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Re: Option 3

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:21:27 -0400
Message-ID: <4D88B067.1050907@intertwingly.net>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>, public-html@w3.org, PSIG <member-psig@w3.org>
On 03/22/2011 09:04 AM, James Graham wrote:
> On 03/22/2011 12:26 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>
>> The FSF maintains otherwise and have publicly stated so[2]. It is my
>> understanding that if this license is approved by the W3C that the FSF
>> will take a similar position on this option. This is based on my
>> understanding of the outcome when actual lawyers employed by W3C member
>> companies talked to actual lawyers of the FSF who were involved in the
>> drafting of the GPL license.
>
> Hmm, maybe I misread the thread, but I thought the Google lawyers
> claimed something different. In particular
>
> """My lawyer said in no uncertain terms that what you propose as
> "option 3" would not let people publish derivative works of these
> specifications as specifications. Thus, it is in our opinion
> unacceptable as a solution to the problem of how to enable people to
> publish derivative works of these specifications as specifications.""" [1]

First, I will note that nothing in that statement says "not compatible 
with the GPL".  Perhaps some people believe that compatibility with the 
GPL conveys more rights than it actually does?

> Presumably these apparently-conflicting claims could only be resolved if
> it is acceptable under the GPL to have such a field of use restriction.
> My belief was that it is not. If my belief is wrong, it would be nice to
> have a clear explanation of why it is wrong rather than just "some
> lawyers said so". If I have misunderstood for some other reason it would
> be nice to get a clear explanation of what I have misunderstood.

I invite you to actually read the license and FAQs that I have pointed 
to and note merely rely on your beliefs.  Furthermore, you have elided 
the statement by Larry Rosen on the topic of GPL compatibility which is 
decisive:

    As for the mandates of the GPL, the only thing that the GPL prohibits is
    "further restrictions" [1] and Option 3 has no such. There are no
    limitations or restrictions that would have to be passed on to 
downstream
   licensees.
       [1] From GPLv3: "All other non-permissive additional terms are 
considered
   "further restrictions" within the meaning of section 10. If the 
Program as
   you received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is
   governed by this License *along with a term that is a further 
restriction,*
   you may remove that term. If a license document contains a further
   restriction but permits relicensing or conveying under this License, 
you may
   add to a covered work material governed by the terms of that license
   document, provided that the further restriction does not survive such
   relicensing or conveying." [Emphasis between * * is added]

So to my read, we have a lawyer who is citing actual text from the 
license, we will have public a statement by the authors of the GPL 
license itself, and meanwhile you have cited a second hand statement by 
an unnamed lawyer concerning a matter unrelated to the GPL.

I encourage everybody to evaluate each of these statements.

> (note: none of the above should be read as endorsement for a particular
> outcome or set of requirements. I am just trying to understand the
> situation and, as the thread has gone on, I feel I have become less
> enlightened, not more).
>
> [1]
> http://www.w3.org/mid/Pine.LNX.4.64.1103100507380.944@ps20323.dreamhostps.com

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:22:06 GMT

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