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Re: Non-substantive CR and Director's decision

From: David Singer <singer@mac.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 2016 10:00:22 -0800
Cc: Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, public-w3process <public-w3process@w3.org>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Message-id: <0D46FB5D-461F-4016-97DF-EB042B1E5941@mac.com>
To: Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org>
Can I see if I can list the questions?

1) My understanding is that the W3C Process allows the publication of a revised candidate recommendation *without* Director’s approval if there are *no substantive changes*. It would also mean that no call for exclusions are issued as well.  Is that a correct understanding?

2) if a member excludes a patent about a feature at risk that is removed during the exclusion period (of the original CR publication), might it invalidate the whole exclusion mechanism?

3) Is it possible to republish a (editorial only) CR during the exclusion period of the previous one?

4) What is the mechanism for resolving a disagreement about whether an update is ‘substantive’ or not (notably, when it is published believing it is not, and someone disagrees)?

are there other questions?

* * *

My belief is that the answers are

1) Correct.

2) It’s hard to see how. If the patent was only necessary to a feature that was removed, then the fact it was excluded from licensing is no longer relevant, isn’t it? It’s hard to imagine (but perhaps hard is not impossible) that *removing* a feature now makes necessary a patent that previously was not.  I think we should roll all these into the answer to question 4.

3) I don’t see a problem, unless (4) applies.

4) I think this is the nub of the problem. We probably need a way for a member to say “sorry, but that change is substantive, even though you didn’t think so.”  I rather suspect that such a request by a member should probably not be debatable, i.e. on the request from any member, a revised CR will be treated as “substantive”. But I think the Process TF needs to discuss this edge case.


> On Jan 6, 2016, at 5:44 , Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Hi & happy new year,
> 
> Is there any plan to clarify this in process 2016?  
> (i.e. at least answer the question on timing and figure out the details of how 
> to detect a non-substantive CR vs. a substantive one at publication time) 
> 
> I can join a call if necessary. Chaals, do you prefer to have an issue 
> filed in tracker?
> 
> [repeating the current state:]
> 
> On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:56:31PM +0000, Carine Bournez wrote:
>>>> On Thu, 12 Nov 2015 15:16:56 +0100, Philippe Le Hegaret
>>>> <plh@w3.org> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> The Process indicates the following:
>>>>> [[
>>>>> If there are any substantive changes made to a Candidate
>>>>> Recommendation other than to remove features explicitly
>>>>> identified as "at risk", the Working Group must obtain the
>>>>> Director's approval to publish a revision of a Candidate
>>>>> Recommendation. This is because substantive changes will
>>>>> generally require a new Exclusion Opportunity per section 4 of
>>>>> the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]. Note that approval is expected to
>>>>> be fairly simple compared to getting approval for a transition
>>>>> from Working Draft to Candidate Recommendation.
>>>>> ]]
>>>>> http://www.w3.org/2015/Process-20150901/#revised-cr
>>>>> 
>>>>> My understanding is that the W3C Process allows the publication
>>>>> of a revised candidate recommendation *without* Director's
>>>>> approval if there are *no substantive changes*. It would also
>>>>> mean that no call for exclusions are issued as well.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Is that a correct understanding?
>>> 
>>> I think it clearly says that if there are no substantive changes or
>>> if the substantive changes are removing "at risk" sections, then you
>>> can publish without Director's approval.
>>> 
>>> Otherwise it would make no sense to have "substantive " in the
>>> sentence.  It would say  if there are "any changes" other than
>>> removing at risk, you need the Director.
>> 
>> 
>> The essential point of the question was actually whether or not a Call
>> for Exclusion should be issued. Common sense would be to say no, since 
>> there's no new feature, but there might be corner cases, e.g. if a member 
>> excludes a patent about a feature at risk that is removed during the 
>> exclusion period (of the original CR publication), it might invalidate
>> the whole exclusion mechanism (IANAL). Is it possible to republish 
>> a (editorial only) CR during the exclusion period of the previous one?
>> Last Calls used to be always with-substantial-changes publications, with
>> their own Call for Exclusions, no overlap. I think it might make sense
>> to allow for without-substantial-changes-except-removing-features-at-risk CRs
>> with the condition that the exclusion period of the previous substantive CR
>> is over.
>> 
>> Also the current wording in section 6.4 says:
>> <<
>> A Candidate Recommendation corresponds to a "Last Call Working Draft" as used in the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]. Publishing a Candidate Recommendation triggers a Call for Exclusions, per section 4 of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33].
>>>> 
>> 
>> So there's a bit of process clarification and editorial work needed, it seems.
> 
> -- 
> Carine Bournez /// W3C Europe
> 

Dave Singer

singer@mac.com
Received on Wednesday, 6 January 2016 18:00:57 UTC

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