Re: What about CGs? re Reminder of Patent Policy for Non-member Contributions

On Oct 3, 2013, at 8:10 AM, Arthur Barstow <> wrote:

> Hi Wendy - it seems like a similar reminder should also be sent to CGs. WDYT?
> And speaking of CGs and IP, what - if any - expectations are there re a CG tracking contributions? For example, can we assume a CG's `contrib` list will be used to track the provenance of _all_ contributions to a Final CG Spec?

We provide tools to help groups track (e.g., contrib list), but to not require a group to use a particular tool all the time.
We had in mind that other tools like wiki histories or version management systems would also provide a useful record.

The WG patent policy is stronger in this regard, and it is by design that CGs do not set expectations for airtight record-keeping, just good enough record keeping.


> The following document implies some rigor re contribution tracking is mandatory:
> [[
> <>
> * the history of Contributions (as defined under the CLA)mustbe
>   archived permanently on the W3C Web site.
> ]]

> With respect to a specific data point, although I am a member of several CGs, I think the only one that has published a Final CG Spec is CoreMob ([CoreMob-2012]). I just checked that CG's contrib list and it is empty [contrib]. Is the total absence of contribution tracking "to be expected"; should be expect something "better"; will this lead to issues if the FS becomes an input for a WG?
> -Thanks, AB
> [CoreMob-2012] <>
> [contrib] <>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: 	Reminder of Patent Policy for Non-member Contributions
> Resent-Date: 	Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:40:14 +0000
> Resent-From: 	<>
> Date: 	Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:40:05 -0400
> From: 	ext Wendy Seltzer <>
> Organization: 	W3C
> To: <>, W3C Team <>
> Hi W3C Working Group Chairs and Team Contacts,
> As your Working Groups explore different ways to engage contributors and
> the public in specification development, we wanted to remind you of
> policies and good practice to ensure that we can meet W3C's Patent
> Policy, with the goal of assuring that W3C recommendations can be
> implemented Royalty-Free. This policy applies, for example, to pull
> requests on github and comments received through social media.
> As we say in the Patent Policy FAQ:
> "How should Working Groups handle contributions from non-participants
> (e.g., meeting guests or on public lists)?
> A W3C Working Group frequently finds itself in the position of
> receiving reviews and input from other parties who are not
> participants in the Working Group, including:
>    Another W3C Working Group;
>    A meeting guest, including an observer during the Technical Plenary
> Week;
>    The general public on a mailing list.
> All Participants in a given Working Group have made a commitment to
> the W3C Patent Policy (in particular, the provisions regarding
> licensing obligations), but only for the Recommendations of that
> particular Working Group. In general, other parties have not made the
> same commitment for those same deliverables, although they MAY make
> this commitment if they wish. Similarly, W3C may request that they
> make such a commitment (see instructions for licensing commitments
> from non-W3C Members). This means that the Working Group should
> consider very carefully any contribution from a non-Participant before
> including it in a document intended to become a W3C Recommendation.
> To help manage expectations of meeting guests, attendees of joint
> Working Group meetings, and mailing list subscribers, it is useful to
> remind them when appropriate of the goals of the W3C Patent Policy.
> When a contribution is being considered for actual inclusion in a
> document intended to become a Recommendation, the Chair should ask the
> Contributor to disclose any essential claims, and if there are any,
> the terms under which those claims would be licensed. Lack of a
> response to this request is a red flag.
> In cases where disclosure reveals possible incompatible licensing, the
> Working Group should either steer away from the Contribution, or
> attempt to secure W3C Royalty-Free licensing terms. W3C prefers to
> avoid PAGs where possible."
> Please let us know if you have questions.
> --Wendy
> -- 
> Wendy Seltzer -- +1.617.715.4883 (office)
> Policy Counsel, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
>        +1.617.863.0613 (mobile)

Ian Jacobs <>
Tel:                                          +1 718 260 9447

Received on Thursday, 3 October 2013 13:23:50 UTC