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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Apache's Third Party Licensing Policy
Date Tue, 29 Oct 2013 19:14:04 GMT
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Emmanuel, for reminding us of my first response to JIRA LEGAL-179:

 

> in your first response in the JIRA, you wrote : 

> "CC-BY license is for a specification, not software directly"

 

That is absolutely correct. 

 

As the W3C attorney explained when he described the purpose of the CC-BY experiment, /specifications/
and /software/ are no longer easily distinguishable at W3C. The debate about this was particularly
pronounced in the HTML Working Group. I wasn't there at that time, but this is how it was
described when we subsequently discussed it in W3C PSIG:

 

"This argument is at the core of a long dispute between Larry Masinter and

Ian Hickson. If a specification is just abstract rules for implementation, one

"uses" the specification to implement code. Masinter argued for such 

specifications. But if the pseudo-code and code serves as a specification

and as a reference code at the same time, using that code or pseudo-code,

transforming it automatically into code and putting it in a new context is generating

legal problems. Problems that nobody wants, but that interfere with the entire

development process and standardization."

 

Like it or not, Apache and everyone else is or will be implementing /software/ by copying
and creating derivative works of pseudo-code in W3C /specifications/.  At Apache, we like
to respect W3C's specification licenses. But the creation of derivative works is expressly
prohibited by the W3C Document License.

 

in W3C PSIG we discussed various ways to change the W3C Document License to allow implementation
of W3C /specifications/ in FOSS /software/, namely how to let FOSS communities freely create
derivative works of /software/ within /specifications/ without creating derivative works of
the /specifications/ themselves. We found it impossible to define those terms precisely, and
impossibly burdensome to require engineers to mark the content of their /specifications/ so
as to clearly identify the /software/ portions therein.

 

The solutions we discussed included other licensing alternatives, such as additions or changes
to the W3C Document License; a separate addendum (the so-called "PSIG License" in its draft
form) for specifications that contain software or pseudo-code; and two versions of Creative
Commons licenses (CC0 and CC-BY) that both expressed the spirit of free W3C licensing albeit
with entirely different attribution philosophies.

 

W3C is now back to discussing licensing alternatives, since CC-BY apparently won't cut it
with this community. 

 

I would really prefer it if Apache members led that discussion from the FOSS community perspective,
rather than wait until one of our projects decides to implement some future version of an
HTML or other W3C /specification/ in /software/ under some as-yet-unknown experimental license.

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242

Linkedin profile: http://linkd.in/XXpHyu 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Emmanuel Lécharny [mailto:elecharny@gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:36 AM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: Apache's Third Party Licensing Policy

 

Larry,

 

in your first response in the JIRA, you wrote : " CC-BY license is for a specification, not
software directly"

 

On the  <http://www.apache.org/foundation> www.apache.org/foundation page, I read :

 

" Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process known as The Apache Way, Apache™
projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available **software** products"

 

I conclude abruptly that, as The ASF write softwares, not specifications, I don't see the
need to add CC-By as a third party compatible licence.

 

I don't understand all this noise made about something that, AFAICU, does not concern us...

 

Moreover, when the time will come for someone to actually write a specificiation under the
ASF umbrella, specification connected to the W3C work, then we can reconsider this position.

 

Can we focus on real problems, and problems that we are facing now, instead of fighting over
hypothetical issues ?

 

Side note : not to mention the various aggressions I have read on the board/members/legal
mailing list...

At some point, can't anyone realise that, as Churchill said : "this is not because we disagree
that you are right" ?

 

--

Regards,

Cordialement,

Emmanuel Lécharny

 <http://www.iktek.com> www.iktek.com 

 

 

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