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Re: OpsGL CP5.3 & "TM License"

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 15:43:18 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa@w3.org
Cc: joseph Reagle <reagle@w3.org>

There may be one slight inaccuracy in my Summary:

At 12:43 PM 4/30/03 -0600, Lofton Henderson wrote:
>Except for working out the detail about examples, this gives QAWG a way 
>forward, to finish processing OpsGL, while a W3C-wide forum works on the 
>issues surrounding a new "TM License".
>This does not resolve the additional comment in LC-72.10, that the removal 
>of "use" from the Document License prevents W3C member companies from 
>using any TM that carry the Document License.  W3C Legal claims that is 
>not the case.  This disagreement needs to be resolved between W3C Legal 
>and members -- a consensus on whether or not the lack of an explicit 'Use' 
>grant is actually a problem.

The possible inaccuracy is "W3C Legal claims that is not the case."  I 
reviewed some un-archived dialog (sanitized & attached below).  It is 
ambiguous, to me, whether W3C Legal believes that the right to use is there 
(e.g., implicitly or by precedent legal interpretations of such license or 

Joseph will try to join us in telecon (Thursday), to clarify this and any 
other details.

Remembering that goal of "Proposal" is to clearly represent the current 
situation, while more complex legal and licensing issues are sorted out, 
then:  if 'use' is uncertain, and if some companies accordingly won't be 
involved with the test materials, then we should adjust the proposed 
"Discussion" to mention this consideration.


At 06:32 PM 2/5/03 -0800, [...W3C member...] wrote:
>OK - I just spoke to one of our legal counsels, and he had this to say:
>The Document License does not grant the kind of "use" rights that we would 
>need in order to make effective use of a test suite, particularly one that 
>required the addition of  a test harness, and he would therefore advise 
>against us adopting tests that were covered by such a license. His 
>particular concerns are that the Document License explicitly does *not* 
>grant the rights to "perform and display" that you reference below - it 
>grants only the rights to copy and distribute. He therefore interprets 
>this as prohibiting us, for example, from incorporating tests covered by 
>this license into a larger test suite, or from adding a test harness or 
>additional documentation before redistributing. Even if the rights to 
>"perform and display" were added to this license, it's unclear that these 
>terms extend to the execution of software or the utilization of data files.
>Bottom line: the Document License seems inadequate for sofware. It would 
>probably be easier to start with a software license that explicitly grants 
>use rights, modifying it if necessary to prohibit modifications.
>I will try to gather some additional perspective and recommendations 
>before our discussion later this month.
>Thanks for listening...
>Joseph Reagle wrote:
>>On Tuesday 04 February 2003 19:36, [...W3C member...]  wrote:
>>>However, I think the issue is broader than just "[making] it clear that
>>>the 'Document License' is not precluded from applying to resources that
>>>are not exclusively written in natural language". It would also be
>>>necessary to explicitly grant the kinds of rights to "use" that are
>>>associated with software. Permission to "copy and distribute" is
>>>granted, but that's not the same as software use.
>>This is actually something we explicitly *removed* from the most recent 
>>version of our licenses on the advice of counsel. (For example:
>>  http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/2002/copyright-software-20021231
>>  http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/copyright-software-19980720
>>I had heard that with respect to other various software licenses that 
>>"use" was ambigous and confusing because in no way does the copyright 
>>laws grant one the ability to govern "use" and it was unclear what 
>>authority was being granted. When I asked this of MIT Legal they agreed 
>>and said they were cleaning that up in various licenses orthogonally and 
>>we should do the same here.
>>>I believe, and I've heard some legal opinions that tend to support this
>>>belief, that the license as written does not definitively grant
>>>licensees the kind of rights that I think we want to grant them. For
>>>example, the right to incorporate tests (unchanged) into a larger test
>>>suite, the right to add extra documentation, the right to change
>>>directory structures, and so on. (These needs are compounded by the fact
>>>that most WGs do not seem to develop complete "test suites", but rather
>>>"collections of tests" that cannot be run until additional framework or
>>>harness code is developed.)
>>Copyright governs the ability to copy, distribute, perform, diplay, and 
>>make derivatives (including compilations). All of that is within the 
>>scope of the rights actually in copyright.
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2003 17:42:38 UTC

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