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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 16:39:55 -0700
Cc: Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>, licensing@mozilla.org, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DD8AE22B-DDD5-46A6-84F1-B557502C7A57@gbiv.com>
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
On Apr 4, 2011, at 2:40 PM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> On 4/4/11 5:35 AM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>> On Apr 1, 2011, at 2:31 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
>>> 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.
>> Please note that the Mozilla Public License is limited to Software
>> (Covered Code).
> This affects item (B) above only, which is a non-issue anyway with the proposed licenses due to explicit exemptions.

Nice selective deleting of context.  What I replied to was the
two paragraphs you deleted:

>> 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".

That first opinion is wrong.  It does not appear to be written
by a lawyer.  I find that odd, since Mitchell is a lawyer, and
I am accustomed to having Mozilla's legal opinions presented
by Mitchell.  That's why I asked if that "opinion" had been
given to Mitchell for review.

Software is not a field of use -- it is a form of expression.
Field of use restrictions matter for patent licenses.  That's
why they matter for OSI approval.  In case you didn't know,
the MPL 1.1 is an approved OSI license, and by its very nature
it has the exact same limitation as the one in Option 3 -- it
only gives permission to redistribute covered code.  That is
well known to be enough to be open source if what you are
distributing is covered code.

As mentioned every time this comes up, the second opinion
regarding requirement (C) has already been rejected by the
W3C members and is not intended to be satisfied by the PSIG

>> My opinion is that the above does not represent
>> Mozilla's opinion in any meaningful sense
> Gerv's mail states Mozilla's opinion in this instance.  You can have whatever opinions you choose on the matter of course.  You don't have to believe a word Gerv or I say.  Your prerogative.

Would that be Mozilla the Foundation, Mozilla the corporation,
Mozilla the Firefox team, or Mozilla the two guys who happen to
be responding to me?  I'd like to know before I ask Mozilla's
directors to explain their thinking.

Received on Monday, 4 April 2011 23:40:22 UTC

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