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

Option 3

From: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 15:16:45 -0800
To: <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "PSIG" <member-psig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <063101cbdb8b$658da5b0$30a8f110$@com>
To: HTML WG 

 

Following extensive discussion in PSIG and with the HTML WG Chairs, I have
proposed the following license for HTML Recommendations when they are
published by W3C. I call this license "Option 3" to distinguish it from
other suggested licenses that have been floated since W3C first started
exploring this topic. Because it incorporates the existing W3C Document
License
<http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231>  and
does not affect the W3C Patent Policy
<http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/>  in any way, this is
a much more robust solution for the W3C FOSS-compatible licensing strategy
than simply adopting the MIT license - which Option 3 actually resembles.

 

I do not want to have to explain this license to you. It ought to stand on
its own with clear wording that everyone understands. However, I owe you an
explanation of an important nuance of copyright law so that you are not
surprised: Nothing in this license authorizes anyone to distribute
derivative works of W3C Recommendations *as technical specifications*; this
Option 3 authorizes software and associated documentation. This remains
consistent with the expressed desire of W3C members to discourage forks of
industry standard software specifications.This Option 3 license, however,
contains no express restrictions on downstream uses. As such, I believe it
to be compatible with all FOSS licenses, including the various versions of
the GPL.

 

I have recommended that PSIG create a FAQ to explain this legal result.

 

Here is Option 3 for your consideration:

 

****************************

Copyright C 2010 W3CR (MIT, ERCIM, Keio). 

W3C liability and trademark rules apply. 

As a whole, this document may be used according to the terms of the W3C
Document License
<http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231> . 

In addition, to facilitate implementation of the technical specifications
set forth in this document, anyone may prepare and distribute derivative
works and portions of this document in software, in supporting materials
accompanying software, and in documentation of software, PROVIDED that all
such works include the notice below. The notice is:

"Copyright C 2010 W3CR (MIT, ERCIM, Keio). This software or document
includes material copied from or derived from [title and URI of the W3C
document]." 

 

 

 

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com) 

3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Cell: 707-478-8932

Apache Software Foundation, member and counsel (www.apache.org) 

Open Web Foundation, board member (www.openwebfoundation.org) 

Stanford University, Instructor in Law

Author, Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property
Law (Prentice Hall 2004)

 
Received on Saturday, 5 March 2011 23:17:06 UTC

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