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Re: Does W3C Document License prohibit profiles?

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 06:35:43 +0100
To: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <r02010400-1035-8A0DAE082EEC11D9A6580030657B83E8@[]>

Hash: SHA1

Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com> wrote:

>Given the extreme nervousness about IPR in industry now (which was the
>source of this question), a timely clarification from site-policy, and
>inclusion of same in the FAQ, would be most welcome.

Yes, along with a change to stop using the term “IPR” and “Intellectual
Property”, for reasons both politick and of clarity.

Caveat IANAL, but I think the foggyness of the “IPR” term may be a key factor
here. Copyright in this instance would protect the text of the specifications
document and not the standard described there as such. Protection for the
standard itself would come from either Trade Secret (not applicable) or Patent
(_hopefully_ not applicable) law.

Given this, derivative works and other use is allowed subject to certain
restrictions. Anything within the limits of “Fair Use” considerations should
be fair game; and defining a profile that uses only references to the original
document — direct quotes minimal or within “Fair Use” limits — and new
original text should be ok.

You should refer to USC Title 17 — and the WIPO equivalent — for details;
referencing the W3C documents only leads to self-referential circularity
problems. :-)

In particular, you should be able to produce a complete specification
identical in syntax and semantics to, say, HTML 4.01 provided you include none
of the text that is Copyright by the W3C (without acquiring specific
additional license to do so). You would not be able to call it “HTML” due to
Trademark law and “Trade Dress” legislation, but you can explain its relation
to the original in prose (including saying “This is identical to HTML 4.01”).

None of this allows you to take the HTML 4.01 Recommendation HTML file, cut
out the parts you don't want in your profile, and republish it as “The Foo
Profile of HTML 4.01”; and neither the W3C Document License nor the W3C
Copyright FAQ provides additional grants that would allow you to do this.

If allowing this is deemed desireable — and I would think that it is — then
both the above documents would need to be replaced with new versions
containing such grants.

But, again, IANAL => YMMV. :-)

- -- 
"Temper Temper! Mr. Dre? Mr. NWA? Mr. AK, comin´
 straight outta Compton and y'all better make way?"            -- eminem

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Received on Friday, 5 November 2004 05:35:50 UTC

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