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Re: Test Suite License Grant II

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 01:33:33 +0200
To: fantasai <fantasai@inkedblade.net>
Cc: team-legal <team-legal@w3.org>, w3c-css-wg@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <200805120133.33815.rigo@w3.org>
Dear Fantasai, 

thanks for your comments. 

On Saturday 26 April 2008, fantasai wrote:
> You've updated the license grant form under the old URL.
>    http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/1/testgrants2-200409/?login
> I hope you're keeping track of which contributors filled out the
> previous version vs. this version.

Responses are obviously tracked.
>
> I have some comments:
>
>    # The Contributor hereby grants to the W3C, a perpetual,
> non-exclusive, # royalty-free, world-wide right and license under
> any Contributor # copyrights in this contribution to copy, publish,
> use, modify, and # to distribute the contribution under a BSD
> License or more restrictive, # as well as a right and license of
> the same scope to any derivative # works prepared by the W3C and
> based on, or incorporating all or part # of the contribution.
>
> "to copy, publish, use, modify, and to distribute" is not parallel
> construction. It's not clear what the intent is. Did you mean
>    "to copy, publish, use, and modify the contribution and to
> distribute the contribution under a BSD License"
> or
Yes, that's how I read it and the "to" before distribute makes it 
clear to me. I will ask Ian whether this needs a change, but this has 
been verified extensively in 2004. I only changed the permissible 
distribution license from W3C Document license to something more 
permissive. Note that this is about _incoming_ rights...


>    "to copy, publish, use, modify, and distribute the contribution
> under a BSD License"
> ? The latter restricts W3C's copy/publish/use/modify rights to the
> terms of the BSD License.

while this would force us to some specific license outgoing. This is 
NOT what GrantII is about.

>
> "or more restrictive" seems to be unfinished. Perhaps you meant "a
> more restrictive license". Is it clear, legally, what "a more
> restrictive license" means?

Ah, this is perhaps my bias as a continental lawyer. I do not render 
every implicit statement explicit. Perhaps I should for reasons of 
I18N. Sure, more restrictive means less rights, one of them being 
modifications e.g.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/restrictive
serving or tending to restrict:
to confine within bounds : restrain:
to prevent from doing: restreindre
Rendre moindre, limiter.
>
>    # The Contributor further agrees that any derivative works of
> this # contribution prepared by the W3C shall be solely owned by
> the W3C.
>
> This sentence has always bothered me. This sentence basically says
> that if W3C modifies a contributor's test suite, the W3C owns the
> new version in its entirety -- it basically strips away the
> contributor's copyright ownership. 

No it doesn't as it is a right, not a thing. The initial rights of the 
contributor remain in existence. 

> It would make more sense, and be 
> more in line with the previous sentence, if it says that the
> changes W3C makes are owned by W3C. (Or if it were removed
> entirely.)

This would mean that every contributor in the future must be asked for 
permission of every manipulation of data. Now with a testsuite and 
50+ contributors we would have to make a meeting every once in a 
while to discuss the additions of tests, change of layout etc.. And 
we would only be allowed to change if all agree. Does that sound more 
usable? If not, you are in favor of that sentence. W3C is supposed to 
be a neutral ground (this is what standardization is about IMHO). It 
can only play that role if it has sufficient rights and is not 
dependent on the agreement of every contributor for every single 
manipulation of text or data because the contrary would open the door 
to pressure and deals. 
>
> Last thing, it would be nice if there was an optional checkbox that
> allowed contributors to give W3C joint copyright ownership of the
> test, similar to the way the Membership agreement does. Many
> contributors would be happy to check off that box, but wouldn't
> bother to take that extra step if it required emailing W3C and
> discussing it with Ian Jacobs, which is the current process.

I do not think that this will work for legal reasons. It would involve 
transfer of rights, not only licensing. This would require far more 
than a checkbox. 

Best, 

Rigo

Received on Sunday, 11 May 2008 23:33:50 UTC

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