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Re: Mozilla Proposal for HTML5 Spec Licence

From: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 18:56:46 -0400
Message-ID: <BANLkTinRKg2jSDvrE=OsXuzJyTv6vnYVfA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Cc: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
On Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> If you are suggesting a public domain dedication for the HTML5 specs, don't get your hopes up. Why would W3C members allow that? You expect them to release their community-created specifications without any conditions?

In the specific case of HTML5, the full text of the specification
(plus more) is available from the WHATWG under the MIT license, which
does indeed impose essentially no conditions.  So expectations aren't
to the point here: everyone who's contributed substantial amounts of
specification text to HTML5 *has* released it under a permissive
license, expected or not.  This should be no great surprise, since the
large majority of the HTML5 text is copyrighted by Google, which has
made its support for permissive specification licenses clear.

The question instead should be: when (not if; it's already happened)
W3C members *are* willing to fund specification work on condition that
it be released under a permissive license, why should the W3C stand in
their way?  If the members funding the work want to release it
permissively, they can do it anyway by permissively licensing it
before submitting it to the W3C, as is done with HTML5.  In that case,
what's the gain in forcing those members to go to that inconvenience,
compared to just letting them have one copy of the spec under a single
license that they're happy with?
Received on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 22:57:36 UTC

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