[whatwg] Copyright of specifications

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Aug 27 13:51:18 PDT 2004

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
> Right, could you explain why you were not able to get it assigned to the 
> public domain? 

I suggested it, but was told that it was better to have a copyright 
supporting a liberal license than to have it in the public domain. One 
reason was, if I recall correctly, that if we later wanted to submit this 
to a standards organisation, and they wanted to own the copyright (as W3C 
would, e.g.), then we wouldn't be able to if we had assigned it to the 
public domain. I'm not a lawyer so I didn't question this (and have no 
intention to).

> I also do not think the rather simple statement is sufficient licence 
> for me to accept, Opera could revoke the licence at any time.

As far as I am aware, once a license has been granted, it can't be 
"ungranted" unless the licensee breaks the license conditions. Since this 
license has no conditions, that would seem to be impossible.

But I'm no lawyer. Who knows. Maybe Opera management intends to pay me to 
write this specification for several months, gathering public feedback on 
it, and then prevent anyone from using it or from implementing it. Because 
that would make so much sense.

> On a related note the patent policy still hasn't be clarified, did 
> Opera's lawyers not come back to you on that at the same time?  I 
> would've at the very least expect the WG members themselves to have had 
> the time to state that they had no patents...

No news on patent stuff yet.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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