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Re: DOM, Promises, and licensing

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 13:50:13 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJK2wqXbBjJdGhCzq79PmShLmcWX0Cj3+2MSrF7Sod6S0okh7A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Cc: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@annevk.nl>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>, Yehuda Katz <wycats@gmail.com>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, Tantek Çelik <tcelik@mozilla.com>
Based on my read, the language in the invited expert agreement and the
language in the Document License are very different, and appear to be
conceived to prevent different things.

The IEA explicitly seeks to prevent an IE from working on two separate
efforts, one inside the W3C and one outside, and making their contributions
to both, if said outside effort might be "confused" with the W3C one.  I
think this is foolish, frankly, as I believe the only actual effect it
would have would be to encourage development to happen only outside of the
W3C.  I think this language should be removed, as it is an artificial
barrier to participation in the W3C, and quite penny-wise, pound-foolish.
 In addition, this clause does NOT appear to be applied to non-Invited
Expert participants (e.g. Member employees).

The Document License, on the other hand, can only seek to protect itself
from derivative works being made from the cloth of the document in
question: so, if Anne were to take a W3C spec that is under the document
license and replicate it, of course that would be prohibited.  However,
were he to make contributions to a spec under the Document License AND to a
non-W3C spec (or even a W3C spec not under such a license), I don't believe
the DL by itself can prohibit such contributions.

In short - I think the Invited Expert Agreement should be revised, but I
believe Anne should not be afraid of running afoul of the IEA in this case,
since he's not agreeing to it (as an employee of a Member); and the
Document License applies whether he participates in DOM at W3C or not (but
shouldn't prevent him from contributing to both the W3C spec and the WHATWG
spec independently - if Anne contributes identical language to the WHATWG
spec and the W3C spec simultaneously, that is his right; perhaps if he were
to contribute that language to the W3C spec first, that might be considered
problematic.)  If you believe the WHATWG spec to be a fork of the W3C
document, then I would expect that would be a problem according to the
Document License regardless of future contributions.

At any rate, of course, the statement "...I personally would not want to
edit anything that cannot be forked" would likely keep Anne from wanting to
contribute to the W3C DOM spec anyway, at this point, so I suspect this may
be academic.

-C


On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM, Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 7:24 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
>
>>  On 7/12/2013 2:16 PM, Alex Russell wrote:
>>
>> I think this is all misdirection from the core question:
>>
>>  Jeff: did you express that view to Anne?
>>
>>
>> I'm not sure I understand which view you are talking about.  I've
>> certainly expressed the view that the W3C Document License does not permit
>> forking.  Is that what you are asking?
>>
>>
> To quote Anne:
>
> "...per your understanding of the W3C Member Agreement I could not be a
> Member of the W3C WebApps WG, push snapshots to TR/, while simultaneously
> edit http://dom.spec.whatwg.org/ This generalizes to other documents I
> work
> on as I understand it."
>
> This would have several follow-ons if it's accurate:
>
>    1. Why do you believe that the WHATWG document is a fork in any way
>    from the W3C document?
>    2. If it can be shown not to be, do you drop your objection (assuming
>    you do object)?
>    3. Do you accept that if drafts are published at the WHATWG first and
>    are then copied into W3C documents that this does not constitute any sort
>    of "forking" or creation of a derivative on the part of the member doing
>    this?
>
> The point you make about the W3C license might not even be apropos
> depending on your responses to the above.
>
>>   And is it not based on an *opinion* of the policies in effect with
>> regards to derivitive works in this area? Is it really necessary to ask the
>> AC to change the Team's opinion on this?
>>
>>
>> Again, don't understand.  It is not an opinion that our current license
>> does not permit forking.
>>
>
> It is the opinion of W3C lawyers *if/how Anne's actions would constitute
> forking *which is under discussion.
>
>>  Anne: can you make the formal request per the rule there?
>>
>>  Jeff: assuming he does, can you please advise on a timeframe for
>> getting a response?
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
>>
>>>  On 7/12/2013 2:02 PM, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> First, if Anne has a request, I would like to hear his request.  I
>>>>> don't
>>>>> want to hypothetically guess his request and respond to all possible
>>>>> interpretations.
>>>>>
>>>> Alex asked why DOM in W3C was not updated. I told him that per your
>>>> understanding of the W3C Member Agreement I could not be a Member of
>>>> the W3C WebApps WG, push snapshots to TR/, while simultaneously edit
>>>> http://dom.spec.whatwg.org/ This generalizes to other documents I work
>>>> on as I understand it.
>>>>
>>>> I cannot speak for WHATWG (no space), but I personally would not want
>>>> to edit anything that cannot be forked.
>>>>
>>>
>>>  As we've discussed many times, at a personal level I respect your
>>> decision not to work on documents that cannot be forked, even though it
>>> disappoints me from a W3C point of view.
>>>
>>> I've also said that over time I'm hopeful that we get to a point that we
>>> have an evolved consensus in this area.
>>>
>>> First step - still not a done deal - is the revision of the HTML5
>>> Charter and forking for extension specifications.
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> http://annevankesteren.nl/
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
Received on Friday, 12 July 2013 20:50:40 UTC

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