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Re: Copyright of the IDL Definitions

From: Tobias Peters <tpeters@uni-oldenburg.de>
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 13:23:24 +0200 (METDST)
To: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.HPP.3.96.1000919125846.3076B-100000@hpux11.hrz.uni-oldenburg.de>
On Mon, 18 Sep 2000, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:

> Tobias Peters wrote:
> > The copyright notice
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-DOM-Level-1/copyright-notice.html forbids the
> > creation of "modifications or derivatives". My perception is that the
> > creation of a DOM implementation involves making a derivative work of the
> > DOM API published in
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-DOM-Level-1/level-one-core.html or
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-DOM-Level-1/idl-definitions.html . These files
> > are published under the mentioned copyright notice, so how can any legal
> > DOM (level 1) implementation exist?
> 
> This is not exactly true. "modifications or derivatives" is about the
> document itself. So yes, according to the DOM Level 1 copyright, you had no
> right to modify or create derivatives of the DOM Level 1 bindings. It
> doesn't prevent you to use them, btw.

While it does not prevent me from using this API in a given DOM level 1
implementation, but it actually prevents me from creating such an
implementation.

Here is a concrete example: I began to create a DOM level 1 wrapper in C++
around Daniel Veillards libxml. I used the IDL definitions file from the
w3c website and modified it using an editor so that it becomes C++ class
declarations. However, I realize now that I have created a modified copy
of a part of the DOM level 1 specification document, and that I had no
right to do that according to that document's copyright notice, thus I
must not distribute the result.

Using an IDL compiler won't help, since such a compiler does nothing else
than creating a modified copy of the IDL definition file. Reading the
Level 1 recommendation and creating a matching class hierarchie won't help
either, it is also nothing else than creating a modified copy. I cannot
see a way to create a DOM level 1 implementation without breaking
copyright laws. 

So my question is: How have the existing DOM level 1 been created?  Is
there a way to achieve this without breaking copyright laws, a way that I
simply fail to see? 

Tobias
Received on Tuesday, 19 September 2000 07:23:27 GMT

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