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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject Creative Commons licenses at W3C and Apache
Date Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:43:24 GMT
I previously quoted on this public list and elsewhere a decision by the W3C
Director, Tim Berners-Lee, to apply the CC-BY license to certain W3C
specifications. It now appears that he has backed off from that somewhat
because there is no apparent consensus within W3C. 

 

The debate at W3C mirrors the debate here at Apache. Aren't you glad that
you don't have responsibility to reconcile these conflicting opinions? 

 

I quote from the W3C statement on "Policy for Relicensing Unfinished W3C
Specifications":

 

- The "preferred license" (CC-BY) received the most comment and

   there was no consensus among the reviewers for an alternative. We

   received suggestions from the PSIG, Intel, Apple, Mozilla, and

   Google for alternatives. Given the lack of consensus, we removed

   the preferred license, but left the Director the same flexibility

   to choose according to context. The new text reads:

 

      "The Director's preferred licensing strategy will depend on the

      situation. Note: As of December 2014, there are active

      discussions about permissive copyright licenses, including the

      use of CC-BY, CC-BY with code portions available under the W3C

      Software License, the W3C Software License, CC0, and revisions

      to the W3C Document License. Given the absence of consensus,

      this proposal does not yet include a preferred permissive

      license, but will be updated when the Director observes

      consensus on such a license."

 

  This change satisfied Google, who dropped their Formal Objection.

 

******

 

By the way, please note also that varied opinions of Apache members or the
public didn't contribute to the internal debate at W3C; we're mostly
irrelevant. I did, however, write privately to W3C some weeks ago that I
personally was an enthusiastic supporter of the latest worldwide versions of
either CC-BY or CC0 for all W3C specifications, but that I understood the
fear by some that W3C specifications will be "forked." I'm personally not
much worried that bad forks will happen and I'm personally pleased that good
forks should happen under FOSS principles. If I were participating at W3C, I
would recommend CC0 but concede to CC-BY.

 

I've personally spent over twenty years helping frustrated people select
FOSS licenses. The first time was at an encounter with "Geeks With Guns" at
an early OSCON in Portland....

 

/Larry

 

 


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