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Re: PSA: Sam Ruby is co-Editor of URL spec

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:51:32 -0500
Message-ID: <5471F474.30906@w3.org>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@annevk.nl>
CC: Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@gmail.com>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, "lehors@us.ibm.com >> Arnaud Le Hors/Cupertino/IBM" <lehors@us.ibm.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
[adding PLH]

There may be several different issues that we should all try to clarify.

1. Byte-for-byte copies.  Sam's proposal envisions the use of 
byte-for-byte copies.  But he also states that these copies must meet 
the needs of W3C pubrules.  These might be in contradiction; I'll 
explain the contradiction and I'll explain how I interpreted Sam'e proposal.

The contradiction is in the document license.  WHATWG publishes with 
CC-0 and OWFa, and W3C publishes with the W3C Document license and 
occasionally CC-BY.  How can it possibly be a byte-for-byte copy if some 
of the bytes (document license) are different?

My interpretation of Sam's proposal was that he meant that the documents 
would be byte-for-byte copies with the exception of the document 
license.  Sam, is that a correct interpretation?

2. Contributions.  W3C requires that contributions come from 
participants of the Working Group so that we are on strong ground in 
declaring RF.  If there is text that is proposed from outside the WG, it 
is a responsibility of the Chair to make sure that we are not bringing 
in text that is encumbered by patents.

In this proposal, I am assuming that the Chairs would need to fulfill 
that responsibility even for text coming in from the WHATWG.

In the case of URL, with most/all of the text coming from Sam and Anne - 
both of whose companies are part of WebApps - this does not appear to be 
a large burden.

3. Source of original document.  There are some documents that are 
currently under restrictive licenses such as the W3C Document License.  
The W3C community (specifically the Member organizations - the AC and 
AB) has not approved forkable licenses (with the exception of the 
limited CC-BY experiment).  This might be what Anne is referring to.  If 
you take some existing W3C document (e.g. TTML) which is only published 
under the W3C document license and use that as the source of a revision, 
Anne is correct that it is not trivial to make that available under a 
permissive license.

To the best of my knowledge that is not an issue for URL because my 
understanding is that we are talking about a document that is not 
encumbered by a previous copyright restriction (to be sure I have not 
asked for a legal review).

I think Anne is correct that it would be difficult to implement Sam's 
proposal for an existing document such as TTML.  From a legal point of 
view, W3C owns the copyright and has legal authority to make it 
available under a different license.  However, I doubt that W3C would 
feel comfortable doing that without the agreement of the AC/AB - and I 
would not be optimistic.

4. Ongoing modifications.  Here is another potential issue.  Let's say 
that a major revision of the spec is done in W3C, and W3C publishes a 
new draft under a restrictive document license.  The next day, WHATWG 
wants to publish a copy.

While arguably that could be a violation of W3C's Document license, I 
don't think it arises in Sam's proposal.  As I understand it, all 
modifications happen first in the WHATWG (with its permissive license) 
and are then copied into W3C.  So there is already a permissive license 
associated with any version of the document prior to its coming under 
restrictions of the W3C document license.

Jeff

On 11/23/2014 7:12 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> cc += Jeff, Arnaud
>
> On 11/23/2014 04:05 AM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:18 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> 
>> wrote:
>>> Would it be possible to fork https://github.com/whatwg/url into
>>> https://github.com/w3c/, and to give me the necessary access to 
>>> update this?
>>
>> I'm not sure why this escaped me, but the reason this doesn't work,
>> provided you want to continue to contribute to the WHATWG, is that the
>> W3C prevents it. I was after this kind of setup in 2012, and Jeff and
>> Wendy told me in no uncertain terms that it was in violation of the
>> Member Agreement. I then became a non-Member, but the Invited Expert
>> and Collaborator Agreement prevents the same thing.
>>
>> So if we are to go through with this, I would need to something in
>> writing from the W3C and IBM (the actual Member Agreements are private
>> and may have differences per company as I understand it) that this is
>> in fact okay.
>
> I believe that there must have been a miscommunication; especially 
> given that Jeff has indicated[1][2] that he doesn't see any changes to 
> the W3C process required to implement what I plan to do[3].
>
> Just to be clear, I've been doing my work on my own machine. Nobody 
> seems to have a problem with that.  I push it to my site 
> (intertwingly.net under CC0).  Nobody has a problem with that.  I push 
> it to github under my name.  Nobody has a problem with that.
>
> The W3C is willing to consider the contribution.  The W3C has 
> different ideas on licensing which I'm not thrilled with, but can live 
> with.
>
> Michael Champion has proposed that we establish a separate 
> repository[4] for shared work.  Nobody has a problem with that.
>
> Hopefully this miscommunication can be resolved before my rewriting of 
> the parser work[5] is complete.
>
> - Sam Ruby
>
> [1] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2014Nov/0148.html
> [2] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2014Nov/0155.html
> [3] http://intertwingly.net/blog/2014/11/20/WHATWG-W3C-Collaboration
> [4] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2014Nov/0149.html
> [5] https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=25946
Received on Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:51:44 UTC

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