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Re: Draft W3C Excerpt License (Re: WG Decision - spec license use cases)

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2009 15:39:45 +0100
Message-ID: <49AFE431.7090408@lachy.id.au>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, site-policy@w3.org
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Mar 2009, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
>> In response to requests from developers to make it easier
>> to include portions of W3C specifications in software documentation,
>> bug reports, code, and test cases, W3C have drafted a new
>> Excerpt & Citation License:
>>    http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2008/06-excerpt-license
> Increasing license proliferation is a really bad idea here. I would be 
> opposed to introducing yet another license. The legal situation is 
> complicated enough as it is. We should just reuse one of the many, many 
> existing licenses.

I agree.

>> It is my understanding that this current draft addresses the use cases 
>> presented by the HTML Working Group at [1], with the exception of 
>> continuing/forking the development of the WG deliverables in a non-W3C 
>> venue whether or not W3C and/or the HTML WG cease operations (the last 
>> two use cases in Henri's list). Uses like forking of a specification 
>> would remain prohibited to protect the due process and the consensus 
>> found in a chartered Working Group.
> This use case is the main one that I'm concerned about, FWIW.

I agree with this about the spec too.  But particularly for the 
authoring guides, sepcifically the HTML 5 Reference that I'm working on, 
I think the ability for others to fork that document, and incorporate it 
in whole or in part into their own work is very important.  Whether they 
want to produce their own independent online resources, books, or other 
publications, either commercially or non-commercially, it should be 

The more high quality educational resources out there, the better, and 
that would be greatly helped by letting people base their own work on 
the reference.

Personally, writing a HTML5 book is something I'm interested in doing 
one day, and I'd hate to have to duplicate the effort to rewrite what 
I've already written, just to bypass any copyright issues as a result of 
doing this work within the W3C.  This is why I'm interested in using a 
licence like the MIT licence, or (at least for the authoring guide) even 
dedicating it to the public domain.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Thursday, 5 March 2009 14:41:27 UTC

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