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From Rigo Wenning <r...@w3.org>
Subject Re: The facts concerning the W3C CC-BY experiment as I understand them
Date Thu, 31 Oct 2013 13:57:17 GMT

Under the reading of the GPL à la FSF, even the MIT license is incompatible as 
it contains  "there can be no other limitation". It limits the use of names. 
Perhaps that is also a limitation in GPL and thus it is compatible, but 
still... You and I have argued over this. I found it a genius' idea from you 
to not extend the license to specification making instead of having it as a 
limitation. This allowed you to circumvent the FSF hickup very elegantly. But 
from a political perspective, this was legally too smart to be understood. 
Despite my efforts, it went nowhere as there were too many forces hoping to  
get the entire treasure via an MIT/W3C/CC-0/BSD license. Now we are stuck.

I just forward you parts of my answer to PSIG. Parts of my answer  are member 
confidential because they contain evidence (sources) of where the CC-BY idea 
came from. The email I responded to was sent to a member confidential list, so 
I can't broadcast. Sorry.. 

First, we should accept that the new way of writing specifications creates a 
new issue and that we have no clue how to address the issue. All attempts by 
the lawyers to solve the issue have failed either materially or politically. 

IMHO the best attempt so far was the PSIG license, mainly by Geoffrey 
Creighton and Larry Rosen. But it had a little hook with GPL as GPL stated 
that "there can be no other limitation". A very strict interpretation of that 
sentence leads to GPL being compatible only with GPL. The PSIG license was 
rejected as "not doing competing specifications" was seen as not being 
compatible with "there can be no other limitation". But with this argument, 
one would also declare an MIT license or W3C Software license incompatible, 
because they contain a limitation saying: "do not use names". This limitation 
in turn has been accepted by OSF. 

If we can get OSF to accept the PSIG license by saying the only limitation not 
to create a competing technical specification is compatible with making (even 
viral) open source software, we have solved 80% of the legal issue. The 
remaining issue is Mozilla claiming incompatibility with MPL. But if the PSIG 
license would be OSF compatible, Mozilla will have a hard time arguing 
incompatibility with MPL. 

Until this is resolved, status quo is the best we can get IMHO; modulo some 
experiments with extensions that do not really address the real pain points. 

again, all this is not W3C's opinion, it is my personal opinion. 


On Wednesday 30 October 2013 11:40:19 Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Since we're revisiting history, I thought it would be useful to show you the
> "PSIG License" that I helped draft for consideration by W3C and that I
> personally advocated rather than CC-BY for this W3C "experiment".  As I
> recall, this was objected to by FSF as being incompatible with the GPL.

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