[whatwg] Copyright of specifications

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sat Aug 28 05:26:55 PDT 2004

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.

You are mixing two things. First, WHATWG only recognises individuals, not 
companies. Nothing has changed there. Second, my interests as an Opera 
employee, as an individual, and as a WHATWG member, are the same.

> > 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 accordingly.

Requesting an "urgent reply" for something like this would only serve to 
reduce my credibility within the company.

> > > 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?

It's archived in several locations.

You still haven't replied to my request for an explanation of an example 
of how Opera could ever get to the stage where it would be in Opera's 
interests to revoke the license.

You also haven't replied to my question about what it is you wanted 
permission for, since W3C apparently doesn't grant the rights that you are 
concerned Opera might revoke.

> > > 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.

How convenient for you to "ignore the director for now".

If we "ignore the WHATWG members for now", the WHATWG contributors have 
final say on what goes in the spec and how it is published, etc, too.

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

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