W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webed@w3.org > November 2011

Re: Licensing: feedback wanted

From: Janet Swisher <jswisher@mozilla.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 14:12:27 -0600
Message-ID: <4ED68E2B.20104@mozilla.com>
To: "Richard D. Worth" <rdworth@gmail.com>
CC: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>, Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>, public-webed@w3.org
On 11/30/11 9:50 AM, Richard D. Worth wrote:
>
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM, Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com 
> <mailto:cmills@opera.com>> wrote:
>
>
>
>     On 30 Nov 2011, at 13:35, Richard D. Worth wrote:
>
>>
>>     On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 8:18 AM, Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com
>>     <mailto:karld@opera.com>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>         Le 30 nov. 2011 à 07:36, Chris Mills a écrit :
>>         > shall we go with by-sa. or just by? I think by-sa is best,
>>         as I worry what would happen to our material if we didn't
>>         include SA. We want the material and any evolution of it to
>>         be open, surely?
>>
>>
>>         We have a very similar case here. We want the content to be
>>         widespread by people and reused be it in a commercial context
>>         and/or an open context. As long as the source stays open,
>>         people have always the possibility to use it. It's why I'm in
>>         favor of CC-BY
>>
>>
>>     If we were authoring all the content ourselves, I think I could
>>     be in complete agreement, as CC-BY is most analogous to a
>>     permissive code license, such as MIT or BSD, which have shown to
>>     permit sufficient adoption and use (surely due in large part to
>>     their simplicity) amongst all the most popular JavaScript
>>     libraries for example (the software I'm most familiar with
>>     writing and licensing).
>>
>>     However, deciding to license our content CC-BY would preclude us
>>     from using any content from MDN, as just one example. Is that
>>     worth it? I'm not sure it is.
>
>     This is not necessarily the case - a licensor can waive certain
>     license conditions if they see fit. And we are intending to talk
>     to the different content holders about using their content on the
>     site, rather than just using it and not telling them. This needed
>     for etiquette and goodwill to be maintained.
>
>
> Great!
>
>
>     Of course, we could perhaps go with CC-BY-SA but then state
>     clearly in the license material that if you want to use our
>     material in a commercial project of some kind but don't want to
>     put it under the same license, then contact us and we will review
>     your particular case - if we approve then we will waive the -SA-
>     condition?
>
>
> We'd only be in a position to grant such a waiver if we had lined up 
> waivers from the above content holders. If we go through that effort, 
> I'd be just as happy having our license be CC-By from the start, but 
> if there were an overwhelming majority that wanted CC-By-SA as the 
> default and CC-By as an exception, I agree, this is a good way forward.
>
As others have noted, the default license on MDN text content is 
CC-BY-SA, and either MIT or PD for code samples, depending on the 
creation date. A complicating factor is that Mozilla doesn't do 
copyright assignment on MDN, so Mozilla holds the copyright only on 
content originally created by Mozilla employees. Volunteer contributors 
retain their own copyrights; in some cases, "volunteers" are doing 
work-for-hire for some other organization. This is no big deal as long 
as the same license is used, but a nightmare if you want to get a waiver 
to use a different license. You would have to figure out who the 
original creator was, whether they were paid to write it, and by whom.

Of course, you could make the default license for the WECG wiki be 
anything you want, and use an "alternative license block" for 
MDN-originated content, just as is done for some content on MDN that's 
differently licensed from the default: 
https://developer.mozilla.org/Project:en/Examples/Alternate_License_Block

This might make a headache for someone who wants to aggregate and reuse 
WECG content, but it's the aggregator's headache, not the WECG's.

--Janet





Received on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 20:12:59 UTC

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