W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa-wg@w3.org > May 2003

fixing my "TM License" mess

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 07:36:10 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Cc: joseph Reagle <reagle@w3.org>

[..Note switch to WG list..]

For the telecon...


Here is a repair for the confusion I may have caused yesterday.  A complete 
restatement of:

* the issue synopsis/history,
* proposed way forward,
* scope of telecon issue discussion,
* proposed new text for CP5.3 and CP6.2

QAWG has worked on the "Test Materials License" issue [4] for over a year. 
While we have defined and fleshed out the sub-issues nicely (see linked 
Boston minutes and status summary), on the other hand forward progress has 

Because of the nature of the issue and the interests of the stakeholders, 
it has been suggested that this issue belong in a larger, W3C-wide 
forum.  Karl proposed, ""Maybe we should present the different opinions to 
w3m and ask if there's a possible solution at a larger member level? AC Forum."

Issue #59 about CP5.3 (TM submission licenses) was previous resolved, and 
has not been reopened: "No, we won't try to devise W3C-wide submission 
licenses".  In the "pre-LC" comments, Joseph requested removal of the 2nd 
paragraph, and also requested removal of the third, that points to examples."

Issue #49, about CP6.2 (TM publication licenses) has since June 2002 been 
tied to a proposed "TM License" that we thought was a good idea.  However, 
we have not been able to come to closure and consensus on the details since 
June 2002.  All that we have been able to agree to is:  Document or 
Software may apply;  the "no-modification" proviso of "Document" is 
attractive but not always applicable; different licenses may be used for 
Test Documentation, Test Cases, Test Software.

There is disagreement between W3C Legal and the counsels of some member 
companies, whether the lack of a "use" clause in Document prevents 
potential TM users from needed ways of using the

Proposed way forward

Meanwhile -- while this is being pursued -- OpsGL must find a way forward 
that is acceptable to the various interested parties. Following is a 
proposal for such a way forward, that allows OpsGL to progress (to CR, and 

We will refer the problems to some forum such as AC Forum (per Karl's 

1.) Our goal for next OpsGL.  In 5.3 and 6.2, to document what is the 
current reality, and require WGs to document these aspects of their 
processes.  We will not try to invent anything new here.

2.) fix the wording of CP5.3 and CP6.2 along the lines proposed below 
(deletions from 5.3; removal of reference to our draft "TM License" from 
6.1 and adjustment of wording there.)

3.) have QA team/staff implement Karl's proposal, "present the different 
opinions to w3m and ask if there's a possible solution at a larger member 
level? AC Forum."

Scope of telecon discussion

1.) endorse this approach, or not;

2.) seek clarification of reason for removing examples from 5.3 (we have a 
problem with OpsGL and OpsET if we can't offer any examples);

3.) where and how can W3C Legal & member companies discuss and reach 
consensus on the 'use' question;

4.) in the meantime, should there be a caveat in 6.2, to the effect that 
"not all legal experts agree on the scope of 'use' rights under the 
Document license" (which we now promote, if applicable, for 
non-modification reasons)?

Proposed new CP5.3 text
http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-qaframe-ops-20030210/#Ck-proc-define-licenses )

Checkpoint 5.3. Address license terms for submitted test materials. 
[Priority 1]

Conformance requirements: in its QA Process Document the WG MUST define a 
submission license policy applicable to test materials submitted to the WG 
by external parties, and the submission license policy MUST include at 
least an outline of terms, conditions, constraints, and principles that 
will govern acceptable submissions to the WG.

Rationale. Defining submission license policies in advance will help 
clarify the WG's expectations to prospective TM submitters, and will 
facilitate the efficient negotiation of any needed custom submission 
licenses with submitters.

Discussion. Unless exempted by custom submission terms with W3C Director's 
approval, a WG's submission license policies will necessarily conform to 
standard W3C policies for submitted materials, and specifically those 
procedures and terms defined in Contribution of Software or Test Materials 

[deleted 2nd & 3rd paragraph]

Note.  This checkpoint is about the terms under which a WG accepts test 
materials contributions.  Related @@CP6.2@@ is about licenses under which 
WGs publish test materials.

Proposed new CP6.2 text

Checkpoint 6.2. Define the licenses applicable to published test materials. 
[Priority 1]

Conformance requirements: the Working Group MUST define in its QA Process 
Document the licenses that are applicable to published test materials.

Rationale. Any W3C-hosted materials must have approved license and use 
terms associated. Because there is no single license that is appropriate 
for all test materials, the WG needs consider the options, select or define 
a best license for its particular test materials, and clearly inform 
potential users.

Discussion. Currently approved W3C licenses that may be applied to test 
materials are the Document License and the Software License. The Document 
license has two characteristics that are valuable to test materials:

     * It prohibits the test materials from being modified by the user upon 
download, therefore guaranteeing the integrity of the test mateials;
     * It requires that if the test materials are copied or redistributed, 
they must contain the link to the original test materials and their status.

[Here is where there would be a 'use' caveat about Doc License, if we 
decide one is needed.]

However, there are situations in which the Document License is unworkable 
-- for example, there are Test Materials that require modification or 
completion in order to apply them.

Test Materials may contain any of these three components: test software, 
test documentation, and test cases. It is possible and sometimes desirable 
that the WG apply different licenses to different components.

If the WG considers that neither the Document nor the Software License is 
applicable, it should consult with W3C Legal.
### end ###

Received on Thursday, 1 May 2003 09:34:03 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:43:33 UTC