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Re: Option 3

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:07:05 -0700
Message-ID: <b16bde74-2882-4c1d-9dd4-93a61edee80c@blur>
To: mjs@apple.com
Cc: "Jonas Sicking"<jonas@sicking.cc>, lrosen@rosenlaw.com, public-html@w3.org, member-psig@w3.org
Maciej, haven't you been on vacation?  :-)

You might want to recheck...

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

-----Original message-----
From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>,  
public-html@w3.org, PSIG <member-psig@w3.org>
Sent: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 16:23:38 GMT+00:00
Subject: Re: Option 3


On Mar 22, 2011, at 4:26 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> On 03/22/2011 04:26 AM, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM, Lawrence Rosen<lrosen@rosenlaw.com>   
wrote:
>>>> Secondly, this license does not appear to be GPL-compatible, because it
>>>> applies additional constraints (e.g. it does not allow the content to
>>>> be merged into a non-software product).
>>> 
>>> [LR: ] That is not accurate. What a license allows is not the opposite  
of
>>> what it prohibits; this license only affirmatively allows what it allows  
and
>>> says nothing whatsoever about the right to do other things. Option 3  
does
>>> not prohibit anyone from merging the content of the spec into a  
non-software
>>> product; it simply doesn't authorize it. All of our licenses are based  
on
>>> affirmative but limited and conditional grants, not limitless grants. If  
you
>>> examine the patent grants in almost all FOSS licenses, for example, you  
will
>>> note that they do not *allow* the content to be merged into lots of  
things.
>>> That's how open source has always worked.
>>> 
>>> 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.
>> 
>> So does Option 3 allow me to take some text which appears in a
>> document covered by the Option 3, and paste just that text into a GPL
>> licensed document? I.e. without also copying any copyright notices or
>> references to either Option 3 or to the original Option 3 licensed
>> document?
>> 
>> If the answer is "yes", then I agree that it appears to be compatible  
with GPL.
>> 
>> If the answer is "no", then it does not appear that it is.
> 
> By that reasoning, the MIT licenses[1] is not compatible with GPL.
> 
> 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.

For the sake of clarity, the FSF's lawyers have not reviewed this particular  
license. But they did review a similar license, and found it not to be  
compatible. It remains to be seen whether the minor change in this one will  
make a difference.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:07:27 UTC

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