W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webapi@w3.org > March 2006

Re: ISSUE-53: License terms for IDL and bindings

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 22:54:33 -0800
Message-Id: <F73EEEC3-C80D-4B83-9D51-4F2819919CD6@apple.com>
To: Web APIs WG <public-webapi@w3.org>

Some corrections. I think the rest of what I said is right though.

On Mar 26, 2006, at 10:47 PM, Web APIs Issue Tracker wrote:

> 1) A technical specification should not attempt to legally require  
> attempts at implementation to
> conform, just on general principle. It would be unprecedented for  
> the W3C, certainly.

Apparently not, it looks like this is in the published DOM Level 3  
Events Note, and in DOM Level 2 Events.

> 2) Taken to the letter, this would mean that any unknown (and  
> therefore undocumented) failure to
> conform in an attempted implementation would be a copyright violation.
> 3) Taken to the letter, it would mean any not yet complete Java  
> implementation of this specification
> would be a copyright violation. It would have to not use the w3.org  
> prefix and therefore not implement
> even a subset of the specification.

This part is not right either, for the same reason:

> That seems like a bad idea, especially since DOM Level 2 Events is a
> subset and places no restrictions, creating the silly situation  
> that it is legal to implement DOM Level 2
> Events only, but so long as you add a single L3 method you need to  
> change your package prefix.

> 4) Subset profiles of DOM Level 3 events would not be legally  
> possible.
> 5) The requirement in the W3C software notice "Notice of any  
> changes or modifications to the files,
> including the date changes were made" are incompatible with the GPL  
> and the LGPL, which forbid
> placing any additional requirements on modification or  
> redistribution. This would make it a copyright
> violation for many popular open source implementations to implement  
> the spec. At least if they looked
> at the spec - it may still be legal to do a clean room  
> implementation where one person reads the spec
> and tells another what to code. Which is crazy.
> I recommend instead that Web API specifications make clear that  
> anyone is free implement the
> interfaces therein, whether correctly or not, but of course may not  
> make factually incorrect claims of
> conformance.
Received on Monday, 27 March 2006 06:54:52 UTC

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