W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-dom-ts@w3.org > June 2001

Re: GPL (was: Re: Early XSLT's)

From: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 23:20:13 -0700
To: www-dom-ts@w3.org
Message-id: <00b901c0f887$e7128d40$6800000a@brownell.org>
Actually if I were contributing, I'd be bothered by the text
that Phillipe insisted be signed:

> You grant to the W3C, a perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free,
> world-wide right and license under any copyrights in this
> contribution to copy, publish and distribute the contribution,
> as well as a right and license of the same scope to any derivative

That text doesn't specify a particular license (open or otherwise),
or if "copyrights" includes "license" then it's superfluous for such
GPL'd code.  Also:

> works prepared by the W3C and based on or incorporating all
> or part of the contribution. You further agree that any derivative
> works of this contribution prepared by the W3C shall be solely
> owned by the W3C.'"

... that text seems to permit "derivative works" (say, minor bugfixes)
to trigger a change in "ownership"; and hence includes a grant of
power to change license terms.  Grant under one license, then the
next team at W3C can relicense at whim.

I'd far prefer to see W3C facilitating independent contributions
that have a consistent and immutable licensing policy, without
such an insistence on changing of ownership.  Or at least being
more up-front about insisting on a complete grant of IP rights
(which in this scenario I'd never consent to).

That's separate from the issue of what that license should be, but
not unrelated.  It's the issue of whether independent contributions
are creating an intellectual commons, or ceding control of our IP
to a private entity.

- Dave

p.s. Separately, yes I would certainly prefer to see tests be under
    GPL, or at least LGPL.  The notion of making it easier for anyone
    to create proprietary variants of "standards", by subverting such
    community efforts, is bothersome.  This seems one of those cases
    of giving up liberty, a little bit at a time.
Received on Tuesday, 19 June 2001 02:20:57 UTC

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