W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2011

Re: Mozilla Proposal for HTML5 Spec Licence

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 13:17:03 -0400
Message-ID: <4DB84F8F.8070401@intertwingly.net>
To: public-html@w3.org
On 04/27/2011 12:28 PM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> The below message is the original Mozilla proposal for the use of CC0.
> Before we sent it, there was some internal debate within Mozilla as to
> whether to propose CC0, MIT or BSD, because all of those licences met
> the goals we outline. In the end we wanted to be specific, and went for
> CC0, but there were no strong arguments for one of those three over the
> others.
>
> Rereading the document, one could replace the first two sentences of
> paragraph 7 with:
>
> "So Mozilla wishes to propose the use of the MIT License for the HTML5
> spec. This licence is a well-understood, familiar licence with a long
> track record in the software industry."
>
> and still have the rest of the argument be equally valid.

"one could"?  As a representative from Mozilla, why don't you simply do 
that?  If this is a path that you are interested in, I'm suggesting that 
you simply edit the email as you describe, and send it as a new email to 
this list.  There is no need for such an email to make reference to any 
prior email.

Furthermore, there is nothing preventing a single person or group from 
presenting multiple proposals.

> Given that a number of working group participants have hinted that they
> would support MIT but not CC0, and given that Mozilla is happy with
> either, I request that the chairs add it to the upcoming ballot based on
> this rationale.

The key words in that sentence are "Mozilla is happy with".  That's 
really, really close to "Mozilla proposes" or "Mozilla advocates".  I'm 
just suggesting that you make it crystal clear that you ARE proposing 
and/or advocating this option.

Again, should you decide to propose this, there is no need to withdraw 
any other proposal in order to do so.

> Gerv

- Sam Ruby

> On 11/04/11 19:03, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> This message is Mozilla's alternative proposal for the licence for the
>> HTML5 specification.
>>
>> Our understanding is that the goal of the various licensing options
>> proposed is to prevent the modification and republishing of the entire
>> specification ("forking") but otherwise to meet all of the use cases[0],
>> which request permission for a wide variety of types of reuse.
>>
>> As noted, we believe that the ability to modify and republish in this
>> way is an important freedom. This message and alternative proposal is
>> not intended as a criticism of the work of the PSIG, because licences
>> which permit it were expressly outside its remit.
>>
>> Those who wish to prevent 'forking' need to be specific - are they
>> against the forking of the specification, or the divergence of
>> implementations?
>>
>> If I were to take the HTML5 spec, make some changes to it, put it up on
>> my website as GervTML5, and send a message to the browser vendors
>> declaring myself as the new canonical source of web standards, I suggest
>> that the effect this would have on the W3C and the progression of the
>> HTML5 standard would be minor - confined, perhaps, to a raised eyebrow
>> and a snicker at my arrogance and hubris. The forking of the
>> specification, in itself, as long as the fork is clearly labelled as
>> such to avoid confusion, is not something to concern anyone.
>>
>> The 'problem' arises when a subset of vendors actually decide to follow
>> an alternative spec instead of the W3C one - in other words, it is
>> divergence of implementations which is the issue. But history tells us
>> that attempts to enforce spec compliance legally, by companies who have
>> recourse to law far more readily than the W3C, have been doomed to
>> misery and failure - not just for them, but for their technology. As
>> Tantek points out[1], the effect of the W3C taking such action is highly
>> unlikely to be positive for the Web.
>>
>> So Mozilla wishes to propose the use of the Creative Commons CC0
>> License[2] for the HTML5 spec. This licence is a well-understood
>> lawyer-checked internationalized licence from a respected player in the
>> licensing space. Its terms and intent are completely clear, and do not
>> suffer from the problem of being interpreted different ways by different
>> people. And, examining the 11 use cases presented[0], by virtue of
>> imposing no restrictions whatsoever we believe this licence meets all of
>> them.
>>
>> (If the W3C strongly wishes to have extra reassurance that their name
>> will not be wrongly associated with derivative works, then perhaps an
>> addendum could be considered to remind users of what trademark law
>> forbids.)
>>
>> The W3C's authority over HTML5 is due to its benevolent stewardship of
>> the specification and to the commitment of the vendors concerned to work
>> together under its aegis. We do not think that this authority requires
>> or benefits from attempts to reinforce it with legal restrictions which,
>> if actually enforced, would be a negative rather than positive thing for
>> the web.
>>
>> Gerv
>>
>> [0] http://www.w3.org/2011/03/html-license-options.html#usecases
>> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Apr/0000.html
>> [2] http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/
>
Received on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 17:17:31 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 29 September 2014 09:39:24 UTC