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

RE: Option 3

From: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 20:29:22 -0800
To: "'HTML WG Public List'" <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "PSIG" <member-psig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0a4201cbdedb$bb1b6550$31522ff0$@com>
Ian, I'm confused by your references to the GPL, but first, addressing your
list of use cases:

 

> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Feb/0093.html

> 

> If we number the nine use cases in that e-mail consecutively starting

> from 1, then use cases 6 and 7 are first-person use cases for me.

 

This is my own analysis of the nine use cases in the earlier email you
referenced:

 

Use Case 1: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

Use Case 2: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

Use Case 3: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

Use Case 4: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

Use Case 5: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

Use Case 6: See comment (a) and (b) below. 

Use Case 7: See comment (a) below.

Use Case 8: See W3C Document License
<http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231> . Is
that enough?

Use Case 9: Satisfied by all options being considered by PSIG.

 

Comment (a) regarding Use Cases 6 and 7: Nothing in W3C policy would prevent
you from referencing the official W3C HTML5 specifications as an external
specification in any venue and posting descriptions of functional
modifications to it that you intend to implement; that alone is not a
derivative work, although you might generically refer to that as a "fork" of
the specification. To call a "fork" a "derivative work" is to make certain
assumptions about whether portions are copied or merely referenced, and
about whether functional parts of specifications are even subject to
copyright.

 

Comment (b) regarding Use Case 6: If W3C or the HTML WG ceases operations,
why do you doubt that you'd be allowed to continue in a non-W3C venue? Who
will stop you from forking by reference? There is an apparent paranoia here
about W3C that predates me, and makes it difficult to nail down the use
cases. If you don't trust W3C to honor its licenses, why are we bothering?

 

Here is where you confused "fork" with "derivative work".

 

> As far as I can tell, however, any solution

> compatible with the GPL would automatically enable any forking use

> case, which is why I pay attention to that aspect: I don't mind if my use

> cases are addressed directly with a license that explicitly allows forking

> the specs or indirectly via the GPL.

 

All options considered by PSIG allow "forking of the specs or indirectly via
the GPL." As to whether you could publish *derivative works* of the official
W3C HTML5 specifications *as a specification*, ask your own lawyer. But I'm
aware that W3C Members don't want you to do so without obtaining express
permission from W3C. Option 3 does not give you that express permission;
neither does it expressly forbid it, which gets around the GPL "further
restrictions" problem.

 

You can "fork" as long as you don't distribute a "derivative work" *as a
specification*.

 

Your concerns about some of the use cases seems to be confused with the
apparently new requirement for GPL derivative works of the HTML5
specifications to be published as a specification. Option 3 would explictly
allow you to write software that implements your own version of the W3C
HTML5 specification and then to publish *that* software and its
documentation *under the terms of the GPL without further restrictions*.
Isn't that enough? Where in the nine use cases does it say that we need the
ability to create a new specification that is a derivative work of GPL
software that is in turn a derivative work of the W3C HTML specification?
Not that I'm telling you that you can't do it under Option 3 (ask your own
lawyer), but why would you add that requirement to the nine use cases we're
already considering? Does anyone really need that permission?

 

/Larry

 

 

> -----Original Message-----

> From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On

> Behalf Of Ian Hickson

> Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:04 PM

> To: Sam Ruby

> Cc: HTML WG Public List

> Subject: Re: Option 3

> 

> On Wed, 9 Mar 2011, Sam Ruby wrote:

> >

> > I'll note that a lot of the discussion to date is concerning

> > hypothetical situations, some of which is of the form of somebody

> > unspecified doing something that clearly is an edge case and whether

> or

> > not implicit authorization is sufficient for such a case.  Given that

> we

> > have gathered here a collection of authors, implementers, and

> > specifiers; are there any chances that we can come up with specific,

> > tangible, first person use cases to explore with respect to this

> > license?

> >

> > I'll further note that once we have such a first person use case, we

> > have had the request that such be addressed explicitly vs implicitly:

> >

> > http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Feb/0093.html

> 

> If we number the nine use cases in that e-mail consecutively starting

> from

> 1, then use cases 6 and 7 are first-person use cases for me. Use case 6

> in

> particular is not at all hypothetical, it's what started all this work

> in

> the first place.

> 

> 

> > OK, so lawyers disagree.  This is hardly the first time such has ever

> > happened.

> 

> Indeed. But it is a serious problem if lawyers disagree about whether

> or

> not a license we are considering satisfies the use cases for which we

> are

> considering the license.

> 

> Note: GPL compatibility is not needed for my first-person use cases; my

> use cases do not require the ability to merge the spec with other

> content.

> GPL compatibility is required for the use cases unrelated to forking,

> such

> as including substantial portions of the spec in software currently

> licensed under the GPL. As far as I can tell, however, any solution

> compatible with the GPL would automatically enable any forking use

> case,

> which is why I pay attention to that aspect: I don't mind if my use

> cases

> are addressed directly with a license that explicitly allows forking

> the

> specs or indirectly via the GPL.

> 

> 

> > A question for Ian: if such a license were to appear on the following

> > page, would that address the concern?

> >

> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#W3C

> 

> In and of itself, no; but it is likely that addressing the concern

> would

> also satisfy the requirements for being included on that list.

> 

> --

> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.

> fL

> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._

> ,.

> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-

> .;.'

 
Received on Thursday, 10 March 2011 04:29:46 GMT

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