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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 

    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 
       [1] From GPLv3: "All other non-permissive additional terms are 
   "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 
   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 UTC

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