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RE: Spec license use cases - WG Decision on the Record?

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2009 08:47:04 -0500
Message-ID: <1835D662B263BC4E864A7CFAB2FEEB3D0152571D@msfexch01.srunet.sruad.edu>
To: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
I think I see two or three possible use cases that may or may not fall into those outlined by Henri and Karl. At least one I might be willing to advocate for. I also agree with Jonas' sentiments [2] about the need to make all derivate rights clearly stipulated. 
 
First of all, a question: by "deliverables" are we talking just about the HTML5 spec as published by the W3C, or are we also including those "public" conversations (such as w3.org/Archives/Public/public-htm) hosted by W3C in which at least some of the conversations leading up the spec have taken place?
 
For the sake of argument, I will assume we are talking about the broader umbrella, even though I suspect W3C defines deliverables as only the finished product and not the intermediate drafts and discussions of an evolving document.
 
(1) A historian, analyzing the evolution of this specification as a complex threaded corpus, should be able to excerpt, quote, rethread, lexically analyze and repackage said material as appropriate to said scholarly analysis.
 
(2)  An artist should be able to animate excerpts of the spec and the corpus leading to the development of the spec by, for example, showing snippets of text interacting and cross-pollinating one another as a part of a visual display.
 
(3) A humorist should be able to parody the spec and its surrounding cognitive backdrop in ways typically protected by US caselaw concerning the intersection of parody and copyright (which as I understand it is more flexible in the US than in Europe, for example).
 
I raise (3) as a point because it gets close to an edge that some here may disagree with. That edge sets the stage for my next question.
 
What exactly is W3C trying to protect against with its assertion of copyright? Perhaps some use cases that we would all consider to be BAD would be in order.
 
I presume what we all wish to avoid is the following:
 
(4) An organization or individual modifies the content of the spec in ways that intentionally misrepresent its content and that mislead others as a result. We do not, I think, want to encourage prosecution against the well-meaning author of a book who misunderstands the specification, but rather against those who might seek to perpetuate coding practices contrary to the spec which might, for example, favor one browser implementation over another.
 
Are there other non-non's that we fear? 
 
David

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Feb/0321.html
 
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Feb/0322.html
Received on Saturday, 14 February 2009 13:48:13 UTC

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