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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: The facts concerning the W3C CC-BY experiment as I understand them
Date Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:35:34 GMT
I generally agrees with Sam's statement of the facts below, although not his
conclusion. The WHATWG battle is something that Sam is very familiar with.

However let me correct some details. Please note that, in W3C PSIG
deliberations, I did not originally support CC-BY. Indeed, I contributed
heavily to the draft that became the "PSIG License" that, as Sam reports,
the W3C PSIG Committee (including its lawyers) sent to the Director. But the
Director did not choose my preference.

On October 1, /after/ the W3C Director announced an experiment with CC-BY, I
requested at Apache that we add CC-BY to the list of Apache-approved third
party licenses. Because of objections here at Apache, however, W3C
apparently is no longer seeking to use the CC-BY license. Under those
circumstances, I revert my support back to the earlier PSIG License that I
helped to draft. 

If the W3C Director announces a new experiment with standards licensing,
whatever it may be, I again intend to file a JIRA to discuss and approve
that license at Apache. I believe it is essential that we stay fully in
synchrony with W3C licensing policies -- indeed that we /lead/ them -- which
is why participation by our members at W3C is so important.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:32 AM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: The facts concerning the W3C CC-BY experiment as I understand them

The following are based on my discussions with the members of the W3C PSIG
(many of which are lawyers representing W3C member organizations), W3C
management, and reading of the announcement and accompanying FAQ. 
Links will be provided on request.

For starters, CC-BY was not picked by the lawyers of the W3C PSIG. In fact,
the PSIG recommendation was set aside by W3C Management in favor of a
license choice that they were lead to believe would be more palatable by the
WHATWG.  It turns out that they were incorrect.

The WHATWG considered a number of factors.  For starters CC-BY is not listed
as an open source license by the OSI.  It is not recommended by the authors
of that license for source code.  Both the FSF and the Mozilla foundation
have publicly stated that they don't consider CC-BY to be compatible with
licenses that they created.  In the end, they decided that CC-BY does not
meet their needs.

In any case, HTML5, HTML5.1, and any specification which includes text
present in those specifications are specifically excluded from the
experiment that the W3C has authorized.

It is indeed true that Larry Masinter has expressed concerns about Ian
Hickson's style of specification writing, particularly as it applies to
HTML5.  In particular, Larry Masinter expressed a concern about
specification text phrased as algorithms.  Here is what the HTML5
specification says about such:

Conformance requirements phrased as algorithms or specific steps may be
implemented in any manner, so long as the end result is equivalent. (In
particular, the algorithms defined in this specification are intended to be
easy to follow, and not intended to be performant.)

Ian Hickson's style of specification writing is uncommon.  It generally is
not the case that other W3C specifications are written using this style.

It is not the case that the W3C would consider implementation of W3C
specifications to run afoul of the W3C document license.

Any specification text that Ian Hickson writes and makes available for
inclusion in HTML5 is also made available via the WHATWG separately using
the following license:

> /*
>  * Copyright 2004-2010 Apple Computer, Inc., Mozilla Foundation, and 
> Opera
>  * Software ASA.
>  *
>  * You are granted a license to use, reproduce and create derivative 
> works of
>  * this document.
>  */

Drafts of the W3C HTML specification include, and have included, the
following text for a number of years:

The bulk of the text of this specification is also available in the WHATWG
HTML Living Standard, under a license that permits reuse of the
specification text.

No current W3C Recommendation contains the HTML requirements phrased as
algorithms provided by Ian Hickson.  No planned future W3C Recommendation
made available using CC-BY will contain such.

The above is based on discussions with others.  The below is my conclusions.

It seems to me that code bases that implement HTML4 will not be affected by
the planned release of HTML5 in 2014.  Code bases preceded the development
of HTML5 would not be considered copies of HTML5.  Code bases that implement
parts of HTML5 that are not expressed as pseudo code would not be considered
copies of HTML5.  Being familiar with that specification, the algorithms are
primarily present to deal with sometimes tricky parts dealing with the
consumption of HTML5.  Code bases that produce HTML would not be considered
copies of those portions of the specification.

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