W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 2009

removing w3c logos from distributed versions of validators/link checker

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 17:23:58 -0400
Message-Id: <9690F4D7-D8D7-4342-8BF7-716677BEE108@w3.org>
To: dev list <public-qa-dev@w3.org>
Cc: www-validator Community <www-validator@w3.org>

I would like to report on an e-mail discussion we've had - involving  
legal advisors for w3c and redhat/fedora. I will try to report in the  
most accurate way, but IANAL... so be gentle :).

The code for our tools is distributed under the W3C software license,  
which is a very relaxed, opensource-certified, license.

However, some parts of our tools require special treatment:
* the "valid XXX" icons are generally distributed under the w3c  
document license, which allows free distribution and use, BUT not  

* The "chrome" of the validators and link checker include the w3c logo  
(trademarked, etc)

This can cause trouble when we try to distribute the tools in  
distributions that only allow fully free, open source and modifiable  

After a long discussion with w3c-legal, I would like to suggest the  
following conclusions:

1) We should remove the "valid XXX" icons from our distribution, and  
link to them from our tool. This is not, FWIW, the advice of w3c- 
legal, but it seems to be the simplest solution that would cause the  
least amount of trouble. Alternatively, we could keep distributing  
these icons in most distributions and patch whenever needed, but that  
seems a little more complex.

2) We should try and differentiate the “chrome” of the validator  
hosted at validator.w3.org from the one distributed. There were some  
instances of people abusing the confusion, installing w3c-validator- 
lookalikes and tricking people and search engines into thinking they  
were "the real thing". W3C-legal strongly recommends it, and I  
understand: they don't want to spend their time running after those  
people with cease&desist, or try to figure out whether an instance of  
the validator is genuine or ill-intentioned.

A simple first step would be to "replace" the w3c logo in the  
distributed software with a more "vanilla" logo. Think for example of  
how mediawiki comes distributed with a sunflower logo instead of the  
wikipedia logo. I suggest keeping both logos under CVS, and have the  
makefile for packaging replace "w3c.png" with the vanilla logo.

I started changes to that effect in the link checker today. Ville,  
would you be able to review the changes and tell me if you think they  
make sense?

Thank you,
olivier Thereaux - W3C Open Source Software : http://www.w3.org/Status
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Received on Thursday, 19 March 2009 21:24:11 UTC

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