W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-w3process@w3.org > December 2014

Re: Invited expert and CG Contributor agreements

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:47:46 -0500
Message-ID: <54909A72.9060109@intertwingly.net>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
CC: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, public-w3process <public-w3process@w3.org>
On 12/16/14 2:24 PM, David Singer wrote:
> [changing the subject as this is a new can of worms]
>> On Dec 16, 2014, at 10:44 , Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
>> wrote:
>> Use case: should I ever become unemployed (to be clear: my company
>> seems happy with me, but many companies do periodic "reductions in
>> force" with no apparent rhyme or reason), I would still be
>> interested in working on the URL specification; and would be
>> willing to sign a CLA like the ASF's, but would not be willing to
>> sign the current Invited Experts agreement.
> I assume the problematic part is this?
> "The Invited Expert agrees to refrain from creating derivative works
> that include the Invited Expert's contributions when those derivative
> works are likely to cause confusion about the status of the W3C work
> or create risks of non-interoperability with a W3C Recommendation.
> «Branching» is one example of a non-permissible derivative work.”
> I think this is something we are unlikely to enforce. If I own the
> copyright in my contributions (and I do), I cannot then be
> constrained in what I do with something I own, reasonably, can I?

Jeff is correct: regarding agreeing in advance.


As to "unlikely to enforce", I've been burned in the past by an 
agreement saying one thing and the company on the other saying another, 
quite publicly, in writing, and on stage.  If the W3C is unlikely to 
enforce this, then it shouldn't be in the agreement.  Period.

If it is in the agreement, I (and others) won't participate.

>> The wording of section 2.2 of the W3C Community Contributor License
>> Agreement (CLA) confuses me.  In particular, the copyright grant
>> (per section 2.1) is non-exclusive, and I (and others who make
>> contributions) should continue to be able to do with my (and our)
>> contributions as we like.
> I think we’ll need the second paragraph explained.  It seems to say
> that I (Sam Ruby, David Singer) require that any derivative works
> that you (the W3C) makes "must include an attribution to the
> Specification”. I am not sure why we require contributors to
> constrain the W3C in this way; it seems odd to my read.

I'll note that the agreement defines the term "You".  Scroll to the 
bottom.  As long as "any person" does not include the original 
contributor, I'm fine.  In particular, any collection of "I's" (using 
the definition of "I" in the agreement) should be able to do with our 
work as we wish, including collaborating with each other without limitation.

This is a case where I feel a public clarification and would be 
sufficient for my needs.  Saying "unlikely to enforce" for the Invited 
Experts agreement is an example where I don't believe that a public 
reassurance is sufficient.

> David Singer Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 20:48:36 UTC

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