the preferred option.  But I would hate to 
have plh go into the AC meeting with just one option and have it 
excluded for whatever reason when there might be other options that he 
cuold work with.

- Sam Ruby

> Regards,
> Maciej

[1] http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html


[3] http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html#ccby
Received on Tuesday, 3 February 2009 14:38:34 UTC

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