[whatwg] Copyright of specifications

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Sat Aug 28 04:56:43 PDT 2004

On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 11:47:24 +0000 (UTC), Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Aug 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
> > So you are acting within WHAT-WG as a representative of Opera, and not
> > as an individual, is that what you're saying?
> At the moment there is no practical difference.

So that has changed from the previous situation where you made it very
clear you were doing this as an individual.

> I don't see why Opera lawyers would care about what is urgent in a WHATWG
> context.

no, but you could still ask for an urgent response, then it would be
up to Opera if they decided it was a priority or not, I would hope
Opera would acknowledge the importance of the WHAT-WG and respond
> > This doesn't seem particularly open?
> As far as I can tell, Opera's legal advice is not even remotely covered by
> the WHATWG charter.

Nope, I was just making an observation.

> > No, that is not what I asked, I asked that you had Opera's intention and
> > lawyer advice that the WHAT-WG documents be provided under that licence
> > in writing
> Yes; I copied and pasted the license that is in the draft from an e-mail.

Could you please ensure that the email is appropriately archived and
would be available to a court for anyone who requested it?  Perhaps
register it with some 3rd party?

> > if you are able to produce that in a court at a future date if Opera (or
> > the future copyright owners) decide to revoke that licence.
> I thought you said that even with the license, it could be revoked? In
> which case how would this be useful?

Any revokation would likely result in a court case, hence the reason
to ensure that documents are available.

> > as to the seperate issue of ownership, I believe I'd already explained
> > why a consortium that anyone can join is reasonable protection, whereas
> > a single company in the industry is something to be more concerned with.
> Anyone can join WHATWG. WHATWG contributors are equivalent to W3C members
> in terms of status. W3C _team_ membership, which is equivalent to WHATWG
> membership, is most certainly _not_ open to anyone.

I think this is highly misleading, TEAM membership is nothing like
WHAT-WG membership - the WHAT-WG members have the power to choose what
enters a specification and when a specification is complete etc.  the
W3C team do not, the final arbiter is the AC reps - all member company
representatives (if we ignore the director for now)  Also the W3C's
structure limits its actions by nature of US laws AIUI.


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