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Re: DOM DOM binding considered harmful, discriminates against open source

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 16:52:28 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <38289767.EF55A0D7@reutershealth.com>
To: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
CC: www-dom@w3.org
David Brownell wrote:

> I think you mean "cannot be shipped as part of" ... an open source
> application should be able to use an implementation of such interfaces,
> though it can't ship or implement them.

Whether Java run-time binding is "linking" within the meaning of the GPL is
a question.  I incline to think it is; if so, no GPLed program can use an
implementation of the DOM through the standard interfaces (which is tantamount
to not being able to use it at all).
 
> I think that another way to put this is:  The OSD calls for all
> the relevant Intellectual Property (IP) to be open, not just to
> provide access to source code.

This is not the case; in particular, the OSD deliberately says nothing about
open trademarks, and it is quite common for licenses (even the MIT/BSD)
to exclude trademarks explicitly. In this case, disallowing the use of "W3C"
(as in the package name) is clearly allowed.
 
> That's a problem for any "standards" organization that wants to
> control evolution of such IP, since it requires such control be
> yielded.

There is no need to yield control over the binding of a particular
version to the W3C Level 1 DOM, while still allowing modification of the
Java code itself.  It simply isn't a DOM interface any more, then.

> This is similar to the issue that Sun's "Community
> Source" licensing has hit -- interface/code evolution isn't in
> the hands of the community, unapproved forking is prohibited.

I don't agree that it's particularly similar.  The SCS license is trying to
protect implementation, whereas what I am talking about is interface.

-- 

John Cowan	http://www.reutershealth.com		jcowan@reutershealth.com
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! / Schliess eurer Aug vor heiliger Schau
Den er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.
		-- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)
Received on Tuesday, 9 November 1999 17:44:54 GMT

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