W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > site-comments@w3.org > June 2004

Re: W3C specs reformatted

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 10:37:39 -0700
Message-ID: <40BF61E3.3020704@w3.org>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: site-comments@w3.org

Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

> * Janet Daly wrote:
>>>This email concerns the reformatted W3C specs that I made. Only this late I
>>>am asking you for the permission to do/distribute those versions:
>>Thank you for your request. Susan Lesch of the W3C Communications team 
>>provided an earlier response, on the site-comments mailing list:
>>But what remains is whether what you are proposing to do complies with 
>>the Document License at W3C:
>>No right to create modifications or derivatives of W3C documents is 
>>granted pursuant to this license. So, changing the stylesheets and 
>>republishing them is not permitted.
>>I appreciate your caution and request, but inform you that it is not 
>>possible for these to be published.
> Janet, <http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/IPR-FAQ-20000620#format>, are
> you saying that this request does not comply with these terms? 

1. Yes.

Bjoern, I am curious why you are pursuing this thread, as it was not 
your request.

I am concerned that what you say here and
> in
>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/2004May/0064.html
>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/2004May/0065.html
> is that W3C never grants permission for derived works including
> translations, annotated specifications, and reformatted work. 

That is not the case. However, when it comes to copyrighted materials, 
particularly those where the normative status of originals are 
tantamount, the old adage "Ask forgiveness, not permission" is not 

I'll provide an example. The W3C Germany/Austria office was interested 
in launching a translation project where they would provide, in print 
and online, annotated German translations of W3C Techical reports. That 
project required a great deal of input from the W3C Team in terms of 
legal issues, technical accuracy of translation, and the assertions made 
in the annotations.

In the case of the reformatted documents referenced in the thread: To 
avoid confusion wrt normative versions, there has to be a compelling 
reason to allow for publication. In this case, there was no compelling 
reason that would outweigh the confusion factor.

You keep
> saying that the IPR FAQ does not apply for reformatted works, even
> though such works are explicitly covered there. I would welcome your
> clarification why what you say here does not contradict the IPR FAQ.

Bjoern, I am sorry if this is not clear; the document license first and 
foremost covers all Technical Reports on the W3C Web site. It does not 
conflict with the IPR licence; rather, it provides specific conditions 
for the use of documents, as opposed to, say, logos or software. You can 
think of it as Cascading licenses. The conditions for usage do not stop 
with the general IPR Faq when it comes to documents, or software, or logos.

If you can point to me where these points are contradictory, I will be 
happy to make it right. I don't see the contradiction. In fact, it 
starts with the following:


5.9 May I publish your specification in a different format (e.g., PDF)?

The creation of a reformatted work is a derivative work, something we do 
not generically permit in our <a 
copyright license</a>


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Janet Daly, Head of Communications
MIT/CSAIL, Building 32-G518
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

voice: 617.253.5884
fax:   617.258.5999
Received on Thursday, 3 June 2004 13:37:52 UTC

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