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Re: DOM, Promises, and licensing

From: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 12:57:38 +0100
Message-ID: <CANr5HFVX_yZ4nvDiS4kUB+g58GqTKCh7ynt_G2QO8GRwqOgXLg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Cc: 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>, Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>, Tantek Çelik <tcelik@mozilla.com>
On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org> wrote:

>  On 7/12/2013 3:52 PM, Alex Russell 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?
> DOM was started prior to my joining W3C, but I'm told that DOM was
> originally done at W3C.  Assuming that is true, then the WHAT WG document
> is likely a fork, although I have not personally examined the spec.

This is a question that can be answered by Anne and others. The commit
history starts here:


Thanks to Marcos for digging that up.

It does not appear to be a fork.

Either way, I think the request for exception would clear up this issue
entirely, no?

>    1. If it can be shown not to be, do you drop your objection (assuming
>    you do object)?
> Well this is a complex question which is probably best left for advice
> from attorneys.

Who should be cc'd to get that opinion? Can you please add them to this

>  But let's accept your assumption that it can be shown not to be a fork.
> As I understand it, even if the current version is not a fork, if a later
> version includes IP contributed by W3C Members then that later version
> might be a fork.

How can that possibly be true? W3C members, as per the membership
agreement, retain copyright (and all other rights) to the work they
contribute. They can re-license those works in any way they see fit. The
act of publishing a something under multiple licenses and in multiple forms
no more creates a derivative work than using the same prop in two films

>    1. 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?
> I don't think I agree; maybe I just don't understand.  If the WHATWG
> publishes a document and then it is copied into a W3C document that
> represents a fork of the WHATWG document.  Given the license used at WHATWG
> the forking is permitted, but it is still a fork.

AFAICTS, this is either confused or wrong, depending on the scenario:

   1. If the entire text of the contribution comes from the WHATWG draft,
   wholesale, and is published there first *by the same person who added it
   to the WHATWG draft*, the act of adding such text to a W3C draft is
   simply the act of re-licensing the bit of work *to* the W3C.
   2. If someone *other than the original author* does this, the W3C work
   is *derivative* *of the WHATWG work *under the terms of the WHATWG's
   publication license. It's an open question as to wether or not this would
   be kosher by the terms of the WHATWG license.
   3. If the contribution is derivative of other work at WHATWG (but not
   W3C) and is imported to the W3C draft, we're back in scenario #2.

In no case is "forking" in the direction of W3C -> WHATWG implicated *so
long as the contribution appears in a WHATWG draft first.*

> 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.
> Sure, but Anne's note seems to say that he doesn't work on anything that
> does not permit forking - which - for better or for worse - is not possible
> in W3C until we get the new HTML Charter.  W3C lawyers cannot give an
> opinion that a fork is not a fork.

It might be the case that you're talking past each other a bit. The
proximate question is about the Promises text, written entirely by Anne,
and which we want to import into the W3C draft. I think we all agree that
liberalizing the W3C licenses is the right long-term fix, but there doesn't
seem to be any need to cut that knot to make progress on this issue.

Can we please focus on that and not the larger question which, by all
accounts, is likely to get solved soon?

>      Anne: can you make the formal request per the rule there?
>> Still looking for a response to this.

>>  Jeff: assuming he does, can you please advise on a timeframe for
>> getting a response?
>> And this.

>  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 Saturday, 13 July 2013 11:58:36 UTC

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