Re: typo in the new W3C Document License? It does not allow "use"

On Wednesday 19 February 2003 21:23, Kirill Gavrylyuk wrote:
> So essentially the new Document License does not allow "to use" the
> materials published under it. Which means one cannot even read the
> materials, let alone use them to design implementations.

Hi Kirill,

It is not a typo but was purposefully removed. In short, our software and 
document licenses permit certain actions (e.g., copying/distribution and 
adaption) that are exclusively reserved to the W3C (and otherwise denied to 
others) via copyright law. "Use" is not such a reserved right. I noted a 
discussion on a licensing discussion list about this and put the question 
to our counsel. They confirmed that because  "use" is not an exclusive 
enumerated right and ambiguous in this context it is best removed -- and 
that they were orthogonally cleaning this issue up in other documents as 

Consequently, if you have a book (of W3C specifications) copyright law 
restricts you from doing certain things to it, such as making a copy or 
adaption. Copyright law does not prevent you, and consequently no explicit 
grant is needed, from reading it, implementing it, or "using" it as a 
coaster, or to raise your monitor. Furthermore, via "fair use" there are 
exceptions to the owners exclusive rights that permits someone to even, in 
limited contexts, make copies (e.g., a backup), adaptions (e.g., scribbling 
in the margins), etc. If someone downloads a test suite under a document 
license but needs to do some local/personal transform on the bindings to 
apply them, one might consider that fair use. If the recipient of that work 
requires a more definitive/explicit grant, we could further clarify that in 
the FAQ (e.g., being clear it is fair use[1], or making an additional grant 
of adaption for that circumstance [2]). Or, if there is a compelling set of 
reasons it could be addressed with a test suite license. 


Received on Thursday, 20 February 2003 09:05:59 UTC