W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa-wg@w3.org > November 2002

Re: proposed Test Materials license

From: Joseph Reagle <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 13:34:41 -0500
To: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Cc: <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200211221334.41713.reagle@w3.org>

On Friday 15 November 2002 05:15 pm, Lofton Henderson wrote:
> For example, if the SVG test suite were under Software License (it is
> under Document), I could make a modified version of the SVG test suite
> that suppresses features that my implementation fails.  I believe that I
> would satisfy #3 by putting some obscure comment
> (XML comment, <!-- ... -->) in the SVG source code.  The naive observer
> would see a test displayed -- apparently a member of "W3C SVG 1.0 Test
> Suite, Release 2.0" -- but would not know the truth about it unless
> he/she happened to "View Source" (and be technically competent).
>
> Notice that I'm assuming deceptive intent -- it happens occasionally.

I don't see it as much of a threat. We do have instances of people changing 
or altering our specifications for their purposes such that we ask them to 
stop or alter their practice. ~80% of the cases are people not appreciating 
the importance of things we value: such as removing or moving the status 
section, a version number, the specific dated URIs, etc. We've had a few 
cases where people deceptively use our content but I've *never* seen a case 
where it is for pretending that somehow they are compliant to a 
specification; instead, they reformat the content so they can pretend they 
have lots of good content on their lame consulting and publishing sites. 
<smile/> The pillory someone would receive by trying to rip off a document 
or test suite changing it and claiming compliance would actually exceed the 
pain I think lawyers can inflict, though that option is there too! <smile/>

> I'd be interested in some interpretations or some "for examples" -- what
> is acceptable and what is unacceptable for #1 and #3 (under a strict
> reading of those)?

(I lost the context here).

> For my taste, for W3C-hosted test materials, I would like the option of
> stronger constraints than I'm reading into the Software License.  (Unless
> I'm misreading it.)
>
> This is distinct from Kirill's other problem -- corporate policy that
> prevents donation of test materials without scope-of-use restrictions.

To recapitulate the options:

1. Release under the software license. This permits:
A. Changes for the purposes of frameworks and language bindings.
B. Others to make changes to track new versions or use in new contexts 
(e.g., taking a XPath test suite and using it in a XPointer or XSLT, or 
XMLDSIG test suite).
C.  I consider people trying to abuse or deceive on this note highly 
unlikely and actionable.

2. Release under the Document License. This involves:
A. If desired, a FAQ could be added which grants permission for the 
necessary changes to use in a framework (like our translation and 
annotation exceptions for Documents).

3. Create a New License:
A. I'm hesitant to call it a "Test License" because I would expect other 
test materials may continue to want to be released under document/software 
licenses? (I can't think of a better name, but it seems to further 
propagate these "out-dated" names...)
B. Have it be word-by-word identical to the Document license, except the 
paragraph regarding derivative works in which we grant the permission 
necessary for applying bindings in a framework.
C. (Optionally address the scope of use issue though I don't understand the 
scenario there yet.)

Given our discussions, perhaps we should present the most tenable options to 
Chairs and get wider feedback/experiences?
Received on Friday, 22 November 2002 13:34:47 GMT

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