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Re: Renewing Working Groups, a proposal

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:02:56 -0700
Cc: chaals@yandex-team.ru, Revising W3C Process Community Group <public-w3process@w3.org>
Message-id: <7A3D2F85-1B1C-4D7C-A3E9-6C5E5F6A6CC1@apple.com>
To: Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org>

> On Jun 3, 2015, at 12:43 , Carine Bournez <carine@w3.org> wrote:
> 
> On Wed, Jun 03, 2015 at 08:47:06AM -0700, David Singer wrote:
>>> Upon joining a WG, a member has obligations wrt published items. If nothing
>>> is published yet in that WG, there is no obligation yet. So if charters A and
>>> B are for the same group, then everything published under charter A is covered
>>> by patent commitment (possibly exclusion).
>> 
>> Well, that is the question that has been on the table for a long time.  If a charter expires, and a new charter is written for a group of the same name, and it is approved, and people have to re-affirm their commitment and re-join, in what senses is it ???the same group????
> 
> When we ask to rejoin, that's because a new commitment is needed (new Rec track
> deliverables), not to re-affirm commitments for older specs.
> A new member of the WG has to make commitments to whatever has been worked on 
> before it joins (on rec track), so yes, in that sense it is the same group.

That has been a question of debate for a long time now.  You and I might think so (’same group’), but others do not…

> 
> 
>> PSIG has been divided on this question.  Chaals??? feels that it is the same for general purposes;  I think it???s basically irrelevant for the purposes of the Patent Policy, except for this one wrinkle, which is easily dealt with.
> 
> The real issue is when a group is closed for a significant time and then 
> reopens (with the same name and of course a new charter), what happens to 
> previous commitments? Much less clear than the normal case with the grace
> period + re-joining system.

My sense, as I said in my analysis, is that the actual agreement is to the *work* of the WG and is attached to the *work*, not the WG per se.  The WG charter sets a scope of what the potential involvement will be.

> 
> 
> 
>>> If charters A and B are for different groups (i.e. deliverable transferred 
>>> from group A to group B), then the exclusion opportunity is similar to a FPWD
>>> as soon as group B publishes the document again.
>> 
>> Right, as soon as there is an exclusion opportunity under charter B, we???re all clean. So the easy way to handle this situation (???inherited drafts???) is to trigger an exclusion opportunity at the earliest possible moment. If you do that as the group forms, then everyone joining will have an exclusion opportunity as they join.
> 
> 
> When the PP was developed in 2004 I think the transfer of specs between groups
> was not a common use case (not even sure it had already happened before 2004).
> This case is not a Process issue, IMHO, it's relevant to the PP.
> 

Yes, agree on the history.  The fear was that we might need to revise the PP, and PSIG is very averse to doing that.  My read suggests we do not, that agreements to license are attached to WDs, and the agreement becomes a commitment once the material in those WDs become Recommendations.  The WGs (merely) provide a place for the work to happen, and the charters set a scope of what might happen.

I would be curious to know if anyone disagrees.

David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:03:50 UTC

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