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

Re: Option 3

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:42:54 +0100
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, public-html@w3.org, PSIG <member-psig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <09DEB3F5-88F6-4EA2-AC66-D07294F15C19@gbiv.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
On Mar 23, 2011, at 10:30 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Wed, 23 Mar 2011, Jonas Sicking wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 1:55 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> I've made the point here before that "permission to do X" is not the 
>>> legal equivalent of "restriction on doing ~X".
>> 
>> The fact that W3C claims a copyright on the document does add a whole 
>> lot of explicit restrictions though, right?
> 
> It's more explicit than that, even. The license in question [1] imports by 
> reference the W3C Document license [2] which says, amongst other things, 
> "No right to create modifications or derivatives of W3C documents is 
> granted pursuant to this license". The license in question then adds three 
> specific allowances, all specifically about software.

Right, the effect of those terms is to provide an additional license
that does grant those permissions.

> Meanwhile, the GPL 
> is applicable to all copyrightable works, not just software.

That is not relevant to the use case expressed regarding GPL.
The objective was not to distribute the specification itself as
GPL, but rather to allow any GPL software to include parts
of the specification and still be distributed under the GPL
(i.e., what GPL-compatibility means).  The proposed Option 3
accomplishes that objective by giving permission to do so without
placing any new restrictions which are not already in the GPL
(retaining the copyright notice).  Thus, a work of software
covered by the GPL and this license remains redistributable
under the GPL and only the GPL.

Software which happens to be embedded in firmware is still software
as far as copyrights are concerned.  Whether or not there are other
expressions of art or arrangements of NAND gates that can also be
distributed as GPL is not relevant to the use case.  

> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0143.html
> [2] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231
> 
> At least, that's how Google sees this.

It sure sounds like Google didn't understand the question, or was
asked a question that had nothing to do with the use case.

....Roy
Received on Thursday, 24 March 2011 16:43:29 UTC

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