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Re: [Licensing] Request to evaluate candidate HTML Document license (known as "Option 3")

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 05:35:39 -0700
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, licensing@mozilla.org, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D2A50662-3C5D-4DF4-B48F-B6F294FD30D2@gbiv.com>
To: Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>
On Apr 1, 2011, at 2:31 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> On 23/03/11 17:33, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Would the license below meet the Mozilla's Foundation's criteria for
>> Licensing of Third Party Code[1]?
> Hi Sam,
> Before I answer that question, I would like to make a statement on the wider issue.
> The criteria for the licensing of Third Party Code are an attempt to encode requirements in response to questions which have previously come up. They should not be considered normative in the sense that e.g. the OSD is normative for the OSI.
> Having considered the matter, Mozilla has three requirements for the licensing of HTML Recommendations:
> A) The license must meet the Open Source Definition and the Free Software Definition.
> B) As a UA vendor, we want to be able to embed license text (e.g. IDL definitions) in our code, our developer documentation, etc. So the spec license needs to allow us to do that, given our existing licenses for code and documentation. This means, among other things, allowing relicensing to the MPL, LGPL or GPL (i.e. sticking it in the middle of a file which is under one, two or all three of those licenses without needing reams of additional legal text).
> C) As an organization that cares about the future of the web, the spec needs to be effectively forkable as long as its made clear that the fork is not W3C-sanctioned in any way.
> We are told Option 1 is considered not compatible with the GPL by the FSF, and so we have not considered it further.
> Our opinion is that Option 2 does not directly satisfy requirement A), because it does not allow one to make derivative works of the whole document.
> Our opinion is that Option 2 does not satisfy requirement C), because it limits the ability to copy and redistribute to portions, not the whole.
> Our opinion is that Option 3 does not satisfy requirement A), because it contains field-of-use restrictions.
> Our opinion is that Option 3 does not satisfy requirement C), because the W3C Document License does not permit forking, and the additional permission statement restricts it to portions "in/accompanying software".

Please note that the Mozilla Public License is limited to Software
(Covered Code).  My opinion is that the above does not represent
Mozilla's opinion in any meaningful sense, unless MPL has been
abandoned recently.  Have you asked Mitchell Baker?

Received on Monday, 4 April 2011 12:36:12 UTC

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