W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2011

RE: Option 3

From: Dailey, David P. <david.dailey@sru.edu>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 11:07:01 -0400
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, PSIG <member-psig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C64F09DF6833C44782B27844765560BC12E061C264@MSFEXCH01.srunet.sruad.edu>
When these issues were discussed in 2009, I was of the opinion [1], as I gather Larry Rosen has said that the consensus of the Working Group was that forking of the spec was not desirable.

However, rather than merely addressing what *could* be done with the spec in terms of licenses, I was thinking of a more direct assertion of which of the derivative rights of the copyright holder (W3C) could not be done (such as, for example):

" An organization or individual modifies the content of the spec in ways that intentionally misrepresent its content and that mislead others as a result. We do not, I think, want to encourage prosecution against the well-meaning author of a book who misunderstands the specification, but rather against those who might seek to perpetuate coding practices contrary to the spec which might, for example, favor one browser implementation over another."

It is specifically that, I think that would constitute a fork. 

When two competing specifications for the same thing exist, it seems that a "standard" no longer exists.

I'm missing a couple of things in this thread though:

For Larry: What is the the PSIG referenced in your note [2]

When [3] says "Public documents on the W3C site are provided by the copyright holders under the following license" what exactly is a "Public document?" Does that include all material hosted at www.w3.org, including, for example, this message? I don't know if contributors to the WG consented to such copyright assignment, but I don't really remember... maybe we did.

If this is Option 3, I seem to be missing Options 2 and 1. (sorry, I went and looked but am still confused.)


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Feb/0324.html 
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0143.html 
[3] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-documents-20021231 

-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of James Graham
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:05 AM
To: Sam Ruby
Cc: Jonas Sicking; Lawrence Rosen; public-html@w3.org; PSIG
Subject: Re: Option 3

On 03/22/2011 12:26 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> The FSF maintains otherwise and have publicly stated so[2]. It is my
> understanding that if this license is approved by the W3C that the FSF
> will take a similar position on this option. This is based on my
> understanding of the outcome when actual lawyers employed by W3C member
> companies talked to actual lawyers of the FSF who were involved in the
> drafting of the GPL license.

Hmm, maybe I misread the thread, but I thought the Google lawyers 
claimed something different. In particular

"""My lawyer said in no uncertain terms that what you propose as
"option 3" would not let people publish derivative works of these
specifications as specifications. Thus, it is in our opinion 
unacceptable as a solution to the problem of how to enable people to 
publish derivative works of these specifications as specifications.""" [1]

Presumably these apparently-conflicting claims could only be resolved if 
it is acceptable under the GPL to have such a field of use restriction. 
My belief was that it is not. If my belief is wrong, it would be nice to 
have a clear explanation of why it is wrong rather than just "some 
lawyers said so". If I have misunderstood for some other reason it would 
be nice to get a clear explanation of what I have misunderstood.

(note: none of the above should be read as endorsement for a particular 
outcome or set of requirements. I am just trying to understand the 
situation and, as the thread has gone on, I feel I have become less 
enlightened, not more).

Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 15:07:35 UTC

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