[whatwg] Copyright of specifications

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 14:09:39 PDT 2004

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 20:51:18 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> 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,

If you recall it correctly?  Surely you can just look at the document
which said the situation - you have got this in writing from Opera's
lawyers I assume, we're not just relying on a conversation are we?

> 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. 

As you just said above, you're not a lawyer...  and I certainly have
no idea about Norwegian law, but certainly in US law it's not possible
to give a licence that cannot be revoked. (
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html#203 )  So I think I am
right to be concerned, could you be clearer about exactly the advice
the lawyers gave you, I find it rather surprsing that after 2 months
lawyers have come back with 1 sentance, I've never seen a lawyer write
so little.

> No news on patent stuff yet.

Why not?  What's happening, why the delay? - how is Dave Hyatt coming
along with his questions to Apple?


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