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

Re: Fwd: Contributor License Agreement

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 23:53:30 -0400
Message-ID: <4EB361BA.5050507@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 11/02/2011 08:00 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
> On 11/2/11 4:03 PM, Renato Iannella wrote:
>> (Response from IanJ below…)
>  > The CLA only applies to intentional contributions to the Community
>> Group. The contributions themselves don't have to reside on w3.org
>> <http://w3.org>; they can reside on other servers.
>> People who have not signed the CLA should not make contributions to
>> the Community Group. And the Group should avoid including material
>> from people that have not signed the legal agreements.
> This does not yet clarify the issue for me; what is the relationship
> between posts on a W3C public list-serve, like this one,
> public-webpayments@w3.org, and a 'contribution to the Community Group'?

Everyone that is on this mailing list that plans to take part in the 
discussion really should become a Community Group Member. It escaped my 
attention that you aren't a member of the group yet. Steven, you should 
remedy that as soon as possible. Could you please join the group and 
agree to the CLA?

Posts to the public mailing list are just that - posts where the 
submitter controls the copyright for the post, but agrees to have their 
e-mail archived indefinitely (for the benefit of future generations 
using/improving the Web). So, if you were to suggest text changes to any 
of the specifications and I were to incorporate them without your 
express release of such changes - we'd be in hot water.

This is why getting you into the group as a CG member is important - we 
don't have to worry about that sort of stuff if you become a member.

So, posts to the mailing list as a non-member of the CG retains your 
copyright completely.

A "contribution to the Community Group" is basically verbatim text that 
ends up in a specification. You haven't made any such contributions yet, 
so we're in the clear as far as that is concerned.

> There is also a private list for the group. Perhaps Ian means that
> contributions, formally speaking, are only those things sent to the
> private one?

No, we're going to avoid using the private list as much as possible. All 
spec development happens out in the open. The only time that we would 
use the private list is to document something that could become a legal 
issue in the future (patent notifications, companies behaving badly, 
anti-competitive behavior, received lawsuit threats, etc.).

> Otherwise he'd be saying that 'people who have not signed the CLA'
> should not take part in the public list-serve; which can't be
> right...can it?

Ian means: People who have not signed the CLA should not make direct 
contributions to the specifications because those same people could come 
back and assert a copyright infringement if we put their text into the 
specification without their express consent.

You can take part in the public list - you can give feedback, but if you 
want your text to go into the spec, you MUST join the group and agree to 
the CLA. Alternatively, you can ask the editors of the spec to come up 
with their own wording for what you want accomplished (which is 
typically what happens).

> Also, about the "intentional contributions" that "don't have to reside
> on w3.org" servers, -- how does one in fact decide, then, that they are
> "intentional" contributions, formally speaking?

If you ask for a spec change and you provide exact wording, that can be 
construed as an "intentional contribution". If you edit the 
specification directly, that is an "intentional contribution". If you 
come up with a fully-formed feature and want that integrated into the 
specification, that is an "intentional contribution". Generally 
speaking, it's text or an idea that you create, that you propose as an 
addition to one of the editors, that ends up in a specification.

> Specifically, is the Draft 25 of use-cases PaySwarm:
> http://payswarm.com/specs/ED/use-cases/2011-10-25/
> such a 'contribution'?

Yes, it is.

> How does one decide this?

It's an ongoing decision, but in general - documents that we create in 
this group are intended to be standards-track documents, published by 
the W3C as official standards (eventually).

> Who designates it as
> being such contribution, and is there a public statement of this
> designation?

Any contribution that ends up in a standards-track document in the W3C 
process is such a contribution. There is generally no public statement. 
Good faith is assumed when people ask that the spec is changed, and 
there are multiple legal checkpoints in the W3C process to ensure that 
this good faith is put to the test during the W3C publication process. 
For example, there is a call for patents and patent review stage, there 
is public review, etc. that is designed to tease out potential copyright 
and patent violations.

So, no public statement is necessary (other than signing up to the CLA). 
This model is basically what W3C has been using since 2004, which has 
seen a significant amount of success, even among companies with massive 
patent portfolios - IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Standardizing Payment Links - Why Online Tipping has Failed
Received on Friday, 4 November 2011 03:54:06 UTC

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