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Re: Option 3

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 13:35:28 -0400
Message-ID: <4D88DDE0.6040609@intertwingly.net>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>, public-html@w3.org, PSIG <member-psig@w3.org>
On 03/22/2011 10:54 AM, James Graham wrote:
> On 03/22/2011 03:21 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> As for the mandates of the GPL, the only thing that the GPL prohibits is
>> "further restrictions" [1] and Option 3 has no such. There are no
>> limitations or restrictions that would have to be passed on to downstream
>> licensees.
>> [1] From GPLv3: "All other non-permissive additional terms are considered
>> "further restrictions" within the meaning of section 10. If the
>> Program as
>> you received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is
>> governed by this License *along with a term that is a further
>> restriction,*
>> you may remove that term. If a license document contains a further
>> restriction but permits relicensing or conveying under this License, you
>> may
>> add to a covered work material governed by the terms of that license
>> document, provided that the further restriction does not survive such
>> relicensing or conveying." [Emphasis between * * is added]
> OK, so I don't understand why the text "to facilitate implementation of
> the technical specifications set forth in this document" doesn't count
> as a restriction. If it doesn't count as a restriction, what effect does
> it have? Could we elide it from the license without substantively
> changing the meaning?

I encourage you to read Larry's statement.  He states the important 
point *very clearly* "There are no limitations or restrictions that 
would have to be passed on to downstream licensees."

>> So to my read, we have a lawyer who is citing actual text from the
>> license, we will have public a statement by the authors of the GPL
>> license itself, and meanwhile you have cited a second hand statement by
>> an unnamed lawyer concerning a matter unrelated to the GPL.
> Sam, I feel you are being combative here and I don't understand why. I
> would just like to understand the situation. Assuming we trust Ian
> enough to believe he did not invent the legal advice, using pejorative
> language like "a second hand statement by an unnamed lawyer" to
> encourage people to dismiss the concerns seems wholly unhelpful.
> There is clearly confusion in the group (some of it mine) and apparently
> exist conflicting interpretations, as far as I can tell even amongst
> lawyers, of the license text implies. I don't think asking for
> clarification on the specific issue at hand is unreasonable.

Larry's statement is crystal clear.  The text of the GPL license is 
available for everybody to inspect.  The only source of confusion 
appears to be based on people's opinions on what the GPL license is 
thought to say, with the possible exception of a "unnamed lawyer" from 
whom all we have is a "second hand" statement.

It is my expectation that the HTML WG will have the opportunity to 
provide additional input... it is my hope that that input is along the 
lines of what is stated here:


In particular, it is my hope that our input does NOT include 
unsubstantiated and easily disprovable assertions which require nothing 
more than a careful reading of the GPL license itself to determine their 

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:36:08 UTC

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