W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > November 2014

RE: URL Collaboration derivative spec questions - was Re: PSA: Sam Ruby is co-Editor of URL spec

From: Geoffrey Creighton (LCA) <Geoffrey.Creighton@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:41:16 +0000
To: "Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)" <Michael.Champion@microsoft.com>, "Jeff Jaffe" <jeff@w3.org>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@annevk.nl>
CC: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "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>
Message-ID: <DM2PR0301MB1198FE36BFEE7E070B012FA08B700@DM2PR0301MB1198.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
One quick clarification (and I'll respond separately to the subsequent discussions): I'm not a copyright specialist (and couldn't offer legal advice to this group in any event), but some of the assumptions about copyright appeared to be getting in the way of the discussion, and some of those assumptions appeared to be incorrect. I wouldn't want people to stumble over phantom obstacles; there are enough real ones to deal with already. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH) 
Sent: Tuesday, 25 November 2014 23:58
To: Jeff Jaffe; Philippe Le Hegaret; Anne van Kesteren
Cc: Wendy Seltzer; Sam Ruby; Arthur Barstow; www-archive; lehors@us.ibm.com >> Arnaud Le Hors/Cupertino/IBM; Geoffrey Creighton (LCA)
Subject: URL Collaboration derivative spec questions - was Re: PSA: Sam Ruby is co-Editor of URL spec

Adding Geoffrey

> On one of the threads, Mike
> floated a joint repo idea.  While this is attractive from the 
> perspective of partnering; it is possible that it might stimulate some 
> of the derivative spec issues which could potentially cause an issue

I have discussed this with Geoffrey (Microsoft's representative on the Patent and Standards Interest Group)  pointing him to Sam's concrete proposal [1] to do collaborative work in https://github.com/webspecs/url under CC0 and eventually publish the result as a W3C Recommendation. I also asked about Anne's concern  [2] that "the moment a non-W3C document enters W3C space, it can no longer be developed outside the W3C". Here's what I learned, and Geoffrey please correct any legal points I mis-state:

1. Starting from text put in the public domain under CC0 and using that text as substantially all of a W3C Recommendation would mean the Recommendation could not be copyrighted under the Document License or CC-BY.   Since the original text is under CC0 W3C has every right to *use* that text however it sees fit, but it can't take it out of the public domain by adding any sort of copyright statement.    Of course someone could slap a copyright statement on the published document, but the copyright would be unenforceable.  If the W3C review/testing/revision process created a substantially different document, then the *differences* from the CC0 original could be copyrighted, but that is not consistent with Sam's proposal to publish essentially a byte-for-byte identical copy at W3C.

2. This means Anne's concern -- that  once text is published by W3C  it can no longer be developed outside W3C -- does not apply in the situation we're talking about where the text originates outside W3C.    For the URL spec, it's the other way around: once text is put under CC0 by either WHATWG or in a neutral GitHub repository, for all intents and purposes it cannot be put under the Document License. I understand that to mean the text could still be used in a W3C Recommendation and that Recommendation can have the same sorts of patent commitments other Recommendations do, but W3C would have no basis to object to the same text being used in another technical specification. (Geoffrey and I did not discuss the Member Agreement question Anne referred to, just the copyright question. )

My conclusion: There is no reason for concern that "derivative spec issues" should stand in the way of either Sam's original proposal to develop the URL spec in WHATWG and have WebApps "sponsor" a snapshot as a W3C Recommendation, or the revised proposal to collaborate in https://github.com/webspecs/url with the spec text under CC0 and then publish stable versions under the W3C process.

Apologies if I have misunderstood Sam, Anne, or Geoffrey's positions on any of this, feel free to set me straight.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2014Nov/0177.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2014Nov/0034.html 


________________________________________
From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 11:57 AM
To: Philippe Le Hegaret; Anne van Kesteren
Cc: Wendy Seltzer; Sam Ruby; Arthur Barstow; www-archive; lehors@us.ibm.com >> Arnaud Le Hors/Cupertino/IBM; Michael Champion (MS OPEN TECH)
Subject: Re: PSA: Sam Ruby is co-Editor of URL spec

[adding Mike]

On 11/24/2014 12:59 PM, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> On Mon, 2014-11-24 at 16:30 +0100, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>   I also don't see how Sam's proposal is different.
> I believe the main difference with Sam's proposal compared to past 
> attempts is the sponsorship dimension, specifically the "No editing"
> part.
>
> The W3C Membership agreement is talking about joint work developed 
> between the W3C hosts and the Member. But, in the case of no editing, 
> I wouldn't think that it applies.

Yes, this is part of why I said earlier that Sam's proposal has several elements that seem to mean (AFAICT) that this is a workable solution.

But it is complex, and there are similar situations that seem to conflict with existing agreements.  So I respect Anne's desire to get complete clarify before we get started.  As Anne said, getting a clear statement from W3C that there are no issues with Sam's approach is reasonable and necessary.

Sam originally floated a proposal in his blog - but also suggested that he was open to proposal modifications.  On one of the threads, Mike floated a joint repo idea.  While this is attractive from the perspective of partnering; it is possible that it might stimulate some of the derivative spec issues which could potentially cause an issue (I say potentially because I don't know enough about the proposal yet to judge).

At some point, the thread should coalesce down to a specific proposal that we all agree is the best approach (personally I thought Sam's was pretty close to the pin already).  Once we have agreed on that - Anne is right - we should get a clear W3C formal statement that it works.
AFAICT Sam's original proposal works and if we can agree to that - I'll be happy to take it to formal legal review.

>
> Philippe
>
Received on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 18:31:49 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:35:06 UTC